Find Your Program
appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Top 10 Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis in California 2020

The demand for qualified ABA professionals is outpacing the number of credentialed professionals. A study by Burning Glass Technology in 2015 stated that there were over 3,000 job postings for ABA with over 45% of those jobs concentrated in three states, California being one of them. Earning a master’s in applied behavior analysis in a program with a verified course sequence and fieldwork experience prepares students to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts. We created this ranking of the top 10 programs in California to earn a master’s in ABA. All of these programs are regionally accredited and offer the approved course sequence to meet the classroom requirements to sit for the BCBA exam. Our methodology for this ranking is below.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 12:1 or less= 3 Points
  • 13:1 to 19:1=2 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

Average Graduate Tuition Rate

  • Less than $13,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $13,000 to $20,000 per year=2 Points
  • More than $20,000 per year= 1 Point

Percentage of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam

  • Less than 25% or N/A-1 point (Schools with an N/A have fewer than six first-time candidates or are in their first four years of operation)
  • 26% to 75%-3 points
  • Greater than 75%-5 points

#10 -University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $44,712/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 9:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: N/A
Points: 4
The University of Southern California features a top master’s in applied behavior analysis that includes the coursework and supervised field work needed to sit for the BCBA exam. Courses include:

  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Cognitive Development in Children

Practicum sites are hand-picked by the program and each offers a unique experience for students. Practicum sites include:

  • Autism Behavior Intervention
  • the Center for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis
  • the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis

The program is designed for full-time students complete their degree in two years.

#9 -University of California Riverside – Riverside, California

Applied Behavior Analysis M.Ed. Program

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,442/year in-state and $26,544/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: N/A
Points: 4
The top ABA MEd program at the University of California Riverside was created for students to want to support the behavioral health of children and adults through ABA. Students can complete the program in four quarters. Coursework highlights include:

  • Behavior Analytic Skills Development
  • Ethics for Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Assessment

Courses are taught by faculty with experience in ABA, education and psychology. Graduates meet the coursework and field experience requirements to sit for the BCBA exam.

#8 -Brandman University – Irvine, California

MA in Special Education, Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,700/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: N/A
Points: 5
Brandman University features a top affordable hybrid master’s in special education with a focus on behavior analysis. Students must be employed at least part-time in an environment that utilizes ABA. Courses include:

  • Basic Technologies of Behavior Change<
  • Procedures and Experimental Design
  • Advanced Applications in ABA

Students learn to design effective behavior intervention plans, create data collection tools, and evaluate progress. The program curriculum aligns with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Content Standards and coursework is approved for the BCBA credential.

#7 -Fresno Pacific University – Fresno, California

Masters of Arts in Special Education with Board Certified Behavioral Analyst

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $17,062/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 50%
Points: 7
Fresno Pacific University features an MA in special education in conjunction with the coursework and field experience needed to sit for the BCBA exam. This 60 credit hour program includes courses in:

  • Early Intervention and Behavioral Assessment
  • Advanced Behavior Assessment: Application to Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Advanced Procedures for Behavior Change And Support

All students work with a BCBA Field Supervisor for advisement services throughout the program. Some courses are available online and most students can complete the program in three years.

#6 -National University – La Jolla, California

Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,480/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 46%
Points: 7
The top applied behavioral analysis master’s program at National University is available online and on-campus. National University is the largest private nonprofit university in the San Diego area. Courses are delivered in four week sessions, allowing students to take one subject at a time. Courses include:

  • Law, Collaboration & Transition
  • Positive Behavior Intervention/Support
  • Basics of Behavior Analysis

The program is offered through the Sanford College of Education which is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

#5 -San Diego State University – San Diego, California

M.A. with Autism Specialization

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 27:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 55%
Points: 7
San Diego State University features a top master’s in special education with an emphasis in autism. The program includes the approved coursework needed to sit for the BCBA exam. The program is a full-time, two-year program. Courses include:

  • Issues in Autism
  • Advanced Studies in Special Education and Autism
  • Methods of Inquiry

Students move through the program as a cohort, taking the same courses and sharing their experiences throughout the program. All courses are taught on-campus.

#4 -California State University Stanislaus – Turlock, California

Behavior Analysis Concentration (M.S. Psychology)

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 83%
Points: 9
Stanislaus State features a top master’s in psychology with a concentration in behavior analysis. Students will gain a strong theoretical understanding of ABA as well as the experimental and applied domains of the field. All students are closely mentored by faculty with diverse experience in the field. Concentration courses include:

  • Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Clinical Behavior Analysis

As students move through the program, mastering ABA content, they have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in a supervised setting. All students complete a practicum experience that meets the fieldwork requirement to sit for the BCBA exam.

#3 -California State University Sacramento – Sacramento, California

MS in Applied Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 90%
Points: 9
The top master’s in ABA from Sacramento State prepares students to work in a variety of settings, including schools and agencies that support individuals with developmental disabilities. Clinical training is an important focus of this program and students have numerous opportunities for internships and employment opportunities in ABA around the Sacramento area. This 30 credit hour program includes courses in:

  • Assessment and Treatment of Behavior Problems
  • Applied Behavior Analysis in the Workplace
  • Survey of Contemporary Statistical Methods in Psychological Research

Graduates are prepared to begin their careers in ABA or to continue to doctoral level study.

#2 -California State University Northridge – Northridge, California

Master of Science Applied Behavior Analysis

california-state-university-northridge

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 100%
Points: 9
California State University Northridge features a top master’s in ABA taught by doctoral-level faculty. This affordable program follows a cohort model that allows students to move through the program together with guaranteed enrollment in all courses. Students complete on-campus and off-site practicum experiences arranged by CSUN, providing students with the required supervised fieldwork hours needed to sit for the BCBA exam. CSUN ABA graduates have a 100% first time pass rate on the BCBA exam and 90% of graduates report having a job in behavior analysis.

#1 -California State University Fresno – Fresno, California

The Master of Arts (M.A.) Psychology — Applied Behavior Analysis Option

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 100%
Points: 9
Our top choice for a master’s in ABA in California is offered by Fresno State. This ABA master’s program includes the coursework, research experience, and fieldwork students need to sit for the BCBA exam. Students will learn how to apply ABA treatment to a variety of different populations. These include children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities, organizational behavior management, animal training, and health and fitness. Core courses include:

  • Community Interventions & Support
  • Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Measurements, Research Methods, and Statistics

Fresno State reports that all graduates are employed in the field after graduation and one third continue to doctoral study in ABA.

ABA Programs Guide Staff

February 2020

More Rankings of Interest: