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School Profile: Ball State University

Also known as BSU or Ball State, Ball State University is a public research college located in Muncie, Indiana. The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education classifies Ball State as a doctoral university: higher research activity. Founded in 1876 as the Eastern Indiana Normal School, BSU consists of eight academic colleges that offer 190 undergraduate degrees as well as more than 140 specialist, certificate, doctoral and master’s degrees. In 1917, the founders of the Ball Corporation, the Ball brothers, purchased the foreclosed school and gifted the university to the state. The school also operates two satellite locations in Indianapolis and Fishers.

Ball State University Accreditation Details

BSU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the National Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (NCATE) and the Indiana Teacher Training and Licensing Commission.

Ball State Application Requirements

To be admitted into the MA in Applied Behavior Analysis program, students must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. In addition, BSU requires applicants to have either an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale or a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale in the latter half of the bachelor’s degree. Students must fill out an online application from the BS Graduate School, but those seeking a master’s degree in ABA are not required to submit any separate application materials or letters of recommendation in order to be eligible for admission.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Students seeking an online master’s degree can expect to pay $402 per credit hour for Indiana residents and $603 per credit hour for out-of-state residents. In addition, there is a technology fee of $110 for those taking six or fewer credit hours and $168 for seven or more credit hours. More than 75 percent of BSU students, including many online students, receive some type of financial aid. In addition, distance learning students may be able to request that their employers pay part of their expenses. In addition, online-only students may be eligible to make monthly payments to avoid taking out loans. Since 2010, BSU has also earned G.I. Job’s “Military Friendly” distinction every year, and the school holds four national rankings from U.S. News & World Report for its online programs for veterans.

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis Available

The Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Ball State is designed for students who wish to be out in the field, where adults and children continue to struggle with autism and other developmental disabilities. Whether as an ABA therapist, psychologist, teacher or other human service professional, graduates will find opportunities in residential facilities, behavioral centers, mental health centers, hospitals and schools. Applied behavior analysts will help their clients improve reasoning, social, motor and language skills.

The 30-credit-hour degree is offered fully online, and students may complete the program within two years. The degree is offered through BSU’s Teachers College, which boasts a number of national recognitions and rankings. The master’s degree in applied behavior analysis works for students coming from a range of backgrounds, including education, social work, criminal justice, psychology and other areas. In addition, Ball State was the first school in Indiana to offer a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis with an autism concentration.

The sequence of courses is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), meaning that the degree meets the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. However, students may need to take additional requirements in order to qualify. The curriculum meets the BACB-required 270 classroom hours of graduate-level instruction that is aligned with the Fourth Edition Task List.

In order to become a BCBA, students must hold a master’s degree in a BACB-approved field and complete at least 1,500 independent fieldwork hours. Students must complete at least 10 hours per week and no more than 30 hours per week; more than 30 hours will not count towards the student’s total. Students may also count 10 to 30 hours from their field-based experience via the master’s degree towards the total supervised requirement as long as the hours are supervised by a BCBA. Students must keep in mind that the field-based courses do not qualify as a BCBA-approved intensive practicum or practicum program.

Students may take one or two classes per semester, and online students will meet with an academic advisor to create a study plan that best meets their needs. Students will take required courses in advanced applied behavior analysis, behavioral consultation, professional issues in applied behavior analysis and research methods for behavioral analysis. Students will also receive an introduction to people who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and learn about treatments and interventions for autism. The required coursework also includes a field-based experience in applied behavioral analysis or a field-based experience in autism as well as a verbal behavior course and a class in supervising human service staff in ABA.

Students may be eligible to transfer previous coursework to apply to the degree, but they are required to submit a BACB course content verification form from their previously attended institution. Students must have earned at least a B or better, and all work must have been completed within the past six years to pursue a master’s degree at BSU. If approved, students may put a maximum of nine credit hours towards their master’s degree. However, the students must complete the research course at Ball State.

Students who are considering a master’s in ABA but who aren’t ready to take the plunge may also pursue a graduate certificate in a specialized special education area. BSU also offers license areas that can help already-practicing students earn an add-on license. Students seeking a master’s in ABA may pursue these additional licenses and certificates in order to specialize in a specific area.

In order to graduate with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, students must earn at least a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale, complete 30 credit hours and earn a C or better in all coursework. Students must also submit a graduate application by the deadline. A thesis is not required for graduation with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from Ball State University.

Related resource:

Top 20 ABA Online Applied Behavior Analysis Bachelor’s Degree or BCaBA Coursework Programs