The need for qualified professionals in the field of applied behavior analysis is increasing to meet the needs of society for effective methods and treatment programs for those with behavioral challenges.

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Simmons College’s Online Master’s in Behavior Analysis

Earn your MS in Behavior Analysis online in as few as 19 months, from Simmons College. No GRE required. BACB® approved course sequence. Get more information here.

A masters in applied behavior analysis provides graduates with training and education in this diverse area, as well as the opportunity to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Behavior analysis graduate programs are found in a variety of departments including psychology, special education, and social work which allow for unique perspectives and emphasis in the many facets of applied behavior analysis. Below we list the top 25 masters in applied behavior analysis programs.

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In order to be included in our list, programs need to be accredited, offer the approved course sequence for BCBA certification and have an average pass rate of at least 65% for first time candidates. Programs also must have at least six first-time candidates during 2016. Ranking is as follows:
Student/Faculty ratio:
15:1 or less- 3 points
15:1 to 19:1- 2 points
20:1 and above- 1 point
Average Graduate Tuition Rate Per Year:
Less than $13,000- 3 points
$13,000 to $20,000- 2 points
Greater than $20,000- 1 point
BCBA Examination Pass Rate for 2016:
Greater than 95%- 3 points
85% to 94%- 2 points
Less than 85%- 1 point

Where there are ties, schools are ranked according to in-state average graduate tuition rates per College Navigator.

#25 -Columbia University Teachers College-New York, New York

Master of Arts in the Program in Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis

Columbia University Teachers College
Website
Pass Rate: 74%
Ratio: N/A
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $36,288/year
Points: 3
Columbia University Teachers College offers a unique MA degree focused on applied behavior analysis in the teaching environments for students with and without disabilities. Students are trained to work with individuals who require expert level instruction and benefit from applied behavior analysis theory and practice. Graduates of the program are eligible for CABAS Board Certification at several different levels. Earning the MA degree allows students to teach regular and special education from birth to grade 6 (four certifications). Students must complete a full-time two-year internship at Columbia’s CABAS model Research and Development schools. While students are able to sit for the BCBA exam, the CABAS Board certifications are more applicable for school application.

#24 -Simmons College-Boston, Massachusetts

MS or Ed.S. in Behavior Analysis

Simmons College
Website
Pass Rate: 81%
Ratio: 7:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $20,556/year
Points: 5
Simmons College offers two different degree options for those interested in an applied behavior analysis degree and BCBA certification. Students who already possess a masters degree can earn an advanced degree with a specialization in education. Students engage in research from a collaborative perspective allowing students to present and publish their own material in partnership with faculty. Graduates are prepared to work in organizational behavior management, behavioral medicine, instructional design and animal training. The program is offered in the evening to allow students to work full-time while attending class.

#23 -University of South Florida-Tampa, Florida

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

University of South Florida
Website
Pass Rate: 72%
Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,350/year in-state and $19,048/year out-of-state
Points: 5
The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of South Florida prepares students for a multitude of careers including working with children and adults with developmental disabilities, working in residential and rehabilitation facilities and positions within social services. USF is proud to offer a top ABA aster’s program where an above average number of students pass both the BCBA and BCaBA examinations on the first try. Students complete a 1,000 hour practicum experience, working side by side with a BCBA. Special opportunities exist for those interested in contributing to evidence-based practices for children with autism. This 44 credit hour masters degree is designed to help students gain successful employment as Board Certified Behavior Analysts and publish research articles in respected peer reviewed journals.

#22 -Texas State University-San Marcos, Texas

Master of Education in Special Education with a Concentration in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 83%
Ratio: 23:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,167/year in-state and $14,327/year out-of-state
Points: 5
Texas State University features a master’s in applied behavior analysis focused on autism. Students are well trained to work with children and youth with autism in a variety settings including schools, homes, and communities. Graduates are eligible to sit for the BCBA examination once they have enough experience hours. Supervision hours can be completed in the Texas State CARES clinic which provides services to individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Courses are offered either once a week or twice a week in the evenings during the fall and spring semester to allow students to work during the day.

