United States ABA Masters Programs
Potential Benefits of Earning a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Masters in Applied behavior analysis (ABA) programs are designed to teach students the application of the principles of learning theory in order to work with a range of populations in need of behaviorally based interventions. Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) programs are usually adapted to meet the requirements for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Continuing education at the doctorate level is also available beyond a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Common prerequisite for Masters in ABA is a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, behavioral science, counseling or a related field. Some institutions may require candidates to have professional work experience in psychology, education, or related fields. 2 years of coursework, internships and a final research project may be required as part of the curriculum.
Depending on the masters in behavior analysis program you enroll in, you might be able to earn an ABA degree in anywhere from 1 to 3 years. Upon completion of the program, you will earn a Master of Science (MS) or Master of Arts (MA) degree in applied behavior analysis. Both degrees should qualify the practitioner for licensure. However, you should verify whether the Behavior Analyst Certification Board has approved your Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis program of choice.
How to Find a Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis Program: Online or On-campus?
GradSchools.com makes reviewing your options for masters programs in ABA easy. If you are looking for a traditional on-campus program, browse by location. Use the city, state or country tabs and listings of the graduate schools in that area will show up. Is distance-learning is more convenient to you? Search by online masters in applied behavior analysis. Some of the results of your search might include the following degrees:
- MS Applied Behavior Analysis
- MS in Psychology- Applied Behavior Analysis
- Master of Education in Foundations in Behavior Analysis
- M.Ed. in Autism with Applied Behavior Analysis
Make sure to request info from the school to obtain program details.
Why Earn a Masters in ABA?
Earning a Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis may prepare students to participate in and use research-based theories and findings. They may be also to use these finding from the applied behavior analysis to impact intervention and treatment of children and adults who have behavioral disorders. Students also learn to express concepts and principles of behavior analysis. These principles may include definitions and characteristics, and using the professional standards of applied behavior analysis.
What is ABA Therapy?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the scientific approach to modifying human behavior as part of a learning or treatment process. ABA investigates the rules by which humans adapt their behavior and directs modifications in the relationship of a particular behavior to the environment. Applied Behavior Analysis is most often used to treat children with autism spectrum disorder. But, ABA has been notable for use in many other areas of human behavior.
What is a Behavior Analyst?
Behavior analysts are professionals who help people change or learn new behaviors in a diversity of settings. ABA therapy involves a certified behavior analyst working with a client on interventions geared toward achieving improved social skills.
The end goal being the client demonstrates more successful and socially acceptable behavior at home, school and in their communities. In addition, applied behavior analysis therapy includes collecting data that enables the behavior analyst to determine if a particular behavior is being modified in the appropriate manner. Also, the therapy focuses to ensure desired goals are being met.
A board certified behavior analyst is a mental health professional with an advanced behavioral analysis degree. This advanced degree may either a master’s degree or doctorate that has also met all of the qualifications of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The BACB offers certification at two levels as a master’s prepared board certified behavior analyst or bachelor’s prepared board certified assistant behavior analyst.
Potential Coursework: Applied Behavior Analysis Masters
Master's degree students learn advanced theoretical and practical skills in behavior analysis.
Programs often feature classes that provide advanced education in principles of clinical psychology with the primary objectives of:
- Preparing candidates for work with a range of clients in clinical and organizational settings
- Understanding the root causes of behavioral problems in order to develop effective interventions and determine outcomes.
ABA coursework includes an overview of cognition and emotion, research methods and organizational theory. Students also learn about psychological and behavioral disorders, such as autism, depression and schizophrenia. General course requirements for a master's degree in applied behavioral analysis may include:
- Behavior therapy
- Behavioral research
- Behavioral modification
- Applied statistical analysis
- Ethics and professionalism
- Cognitive psychology
- Behavioral pharmacology
- Language and speech
- Social skills
- Organizational analysis
Potential Specializations in ABA Masters Programs
Students may pursue specializations such as:
- Autism spectrum disorders
- Developmental disabilities/psychopathologies
- Behavior therapy
Areas of emphasis may include the application of behavior analysis and behavioral support in a variety of settings, including the home, school, work and community, and institutional environments. A thesis or clinical practicum is generally required to satisfy the degree curriculum.
Potential Career Paths For Masters in ABA Graduates
Practitioners with masters-level education may work as mental health counselors, behavior analysts, behavior support specialists and organizational psychologists. Those who plan to become clinical, counseling, and research psychologists need a doctoral degree. School psychologists need an advanced degree, commonly the education specialist degree (Ed.S.), and certification or licensure to work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of psychologists is projected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024. The median annual wages for psychologists in May 2014 ranged from $76,950 (industrial-organizational psychologists) to $68,900 (Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists), and $92,110(all other psychologists)[i] Mental Health counselors, a category that includes Behavior Analysts, will also continue to experience a high employment opportunity; BLS data projects 19% growth in employment during the same time period, with 2014 Median wage of $40,850.
