California State University Northridge


Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis at California State University Northridge

California State University Northridge appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an area of social sciences that looks at how analyzing different behaviors can help professionals find ways to change the way people think and act. Though commonly used with patients who have autism, it also works on those suffering from attachments disorders and those who act out in other ways as well as those on the autism spectrum. California State University Northridge offers a Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis that is suitable for those planning to take a national exam to get their ABA certification. Approximately 92% of the graduates from this program pass that exam the first time.

ABA students must take 37 credits of classes at the graduate level. A minimum of 28 of those credits must come from classes taken on the university’s campus. Students can take other classes on other campuses and online. They should also maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 and complete a final project, which awards them three credits.

Students get 19 credits from the courses that are part of the education sequence approved by the national licensing board. Those courses include Becoming a BCBA: Professional and Certification Issues, Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, Measurement and Experimental Evaluation of Behavior and Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis. Ethical Practice with Individuals, Families and Multidisciplinary Teams is another required class, which goes over the ethics of working with ABA clients and their families. Students will also take six credits of courses that count towards their final projects. One class allows students to work with their advisors as they pick their topics and do research, while the other class gives them credit for their writing.

The program also awards students 12 credit for the practical work that they do. This will include a practicum, which is a requirement. Students do one practicum on the California State University Northridge campus and under the guidance of a supervisor and two off-site practicums. The first of which requires that they work with a supervisor. During the second off-site practicum, students will work independently in a clinical setting without any supervision.

About California State University Northridge

California State University Northridge is a branch of the California State University system located in the San Fernando Valley. Established in 1958, plans for the university existed for several years. Los Angeles State College, which would later become CSU, wanted to open a new school in the area and looked at several locations before choosing Northridge. The new school served as a satellite campus before becoming its own independent college called San Fernando Valley State College. After joining CSU again in the 1970s, it became California State University Northridge. The university also uses the names CSUN and CSU or Cal State Northridge.

Forbes ranked Cal State Northridge within the top 500 of all American colleges, and Washington Monthly ranked it as the nation’s 21st best graduate school. U.S. News and World Report ranks the university as one of the best in the western United States and ranks some of its programs as the tops too, including those in social work and fine arts. The university’s campus is home to many important collections and the CSUN Botanic Garden. Cal State Northridge is one of the system’s largest schools with an enrollment of more than 3,800 graduate students and more than 34,000 undergrads.

California State University Northridge Accreditation Details

Cal State Northridge designed its ABA program to meet the guidelines of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This ensures that students develop the skills they will need when taking the certification exam. The entire university has accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WACS), which is a form of regional accreditation. With regional accreditation, students can both apply for financial aid and use credits earned from another school at this Cal State branch.

California State University Northridge Application Requirements

The ABA program offered by CSUN is very selective. Prospective students must meet both the requirements for the graduate school itself and for the program. The CSUN graduate school will only accept students who have a minimum college grade point average of 3.0 and a degree from a college/university with regional accreditation. It typically requires a degree in psychology, though it may accept those with a degree in another social sciences field. Students with a higher score on the GRE or GMAT may receive conditional acceptance from the university.

Prospective ABA students will use the Cal State Northridge application and pay a fee. This application asks for a statement of purpose of 1,000 words. It must be double-spaced and in a 12 point font. Students will use this letter to explain their goals once they receive certification, what they hope to experience while at the university and any experiences they have that will help them. The university requires official transcripts from students and three letters of recommendation. Anyone applying to the program with a lower GPA must also submit an official test score.

Tuition and Financial Aid

It takes $26,788 to earn an MS in Applied Behavior Analysis at CSUN. The university charges $724 per unit with students taking 37 units to earn their degrees. They will also need to pay a $47 fee before they graduate. ABA majors must pay $1,420 each term, which covers the cost of their practicum work. Some students may pay both the practicum rate and the unit rate when doing practicum work and taking classes in the same term.

Though graduate students usually do not receive as much financial aid as undergraduates do, those in the ABA program can get financial aid with the FAFSA. The university has workshops for those who need help applying for aid. These workshops allow students to get help using their tax information and provide them with the university’s code. The FAFSA determines which students get federal graduate loans and which students qualify for PLUS loans. Cal State Northridge offers a few scholarships that graduate students can apply for to cover both their tuition and practicum costs as well as their fees and expenses. Students can apply for private loans also. California State University Northridge provides financial aid information online for those applying to its applied behavior analysis program.