Applied Behavior Analysis

Overview of Programs

Applied Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach to studying behavior, with the goal of improving behavior that is important for social functioning. Professionals in the field focus on how environmental events influence behavior, while also looking at genetics and biological factors. ABA researchers also develop and validate behavioral technology, which includes assessment and behavior change procedures. This technology can be used by behavior analysts, teachers, parents and others to improve behavior.

ABA is considered a natural science -- like biology or chemistry – and not a social science like psychology or sociology. However, Behavior Analysts often work with the same populations as those in the social sciences.

Scranton offers two online programs:
  • a 36-credit Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • a post-master’s, 21-credit Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

Our master’s program is designed for people who are interested in careers as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) in school or clinical settings, and will also prepare students who want to pursue a doctoral degree in Behavior Analysis.

The certificate program provides professionals who already hold a master's degree in psychology, education, child care, speech and language disorders, counseling and related fields with the knowledge required for eligibility to apply for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®.

We provide a scholarly, rigorous learning environment, along with the professional preparation that is both demanding and rewarding. The program includes academic work and challenging experiences and reflection. Openness, sharing and self-discovery are important in the learning process.

You will develop the skills and competency needed to design and deliver effective behavioral interventions among various populations and settings. There is a focus on individuals with autism as well as intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Why Choose Scranton?

  • All classes are delivered online, providing flexibility for students with work and family obligations. Students take only one course at a time across a seven-week learning session, to promote intense focus on one content area at a time. This optimizes the learning experience.
  • Students meet with their classmates and professor for a weekly one-hour virtual class, which maintains learning flexibility while ensuring consistent faculty contact.
  • Our program takes a hands-on approach in students’ pursuit of the certification requirements. Our faculty work shoulder-to-shoulder with students to ensure they are getting the best training possible to meet their professional goals.

What Does the Curriculum Emphasize?

The ABA curriculum is a blend of knowledge and practical experience. In addition to acquiring specific competencies and skills, students also have opportunities for self-exploration and personal and professional growth. We believe that facilitating such growth in our students will provide them with avenues for continued growth and professional development.

Learn More About the Curriculum

Class Location and Schedule

Both the master’s program and certificate program are offered fully online. Note that all classes include both asynchronous and synchronous online components.

Classes are offered in fall, spring and summer terms, in seven-week sessions.


There is a wide array of career options in the field of behavior analysis from scientific research to providing treatment among various age groups and settings. Demand for behavior analysts in the job market has been increasing each year since 2010, according to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

Learn More About Careers in ABA

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