MS in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program will teach you to be an exceptional behavior analyst who has the skills to improve quality of life for people with behavioral challenges, including children and adults with developmental needs. In our program, you will learn the conceptual foundations of ABA and how these behavioral principles are applied to improve behavior. Central to this program is a collaboration with the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, which serves as the primary practicum site to give you an exceptional experiential learning opportunity working with individuals with developmental needs. We place a heavy emphasis on face-to-face contact.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the 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. (Please note: Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.)

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 39 semester credit hours must be completed in fulfillment of degree requirements. Completion of this degree includes completion of a Thesis/Capstone. In addition to the coursework requirement, you will need to meet experience standards. The BACB has two experience categories: (a) supervised fieldwork (2000 hrs) and (b) concentrated supervised fieldwork (1500 hrs). Students in the Master's program will be required to complete concentrated supervised fieldwork at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders.

Sample Plan of Study

The course sequence can be completed in two years on campus. The following is a sample program:

First Year
SPC_ED 84403SPC_ED 83853SPC_ED 88002
SPC_ED 81003SPC_ED 83533SPC_ED 80901
SPC_ED 88003SPC_ED 88003 
 9 9 3
Second Year
SPC_ED 84503SPC_ED 84603 
SPC_ED 85003SPC_ED 83053 
SPC_ED 80903SPC_ED 80903 
 9 9  
Total Credits: 39

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  • First deadline: Due January 15th (For scholarships)
  • Second deadline: Due March 30th (For practicum placements)
  • Third deadline: June 30th (For admittance to the classes)

Required Application Materials

  • Unofficial transcripts of all prior coursework
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum 2 letters; confidential and sent through the online application system)
  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Official GRE scores (if applicable)
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable)

Confirmation Materials (required to finalize admission upon acceptance, sent to the Graduate School):

  • Official transcripts
  • Any additional required documentation

The Special Education graduate program cannot assure admission to all applicants who meet minimum standards specified for the degree program. Resource constraints do not permit the admission of all qualified applicants. An interview may be required by the admissions committee. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications. A committee of faculty reviews the credentials of each applicant. It is the responsibility of this committee to exercise professional judgment related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program.

Conditional acceptance

Conditional acceptance into the program is not provided for those students who wish to pursue English language training in the U.S. prior to starting their graduate studies. Applications submitted will be reviewed for admission into the program as per the criteria noted above.

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