St. Cloud State University opened its doors as the Third State Normal School in 1869 at the Stearns House with an inaugural class of 53. Initially led by Ira Moore, it wasn’t until 1921 that the teacher’s college was acquired by the Minnesota State Legislature. By 1953, St. Cloud State was awarding master’s degrees across five academic divisions, including the School of Education. Now endowed for $23 million, SCSU enrolls 15,092 Huskies as a public, civic-oriented member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. St. Cloud State University occupies 100 acres south of the Twin Cities in Forbes’ 34th best small city for careers. Nearly 110,000 alumni, including Mildred L. Batchelder, Herb Brooks, and Bruce Hyde, have gotten successful starts at SCSU.

According to the U.S. News, St. Cloud is the 118th best Midwestern college and 34th top public school with the 183rd best speech-language pathology education degrees nationwide. On Niche, SCSU stands as America’s 527th best college location and 734th most conservative university. Plexuss ranked St. Cloud State University 588th nationally. In Washington Monthly, SCSU is named the 126th best Midwestern value and 157th top U.S. master’s institution. The Institute of International Education applauded SCSU for the 24th best foreign master’s admission. St. Cloud State received the 2013 Simon Award for Comprehensive Internationalization and 2014 Insight into Diversity HEED Award. College Factual also recognized SCSU for the 235th highest paid teaching grads.

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St. Cloud State University Accreditation Details

Under president Ashish Vaidya, St. Cloud State University had its 10-year regional accreditation renewed in 2017 by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA). This accreditation recognized by the U.S. Department of Education covers all 119 bachelor’s and 54 master’s degrees at each SCSU campus from Minneapolis to Brainerd. The School of Education maintains programmatic approval from the Council on Accreditation for Educator Preparation (CAEP). Every education major meets the standards of the Minnesota Board of Teaching for certification. The Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. is also approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board for BCBA credentialing.

St. Cloud State University Application Requirements

Reporting a Fall 2016 acceptance rate of 85 percent, St. Cloud State University has a “selective” admission process that only intensifies for post-grads. Getting into the Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. will involve certifying your completion of a bachelor’s degree that’s satisfactory to one of six regional accrediting firms. Those studying outside North America must have degrees recognized by the Ministry of Education. International scholars also need a TOEFL score above 550 or Intensive English Center Level 5 diploma. Master of Science applicants are held to a minimum 2.75 GPA in undergrad study. Transferred graduate credits must be graded at least “B.” Preference is given to PreK-12 certified teachers. The Graduate Record Exam is required for a verbal score over 152 or quantitative score over 144.

The SCSU School of Education only admits Fall cohorts for the Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. who’ve applied before the February 1st deadline. The Graduate Studies Admission Form is completed online through the AY Recruiting Application Network, so download Adobe Reader 6.0 or higher. Extra materials could be emailed to or physically mailed to 720 Fourth Avenue South in St. Cloud, MN 56301. Aspiring BCBAs shouldn’t forget the following:

• $40 non-refundable application fee

• Uploaded unofficial college transcripts

• Copies of GRE score reports

• English fluency exams if applicable

• Single-spaced, two-paged intent statement

• Two signed recommendation forms

• Résumé or CV of experiences with children

• Teacher certification papers if applicable

Tuition and Financial Aid

Attending the Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. program will cost Minnesota residents $3,869 per semester or $7,738 annually full-time. Nonresidents studying ABA full-time must afford $5,661 each term or $11,322 per year. Taking on-campus courses in St. Cloud part-time will cost $383 in-state and $582 out-of-state per credit. The MSEP Compact shaves off seven dollars for Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Nebraska post-grads paying $575 per credit. Online applied behavior analysis courses cost $471 each credit regardless of location. Graduate room and board for residential students adds roughly $8,558 annually. SCSU suggests budgeting $1,200 for textbooks and $3,752 for miscellaneous expenses too.

The NCES shows that 49 percent of full-time SCSU Huskies share $35.96 million worth of annual financial aid for an average amount of $5,204 each. Applied behavior analysis majors could earn institutional funds, such as the Bradley J. Kaffar Scholarship, Duane Dunkley Memorial Scholarship, Eva Gadberry Scholarship, Morris Family Scholarship, or Dean’s Scholarship for Graduate Students, from the School of Education. Around 30 percent of full-time M.S. students earn 10-20 hour assistantships for stipends of $4,625-$9,250 yearly. Those teaching in high-need fields at low-income U.S. schools could claim the TEACH Grant. Some Gopher State residents qualify for the Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant or Minnesota G.I. Bill benefits. Post-grads enrolling at least half-time can borrow the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Graduate PLUS Loan, or St. Cloud’s Bessie E. Campbell Emergency Loan.

Studying Applied Behavior Analysis at SCSU

Chaired by Dr. Ben Witts, the Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. at St. Cloud State University has PhD-level instructors from the School of Education who train post-grads to treat children with autism and developmental disabilities. It welcomes diverse cohorts from 18 countries either on-site or off-campus as the sole ABAI-accredited program online. Cutting-edge research informs courses focused on reinforcing positive, meaningful behavior changes. The 45-credit ABA degree integrates advanced 12-week seminars like behavioral assessment, functional analysis, statistics, psychological ethics, and single-case research design. Certificates could be added for Addictions Counseling or Marriage & Family Therapy. For capstone, M.S. students elect a behavioral research thesis or comprehensive exam.

Choosing St. Cloud State University for your Master of Science means you’ll get plenty of hands-on behavior analysis experience. The degree requires 750-hour clinical internships under the supervision of BCBAs. Partnerships have been bridged with 120+ placement agencies, such as Autism Matters, Alliant Behavioral Pediatrics, Holland Center, Dreaming Tree, Minnesota Early Autism Project, and Brih Design. Thesis research is attempted in the state-of-the-art Behavior Analysis Lab, Lazarus Center, and Witt Lab right on campus. ABA majors network via the Student Organization of Behavior Analysis and Chi Sigma Iota. St. Cloud State University also helps graduates present at the Student Research Colloquium, study abroad in Port Elizabeth or Perugia, and volunteer with the Young Autism Project.