Autism Behavioral Studies Major

Learning Goals and Outcomes

Goal 1: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will know and understand the potential causes, symptoms and diagnostic criteria of autism spectrum disorders as well as the specific needs of individuals with autism across the lifespan and how they are treated.

Objective 1.1: Demonstrate knowledge of the current theories on the causes of autism spectrum disorders.

Objective 1.2: Demonstrate knowledge of the frequency, characteristics, symptoms, and diagnostic criteria of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Objective 1.3: Demonstrate knowledge of the nature of stereotypes, stigma, and discrimination of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Goal 2: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will know and understand the unique and specific behavioral needs of individuals with autism as well as both medical and behavioral approaches to autism treatment and related issues.

Objective 2.1: Identify the behavioral needs of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders and demonstrate the current behavioral approaches to treating behavioral issues of individuals with autism using Applied Behavior Analysis and medically related therapeutic services.

Objective 2.2: Demonstrate the ability to communicate orally and in writing in the language of the discipline and particularly on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis. 

Goal 3: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will understand, follow and demonstrate the ethics guidelines and professional codes of conduct for working with individuals with autism.

Objective 3.1: Demonstrate the roles and responsibilities of behavior analysts, therapists, allied health professionals and related staff, and demonstrate understanding of ethics guidelines in working with individuals with autism.

Objective 3.2: Graduates will act as responsible citizens, embracing personal and career objectives that honor and serve individuals with autism and their families. 

Goal 4: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will identify and understand the difficulties that families face in coping with autism and the impact of paying for autism-related services, as well as the social and economic impact on families and on society.

Objective 4.1: Identify the impact on parents, siblings, families, and friends of individuals with autism spectrum disorders and demonstrate how to best help these individuals cope with associated stress.

Objective 4.2: Identify the impact of political issues, including funding and approval of services, around autism spectrum disorders.

Goal 5: Graduates of the Autism Behavioral Studies Program will demonstrate how to collect behavioral data using Applied Behavior Analysis; to measure the progress of individuals with autism; to develop behavioral plans for individuals with autism; and/or to conduct research on individuals with autism or on related treatment plans.

Objective 5.1: Collect data on the progress of individuals with autism and develop behavioral plans; or collect data for the purpose of conducting research on a particular topic in the field of autism.

Objective 5.2: Identify and demonstrate methods to empirically assess and evaluate the progress of individuals with autism spectrum disorders for the purpose of developing intervention plans.

The traditional undergraduate programs include 40 courses distributed across three components: A General Education component divided into Signature Courses, Variable Courses, and an Integrative Learning requirement; a Major and Divisional component; and Free Electives. In addition to course requirements as specified in each area, students must complete one certified course in each of the following overlay areas:

  1. Diversity, Globalization or Non-western Area Studies,
  2. Ethics Intensive, and
  3. Writing Intensive. Overlay requirements are part of the forty-course requirement.

General Education Signature Courses

See this page about Signature courses. Six courses

General Education Variable Courses

See this page about Variable courses. Six to Nine courses

Required Natural Science GEP course for the ABS major:
One Biology or Chemistry Course with Lab

General Education Overlays

See this page about Overlays.

General Education Integrative Learning Component

See this page about Integrative Learning Component. Three courses:

Intro Psychology Seminar
Introduction to Statistics
Psychology Course

Major Requirements 

Students may choose to pursue the Community-Based Research/Advocacy track or the Board Certified Assistant Behavioral Analyst (BCaBA) track.  If pursuing the BCaBA track, the coursework and fieldwork requirements prepare students to be eligible to sit for the BCaBA certifying exam.

Core Requirements

IHS 100Intro:Autism Spectrum Disorder3
IHS 200Applied Behav Anlysis & Autism3
IHS 201Skill Assess&Instruc: ABA&Aut3
IHS 331Statistics & Research Methods3

Advanced Track Courses

Choose either Community-based Research and Advocacy sequence or BCaBA Certification:

Community-based Research and Advocacy
IHS 468Resources &Advocacy for Autism3
IHS 469Adult/Transition Autism Serv3
IHS 470Senior Seminar3
BCaBA Certification
Please note that if you intend on sitting for the BCaBA exam, you must earn a C or better in IHS 100, IHS 200, IHS 201 and each of the following advanced track courses. Fieldwork Experience Courses (IHS300, 301, 400, and 401) expand from core content to application via an intensive concentrated supervised fieldwork at the Kinney Center, where students obtain 18 hours per week of experience toward certification.
IHS 300Behav Assess&Interv ABA&Aut4
IHS 301Ethics&Profess: ABA&Aut4
IHS 400Appld Resrch Dsgn: ABA&Aut4
IHS 401Behav Consult: ABA&Aut4

Area Studies 

Select four courses from the following (at least two courses must be from Health Services):
Health Services Courses
IHS 110Psyc Aspcts Illness & Disab3
IHS 248Hlth and the School aged Child3
IHS 468Resources &Advocacy for Autism3
IHS 469Adult/Transition Autism Serv3
IHS 471Special Topics in Autism3
IHS 490Internship in IHS3
IHS 491Internship in Autism Studies3
Linguistics Courses:
LIN 150Langua, Linguis, & Real Wld3
LIN 320Phonetics3
Psychology Courses:
PSY 120Lifespan Development3
PSY 122Abnormal Psychology/Non-Majors (or Psychology majors course)3
PSY 201Biological Bases of Behavior3
PSY 222Neuropsychology3
PSY 226Psychology of Emotion3
PSY 237Abnormal Child Psychology3
Philosophy Courses:
PHL 286Philosophy of Mental Illness3
Education and Special Education Courses:
EDU 121Child Development3
EDU 241Soc/Emo Dev/Lrn: Erly Chld3
SPE 160Intro to Special Education3
SPE 200Teaching in Inclusive Environ3
SPE 369Ed Stds w/Emot-Social Beh Disb3
SPE 379Fam School & Comm:Diverse Soc3
*If you complete the Community-based Research and Advocacy track, you must take two other Area Studies courses in Health Services (IHS468 and IHS469 will count toward your Advanced Track Courses)