Applied Behavior Analysis, MS
This new and highly anticipated graduate program, offered in conjunction with the Department of Counseling and Human Services, is designed to provide the educational and supervised fieldwork experiences necessary to achieve certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACBTM) and to meet the accreditation standards for academic programs set by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The curriculum emphasizes content required by the BACBTM, such as conceptual underpinnings, assessment, research, management and ethics.
Therapists working with individuals living with autism require specific, legally codified educational experiences and supervised fieldwork experiences. Courses in this Master’s program include content consistent with certification rules for individuals and accreditation standards for programs. Graduates will meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the national certification exam for Behavior Analysis, specified by BACBTM.
Certification is a necessary condition for working with individuals living with autism in Behavior Analysis in most states in the United States of America. It is also a perquisite for licensing as a Behavior Analyst in 100% of states that have passed licensing laws (currently, 33 states have licensing laws; multiple states, including Pennsylvania, are in various stages of establishing licensing laws for Behavior Analysts).
Applicants are likely to have completed courses in the following areas at the undergraduate level: psychology, sociology, social work, education, counseling and related areas. Students without those or similar educational background coursework can still be considered for admission, consistent with the certification policies published by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACBTM).
We are now accepting applications! Program directors review applications and pay particular attention to each applicant’s ability to address program specific professional goals and professional identity in the statement of intentions. Group and/or individual interviews with program faculty prior to acceptance are required.
For general application requirements, please visit our Graduate Admissions Webpage.
The Master of Science, Applied Behavior Analysis degree will be offered as a full-time graduate program of study. This 42- credit hour graduate degree program may be completed in two years, but may be extended to three years for a part-time student.
Each student is required to complete (1) 30 credit hours of classroom-based didactic courses, (2) 6 credit hours of thesis or capstone and (3) 6 credits of a supervised fieldwork experience. Faculty will provide guidance and support in selection of a site for the supervised fieldwork experience who will work with the student to facilitate real-world experience in the application of Behavior Analytic principles, clinical services and research. The clinical site selection will be based on the student’s career goals.
The curriculum is based on the certification standards (for individuals) established by the BACBTM and the accreditation standards (for programs) set by the ABAI. Meeting the standards established by the BACBTM and the ABAI account for 30 out of the 42 proposed credits, and cannot be changed. The remaining 12 credits are dedicated to the thesis/capstone (6 credits) and electives (6 credits).