Applied Behavior Analysis

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The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program is designed to prepare students for employment at the master’s level in ABA or to pursue doctoral studies in the field. The program will include extensive training in skill acquisition and behavior reduction procedures and expose students to a broad range of applied and experimental areas through coursework, service learning, research, internships and other applied experiences.

The mission of the master’s in ABA program at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University is to educate and form Franciscan servant leaders to make a positive impact on those with diverse behavioral needs in our communities.

Through courses in conditioning and learning, research methods, ethics, biostatistics and epidemiology, behaviorism and supervision and management, ABA master’s students will develop the skills they need to confidently perform ABA to suit client needs and serve their community. The ABA master’s degree also offers an optional internship component, which allows students to put their education into action through hands-on learning experiences.

School
School of Arts and Sciences
Career
Students who complete the ABA master’s degree can seek work with a variety of populations including individuals with autism spectrum disorders, substance abuse issues, traumatic brain injury, individuals living with dementia and more.
Program Contacts

Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis Program Curriculum

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program is a 37-credit-hour program with 16 additional credits as part of the optional internship sequence.

FranU is committed to building and sustaining a culture of academic excellence. The master’s in ABA prepares students for advancement in their careers or future graduate studies in a doctoral-level program. With a focus on putting students’ skills into practice, the ABA master’s program prepares students to become competent behavioral analysts who can implement and evaluate behavioral interventions using evidence-based practices and conduct research to advance the application of our science.

The optional internship courses allow students to receive the required supervised experience hours needed to apply for the national certification examination through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Supervised experience will take place at a local clinic that provides services to individuals with developmental disabilities. Supervision will be provided by both BCBAs and BCBA-Ds who are dedicated to providing students with top-notch training in the application of ABA.

ABA Master’s Degree Program Features

Admission Requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, the following admission requirements must be met:

  • Successfully earn a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution prior to the first day of scheduled classes in the program.
  • Successful completion of one (1) course focusing on Applied Behavior Analysis*.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation.
  • Curriculum vitae.
  • A letter of intent that clearly states intent to apply to the ABA master’s degree program, desired enrollment date, why the applicant desires to be a behavior analyst, what they can personally contribute to the profession and why they are a good fit for the University.

*All coursework will be reviewed in regard to course acceptability as meeting prerequisite requirements. If the pool of qualified applicants exceeds the program’s enrollment capacity, the selection process will involve interviews conducted by ABA faculty and priority will be granted to candidates who commit to enroll in the optional internship sequence.

If you have questions regarding acceptability of coursework, please email Tracy Lepper at tracy.lepper@franu.edu.

Master’s in ABA Program Goals

The goals of the ABA master’s program are as follows:

  1. 80% of first-year students enrolled will complete the MS in ABA Program within 150% of the program’s length.
  2. 80% of graduates who seek gainful employment to continue their education will be gainfully employed or accepted into a degree program within 12 months of graduation.
  3. 80% of graduates who seek to become certified will pass the examination for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA).
  4. 80% of graduates will be involved in a community service and/or a professional organization within 12 months of graduation.
  5. 80% of graduating seniors will rate themselves as well-prepared or prepared in their ability to use behavior-analytic skills in the community.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the ABA program, graduates will be able to:

  • Explain relevant literature.
  • Use the scientific method in the design and evaluation of clinical protocols.
  • Analyze data-based clinical decisions through research methodology.
  • Produce research for dissemination in both clinical and research communities.

Master’s in ABA Program Faculty

ABA master’s program faculty members are highly skilled professionals with diverse backgrounds and a comprehensive blend of clinical practice, content expertise and educational experience. Learn more about the ABA Faculty.

FAQ

Why pursue an ABA graduate degree?

Behavior Analysts play an important role in health care, often working with individuals and families to help make significant changes to their clients’ lives through behavior analysis and intervention. According to PayScale, the average base annual salary for ABA master’s degree holders is $68,000, and board-certified behavior analysts can make between $51,000 to $80,000 annually.

