Program Overview

Oakland University offers an online Master of Science in Special Education with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Certificate which focuses on the broader concepts of exceptionality in learning, instruction, and development with an in-depth preparation in autism.  As part of earning this degree the student must complete a minimum of 180 hours in a supervised practicum experience teaching students with autism disorders.  The practicum is individually determined at the time of approval and is the final experience required for K-12 certification.

Oakland University’s online programs combine traditional education with new, innovative technologies that allow for students to complete all or most of their degree through computer coursework.  Online courses share many of the common features of traditional classes such as a teacher, peers, a syllabus, reading material, course activities, and evaluations.  The difference is that most participation occurs online rather than having face-to-face discussions in a classroom. For instance, students would discuss material on a threaded discussion board, or as part of a chat room.  Not all programs are completely online, so applicants should choose their degree programs appropriately.  Some students may appreciate a flexible blend of online and on-campus courses.  Online courses are usually synchronous in format (meaning that course work follows the same schedule as on-campus class equivalents and assignments are due on the same dates).

The MS in Special Education with ASD is a 44 credit hour program.  Core requirements include: Standards, Research and Practice in Special Education; Legal Issues in Special Education; Assessment in Special Education; Quality of Life; Community Engagement and Service; and six hours of electives.  The ASD concentration courses are: Overview of Autism Spectrum Disorder; Educational Procedures for Students with ASD; Communication and Language Issues in ASD; Behavioral and Social Issues in Students with ASD; and Collaboration and Consultation Skills- ASD.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Master

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


    Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree; a minimum 3.0 GPA or higher; hold (or be eligible for) a valid Michigan Teaching Certificate (elementary or secondary certification); and demonstrate potential for success in the program.

    School Overview

    Oakland University was founded in 1957 when Matilda Dodge Wilson and her husband Alfred Wilson donated their 1,500-acre estate to Michigan State University. In 1959, what is now Oakland University opened under the name Michigan State University-Oakland. When it first opened there were only 570 students and the campus was comprised of just three buildings. In 1963, Michigan State University-Oakland was renamed Oakland University. Today it remains the only major public research university located in Oakland County, Michigan. Part of the mission of OU is “...In all its activities, Oakland University strives to exemplify educational leadership in a diverse and inclusive environment."

    Students enrolled at Oakland University have the choice of choosing a major in one of six different schools:

    • College of Arts and Sciences
    • School of Business Administration
    • School of Education and Human Services
    • School of Engineering and Computer Science
    • School of Health Science
    • School of Nursing

    To accommodate the busy lives of many of the students at Oakland University, there are a slew of online courses and many bachelor's and master's programs that can be completed entirely online. There are also numerous certificates that can be completed online and other degrees that can be completed partially online.


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