Thomas Jefferson UniversityJefferson College of Health Professions

Main menu:

Emerging as Leaders in Autism Practice & Research


This advanced practice certificate offers registered and licensed occupational therapists advanced knowledge about autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and skills for working with persons who have ASD. Courses are taught by experts in the field. The Program Coordinator and Primary Instructor is Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, vice chairman and professor and director of the Sensory Integration Laboratory.

Autism Brochure

Program Features

  • Four graduate level courses (a total of 12 credits)
  • Courses are given in 8-week blocks starting in September
  • The certificate can be completed in 12 months
  • Designed for busy professionals; all courses are 100% online
  • Courses are designed to interface with the OTD program at Jefferson and may be used for graduate credit toward a Doctorate degree in that program

The Jefferson Difference

Technology and information. Students use the latest distance learning tools including discussion boards, synchronous online presentations and live chat to participate in a community of learners. They also have access to professional literature through the Scott Memorial Library and experts on topics such as motor learning, sensory integration and constrained induced movement therapy.

Admission Requirements

Bachelor’s degree or higher


The curriculum consists of four graduate-level courses (a total of 12 credits) that can be used toward a master’s or doctoral degree.



Autism:  The State of the Field


Assessment Strategies for Individuals with Autism


Lifespan Intervention for Autism Across Practice Contexts


Autism: Treating the Whole Person in Context



Tuition is assessed per credit at the graduate level. Please visit the Registrar’s tuition page to view the current fees. Use the drop down menu to choose Jefferson College of Health Professions and Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program to view current per credit tuition rate. University technology and library fees are assessed each semester.

Jefferson alumni receive a 25% tuition discount. Employers may have funds budgeted to pay for tuition, either as tuition reimbursement programs or continuing education funds. For information about how to pay tuition and a monthly payment program click here.

Yes. The complete certificate is 12 credits, all of which will transfer into the OTD program at Jefferson. Courses are taught at the graduate level and may be transferred to another institution.

Classes meet online generally one evening per week.

The program is designed for part-time study so that practicing therapists can complete the certificate while maintaining employment and personal obligations. Students can expect to spend 3 hours a week in an online class and additional time for reading and completing assignments.

Professional Development Units (PDU) for these courses are available through your professional organization.

The curriculum allows for a dynamic interactive learning environment using the latest technology for distance learning which allows access to a variety of experts on specific topic areas.

Jefferson’s resources, including library collections, services and technology, are easy to navigate via a distance format. The instructor will guide you through this process. 

Contact Info

Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Carol Just, OTD, OTR/L                            

Zoe Mailloux-Maggio, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA

How to Apply

Complete the non-matriculated student form (be sure to complete all information).                                                                                       E-mail form to

You will then be registered for the course and notified by the Tuition Office and the Department of Occupational Therapy

You start class online from anywhere you are!

Students enrolling in this certificate program are not eligible for financial aid.

Read More