#21 -Vanderbilt University-Nashville, Tennessee

Applied Behavior Analysis Training Program


Website
Pass Rate: 94%
Ratio: 8:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $44,496/year
Points: 6
The College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University Peabody College offers an Applied Behavior Analysis Training Programs for students specializing in Early Childhood, High Incidence, or Severe Disabilities and either the master’s or doctoral level. Courses cover areas such as ethical behavior analytic services, class room management procedures, and experimental analysis of behavior. In order to earn BCBA certification, students need to accumulate field experience hours, which can be done through department facilitated research opportunities and internship experiences. ABA students complete a capstone project which can be an applied project, thesis, or clinical case manager.

#20 -Regis College-Weston, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 89%
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $37,540/year
Points: 6
Regis College is a Catholic university located in the greater Boston area offering an Applied Behavior Analysis master’s degree that can be completed in just two years. This 39 credit hour program combines research and hands on experience to advance in the field of ABA. Students are prepared to work with individuals on the autism spectrum, as well as in organizational behavior management, behavioral psychology, and behavioral pharmacology. Coursework includes treatment evaluation, behavior assessment, and ethical practice in ABA. Students complete three required practicum experiences which allow students to learn from professionals while increasing their professional network.

#19 -Western New England University-Springfield, Massachusetts

Applied Behavior Analysis Master of Science


Website
Pass Rate: 94%
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $24,120/year
Points: 6
The master’s in applied behavior analysis from Western New England University teaches students how to educate and treat individuals on the autism spectrum and related disabilities. The program partners with The New England Center for Children, which serves over 500 children with autism, by offering the program to faculty and staff employed by The Center. Students can complete the program in about three years by taking four credit hours each term.

#18 -Caldwell University-Caldwell, New Jersey

MA in Applied Behavior Analysis

Caldwell University
Website
Pass Rate: 78%
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,720/year
Points: 6
Caldwell University offers an MA in Applied Behavior Analysis as well as a combined BA in Psychology and MA in ABA degree. This program is designed for those seeking professional positions in developmental services, special education and overall mental health. Students benefit from a holistic curriculum including principles, procedures and application of behavior analysis and support across a variety of settings including community, home, and educational settings. Graduation requirements include completion of coursework and a thesis. The 24 credit hour core meets the coursework requirement to sit for the BCAB exam.

#17 -Western Michigan University-Kalamazoo, Michigan

MA Program in Behavior Analysis

Western Michigan University
Website
Pass Rate: 90%
Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,312/year in-state and $28,195/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University offers both a PhD and MA in behavior analysis, allowing students to select a specialty in developmental disabilities, basic operant research with humans and non-humans, organizational behavior management / performance management, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral gerontology and behavioral medicine. Both the MA and PhD programs are accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International through 2019. Students have access to cutting edge research facilities and practical opportunities in a variety of settings including non-human behavior labs, child and adult studies labs, and organizational behavior management labs. Graduates are prepared to assume positions in the field of mental health or continue on in their education.

#16 -University of Texas-Austin, Texas

Autism and Developmental Disabilities Master’s Degree Programs


Website
Pass Rate: 82%
Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,300/year in-state and $21,518/year out-of-state
Points: 6
Graduate students interested in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities should consider one of the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Master’s Degree Programs from the University of Texas at Austin. The Department of Special Education offers both a Master’s of Education and Master’s of Arts which integrates theory, research, and practice. Graduates are able to serve individuals of all ages and populations working as BCBAs, scientist-practitioners, teachers, and clinicians. A wide variety of research opportunities are available to provide additional personalized training.

#15 -Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Illinois

Masters Degree in Behavior Analysis and Therapy

Southern Illinois University
Website
Pass Rate: 79%
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,524/year in-state and $26,310/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The Behavior Analysis and Therapy program Southern Illinois University is ideal for students wanting a career in clinical or research based work in applied behavior analysis. Students benefit from supervised work experience which prepares them to apply their knowledge and training in the workforce through assistantships and internships. Training is offered in behavioral practice and in research and theory related to traumatic brain injury, medical conditions, developmental disabilities, and child abuse and neglect. The program not only prepares students to work in the field, but serves as a launch pad for doctoral study.

