An online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) allows practitioners to obtain additional education and certification needed to effectively meet diverse behavioral needs.

Featured Program

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.

Best Online BCBA Programs

  • Western Connecticut State University – MS Applied Behavior Analysis
  • University of Southern Maine – MS in Ed Psych w/concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ball State University – MA in ABA w/Emphasis in Autism
  • Brandman University – MA in Special Education, Behavior Analysis
  • Cairn University – Online MS in Special Education (ABA)
  • Penn State – Master of Education in Special Education Emphasis in ABA
  • Texas A&M University – Master’s in Special Education-ABA
  • University of West Florida – Online Master’s in Exceptional Student Education
  • Saint Cloud State University – Master’s in ABA
  • Kaplan University – Master’s in Psych w/ABA Concentration
  • Arizona State University – Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis (MED)
  • Arcadia University – M.Ed. w/concentration in ABA
  • Drexel University – M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis Online
  • Capella University – Online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Endicott College – Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.)

Earning a master’s degree in ABA provides a level employment stability based on projections by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which expects to see a growth of 33% in the field by 2020. Applied behavior analysts are in high demand by organizations specializing in work with individuals on the autism spectrum and those with developmental disabilities. Graduates are also able to find employment in areas of education, business, and social service.

More Featured Programs

Below we list the top BCBA online programs. Programs selected for inclusion in this list offer a fully online master’s degree either in, or with an emphasis available, applied behavior analysis.  These programs also offer 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 graduate in-state tuition costs, student/faculty ratio and the availability of a concentration. Data for this list of online ABA programs was obtained from College Navigator, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board website and individual school websites.

Ranking is as follows:
Student/Faculty ratio:
12:1 or less- 3 points
13:1 to 19:1- 2 points
20:1 and above- 1 point
Tuition rate:
Less than $13,000- 3 points
$13,000 to $20,000- 2 points
Greater than $20,000- 1 point
Residency Requirement:
No-3 points

#15 -Endicott College-Beverly, Massachusetts

Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.)


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,489/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 5
Endicott College offers an online master’s in Autism and ABA which includes the course sequence needed to sit for the BACB national examination. While most course content is delivered online, there are face-to-face components. This 36 credit hour program is ideal for those working with individuals on the autism spectrum who need training in applied behavior analysis (ABA). Students can expect to learn effective treatment through evidence based practice. This top online master’s in ABA and Autism does require a master’s thesis and a comprehensive exam.

#14 –Capella University-Minneapolis, Minnesota

Online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis


More Info
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $14,526/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 6
Capella University, a leader in online education, features an online master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with no on-campus residency requirements. The program is comprised of four core courses, six specialized courses, and one integrative project. Faculty are BACB certified and experienced in the field. Students can access their learning environment at any time and set their own schedule in order to meet deadlines. Throughout the program, students will learn behavioral modification techniques that they can use immediately to increase socially desirable behavior.

#13 -Drexel University-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

Drexel University
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $32,184/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 7
The online master’s of science degree in applied behavior analysis program at Drexel University gives students the opportunity to analyze, understand and implement positive behavioral changes using a scientific approach. An optional concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders is available for those who work with or plan to work with individuals on the spectrum. Online students work with an advisor who helps ensure that they are meeting their personal and professional goals through the program. Graduates are prepared to become behavior analytic consultants, program coordinators, senior clinical directors, and interventionists.

#12 -Arcadia University-Glenside, Pennsylvania

M.Ed. with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $29,530/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Points: 7
Featuring a fully online master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Arcadia University is an excellent choice to consider when searching for a top online ABA master’s program. This 36 credit hour program gives students the knowledge to be able to apply solid behavior principles to a variety of clientele. Students can choose elective coursework focused on autism spectrum disorder, emotional and behavioral disorders, and disability studies. In the final program semester, students complete a culminating master’s project with assistance from an advisor.

#11 -Arizona State University-Tempe, Arizona

Curriculum and Instruction: Applied Behavior Analysis (MED)

Arizona State University
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $10,810/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Points: 7
Arizona State University offers an online M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in applied behavior analysis. This 30 credit hour program is comprised of 10 classes, each lasting 7.5 weeks. Students gain the education and insights needed to be successful when working with individuals with challenging behavior in a variety of settings. Coursework is pre-approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and students will need to arrange BCBA supervision hours separately from their ASU degree program.

#10 -Kaplan University-Davenport, Iowa

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


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $9,432/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Points: 7
The online master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis program at Kaplan University focuses on individuals with developmental disabilities, autism, and traumatic brain injuries. Students learn to develop assessment and effective intervention strategies with this unique population. The BACB has approved the coursework sequence for students who want to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination (BCBA). Students will still need to complete the required field experience to earn their certification, but they can get a jump start on this requirement by completing a practicum experience as part of the degree program.

