FAQs for the MS ABA Program
IMPORTANT: To be considered for MSABA program, you must complete the application through ASU's online portal.
- What are some of the closely related fields for a bachelors degree?
- What are the minimum GRE scores you're requiring? Do I need to take the GRE Psychology subject test?
- Can I transfer my course credits from another masters program?
- Will the program's practicum hours allow me to get my license in another state?
- Can I take any of the courses online?
- Will I be able to work full-time while I'm a graduate student in this program?
- What time of day are the courses?
- I'm going to be graduating in December. Can I start the program in the Spring?
- Can I use this masters degree as a way to start a doctoral program in Clinical Psych at ASU?
- What's the difference between a MS ABA degree and a Masters degree in Psychology?
- Will this program allow me to specialize in autism spectrum disorder?
- I'm a senior this year and would like to apply for next year. Can I still apply this Fall?
- I'm not sure if this is the right field for me. Where can I get more info about Applied Behavior Analysis?
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 require prospective students to have had Introductory Psychology and at least two of the following (or their course equivalents): developmental psychology, abnormal psychology, abnormal child psychology, research methods and/or statistics.
What are the minimum GRE scores you're requiring?
Since the program is in its second year, we don’t yet have sufficient history of applicant GREs to provide average scores for students who were 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 in addition to GRE scores we look at an applicant’s total record including undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, essay and experience. 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 my usual job 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 endeavor. It would be extremely difficult for a graduate student in our program to be able to maintain a typical, 40-hr week position or even a part-time 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.
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 through Thursday. The exception to the evening coursework is PSB 580 which is your practicum course and will typically be held Monday mornings as a "Grand Rounds." 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 only has 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 masters program descriptions 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 are 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 Eduction 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! You'll just need to complete your application by Feb 15.
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 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.