Psychology MS (Applied Behavior Analysis)

Frequently Asked Questions

What jobs(s) can I get with this degree?

Graduates from the Applied Behavior Analysis Master's program have positions in a variety of locations and specialties. Many graduates will run their own private practices. 

 

What are some of the closely related fields for a bachelors degree? 

For this program, closely related fields to psychology include sociology, family studies, social and behavioral sciences, social work, public policy, special education and health care related fields such as kinesiology and speech/hearing sciences. Our primary concern is that applicants have familiarity with scientific methods and psychological/ behavioral principles and theories. At a minimum, we would require prospective students to have had Introductory Psychology and at least two of the following (or their course equivalents): developmental psych, abnormal psych, abnormal child psychology, research methods, or statistics. 

 

What are the minimum GRE scores you're requiring?

Since the program is relatively new, we don’t yet have sufficient data to provide average GREs for students accepted into the program. However, we would like to see a total score around 1100 in the old GRE scoring system. For revised GRE scoring, this would approximate scores in the 150s for Verbal and above 145 for Quantitative. Please note, however, that we will be looking at an applicant’s total record including undergraduate GPAs, letters of recommendation, essay, and experience in addition to GRE scores.  Applicants do NOT need to take the GRE Psychology subject test. Prospective students need to directly contact ETS to make arrangements for taking the GRE.

 

Can I transfer my course credits from another masters program?   

In general, the program will not approve preadmission credits from other masters programs including online ABA programs. In extremely rare instances, it may be possible to transfer up to 12 graduate-level credits hours with grades of "B" or better that were not used towards a previous degree. Preadmission credits must have been taken within three years of admission to an ASU degree program. 

 

Will the program's practicum hours allow me to get my license in another state?

Psychology's MS ABA program requires every student to participate in over 1500 hours of practicum experience in order to graduate.  All of these hours are supervised by an Arizona-licensed behavior analyst.  Once certified by BACB, a program graduate will be eligible to become licensed as a behavior analyst in Arizona.  Behavior analyst licensing varies by state so prospective students should check the licensing requirements for other states

 

 

Can I take any of the courses online?

No. Psychology's MS ABA program is classroom-based only and online courses will not be offered nor accepted as substitute coursework toward the degree.

 

Will I be able to work at work full time while I'm a graduate student in this program?

The Department of Psychology's MS ABA program at ASU is most likely the only ABA program in the country at a Research I institution psychology department that offers classroom-based courses AND provides its students with over 1500 hours of practicum fieldwork.  As such, it is a very intensive, full-time program.  It would be extremely difficult for a graduate student in our program to be able to maintain a typical, 40-hr week job. Students would need to work at their practicum sites during normal office hours Mon through Friday in addition to taking classes in the late afternoon/early evening Mon thru Wed/Thursday.  

top ^

 

What time of day are the courses?

In general, classes will start in the late afternoon around 4:30pm or 5:00pm and run approximately 3 hours, Monday thru Thursday. The exception to the evening coursework is PSB 580, your practicum course which will typically be held Monday mornings. Both summer sessions will primarily be devoted to your full-time practicum placement (PSB 583) and you will also need to enroll in the Capstone course (PSB 593) for both summer sessions.

 

I'm going to be graduating in December.  Can I start the program in the Spring?

No. Psychology's MS ABA program will only have Fall semester start dates.

 

 

Can I use this masters degree as a way to start a doctoral program in Clinical Psych at ASU?

No. The MS ABA is a professional degree intended for those who wish to become a certified, then licensed, ABA practitioner. ABA practitioners provide intervention/treatment services across a range of life span behavior disorders such as autism, traumatic brain injuries, eating disorders, addiction, and dementia. Behavior analysis is also used in industry as a human resource tool. This master’s degree is "terminal" – i.e., it will not allow you to continue your studies in one of the department’s doctoral programs such as clinical psychology.

 

What's the difference between a MS ABA degree and a Masters degree in Psychology?

Depending on the university or the department offering the graduate program, a Masters degree in Psychology can cover a range of topics within the discipline of psychology. Some MA/MS Psychology programs are designed to be a jumping off point for doctoral degrees in psychology. Other MA/MS programs may offer degrees in applied psychology, human factors, counseling, family therapy, or school psychology.  It's important to carefully read about masters programs to determine if the program's curriculum and focus match your career desires. Our MS ABA program is solely focused on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which is a field that began in Psychology and is based on the scientific principles of learning and behavior. For more information about ABA, please visit the BACB website.

 

Will this program allow me to specialize in autism spectrum disorder?

Our program is specifically designed for our students to graduate as practitioner-scientists capable of providing interventions and treatments across a range of disorders in a variety of settings or modalities.  Over the course of their practicum placements, students will be required to have gained training and experience with more than one type of disorder. A student can request that most of their practicum training be focused on a single disorder and of course, a student can complete their Capstone project on a specific disorder with approval by their graduate advisor/mentor.  Psychology's MS ABA program does not provide specialist training; prospective students who wish to only specialize in autism are encouraged to apply to programs that are designed for that career path such as ASU's Master of Education online program on Autism Spectrum Disorder offered through the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

 

I'm a senior this year and would like to apply for next year.  Can I still apply this Fall?

Absolutely! The initial deadline for the MS ABA Program application is February 15. Review of applications will begin as early as February 15th to fill limited openings, and will continue with monthly until the class is filled.  

 

I'm not sure if this is the right program for me. Where can I get more info about Applied Behavior Analysis?

A good place to get started is with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) website.  Like most major universities, we unfortunately don’t have a graduate advising program for post-bacs and can only offer career counseling services to our current psychology majors through our undergraduate advising office. We strongly encourage you to explore the internet to conduct this type of research or to meet with an academic advisor or faculty member at your home university.