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Studying Applied Behavior Analysis at Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University appears in our ranking of the Top 25 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs.

Southern Illinois University is home to one of the only undergraduate degree programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Called a Bachelor of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy, it’s available from the university’s Rehabilitation Institute. The program combines courses with fieldwork to help students develop the proper skills and practice those skills. Students must take 49 credits of classes relating to this major, including Single Subject Research Methods, Introduction to Psychology, Skeptical Thinking and Applied Behavior Analysis with Pediatric Populations.

One of the most important features of the program is the practicums that students do. The university helps them find placements in the Autism Center that it operates or in local organizations such as the Evaluation and Development Center or Project 12 Ways. Though the ABA program looks closely at autism and related disorders, other programs available from the university allow students to gain knowledge of different conditions. Southern Illinois University offers undergrad degree programs in communication disorders and sciences and rehabilitation services.

A Master of Science (M.S.) in Behavior Analysis and Therapy is also available. This advanced hybrid program features a combination of online learning and offline experiences. More than 70% of the program takes place online, but the university expects students to attend workshops and campus events a few times a year. They usually spend a weekend at a time on the campus. The program will never require that students visit the campus more than three times in a semester.

The curriculum of the program includes seven required courses such as Basic Behavior Analysis, Complex Behavior Analysis, Behavioral Observation Methods and Behavioral Consultation and Management/Staff Training and Development. Students will also do an internship that is worth nine credits and a practicum that is worth three credits before doing either a thesis or a research paper. Some of the electives that they can take include Professional Seminar in Rehabilitation, Child Behavior and Behavioral Applications to Medical Problems.

Also available is an online certificate program for students who want to get Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) certified. Certification from this organization allows students to work in the field, but it requires that they take advanced courses and pass an extensive test. The certificate program consists of seven classes and does not require that students do any fieldwork. Southern Illinois University also offers graduate programs in communication disorders and sciences and rehabilitation counseling as well as a doctoral program in rehabilitation counseling. The doctoral program allows students to customize their degree plans to focus on ABA therapy.

About Southern Illinois University

Southern Illinois University is a public university that serves as the flagship campus in the university system of the same name. Its official name is Southern Illinois University Carbondale, though most call it SIUC. Established in 1869 as the Southern Illinois Normal School, it is both the largest and the oldest campus in the SIU system. Though it started as an educational training school, it now offers degrees in more than 100 fields. Washington Monthly ranks SIUC as the 188th best university in America, and the university ranked on the lists produced by both Forbes and U.S. News and World Report too.

Southern Illinois University Accreditation Details

The ABA programs offered by SIUC meet the standards established by the BACB and has approval from that organization. Those standards will help students pass the BACB exam and meet the requirements to get their certificates. Some of the classes they take have accreditation from the APA too. SIUC and other branches of the SIU system have accreditation from the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) also.

Southern Illinois University Application Requirements

Graduate students applying to the hybrid ABA program at SIUC must have a bachelor’s degree in psychology or another area of human services such as sociology or rehabilitation services. The BACB found that students with a social science background do a better job of working in the ABA field. Students should also have a GPA of 2.7 or higher in a bachelor’s program. The graduate application allows students to share data with the university. It asks for their names, home addresses, phone numbers and other biographical data and for details about what degrees they have and where they earned those degrees. Students will write a short statement of interest and upload it to the application. The application also has sections where students can submit their unofficial transcripts, resumes and three letters of recommendation. SIUC asks students to digitally sign the application and write a short statement about any research or professional experiences they have.

Undergrads can also apply to SIUC online. This application allows them to choose the semester when they want to start and apply in less than an hour. Incoming freshmen must submit transcripts that show they had a history of taking harder and more advanced classes each year and that they maintained good grades in high school. They will mail their high school transcripts to one address and any college transcripts they have to another. SIUC also requires an official score from the ACT/SAT.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Incoming freshmen pay $9,638 in tuition each year and $4,691 in fees each year. That brings their total up to more than $14,000 a year. Room and board packages are available from SIUC for $10,600 a year also. The legacy tuition program reduces the rate for the children of alumni down to $7,710 a year. Students will need to prove that their parents attended the university to get this discount. Graduate students pay $19,100 a year in tuition and fees if they also reside in Illinois. The nonresident rate that all other grad students pay is more than $40,000 a year.

Funding options for graduate students include both loans and assistantships. To qualify for an assistantship, students must submit an application to the Rehabilitation Institute that includes a letter stating that they want a position, a professional resume, and three references. Those applying for loans should submit the FAFSA. Undergrads can also use the FAFSA as a way to find out what federal and state financial aid they will get. The university also uses the FAFSA to award students institutional aid such as scholarships. Financial aid packages are available for any students studying applied behavior analysis at Southern Illinois University.