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

Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis

Saint Cloud State University
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,373/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Points: 7
The online accredited ABA program at Saint Cloud University boasts the highest BCBA exam pass rate of any online applied behavior analysis program in the country. Those seeking certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts will be able to complete the BCBA approved course sequence online. Students in the program benefit from both conceptual and practical coursework as well as Ph.D. level instruction in all courses. Students come from all over the world and 49 states to complete this top online master’s in ABA. Graduates are prepared to effectively work with individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and self-injurious behavior.

#8 -University of West Florida-Pensacola, Florida

Online Master’s Degree in Exceptional Student Education

University of West Florida
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $7,088/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Points: 7
The University of West Florida offers an online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis that is part of the NCATE accredited Professional Education Unit designed to prepare educators for leadership roles in special education. Classes meet virtually and faculty are experienced as both educators and practitioners. Students in the master’s program are able to get an out-of-state tuition waiver which makes the program very affordable. The program is accredited by SACS and NCATE and offers the BACB approved six course sequence which can be incorporated into the online master’s in ESE.

#7 -Texas A&M University-College Station, Texas

Online Master’s in Special Education-Applied Behavior Analysis


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $5,784/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Points: 7
The online master’s in Special Education program at Texas A&M University is among the best in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report. Students will learn ABA principles and strategies from well-known scholars in the field of special education. The pass rate for ABA certification is among the top 10% in the country among online programs. Both the coursework and practicum sequence for this top online master’s in ABA have been approved by the BACB. Students can expect to complete 18 credit hours online toward their BCBA certification using both asynchronous and synchronous course formats. This two year program begins each June.

#6 -Pennsylvania State University-University Park, Pennsylvania

Master of Education in Special Education Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Penn State University
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $19,712/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Points: 8
Penn State World Campus offers an online Master of Education in Special Education program for teachers and other educational professionals who work with those with special needs or who are at risk. Students learn from faculty using evidence-based methods to help individuals with special needs. Students are able to select from three different focus areas including Academic and Behavioral Supports, Applied Behavior Analysis, or Autism. Those looking to earn their BABC certification will benefit from 18 credit hours of approved coursework needed to sit for the exam. Most full time students can complete the program in just one year, while part time students should be able to finish in about two years.

#5 -Cairn University-Langhorne, Pennsylvania

Online MS in Special Education (ABA)


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,790/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Points: 8
The online master’s in Special Education in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at Cairn University is the first Christian program in the world approved by BACB that includes extensive training in autism. Students can complete the program in just seven semesters of study. There are two program tracks, one requiring practicum coursework and one with optional practicum coursework. The ABA Intensive Practicum courses are approved by the BACB to meet the requirements for the BCBA examination. The curriculum includes coursework in advanced ethics and supervision, behavioral and instructional systems for autism support, behavioral measurement, and behavioral intervention.

#4 -Brandman University-Irvine, California

MA in Special Education, Behavior Analysis


Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $11,160/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 8
The online master’s in Special Education, Behavior Analysis from Brandman University prepares students to be effective teachers and advocates for individuals with disabilities. This top online master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program teaches students how to design appropriate behavior intervention strategies to increase socially appropriate behavior. Data collection tools and evaluation are also introduced to gauge effectiveness. The program offers the approved course sequence from the BACB to be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam. It also has a curriculum which aligns with the Council for Exceptional Children’s Advanced Content Standards.

#3 -Ball State University-Muncie, Indiana

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

Ball State University
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $8,366/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 8
Ball State University offers a unique online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism. This program is 30 credit hours and is offered entirely online. Most students can earn their degree in just two years. The program is open to those of different educational and career backgrounds including psychology, criminal justice and social work. Graduates are prepared to work in many different settings including schools, hospitals, mental health and behavioral settings. The ABA course sequence has been approved by the BACB for students to qualify to sit for the BCBA exam, provided the rest of the requirements are met.

#2 -University of Southern Maine-Portland, Maine

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

University of Southern Maine
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,840/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Points: 8
The University of Southern Maine offers students the ability to complete the six course sequence to sit for the BCBA exam and earn their master’s degree through the MSEPAB degree program. Program graduates are able to teach and articulate best practices in behavior analysis by completing coursework in areas such as effective interaction and consultation methods. The program is 36 credit hours of coursework. To be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam, students will need to complete 1500 hours of supervised experience outside of the program. Almost 80% of USM graduates pass the national certification exam, compared to a national average of a 60% pass rate.

#1 -Western Connecticut State University-Danbury, Connecticut

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Western Connecticut State
Website
Average Graduate Student Tuition: $6,497/year
Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Points: 8
Western Connecticut State University offers a 30 credit hour MS in ABA degree program as well as an ABA certificate. Students will learn to effectively quantify and measure behavior in order to make effective changes that will improve overall behavior of an individual, group or organization. Students are able to complete the six course sequence toward earning their BCBA certification, but the experience hour requirements (1500 hours of fieldwork, a 1000 hour practicum, or a 750 hour intensive practicum) must be done independent of the program. Students will learn how to measure behavior, college and analyze data, and make appropriate modifications to increase desirable behavior and decrease less desirable behavior.

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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.