Program: M.S., Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services

Program Description

This program is offered 100% online.

Because the nation’s expanding population of older adults is accompanied by a growing burden of disability, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts long-term growth in all health services industries, including the areas of assistive, adaptive and access technologies.

With more than 4,000 such technologies designed so far to enable persons with disabilities to live more productive, independent and fulfilling lives, a new academic discipline has emerged to prepare human services professionals–including physical therapists, counselors and human resources experts–to provide a variety of services related to ensuring that their clients receive the optimum benefit from these technologies.

Internationally recognized for its expertise in disabilities services, CSUN created the Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services (ATHS) master’s degree program–the first of its kind in Southern California–to meet the growing need.

Offered in collaboration with the College of Health and Human Development and the College of Engineering and Computer Science, this 2-year, 10-course, fully online program is designed to prepare working professionals for rewarding careers in enhancing the lives of those who rely upon assistive technology devices.

Taught by distinguished CSUN faculty and accomplished assistive technology industry professionals, the ATHS program is offered in the cohort format, which facilitates interaction with faculty and fosters the development of networking relationships with fellow participants.

The Tseng College supports the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference.

The National Science Foundation ranks CSUN second nationally among comprehensive universities preparing students who later earn doctorate degrees in science and engineering (CSUN University Advancement).

This program is available through self support (funded entirely by student fees and offered in a cohort format) in partnership between one of the CSUN academic colleges and The Tseng College.

Program Requirements

A. Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the program, applicants must possess (at the time of enrollment):

  1. Educational Background: Bachelor’s degree in any major from an accredited university or college.
  2. Cumulative GPA: A minimum of a 2.5 cumulative GPA is required by the university for application review. A 3.0 cumulative GPA is preferred.
  3. English Proficiency Requirements for International Applicants: Applicants whose language of instruction was not English are required to take one of the following placement exams:
    1. TOEFL—Minimum scores accepted:
      1. Paper-based test: 550
      2. Computer-based test: 213
      3. Internet-based test: 79
    2. IELTS—Minimum score of 6.5 or higher.
    3. PTE Academic—Pearson’s Test of English with a minimum score of 58.

B. Course List (10 courses, 30 units)

The following courses have been carefully crafted and purposefully sequenced to form a uniquely integrated program of study that links the human services aspects of assistive technology with those of assistive device engineering. Courses are listed in the order in which they are presented. Later courses build on earlier ones to provide a powerful, cumulative learning experience.

1. Required Courses (27 units)

ATHS 501 Functional Biology and Design Innovation (3)
ATHS 502 Seminar in Human Characteristics in Relation to Usability of Assistive Technologies (3)
ATHS 614 Assistive Technology Across the Lifespan (3)
ATHS 618 Research Methods and Design in Assistive Technology (3)
ATHS 619 History, Law, Policy and Assistive Technology (3)
ATHS 621 Assistive Technology Assessment and Outcome Measures (3)
ATHS 622 Counseling in Assistive Technology Service Delivery (3)
ATHS 623 Medical Conditions Affecting Quality of Life (3)
ATHS 694 Seminar—Current and Emerging Topics in Assistive Technology (1-1-1)

2. Culminating Experience (3 units)

ATHS 697 Directed Comprehensive Studies (3)

Total Units Required for the M.S. Degree: 30


Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services
Graduate Coordinator: Victoria Jaque
(818) 677-7506

Staff: Yvonne Carrillo
(818) 677-7646

Staff: Heather Leohner
(818) 677-4642

Staff: Mario Arriaga
(818) 677-3836

Program Learning Outcomes

Students receiving a Master of Science in Assistive Technology Studies and Human Services will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a comprehensive and theoretical understanding of Assistive Technology through oral and written expression.
  2. Describe and infer the implications and possible effects of assistive technologies across different social, generational and cultural contexts.
  3. Problem-solve using evidence-based strategies and think critically across the multidisciplinary fields that encompass assistive technologies and human services.
  4. Conceptualize, plan and write a scholarly research or professional paper based on a review of appropriate literature and utilizing appropriate research methodologies.