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Top 15 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs 2020

By ABAP Staff
January 2020

Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide - Top Online Degrees-01

Applied behavior analysis is specialized therapy focusing on increasing positive behaviors and decreasing negative ones. Professionals with applied behavior analysis skills are commonly sought out by schools and organizations serving individuals on the autism spectrum. Earning an online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) enables practitioners to obtain additional education and certification needed to effectively meet diverse behavioral needs without putting their life on hold to attend a traditional on-campus program.


Below we rank the top applied behavior analysis online programs. At the master’s level, completing a graduate program with an embedded course sequence in ABA is one of the first steps to earning certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst through the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. Programs selected for consideration in our ranking offer a fully online master’s degree either in, or with an emphasis available, applied behavior analysis. They include the approved six course sequence needed to sit for the Behavior Analysis Board Certification exam. Programs that met these criteria were awarded points based on average graduate in-state tuition costs, student/faculty ratio and the percentage of first time candidates who passed the BCBA exam. Data for this list of top online ABA programs was obtained from College Navigator, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board website and individual school websites. As always, it is best to consult with the school directly to determine your actual cost of attendance.

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

#15 -Arcadia University – Glenside, Pennsylvania

M.Ed. with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $29,854/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 29%
Points: 7
The School of Education at Arcadia University features a fully online top master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This online 36 credit hour program helps students learn to apply ABA principles across a variety of settings and individuals. Concentration courses include:

  • Behavioral Consultation in Homes, Schools and Communities
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • ABA Training & Supervising Human Service Staff

Arcadia offers an optional ABA practicum opportunity for students planning to sit for the BCBA exam and have completed the required BACB approved coursework.

#14 -The Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Chicago, Illinois

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Program

More Info
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $21,213/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 6:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 65%
Points: 7
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology features a top ABA online master’s program for part-time students. Courses include:

  • Science and Human Behavior
  • Measurement and Design in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Assessment

This 28 month program allows students to gain hands-on experience through either an advanced research project or an advanced applied project. Online students access a Global Student Dashboard to find everything they need to successfully complete the program.

#13 -Purdue University Global – Indianapolis, Indiana

Online Master’s in Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,550/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 40%
Points: 7
Purdue Global University features an online master’s in psychology with an emphasis on ABA. Students will learn to use behavioral concepts and theories to serve a variety of clientele at all age levels. Courses are each 10 weeks long and students can expect to spend about 15 hours each week on their coursework. Students benefit from a practical approach developing assessments and effective intervention strategies. Courses include:

  • Life Span Development
  • Testing, Measurement, and Assessment
  • Advanced Research Methods

The ABAI has approved the coursework sequence for students who want to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination (BCBA). All students must complete either a thesis or pass a comprehensive exam as the culminating program experience.

#12 -University of West Florida – Pensacola, Florida

Online Masters in Exceptional Student Education

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,088/year in-state and $22,166/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 56%
Points: 7
The University of West Florida offers an online ABA master’s degree through its Exceptional Student Education graduate program. The curriculum includes the ABAI verified course sequence needed for BCBA certification. New cohorts start each semester. Classes meet virtually and students engage with faculty and peers through these virtual class meetings. Students in the master’s program are able to get an out-of-state tuition waiver which makes the program one of the most affordable in the country. Students seeking ABA certification can earn their master’s degree by completing four additional online courses which include:

  • Autism and the Law
  • Intensive Intervention in Autism and Related Disabilities
  • Curriculum Design, Stimulus, Equivalence, and Generativity
  • Exceptionalities

#11 -Arizona State University – Scottsdale, Arizona

Online Master of Arts in Special Education (Applied Behavior Analysis)

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,264/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 59%
Points: 7
Arizona State University offers a top online master’s in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. This 30 credit hour program is comprised of 10 classes, each lasting 7.5 weeks. Courses cover areas like:

  • Measurement, Data Display, Interpretation and Experimental Design
  • Behavior Analytic Assessment
  • Personnel Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management in Educational Settings
  • Ethics of Applied Behavior Analysis

Coursework is verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board which means graduates have met the coursework requirement to sit for the BCBA exam. While the program does not include a qualifying supervised practicum experience, students can arrange BCBA supervision hours separately from their ASU coursework.

#10 -Endicott College – Beverly, Massachusetts

Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.)

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $12,191/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 63%
Points: 8
Endicott College offers a 100% online MEd in Autism and ABA, perfect for working professionals. This 40 credit hour program provides students with state-of-the-art training in both ABA and Autism. Online students benefit from personal advising, mentoring for their thesis or capstone project and professional development assistance. Required courses in ABA include:

  • Supervision and Management
  • Measurement & Experimental Evaluation of Behavioral Interventions
  • Conceptual Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis

#9 -Brandman University – Irvine, California

MA in Special Education, Behavior Analysis Online

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,700/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 50%
Points: 8
Brandman University offers a top online master’s in Special Education, Behavior Analysis for teachers who want to design effective behavior intervention strategies and influence positive behavioral change in their classrooms. ABA courses include:

  • Basic Technologies of Behavior Change
  • Procedures and Experimental Design
  • Ethics

To be considered for admission to this top ABA master’s program, students should be employed at least part-time in a setting that uses ABA.

