Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

School of Behavioral Sciences and Education

The program prepares graduates to function in community settings as applied behavior analysts, and provides the academic training necessary for graduates to apply for national board certification in behavior analysis. The overall model emphasizes the core areas of the discipline including the scientific basis of behavior analysis, as well as how biological, social, and individual differences affect human behavior. Training will emphasize the development of both assessment and intervention skills.

The program will prepare graduates to work in hospitals, medical schools, mental health centers, health maintenance organizations, various educational settings, forensic settings, research facilities, and in center- and home-based programs for individuals with autism and developmental disabilities.

The program is intended for both part-time and full-time students. Courses will be scheduled for fall and spring semesters. Admission is in the fall and spring semesters only.

Degree Conferred: M.A.

Program Requirements for Admission

Requirements More Information
GPA Cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or above (on a 4.0 scale) in the last 60 credits.
Education The applicant must have completed at least 18 undergraduate credits in psychology or related disciplines.
Supporting Materials
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A brief (two-page) interest statement
  • Scores from the Graduate Record Exam, GRE, in the verbal, quantitative, and analytic portions
  • A personal interview may be required

Application Deadline

Admission is in the fall and spring semesters only.

Application Process

Gather supporting materials and begin the standard graduate application.

The Curriculum

Requirements for the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis include 30 credits in required course work, including the master’s project paper, supervised internship experience, and 6 elective credits for a total of 36 credits.

ABA Core Courses (30 credits)

Offered annually, these courses are required for all students in the program.

  • ABA 500 EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR (3)
  • ABA 511 BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION (3)
  • ABA 522 SINGLE SUBJECT RESEARCH (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program or permission of instructor
  • ABA 533 APPLIED ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR (3)
  • ABA 577 BEHAVIORAL ASSESSMENT AND TREATMENT (3)
  • ABA 588 ETHICS AND LEGAL ISSUES IN ABA (3). Prerequisite: admission to the program or permission of instructor
  • ABA 594A RESEARCH TOPICS (3). Prerequisite: ABA 522, ABA 588, and permission of program
  • ABA 595 INTERNSHIP (9). Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor

Elective Courses (6 credits)

  • ABA 555 BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTIONS IN AUTISM (3)
  • ABA 566 BEHAVIORAL PEDIATRICS (3)
  • ABA 594A RESEARCH TOPICS (3-15)
  • ABA 597 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-3)
  • PSYCH 443 Treatment and Education in Developmental Disabilities (3) Prerequisite: PSYCH 100, 6 additional credits of PSYCH
  • PSYC 592 CURRENT TOPICS IN APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY(1-3). Prerequisite: PSYC 519 and permission of program

Transfer Credits

Subject to the limitations given below, a maximum of 10 credits of high-quality graduate work done at an accredited institution may be applied toward the requirements for the master’s degree. Transferred academic work must have been completed within five years prior to the date of the first degree registration at the Graduate School of Penn State, must be of at least B quality (grades of B- are not transferable), and must appear on an official graduate transcript of an accredited university. Pass-fail grades are not transferable to an advanced degree program unless the “Pass” can be substantiated by the former institution as having at least B quality.

Grade-Point Average and Time Limit

Students must have a 3.0 grade-point average to graduate from the program. The time limit for graduation is eight years from the date the student begins the program.

For a list of courses, visit the web at http://www.psu.edu/bulletins/whitebook/


This page is not a part of the official Penn State University Bulletin.