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Top 5 Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis in Pennsylvania 2020

Interested in a career in Applied Behavior Analysis? Earning a master’s degree in this cutting edge field can prepare you to work with individuals on the Autism Spectrum, be more a more effective teacher in the classroom, or help people change their behavior to meet their goals. When qualified professionals apply principles and strategies in ABA, they notice improvements that are essential for individuals to attend school, integrate into the community, perform well at work, or achieve overall success in whatever an individual aspires to do. We created this ranking of the top 5 programs in Pennsylvania to earn a master’s in ABA. All of these programs 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
  • 26% to 75%-3 points
  • Greater than 75%-5 points

#5 -Duquesne University – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

MSEd Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $23,112/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: N/A
Points: 3
Duquesne University features a top master’s in education in ABA. This 30 credit hour program prepares students to use ABA to help individuals with disabilities reach their full potential. Students can participate in faculty research projects or even work on their own projects. The program includes the verified course sequence needed to meet the coursework requirement to sit for the BCBA exam. Graduates are prepared for doctoral study or to begin their career in ABA.

#4 -Drexel University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Master’s of Science Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $34,155/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 11:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: N/A
Points: 4
The top master’s in applied behavior analysis from Drexel University is a flexible program with both full-time and part-time program options available. The program consists of:

  • 27 core credits
  • 12 credits in Autism Spectrum Disorder concentration courses
  • 6 credits in action research

Students utilize the Field Placement Office to find in-person field experiences that provide students with valuable hands-on training. Drexel now offers a hybrid MS in ABA at the Drexel Washington DC Center. This hybrid approach incorporates online learning with campus visits two to three times per term.

#3 -University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

Master of Education-ABA

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $22,846/year in-state and $38,736/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 67%
Points: 6
The School of Education at the University of Pittsburg features an ABA Master of Education program designed for special educators and behavioral health providers. Coursework prepares students to sit for the BCBA exam. Unique electives include:

  • Autism: Characteristics and Interventions
  • Foundations of Orientation and Mobility
  • Introduction to the Eye and Low Vision

Both full and part-time program options are available and new students are accepted throughout the year. There is no GRE required for admission. Most students complete the program in two years.

#2 -Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg – Middletown, Pennsylvania

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $21,376/year in-state and $28,168/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 15:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 75%
Points: 6
The top master’s in applied behavior analysis from Penn State University features both the practicum experience and course content needed to sit for the BCBA exam. Admission is limited to about 15 students each year. Core courses include:

  • Ethics in Research and Professional Practice
  • Behavioral Systems Support
  • Behavioral Assessment and Treatment

All students complete a master’s project under the supervision and mentorship of a faculty member. Graduates have an in-depth understanding of experimental analysis, applied behavioral technology, and behavioral philosophy.

#1 -Mercyhurst University – Erie, Pennsylvania

Master’s Degree in Special Education-ABA concentration

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $24,530/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 83%
Points: 8
Our top choice for a master’s in ABA in Pennsylvania is offered by Mercyhurst University. Mercyhurst features special education master’s program with a concentration in ABA. Full-time students can earn their degree in just 24 months while part-time students usually take between 30 and 36 months to finish. The applied behavior analysis concentration includes courses in:

  • Basic Principles of Behavior
  • Functional Assessment and Intervention Development
  • Advanced Seminar: Applied Behavior Analysis

Students attend regular labs to collaborate and share ideas about coursework and class discussions. Class size is kept small to allow students to fully engage with their instructor and peers. Graduates are prepared to work in careers related to:

  • autism support
  • behavioral health and analysis
  • developmental disability services.

ABA Programs Guide Staff

February 2020

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