#8 -Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an Emphasis in Autism

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,730/year in-state and $21,666/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 64%
Points: 8
Ball State University features a top online master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis with a focus on autism. This 30 credit hour program is offered entirely online and students can complete their degree in less than two years. The program is offered through Ball State’s esteemed Teachers College which holds CAEP accreditation. The program is open to those of different educational and career backgrounds including psychology, criminal justice and social work. Required coursework includes:

  • Interventions and Treatments for Persons with Autism
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Behavioral Consultation

The curriculum has been approved by the ABAI and meets the coursework requirements needed to sit for the BCBA exam. Students have the option to complete either a field based experience in autism or ABA.

#7 -University of Southern Maine – Portland, Maine

MS in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,326/year in-state and $19,800/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 75%
Points: 8
The University of Southern Maine offers students an online MS in educational psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis that prepares students for success as BCBA. The program is comprised of 12 courses. Eight have been verified by the BACB to meet the course requirements needed to sit for the BCBA. All courses are delivered in a convenient online format that includes real-time learning activities with peers. This two year program includes courses in:

  • Consultation and Collaborative Problem-Solving
  • Physical Bases of Behavior
  • Psychopathology

#6 -Western Connecticut State University – Danbury, Connecticut

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,027/year in-state and $18,102/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 66%
Points: 8
The top online ABA master’s degree program offered by Western Connecticut State University is housed in the Education and Educational Psychology Department. This 30 credit hour program prepares students to effectively quantify and measure behavior to help individuals make positive changes to improve their lives. Students are able to complete the six course sequence toward earning their BCBA certification. Coursework includes:

  • Grant Writing in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Assessment
  • Behavior Change Procedures

#5 -Montana State University – Billings, Montana

Online Master of Science in Special Education Advanced Studies, ABA Emphasis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,598/year in-state and $18,611/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 75%
Points: 8
Montana State University at Billings features a top online master’s in ABA with extremely affordable tuition rates. Students can complete all ABA sequenced courses in a convenient online format ideal for working professionals. Courses include:

  • Learning and the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Ethics in Education and Human Services
  • Assessment and Program Planning for Special Populations

Students can complete either an internship or a thesis depending on their professional needs. Graduates have a high rate of employment and are well prepared to sit for (and pass) the BCBA exam.

#4 -University of Washington – Seattle, Washington

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Online Program

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $15,510/year in-state and $27,801/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 19:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 81%
Points: 9
The University of Washington features a top master’s in ABA through the UW College of Education. Synchronous online classes allow students to interact with faculty and peers in a virtual setting. While a practicum experience is not a formal part of the program, students have limited opportunities to get supervision from a network of UW affiliated faculty. Students complete two courses each quarter and can complete their degree in just two years. The program is ideal for part-time students.

#3 -University of South Florida – Tampa, Florida

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

university-south-florida

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,350/year in-state and $19,048/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 92%
Points: 9
The University of South Florida features a top online ABA master’s degree program that provides the coursework and practicum experience needed to sit for the BCBA exam. Courses are eight weeks long and were developed by doctoral level behavior analysts. The practicum seminars guide the Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork activities to help students complete their 1,500 clock hours of supervised experience. Courses include:

  • ABA in Complex Communities
  • ABA in Developmental Disabilities
  • Ethics in ABA

#2 -Saint Cloud State University – St. Cloud, Minnesota

Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,975/year in-state and $12,116/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 100%
Points: 9
Saint Cloud University features a perfect BCBA exam pass rate for recent graduates who completed their ABA online master’s program. The program is accredited by the ABAI, offering the depth and flexibility needed for success in the field. All courses are taught by PhD level instructors who work closely with students to help them publish, present, and attain their professional goals. All students must complete a 750 clinical internship.

#1 -George Mason University – Fairfax, Virginia

Online Master of Education in Special Education-ABA Track

Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,736/year in-state and $32,322/year out-of-state
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 17:1
% of First-Time Candidates Passing the BCBA Exam: 76%
Points: 10
Our top choice for an online master’s in ABA is offered by George Mason University. It offers an MEd in Special Education with a graduate certificate track in ABA. Coursework meets the course requirements needed to sit for the BCBA exam. Students will learn about both verbal and functional behavior analysis to work with adults and children with disabilities. This 30 credit hour, part-time program includes courses in:

  • Assessments and Interventions
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysis
  • Empirical Bases

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