PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Programs

Applied Behavior Analysis PhD Programs Overview and Essential Information

PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis programs teach students to conduct behavioral research, identify environmental causes of and design best treatment plans to remedy problems. Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach to the study of behavior, and is concerned with top methods in describing, explaining, predicting, and altering behavior. Both PsyD and PhD in ABA programs are designed to prepare students for high-level employment within areas where there are growing demands for competent professionals with expertise in applied behavior analysis: namely, special education, psychology/mental health, and academia. Doctoral Degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Choosing a Doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis: PhD or PsyD?

A Ph.D. in behavioral psychology is a research degree that is obtained after taking a comprehensive exam and writing a dissertation based on original research. Ph.D programs typically include courses on statistics and experimental procedures. The Psy.D. is a clinical degree and is often based on practical work and examinations rather than a dissertation.

Popular Schools with Psychology Doctorate – 7 Degrees

ProgramInstitutionDegree Awarded
Applied PsychologyAkamai UniversityPhD
Experimental Analysis of Behavior – DoctorateThe University of FloridaPhD
Animal Behavior BiologyIndiana UniversityPhD
Human FactorsUniversity of CincinnatiPhD
Behavioral SciencesUniversity of Texas Health Science Center At HoustonPhD
Human Factors (Engineering) PsychologyClemson UniversityPhD
Program in Engineering / Applied Experimental PsychologyGeorgia Institute Of TechnologyPhD
Applied PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaPhD
MSc Applied PsychologyUniversity of East LondonDPT
Behavioral NeuroscienceUniversity of Missouri – St LouisPhD
PsyD in Behavioral Health Leadership – InternationalWalden UniversityN/A
Post-Master's Ph.D. Applied Behavior AnalysisThe Chicago School of Professional PsychologyN/A

ABA Certification for PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis

Graduates from Applied Behavior Analysis PhD programs are prepared to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification test. Upon earning their BCBAs, individuals may practice ABA. BCBA Doctoral Programs can be found right here, quickly and easily.

Prerequisites and Completion Requirements for PhD ABA Degrees

Masters degrees and relevant experience are common prerequisites for PhD in Behavior Analysis programs. Some programs may accept applicants with bachelor’s degrees as long as they have sufficient psychology course credits. In both the PsyD and Ph.D. programs in applied behavior analysis students learn to recognize, assess and diagnose behavior problems, as well as investigate their root causes. As in all doctoral programs, students learn to collect and analyze data, and research is emphasized. The programs also include clinical experience, such as working in rehabilitation facilities for people with brain injuries. ABA PhD programs require a dissertation, clinical practicum, and coursework and comprehensive exams for completion.

Choosing a PhD Program in Applied Behavior Analysis: On Campus or Online? can help you identify the ABA doctorate program that aligns with your goals. If you are interested in studying at a university or college, review programs by location; use the city, state, or country and browse the listings. If you are more interested in distance learning, sort through by online applied behavior analysis programs. Some of the results might include: PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis, Doctorate in Behavior Analysis or PhD Psychology-Behavior Analysis Specialization.

PhD Applied Behavior Analysis Potential Coursework

PhD students examine ABA theories and procedures, learn to describe and measure behavior, as well as diagnose behavioral problems. Environmental factors that contribute to behavioral issues are studied in order for learners to understand and create modification treatments that encourage beneficial changes. Research is vital to applied behavioral analysis, so students are taught to conduct behavioral experiments and write scientific reports. Coursework might include topics such as:
  • Behavioral assessment
  • Descriptive analysis
  • Demonstration of functional relations
  • Measurement and intervention tactics
  • Data display and interpretation
  • Selection of target behaviors and goals
  • Family issues
  • Legal and ethical issues
  • Crisis management

Potential Career Paths for graduates with a PhD in ABA

Many students of Applied Behavior Analysis doctorate programs come from the fields of education and special education, however, the potential applications for this degree vary widely. Graduates may go on to become Behavior Analysts, Mental Health Counselors, Special Ed Teachers, or clinical, counseling, organizational or research psychologists. The job outlook for psychologists is very favorable; the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 3% growth in employment between 2019 and 2029, which is as fast as average.
Top States for Employment for Counselors, All Other
StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Top Salary Metro Areas in the United States: Counselors, All Other
Metro AreaAnnual Mean SalaryEmployment
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX$72,44090
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY$71,58040
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX$69,2801,310
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX$61,8901,240
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA$61,45060

Bureau of Labor Statistics


Top 27 Graduate Schools with Applied Behavior Analysis PhD Programs

  • Accredited online university.
  • Capella University offers online doctoral programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession.
  • Competency-based curriculum delivers both foundation knowledge and real-world skills, so that what you’re learning in your courses is immediately applicable to your career goals.
  • Walden University

  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

  • Akamai University

  • The University of Florida

  • Indiana University

  • University of Cincinnati

  • University of Texas Health Science Center At Houston

  • Clemson University

  • Georgia Institute Of Technology

  • University of Georgia

  • University of East London

  • University of Missouri - St Louis