#14 -Florida State University-Panama City, Florida

MS in Applied Behavior Analysis

Florida State University
Website
Pass Rate: 88%
Ratio: 24:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,684/year in-state and $24,116/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida State University can be earned in five semesters of study. Accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, FSU is one of the most prestigious ABA programs in the country. All students currently receive assistantships and tuition waivers through work opportunities with approved agencies offering opportunities in ABA. Students have the opportunity to practice their skills at locations such as the Early Childhood Autism Program in Panama City. Coursework is designed to cover some of the most in demand areas including Mental Health and Aging, Education, Performance Management, Developmental Disabilities and Autism.

#13 -California State University Northridge-Northridge, California

Master of Science Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 94%
Ratio: 26:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,738/year in-state and $15,666/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The two-year applied behavior analysis program from California State University Northridge is a well rounded program offering coursework in BACB content as well as psychopathology, research methodology, and philosophy. Students learn how to conduct behavioral assessment, implement evidence based interventions, consult with parents and caregivers and follow ethical guidelines. Courses are offered on the weekends and in the evenings and follow a cohort model. Students are well prepared for careers in ABA or to continue their education in doctoral study.

#12 -Utah State University-Logan, Utah

PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 88%
Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,323/year in-state and $18,632/year out-of-state
Points: 6
Utah State University offers a doctoral program in Psychology with special training in applied behavior analysis. Students take courses in areas like neuroeconomics, neuroscience, social psychology, behavioral pharmacology, and neuropsychopharmacology. Extensive training is provided in basic laboratory research and current theory in the field. Students attending full-time receive assistanceships to help cover the cost of their education including tuition.

#11 -University of the Pacific-Stockton, California

Masters of Arts in Psychology-Applied Behavior Analysis Track


Website
Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $44,068/year
Points: 7
The University of the Pacific Applied Behavior Analysis master’s degree provides students with both the coursework series and the supervised ABA experience needed to earn the BCAB certification. Students learn ABA techniques applicable to a variety of settings such as public schools and community behavior and medical/health care setting. Students typically work 20 hours per week in one of these settings in exchange for a paid stipend and tuition remission.

#10 -Florida Institute of Technology-Melbourne, Florida

MS Applied Behavior Analysis

Florida Institute of Technology
Website
Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $22,338/year
Points: 7
The MS degree in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares students for a professional career working with adults and children with behavioral challenges ranging from issues with everyday interactions to more severe behaviors. Students are able to learn through coursework, internships, and an involvement in research studies on behavior. Many students have published research in peer reviewed journals. Students benefit from a close knit community and involved faculty who work one-on-one with students to provide personalized attention and mentorship. Coursework schedules are flexible and include day, evening and weekend offerings.

#9 -Cambridge College-Cambridge, Massachusetts

Master of Education-Autism/Behavior Analyst


Website
Pass Rate: 87%
Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,736/year
Points: 7
The Autism/Behavior Analyst program from Cambridge College in Massachusetts is a 38 credit program providing students with the approved course sequence approved by the BACB for students to sit for the BCAB exam. Students should have a current job that meets the requirement for supervised field work in order to meet BACB requirements. The program is comprised of 19 credits of Autism and Special Education Courses and 19 hours of BCBA coursework. Unique course offerings cover areas such as communication disorders, assessment and appraisal, and consultation techniques.

#8 -Auburn University-Auburn, Alabama

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 90%
Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,072/year in-state $27,216/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The master of science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Auburn University is a full-time program that can be completed in five semesters of coursework and an intensive practicum training. The practicum experience is a 20 hour/week supervised training experience that can be carried out in a variety of settings including an early intervention preschool, in-home training for parents, and a school based treatment faculty. Students are trained to provide services to individuals on the autism spectrum and those with intellectual disabilities. Faculty are doctoral level staff with a specialization in ABA.

