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Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a natural science that involves the scientific study of learning and behavior. Behavior modification is not synonymous with behavior analysis. Behavior modification involves imposing changes to antecedents and consequences to change behavior, independent of understanding the causal mechanisms underlying the behavior. Behavior analysis involves systematic observation, comprehensive data collection, and manipulation of the environment to understand the causal mechanism of the behavior so that a function-based approach can be implemented. When we understand the causal mechanisms underlying behavior—or more simply put, when we understand why a behavior is occurring—we can develop more efficient, humane, and long-lasting interventions.
Students enrolled in our MS in ABA program will learn how to effectively apply behavior-analytic procedures to solve behavioral problems of social importance and improve conditions for those who exhibit problematic behavior and skill deficits. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® has approved the course sequence (asterisked below) as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.
Applications of ABA are most commonly associated with special education and individuals diagnosed with developmental and intellectual disabilities (e.g., Autism Spectrum Disorders); however, ABA has diverse applications such as general education, organizational behavior management, behavioral pharmacology, and exercise and health. Our program is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the science of learning across diverse applications and allow students to specialize in an area(s) of interest during their practicum experience. Our program is designed to both prepare students to effectively enter the workforce upon graduation and provide a strong foundation for students wishing to pursue doctoral work in behavior analysis.
The 45 credit program is designed for busy professionals with courses offered in evenings or mornings. Students can complete the MS in ABA program in as little as 2 years of full-time study; however, Regis offers a part-time option designed for students with full-time employment. The part-time option allows students to maintain their current employment while working towards their MS. Students work closely with their advisors to tailor a path of study that will not only accommodate their schedule, but enable students to become skilled practitioners of behavior analysis.
- All of the faculty are PhD level BCBA®s with exceptional research and applied backgrounds in ABA.
- We help students identify their practicum placement. At Regis College, we think it is imperative students receive quality training experience; therefore, we screen potential placements to ensure high-quality behavior analytic procedures and match students based on interests.
- We currently offer opportunities for paid clinical placements starting in a student’s first year. This paid placement is similar to a Graduate Assistantship and allows students to begin accruing experience in ABA with a variety of clients in a highly supervised setting under the supervision of PhD level BCBA®s and makes students more marketable upon graduation.
- Although we train students to work effectively with individuals diagnosed with Autism, we do not only focus on Autism. Instead, students have opportunities to work with typically-developing individuals as well, and our coursework covers the broad applications of ABA in solving socially important problems.
- Our program is designed for individuals who desire a terminal Masters and for those who wish to pursue doctoral work in ABA as we place a great emphasis on the link between research and practice and all students complete a thesis; students work closely with their advisor throughout the thesis.
- Our program provides students with a strong behavioral foundation with core and elective courses in behavior analysis as well as a strong emphasis on students gaining hands-on experience beginning in their first year. The coursework and practical experience prepares students to effectively implement behavior analytic procedures.
Applicants must have:
- Obtained at least a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university,
- Achieved a minimum GPA 3.0,
- Submit GRE scores which demonstrate an ability to succeed in this program,*
- Three letters of recommendation, and
- Schedule an individual interview with the Program Director.
Additional information may also be required.
*Students may apply to be provisionally accepted, which allows students to waive the GRE requirement and complete two courses before matriculating into the MS program. A full acceptance would be contingent on achieving a “B-” or better in the two courses. To be considered for provisional acceptance, the student must meet the aforementioned admission requirements, but does not need to submit GRE scores. The desire for provisional acceptance should be indicated on the student’s application. Please note, financial aid is not available during the semester the student is provisionally accepted.
Required Courses (24 credits)
- Concepts and Principles 1: Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
- Concepts and Principles 2: Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3 credits)*
- *Treatment Evaluation (3 credits)*
- *Behavior Assessment (3 credits)*
- *Behavior Intervention (3 credits)*
- *Ethical Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)*
- Verbal Behavior (3 credits)
- Radical Behaviorism (3 credits)
*The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® has approved the above asterisked course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.
Sample Elective Courses (6 credits)
Students must select two elective courses:
- Autism Spectrum Disorders and Related Disabilities (3 credits)
- Child Behavior Management (3 credits)
- Designing Effective Classrooms (3 credits)
- Seminar in Severe Problem Behavior (3 credits)
- Current Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
- Organizational Behavior Management (3 credits)
- Applications of ABA in Health and Fitness (3 credits)
- Additional electives may be substituted if approved by the Graduate Program Director
Practicum (9 credits)
- Practicum 1 (3 credits)
- Practicum 2 (3 credits)
- Practicum 3 (3 credits)
Thesis (6 credits)
- Thesis 1 (2 credits)
- Thesis 2 (2 credits)
- Thesis 3 (2 credits)