Applied Behavior Analysis, MS

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program prepares graduates to assume supervisory behavior analyst roles in schools and service agencies and to serve as independent consultants. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has verified this course sequence as meeting the course requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. While retaining a practitioner focus, this program gives students in-depth knowledge of topics such as conditioned reinforcement, motivational influences on behavior, and errorless teaching procedures. Courses explore the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis in-depth and address its philosophical underpinnings. With this background, graduates are prepared to address the most complex behavior problems and learning challenges. Students complete 6 core courses, plus an additional 4 courses that extend the student’s familiarity with clinical procedures and with the research supporting their use. Students may elect to complete their supervised experience hours by taking Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 1 (CAEP 8417) and Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 2 (CAEP 8418), in addition to the 10 required courses.

Courses are delivered in an online format. Students attend lectures virtually and view supplementary material on their own schedules, taking advantage of technological advances that promote student learning and increase student-to-instructor and student-to-student communication.

Students take one or two courses each academic term, and courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer full semesters. Behavior Assessment (CAEP 6327) and Research and Design Methods (CAEP 6328) serve as prerequisite courses to the remaining courses in the program.

Professional Portfolio

The capstone for the program is the professional portfolio. This portfolio, which is compiled electronically, documents the student’s acquisition of critical behavioral procedures. This portfolio documents the student’s behavioral competency in critical clinical skills. These skills, each of which is associated with a specific project, include:

  • Preference and reinforce assessment
  • Functional assessment of problem behavior
  • Task analysis
  • Discrete trial
  • Stimulus equivalence
  • Conditioned reinforcement
  • Literature review

Each semester, students complete assignments associated with the above clinical skills, and each assignment culminates in professional documents to be included in the student’s professional portfolio. A faculty member reviews and signs each assignment in the professional portfolio. The faculty member’s signature indicates that the student has achieved the faculty-established standards for the project. Graduates are encouraged to use their professional portfolio when applying for employment.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Professional Portfolio 

  • Preference and reinforce assessment
  • Functional assessment of problem behavior
  • Task analysis
  • Discrete trial
  • Stimulus equivalence
  • Conditioned reinforcement
  • Literature review

Core Requirements

A grade of B or higher is required in each course.

Basic
CAEP 6327Behavior Assessment3
CAEP 6328Research and Design Methods3
CAEP 6329Service Administration3
CAEP 6331Advanced Learning Seminar 13
CAEP 6334Applied Programming Seminar 13
CAEP 6336Systematic Inquiry 13
Advanced
CAEP 6324Programmed Learning3
CAEP 6332Advanced Learning Seminar 23
CAEP 6335Applied Programming Seminar 23
CAEP 6337Systematic Inquiry 23

Practicum

Note: The intensive practicum is optional. Consult your faculty advisor.

CAEP 8417Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 12
CAEP 8418Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 22

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required