Ready to Pursue a Masters Degree in ABA?
If you are interested in preparing yourself for a profession that applies the scientific knowledge of learning to helping people, why not use the search tools on GradSchools.com to find a masters program in Applied Behavior Analysis that aligns with your goals!
Sources: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm | [ii] onetonline.org/link/summary/21-1014.00 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/mental-health-counselors-and-marriage-and-family-therapists.htm
- Weston, MAWeston, MA
45 credit Master's program; 27 credit certificate program...
Purdue University Global
The rise in children receiving autism diagnoses is expected to increase the need for skilled professionals who understand the needs of autistic children.* Professionals in this area utilize behavioral concepts and theories, and develop assessment and in...
Walden University’s M.S. in Psychology examines the social, cultural, and cognitive aspects of human behavior through a fundamental understanding of psychology principles.
Nova Southeastern University
Counseling, M.S. - Applied Behavior Analysis
The master’s degree in Counseling with an Applied Behavior Analysis concentration (51 required credit hours) is an innovative academic program designed for the working professional actively involved in or entering the field of Applied Behavior Analysis...
- Boston, MABoston, MA
This innovative course of study emphasizes the application of behavioral principles to solving behavioral problems encountered...
- Newton, MANewton, MA
William James College
The Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program is a 1-year program designed for working professionals who want to work with children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities. We are now accepting applications...
- Manhattan, KSManhattan, KS
Kansas State University
The Human Factors/Applied Experimental Psychology Graduate Program at Kansas StateUniversity is designed to prepare students for careers as experimental psychologists in business,industry, and government. The program provides students with a broad backg...
- Glassboro, NJGlassboro, NJ
The MA in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed for working students (i.e., evening classes) and can be completed in 4 semesters for full-time students. The implementation date is Spring 2009.
- El Cajon, CAEl Cajon, CA
Southern California Seminary
SCS is a private institution of higher education dedicated to teaching from the inerrant Word of God. Here you will learn about God from His book - the Bible. As a ministry of Shadow Mountain Community Church, under the leadership of Dr. David Jeremiah,...
- El Cajon, CA
- Montgomery, ALMontgomery, AL
Auburn University At Montgomery
Our program offers opportunities to acquire clinical and research skills that may lead to either employment at the masters level or continued study at...
Montana State University - Billings
ABA Therapy, research based intervention for the treatment of challenging behavior in children and adults with disabilities.
- New York City, NYNew York City, NY
The Program in Neurobiology and Behavior is a University-wide, interdepartmental Ph.D. training program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences of Columbia University. This program also participates in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program available to ca...
- West Hartford, CTWest Hartford, CT
University of Saint Joseph
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (MS ABA) for a master degree combining expertise in Applied Behavio...
Sage Graduate School
Are you interested in working with people diagnosed with autism? Do you want to learn effective strategies that will make a difference to children and adults with this disorder? Then Sage's Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism is fo...
- Claremont, CAClaremont, CA
Claremont Graduate University
In recent years, the increasing worldwide recognition of the value of accountability and professionalism has created an intense demand for high quality graduate education in Evaluation and Applied Methods. Building on more than 30 years experience and t...
- Los Angeles, CALos Angeles, CA
California State University, Los Angeles
The Master of Science degree in Psychology, with an option in Applied Behavior Analysis, trains students in the concepts and techniques of behavior an...
- Saint Louis, MOSaint Louis, MO
University of Missouri - St Louis
The program provides opportunities for study and research in the areas of cognitive psychology and behavioral neuroscience. The doctoral program has adopted an apprenticeship model of graduate training in which each student works closely and continuousl...
- Youngstown, OHYoungstown, OH
Youngstown State University
- Caldwell, NJCaldwell, NJ
The M.A. in ABA was designed to prepare students for employment within the fields where there are growing demands for competent professionals with expertise in applied behavior analysis: namely, developmental services, special education, and mental health...
- Erie, MIErie, MI
Prepares students to create comprehensive solutions to socially important issues that primarily result from human behavior.
University of Idaho
Human factors psychology focuses on interactions between humans and their environment, including products, equipment, facilities, and procedures.
- Denton, TXDenton, TX
University of North Texas
In behavior analysis, change is good and often has a lasting, positive impact on a business, school or individual. The first step to a meaningful career in the field can be taken at the University of North Texas by pursuing a Master of Science degree in B...