Due to the amount of empirical evidence an ABA student must be familiar with, in addition to pursuing certification in ABA, graduates can pursue work in other areas such as substance abuse treatment, occupational safety, project management and brain-injury rehabilitation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the substance abuse, behavior disorder and mental health counseling industries are projected to experience a growth rate of 23% over the next ten years, making careers in these pathways much more accessible.

ABA master’s degree holders can work in a variety of industries and care settings, including in client homes – one of the most popular locations for ABA work to occur – schools, clinics or private practices. The master’s in ABA is designed to help FranU students find employment in any of these capacities or industries.

Has the program’s curriculum been verified by the ABAI to include a Verified Course Sequence?

We are in the process of submitting the curriculum for ABAI to review.

Is the ABA masters program accredited by the ABAI?

No. As a new program, we have not met the standards necessary for an accreditation review. We intend to seek program accreditation in the future.

What is the advantage of completing the optional internship portion of the curriculum?

FranU has partnered with area leaders in behavior-analytic service delivery to provide concentrated supervised fieldwork opportunities through the internship sequence that meet the BACB’s supervision requirements. These opportunities allow students to a) apply the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom, b) develop professional repertoires expected of behavior analysts, c) provide in-kind hours that help those in need in our community, and d) see the impact of behavior-analytic interventions first-hand. Supervisors are knowledgeable of current certification requirements and have experience meeting the BACB’s supervision standards.

What local facilities serve as internship sites?

We offer internship placement at the Emerge Center, the Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Health, Behavioral Intervention Group, and Meaningful Autistic Resources for Kids.

Where can I complete an ABA course to be eligible for admission?

FranU offers an ABA course that meets this requirement during most semesters. Contact admissions@franu.edu for more information.

Are transfer courses from another program accepted?

Transfer credits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

What level of certification can I pursue with the masters in ABA?

Students can pursue the following levels of certification:

  • Registered behavior technicians® (RBTs®)
  • Board-certified assistant behavior analysts® (BCaBAs®)
  • Board-certified behavior analyst® (BCBAs®)

To learn more about the certification process and levels of certification, visit the Behavior Analysis Certification BoardTM website.

How affordable is the ABA master’s degree program?

FranU is committed to making higher education as affordable as possible, striving to demonstrate the highest level of care, ethical behavior and professionalism while assisting students and their families with finding the best options to pay for college. Our Office of Financial Aid provides students with the tools and resources needed to discover financial aid and scholarship options.

To find out more about estimated tuition costs, use the Graduate Tuition Calculator. For more information on internal and external scholarship opportunities, visit the Scholarship page.

Expand Your Knowledge of Behavior Analysis With a Master’s in ABA From FranU

Whether you’re ready to take your career to the next level or are beginning your journey toward a doctoral degree, the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at FranU will prepare you to lead and thrive in your field.

Learn more about the program by Requesting Information. To begin your application, visit the Application page.

Curriculum

  • Semester 1
    CourseCredit Hours
    PSYC 5190 Exploration of ABA1
    PSYC 5310 Conditioning & Learning3
    PSYC 5320 Research Methods3
    PSYC 6199 Thesis Research1
    Semester Credit Hours8
  • Semester 2
    CourseCredit Hours
    PSYC 5330 Advanced Behavior Assessments3
    IPGC 6330 - IPGC 63303
    6315 - Applied Biostatistics and Epidemiology3
    PSYC 6199 Thesis Research1
    PSYC 6941 Internship I4
    Semester Credit Hours14
  • Semester 3
    CourseCredit Hours
    PSYC 5340 Advanced Behavior Interventions3
    PSYC 5350 Ethics3
    PSYC 6199 Thesis Research1
    PSYC 6942 Internship II4
    Semester Credit Hours11
  • Semester 4
    CourseCredit Hours
    PSYC 5360 Supervision & Management3
    PSYC 6310 Behaviorism3
    PSYC 6199 Thesis Research1
    PSYC 6943 Internship III4
    Semester Credit Hours11
  • Semester 5
    CourseCredit Hours
    PSYC 6320 Special Topics in ABA3
    PSYC 6190 Professional Experience3
    PSYC 6199 Thesis Research1
    PYSC 6944 Internship IV4
    Semester Credit Hours11