#7 -Saint Cloud State University-St. Cloud, Minnesota

MS Program in Applied Behavior Analysis

St. Cloud State University
Website
Pass Rate: 96%
Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,373/year in-state and $11,201/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The MS program in Applied Behavior Analysis from Saint Cloud University is the only accredited online Applied Behavior Analysis program in the world. The program is accredited by both the ABAI and the BACB, one of the few such programs in the country. Students have the opportunity to study either on campus or online with Ph.D. level instructors. Coursework and practical experience prepare students for careers including working with individuals with autism and those with self injurious behavior, functional analysis, developmental disabilities, organizational development, and training and development. Research opportunities are available with support from faculty to both present and publish findings. Students can also participate in student organizations and internship experiences to apply what they learn.

#6 -University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis


Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,134/year in-state and $20,412/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The 36 credit hour Applied Behavior Analysis master’s program from the University of Nebraska prepares students to work with both children and adolescents. Students complete a MA in Psychology with a concentration in ABA, which can take two years to complete. Coursework also meets the course requirements for licensure as a mental health practitioner in Nebraska, and upon graduation students will have met the prerequisites for Provisional Licensure as a Mental Health Practitioner. With a 100% pass rate on the BCBA exam, the University of Lincoln is a great choice for students who need this valuable credential.

#5 -University of Houston-Clear Lake-Houston, Texas

MA in Behavior Analysis

University of Houston-Clear Lake
Website
Pass Rate: 86%
Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,074/year in-state and $15,696/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The University of Houston-Clear Lake offers a masters in behavior analysis that prepares students to be either a BCBA or continue on to doctoral study in psychology or behavior analysis. The program prepares students to work with children, adults and the elderly who have emotional and behavioral disorders, brain injuries and developmental disabilities. Research opportunities exist through the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities.

#4 -Westfield State University-Westfield, Massachusetts

Applied Behavior Analysis Master’s Degree


Website
Pass Rate: 90%
Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,724/year
Points: 7
Westfield State University features a master’s in applied behavior analysis that prepares students to conduct behavioral assessments and interpret results for individuals in a variety of settings. This 48 credit hour program offers both late afternoon and evening classes (with the exception of practicum and internship experiences). Courses cover topics such as behavioral interventions, clinical behavior analysis, behavioral consultation, and single subject research methodology and design. Graduates are prepared to evaluate treatment, design and supervise behavioral intervention, and teach intervention strategies to others.

#3 -University of Nevada-Reno, Nevada

MA in Psychology: Behavior Analysis

University of Nevada-Reno
Website
Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,752/year in-state and $18,662/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The University of Nevada, Reno offers a Master of Arts degree in psychology with a specialization in Behavior Analysis accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis. Students learn from a junior-collegue model which includes supervised experience throughout the program. The program is comprehensive, offering students the opportunity for training in philosophy, experimentation and applied behavior analysis. Graduates of this 36 credit hour program are able to find employment with ease due to the strong reputation of the program and the faculty.

#2 -University of Maryland Baltimore County-Baltimore, Maryland

MA in Applied Behavior Analysis

University of Maryland- Baltimore County
Website
Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,854/year in-state and $17,946/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Maryland Baltimore County equips students with the knowledge they need to work in behavioral medicine, education, organizations and with those who have developmental disabilities. The program is accredited by the Association of Behavior Analysis International and offers the approved BCBA course sequence. While teaching assistantships are rare, students typically support themselves through full-time employment at regional organizations. Courses are offered late afternoon or during the weekend to allow students to continue working. Most students are able to complete their degree in two years and are able to sit for and pass their BCBA certification.

#1 -James Madison University-Harrisonburg, Virginia

Masters in Psychological Sciences Concentration in Behavior Analysis


Website
Pass Rate: 100%
Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,648/year in-state and $26,688/year out-of-state
Points: 8
James Madison University offers our choice for the best master’s in applied behavior analysis. The program is designed for those interested in pursuing doctoral level study as well as students who plan to become a BCBA. Students are immersed in coursework, research, and practicum experiences designed to develop mastery in areas of behavior analysis. Monthly concentration meetings with other students and faculty provide opportunity to discuss the latest in research and professional issues. This 36 credit hour program includes courses in measurement theory, behavioral assessment, ethics, and systematic behavioral interventions.

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About the Author

Kelley Jacobs is a midwest business consultant and former program evaluator. Past experience includes qualitative and quantitative research, survey development and statistical analysis. With 15 years in social service, Kelley is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community.