Applied Behavior Analysis MS

Major: Applied Behavior Analysis
Degree Awarded: Master of Science (MS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 46.5
Co-op Option: None
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 42.2814
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code:

About the Program

Behavior analysis is a widely accepted and empirically validated approach to the investigation and improvement of behaviors with environmental determinants. Extensive research has established proven methods which have developed the technology called applied behavior analysis. Together with client-focused clinical approaches, these methods have enabled behavior analysts to make significant contributions and advancements in the education and behavioral health fields.

The Master of Science program in applied behavior analysis will prepare its graduates to become knowledgeable and compassionate clinical and educational leaders who use individualized and evidence-based behavioral techniques to support and improve outcomes for people across a variety of settings and needs. Graduates from this program will be highly successful candidates for employers searching for skilled clinicians and leaders in behavioral health and educational settings. Additionally, interested graduates will be prepared to transition to doctoral programs in applied behavior analysis and related fields.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the core Applied Behavior Analysis course sequence as meeting the 5th edition task list content hour requirements and faculty standards. For eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®, applicants will have to meet additional fieldwork and supervision requirements set forth by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, please visit the School of Education's website. 

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the program will follow the university standards for admission to graduate study. Prospective students must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher to be considered for admission (graduate degree GPAs will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA).

In addition, prospective students are required to submit the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal essay
  • Resume

The admissions committee will evaluate the applicant’s potential and commitment to succeed in graduate study. The applicant’s potential to contribute to the overall quality of the program of study will also be considered.

Interviews, in person or by phone, may be conducted by the admissions committee with those applicants who meet Graduate Admissions' standard admissions criteria.

Decisions will be made using dates corresponding to the regular university schedule for rolling admissions in Graduate Admissions.

The online program admits students both in the Fall and Spring Terms, while the online/weekend residency program only admits students in the Fall Term.

Degree Requirements

Core Applied Behavior Analysis Courses
ABA 630Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change4.5
ABA 632Behavioral Assessment and Functional Analysis4.5
ABA 633Behavioral Interventions4.5
ABA 634Consultation, Systems Change and Supervision4.5
ABA 635Ethical Considerations and Professional Conduct4.5
ABA 636Applications of Fundamental Elements of Behavior Analysis4.5
ABA 640An Analysis of Verbal Behavior3.0
ABA 641Therapeutic Approaches Using Principles of Behavior Analysis3.0
ABA 642Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis3.0
ABA 731Research Methods and Practice4.5
Capstone Courses6.0
Capstone in ABA I
Capstone in ABA II
Total Credits46.5

Sample Plan of Study

MS Applied Behavior Analysis Full-Time Plan of Study

First Year
ABA 6304.5ABA 6334.5ABA 6344.5ABA 6403.0
ABA 6324.5ABA 6364.5ABA 6354.5ABA 7314.5
 9 9 9 7.5
Second Year
ABA 6413.0ABA 6423.0  
ABA 7803.0ABA 7813.0  
 6 6  
Total Credits 46.5

MS Applied Behavior Analysis Part-Time Plan of Study

First Year
ABA 6304.5ABA 6364.5ABA 6324.5ABA 6334.5
 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
Second Year
ABA 6354.5ABA 642*3.0ABA 6344.5ABA 7314.5
 4.5 3 4.5 4.5
Third Year
ABA 6413.0ABA 6403.0  
ABA 7803.0ABA 7813.0  
 6 6  
Total Credits 46.5

Note: This term is less than the 4.5-credit minimum required (considered half-time status) of graduate programs to be considered financial aid eligible. As a result, aid will not be disbursed to students this term.

Program Level Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, graduates will be prepared to:

  • Design appropriate measurement systems, schedules of observation, and data displays. 
  • Conduct thorough behavioral assessments that consider all potential environmental variables and rule out other medical or biological variables. 
  • Analyze and interpret assessments and other outcome data and provide data-based recommendations.
  • Construct behavioral interventions based on assessment results and the best available scientific evidence that also addresses the diverse and unique preferences and needs of the learners and their support systems.  
  • Practice within one's limits of professional competence in applied behavior analysis, and seek consultation, supervision, and training, or make referrals as necessary.
  • Demonstrate awareness and a willingness to adhere to the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts.
  • Identify and reflect on gaps in the behavioral literature and be able to conceptualize, develop, and conduct a capstone project that is experimentally sound, socially, and addresses all of the dimensions of ABA.  

Applied Behavior Analysis MS Faculty

James Connell, PhD (Louisiana State University) Founding Clinical Core Director and Research Fellow, A.J. Drexel Autism Institute. Associate Professor. Identifying the variables that influence adult behavior change in community settings; autism intervention; widespread dissemination of evidence-based interventions in school and community settings.
Amanda Lannie, PhD (Syracuse University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Applied behavior analysis and special education; School-based consultation; system-wide interventions as a mechanism for delivery supports to all students; Designing effective and efficient interventions for students with emotional/behavioral disorders.
Bridget Sweeney Blakely, PhD (Temple University). Assistant Clinical Professor. Consultation; Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS); Response to Intervention (Rtl); Systems-level change; performance feedback
Christina Vorndran, PhD (Louisiana State University) Program Director, Applied Behavior Analysis and Special Education. Clinical Professor. Designing effective and efficient community-based interventions, Severe behavior disorders, Functional behavior assessment