Applied Behavior Analysis

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Graduate programs

Master of Science, Applied Behavior Analysis

Michael Clayton, Program Director
Hill Hall, Room 404;
Phone 417-836-3783
http://psychology.missouristate.edu/aba/
MClayton@missouristate.edu

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.

Admission requirements

To be considered for admission into the Applied Behavior Analysis Program students must meet the following requirements:

  1. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited undergraduate university.
  2. Maintained a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 in undergraduate and graduate work and a 3.25 in major field.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Degree requirements

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

SPE 625 

OR 

PSY 757

Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders

OR

Observational Methods & Functional Assessment

3 hrs
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

SPE 710

Directed Research or

Problems in Special Education

3 hrs

PSY 796 or

SPE 791

Practicum or

Clinical Practicum for Individuals with Autism and Challenging Behavior

6 hrs

PSY 799 or SPE 799 

Thesis 6 hrs
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.