MS Applied Behavior Analysis
Degree Awarded: MS Applied Behavior Analysis
In addition to our normal on-ground program, we are also expanding into a virtual simulcast model and accepting students for remote practicums.
The Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis in the Arizona State Department of Psychology is changing the world for the people who need it most. Students will learn all the skills they need in order to help children and adults with autism spectrum disorders as well those with behavioral issues. The MS ABA in the Department of Psychology is a two-year program plus summer that meets or exceeds the BACB Fifth Edition Task List for coursework with over 345 classroom hours and more than 2000 hours of practicum experience.
This scientifically-based program is full-time and intensive; successful graduates will be able to sit for certification upon program completion and once certified, be eligible for state licensing. With licensure, alumni will have greater job potential and competitiveness to earn higher salaries in a field with an increasing demand for practitioners. Read ASU's Public Disclosure on Licensure Statement.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB) has approved the program's course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.
No other program in the country provides this level of practicum experience with classroom instruction at a top-tier, Research I university in a highly regarded Department of Psychology. Additionally, students will have experience in one of the fastest-growing markets in the country and have the opportunity to network through their practicum placements in the program.
The program’s learning outcomes will include mastery across three major areas:
- Basic Behavior-Analytic Skills;
- Client-Centered Responsibilities; and
- Foundational Knowledge.
Students will be trained to acquire and effectively practice the following sets of skills and abilities:
- when and how to use different types of measures, fundamental elements of behavior change, and specific behavior change procedures and systems;
- development of experimental designs;
- identify, define, measure, assess and intervene with behavior problems;
- provide an array of training and supervisory tasks;
- distinguish between verbal operants; and
- have the ability to define an array of key concepts such as stimuli, responses, punishment, reinforcement, and types of conditioning.
In addition, students will acquire the ability to explain and behave in accordance with professional ethics and attitudes of science such as determinism, pragmatism and empiricism.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB) has approved the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. Course descriptions can be found below the table. Click on the Practicum Placements tab on the left to view the practicum rotation schedule.
A minimum of 42 credit hours is required including the required applied project course (PSB 593).
Requirements and electives
Total hours required
Courses and electives
The coursework for each student is individualized and based upon the student's previous training, research goals, and mentor and practicum site. Students will take nine core courses covering applied behavior analysis and at least two elective courses to expand their breadth of study, with practicum and fieldwork. Students are also expected to take PSB 593, an Applied Project for 5 credit hours to complete their Culminating Experience requirement.
At a Glance: program details
- Location: Tempe campus
- Second Language Requirement: No
The Applied Behavior Analysis master's program requires 42 credit hours across four full-time semesters and both A and B sessions during the summer between the first and second year. A capstone project is to be proposed at the end of year one spring semester; initiated at the beginning of summer session A; and conducted throughout the summer and the program’s second year. Students will be required to complete practicum hours during the summer. In order to graduate, this master’s degree program requires a 3.0 (B average) or higher across all courses including the applied behavior analysis practicum and capstone experiences.
List of Courses and Electives
+Required Core (24 credit hours)
Required Core (24 credit hours)
PSB 501 Basic Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
PSB 510 Basic Principles of Experimental Analysis of Behavior (2)
PSB 511 Advanced Research Methods (2)
PSB 520 Ethical Issues and Professional Standards in Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
PSB 530 Behavioral Observation and Functional Assessment (3)
PSB 540 Development of Applied Behavioral Intervention Programs (3)
PSB 563 Basic Principles of Organizational Behavior Management (2)
PSB 573 Advanced Principles of Learning and Analysis of Behavior (3)
PSB 578 Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disorders (3)
+ Electives or Research (4 credit hours)
Electives or Research (4 credit hours)
PSB 591 Seminar (2)
PSB 598 Special Topics (2)
+ Other Requirements (9 credit hours)
Other Requirements (9 credit hours)
PSB 580 Practicum: Applied Behavior Analysis (5)
PSB 583 Fieldwork: Applied Behavior Analysis (4)
+ Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
PSB 593 Applied Project (5)
+ Year 1: Fall (9 credit hours)
PSB 501: An introduction to the fundamental principles of behavior including the history, theory, definitions, processes, concepts and characteristics of applied behavior analysis. (3 credit hours - 45 instructional hours)
PSB 510: This course will introduce students to the practical applications of research methodology in order to examine the effects and evaluate the efficacy of behavioral interventions. It will provide students with an empirical science approach to designing, conducting, and critically evaluating research involving applications of the experimental analysis of behavior in the use of graphic displays, single-case, ABAB, multiple baselines, changing criterion and alternating treatment designs. (2 credit hours - 20 instructional hours)
PSB 520: Ethical standards and legal responsibilities including regulatory requirements and Arizona licensing statutes for ABA professionals who provide services to individuals with special needs and their families. (3 credit hours - 45 instructional hours)
PSB 580: ABA Practicum (1 credit hour)
Practicum Hours: 350 hours
+ Year 1: Spring (9 credit hours)
PSB 511: This course builds upon PSB 501 and PSY 510 and focuses on research techniques such as time-series methods for single case assessment, behavior measurement and the effectiveness of treatment interventions on behavior. Topics include conducting component and parametric analyses and use of experimental designs such as withdrawal, reversal, criterion, and multiple baselines. (2 credit hours - 30 instructional hours)
PSB 530: Focuses on how to conduct behavioral observations and functional analyses using various methods for assessment and for data collection, organization and interpretation. (3 credit hours - 45 instructional hours)
PSB 540: Includes techniques for conducting task analyses; developing target intervention outcomes; determining alternative behaviors and environmental changes; and use of behavior change procedures such as reinforcement, extinction, punishment, shaping, modeling, training and teaching. (3 credit hours - 45 instructional hours)
PSB 580: ABA Practicum (1 credit hour)
Practicum hours: 400 hours
+ Summer A & B (3 credits each session)
PSB 593: Capstone Project (Sessions A & B) (2 credit hours)
PSB 583: ABA Practicum/Fieldwork (4 credit hours)
Practicum Hours: 400 hours
+ Year 2: Fall (9 credit hours)
PSB 573: An in-depth review of the philosophy and theory of behaviorism and its scientific application. Includes Skinner’s conceptual framework plus fundamental elements of behavior change and procedures. (3 credit hours - 45 instructional hours)
PSB 598: Special Topics; elective (2 credit hours - 15 instructional hours)
PSB 563: Basic Principles of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) (2 credit hours - 20 instructional hours)
PSB 593: Capstone Project (1 credit hour)
PSB 580: ABA Practicum
Practicum Hours: 425 hours
+ Year 2: Spring (9 credit hours)
PSB 591:Pro-seminar (2 credit hours - 15 instructional hours)
PSB 578: An overview of the major theories and research related to the development of psychological disorders of childhood and adolescence including autism, attention deficit disorder, behavior disorders and intellectual disabilities. (3 credit hours - 20 instructional hours)
PSB 593: Capstone Project (2 credit hours)
PSB 580: ABA Practicum
Practicum hours: 425 hours
Total Practicum hours: 2000 hours
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