Boston University


ABA Programs at Boston University

Boston University is also featured in our ranking of the 30 Best Colleges for Students on the Autism Spectrum.

Boston University offers several degree programs for graduate students who want to study Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The first program is a Master of Education in Special Education, which teaches students how to work with those on the autism spectrum and those who have other special needs. It includes concentrations in special education administration, teaching students with moderate disabilities, teaching students with severe disabilities and teaching students with moderate disabilities. Majors in this program need to take 36 total credits of classes.

A graduate certificate is available in autism and emotional/behavioral disorders. Students learn how to perform assessments on individuals and create learning programs that they can use at home and school. Those who have a teaching license or experience teaching special needs students can enroll in the autism endorsement track and add an endorsement to that license for working with those on the spectrum. They’ll do two fieldwork experiences and take six courses, including Introduction to Emotional Disorders, Classroom and Behavior Management, Understanding Autism and Parent and Professional Collaboration. A second track does not include an endorsement option and features 18 credits of courses.

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The Boston University Master of Arts (MA) in Psychology can help students learn about ABA too. It requires that students take eight classes that are each worth four credits. They’ll take Directed Study in Psychology, Contemporary Issues in Psychology and a statistics course as well as electives. The directed study course requires that students do some type of final research project. Though similar to a thesis, it allows students to work in the field or create a project based on ABA rather than writing a paper. There is a comprehensive exam that students can take to fulfill this requirement too.

There is also an MA program in Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine available from Boston University. Students will take at least 30 credits of classes in their first years and then take classes in the summer session and one additional year. In the first year, they’ll do a practicum. The second-year includes two internships with direct supervision in the field. Students with an interest in ABA therapy can work in a special needs classroom. Some of the available courses include Human Growth and Development, Orientation to Professional Counseling, Behavioral Medicine and Applied Health Psychology, Neuroscience for Mental Health Professionals and Research and Evaluation.

About Boston University

Boston University is a private university often called BU that has a campus in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1839 as the Newbury Biblical Institute, it opened in the Vermont city of the same name. Members of the Methodist Church opened the institute as a way to train Methodist preachers and offer classes for laypeople. After moving to New Hampshire, it became the Concord Biblical Institute and remained there for 20 years before moving to Boston and becoming BU.

BU has campuses in major cities as well as in Boston, which it calls the metropolitan campus. The London, Sydney and Paris campuses offer programs for Americans who want to study abroad and for local students. Los Angeles and Washington DC are also home to BU campuses. BU appears on the lists of the best American colleges released by U.S. News and World Report and Washington Monthly. It also ranks as one of the best schools for social work in the country and one of the best colleges in the world.

Boston University Accreditation Details

Both the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and the American Psychological Association (APA) awarded accreditation to BU for the programs available in social work and psychology. Students in the ABA programs may take some of those courses. The university also has accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). This is the regional accreditation that lets BU use federal programs when designing financial aid packages to students who used the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Boston University Application Requirements

The graduate programs at BU are quite selective. Students applying to any of these programs must have a bachelor’s degree and a strong background in psychology and other social sciences. Those who have a three-year degree will need to take one year of classes at BU before beginning a full degree program. The university may require that students take prerequisites to compensate for any deficiencies they might have. Some students need to take prerequisites because they have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than psychology too. If the university denies a student’s application twice, the applicant will need to get approval from the head of the department before applying again.

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While BU has a final application deadline of May 15, it begins reviewing applications at the beginning of March and encourages students to apply as soon as they can. They need to submit the BU application for graduate school, official college or university transcripts, a resume and a statement of purpose or personal statement. BU asks for three letters of recommendation and an official score from the GRE too. Students who took the psychology subject portion of the GRE can submit that score too though it’s not required.

Tuition and Financial Aid

BU offers both part-time and full-time tuition rates for graduate students enrolled in an ABA or similar program. They pay $480 per credit hour for any classes taken online or on-campus. Once they reach courses at the 600 level and higher, they’ll pay $905 per credit hour. Students who take daytime classes on one of the other BU regional/satellite campuses will pay $1,710 per credit hour. Graduate students also pay a $60 student services fee each semester.

Graduate students can get financial aid packages that cover the total cost of attendance each year. Both private and federal PLUS loans are available for students with a good credit score and those who apply with a cosigner. They can also get unsubsidized student loans from the government. Federal work-study includes opportunities for students to get jobs through the university, which appear online on its job board. BU may require that students verify their annual incomes before it will give them one of these jobs. A small number of fellowships are available every year too. Students in the ABA programs offered by Boston University should submit the FAFSA by the beginning of May to get financial aid.