Applied Behavior Analysis
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Master of Science, Applied Behavior Analysis
The Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis is a joint effort between the Psychology Department and the Department of Counseling, Leadership and Special Education. The coursework consists of 27 credit hours of classroom work and 6 credit hours of practicum work. Also, students will complete an empirically-based 6 credit thesis project as a culminating experience. Successful completion of the program will result in having met the course sequence and supervised practicum criteria to set for the national certification examination and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A unique feature of the program is the specialized training opportunities for those who will be working within school settings. Students who complete this program will be trained to be experts in Applied Behavior Analysis so to (1) employ research based instructional strategies for special populations (specifically students with Autism Spectrum Disorders) in clinical, school and home based settings and (2) to become competent scientist-practitioners and researchers in experimental and applied behavioral science.
Admission to our Master's program is very competitive. Hence, the application deadline is February 15th. All application materials, including recommendation letters, should be submitted by February 15th.
To be considered for admission into the Applied Behavior Analysis Program students must meet the following requirements:
- Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate university.
- Maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in undergraduate and graduate work and a 3.25 in major field.
- Applicants with a Psychology major must have maintained a 3.25 in all psychology coursework and completed at least 20 semester hours or 30 quarter hours of psychology, including coursework in statistics and research methods.
- Applicants with an Education major with an emphasis in Special Education must have maintained a 3.25 PGA in the professional education courses and the certificate subject area of Special Education.
- The following Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are recommended as minimum scores for consideration of applicants: A Verbal Reasoning score of 151 or higher; a Quantitative Reasoning score of 142 or higher; and an Analytical Writing score of 3.5.
- All applications to the graduate program will be required to complete a Family Care Safety Registry background check. If you are a Missouri resident and have not completed the Family Care and Safety Registry (FCSR) form, please do so now.
Accelerated Master’s degree option
Before enrolling in a course to be counted as both undergraduate and graduate credit and to count a course toward the Master’s degree, an undergraduate student must be accepted into the accelerated program and receive prior approval from the graduate program advisor, the Department Head of Psychology, and the Dean of the Graduate College. Enrollment in these courses must be done by using a mixed credit form. Acceptance into the program and all approvals must be completed prior to the end of the Change of Schedule Period for the courses. See the Graduate College for further information.
Accelerated Option Admission Requirements
- Junior standing, with an overall GPA of 3.25 or better
- Completion of PSY 121 and PSY 150 with a B or higher
- Acceptance of the applicant by the graduate faculty under the accelerated masters option
Accelerated Option Mixed Credit Options
If accepted to the accelerated program, up to 12 hours of course work may apply to both the undergraduate and graduate degrees, including, but not limited to:
Required Courses (total of 39 hours)
|Course Code||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|PSY 614||Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis||3 hrs|
|SPE 618||Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis and Interventions for Teachers in Applied Settings||3 hrs|
Applied Behavior Analysis for Developmental Disabilities & Autism in Applied Settings
Observational Methods & Functional Assessment
|PSY 747||Single Subject Research Design in Applied Behavior Analysis||3 hrs|
|PSY 777||Conceptual Foundations of Applied Behavioral Science||3 hrs|
|PSY 761||Ethical and Professional Issues||3 hrs|
PSY 797 or
Directed Research or
Problems in Special Education
PSY 796 or
Clinical Practicum for Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behavior
Elective Courses: select two of the following courses (6 hrs)
|Course Code||Course Title||Credit Hours|
|PSY 602||Learning Theories||3 hrs|
|SPE 626||Applied Behavior Analysis for Developmental Disabilities and Autism in Applied Settings||3 hrs|
|SPE 627||Research-Based Strategies for Individuals with ASD||3 hrs|
|PSY 629||Psychological Tests and Measurements||3 hrs|
|PSY 695||Specialized Topics in Psychology||3 hrs|
|PSY 745||Statistics and Research Design||3 hrs|
|PSY 767||Behavior Disorders of Childhood||3 hrs|
|SPE 780||Impact of Contemporary Issues & Diversity in Special Education||3 hrs|
Thesis Project Requirement
A 6 credit hour experimental thesis is required. Experimental thesis here implies a research project that involves a manipulation in an applied or experimental lab setting that employs a Single-Subject design experiment (e.g., ABAB, Multiple Baseline, or Changing Criterion) and appropriate subsequent data analysis.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Students who decide to pursue Board Certified supervised practicums should consult early (the first semester) with their respective Psychology or Special Education advisor to arrange opportunities and to apply for Board Certified supervised practicum placement. Students who are interested in obtaining certification must ensure that the practicum courses meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board requirements (e.g., supervision by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, allocation of hours to a variety of professional activities, record keeping, etc.). It is possible that students who are destined for a Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis would not choose to seek Board Certified supervised practicums, but rather they would focus on basic and/or applied research practicums.