Applied Behavior Analysis, MS

At a Glance: program details

Shape behaviors and help improve people's quality of life. You'll benefit from a supportive learning environment, gaining the skills and clinical experience needed to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® and pursue state licensure.

Program Description

Degree Awarded: MS Applied Behavior Analysis

The MS program in applied behavior analysis is a full-time, two-year program designed to align with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's current test content outline, encompassing 345 classroom hours and 2,000 hours of supervised practicum fieldwork.

Graduates develop skills with a primary focus on three areas delineated by the certification board: foundational behavior-analytic skills, client-centered responsibilities and the accumulation of essential knowledge.

Within this program, students are immersed in the intricacies of behavior-analytic principles such as positive reinforcement, shaping and communication training. They gain a strong foundation in effecting positive behavior change, addressing behavioral excesses and deficiencies, and challenging behaviors through evidence-based interventions.

This advanced degree program places an emphasis on the ethical conduct of applied behavior analysis, preparing students to navigate the field with integrity. Students also have the opportunity to enhance their communication and leadership skills while training others on applied behavior analysis.

Mastery of behavioral measurement techniques is central to this program. Students learn to collect and interpret data effectively and develop proficiency in understanding experimental designs to uncover relationships among measurements, relevant variables and behavior.

Degree Requirements

Curriculum Plan Options

  • 45 credit hours including the required applied project course (PSB 593)

Required Core (27 credit hours)
PSB 501 Basic Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
PSB 510 Basic Principles of Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3)
PSB 511 Advanced Research Methods (3)
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 (3)
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)
PSB 591 Seminar (2)
PSB 598 Special Topics (2)

Other Requirements (9 credit hours)
PSB 580 Practicum: Applied Behavior Analysis (5)
PSB 583 Fieldwork: Applied Behavior Analysis (4)

Culminating Experience (5 credit hours)
PSB 593 Applied Project (5)

Admission Requirements

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of both the Graduate College and The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's degree in psychology, human development, sociology or a closely related field from a regionally accredited institution.

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in the last 60 hours of their first bachelor's degree program or a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 (scale is 4.00 = "A") in an applicable master's degree program.

All applicants must submit:

  1. graduate admission application and application fee
  2. official transcripts
  3. statement of purpose form
  4. curriculum vitae or resume
  5. two letters of recommendation
  6. proof of English proficiency

Additional Application Information
An applicant whose native language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency regardless of their current residency.

The application is completed online through the ASU Admission Services website. Applicants should upload their unofficial transcripts to the application before submitting.

It is strongly recommended that applicants download and print the Master of Science in applied behavior analysis admission checklist from the Department of Psychology website to ensure completion of the application process and inclusion of all the required supplemental forms.

The statement of purpose form should describe professional and academic aspirations.

Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation from professionals or faculty who can speak to the applicant's abilities.

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Application Deadlines



Session A/C
In Person
May 15th
Session A/C
In Person
February 1st

Career Opportunities

With a strong foundation in evidence-based practices, graduates have obtained the essential knowledge, skills and practical experience needed to pursue state licensure and establish themselves as proficient Board-Certified Behavior Analysts®. This program prepares students for highly sought-after roles within the human services sector, and upon graduation, students are well-prepared to pursue rewarding careers such as:

  • assistant clinical director
  • behavior specialist
  • clinical director

Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will reach out to you directly. For questions regarding faculty or courses, please use the contact information below.