Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Students in a classroom

About the Applied Behavior Analysis Program

The Master’s of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to prepare graduates to develop comprehensive solutions to socially important problems. Inherent in the program study is the course content and practicum experience, a total of 36 credits, required to be eligible to sit for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board Exam. In addition to course work and practicum, students complete a master’s project (e.g., empirical research) under the guidance and mentorship of a faculty member.

The program admits about 15 students, full-time (9 credits a semester) or part-time (3-6 credits a semester), each academic year. Applying for admissions in the fall semester is recommended, although spring applicants are considered on a case-by-case basis. Admissions to the program is competitive, with preference for highly qualified applicants with demonstrated proficiency in academic (e.g., undergraduate) and clinical (e.g., related work experience) settings. Full-time students typically complete the program in about two years, perhaps with an additional semester to complete the master project. The length of the program for part-time students depends on the individual program of study.

As many programs have turned towards online or distance based learning, the Applied Behavior Analysis program at Penn State Harrisburg offers a traditional face-to-face experience and small class sizes. We believe the skills of a competent behavior analyst are best developed through frequent interaction with peers and faculty.

About Applied Behavior Analysis

Do you ever wonder why people do what they do? After all, many of the problems people face each day are the result of human behavior. Perhaps more importantly, have you ever wondered how to help someone change his or her behavior to live a happier and healthier life?

We in the Applied Behavior Analysis program at Penn State Harrisburg seek answers to these questions, as well as other important questions related to human behavior. Our overriding mission is to improve socially important behavior through applied behavior analysis and to teach our students to do the same.

The course of study in the ABA Program at Penn State Harrisburg is designed to give students the skills of a component behavior analyst: In-depth understanding of applied behavioral technology, experimental analysis, methodology, and behavioral philosophy.

After Graduation

A recent report published by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (2018) shows that demand for behavior analysts has increased by approximately 800 percent from 2010 to 2017 in almost every state. Graduates of the Penn State Harrisburg Applied Behavior Analysis program serve a wide range of individuals across a multitude of settings around the world. Many of our graduates take positions as behavior analysts serving individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Some of our graduates forge new paths and avenues for behavior analysis (e.g., training teachers and school support staff in behavioral interventions). Graduates of the program have completed doctoral training, started service provider companies, act as program directors, engage in advocacy and legislative change, and most importantly, serve as behavior analysts providing support for individuals in need.

Does this Sound Like You?

If you are passionate about applied behavior analysis and want to do your part to make the world a better place, consider applying to the Penn State Harrisburg Applied Behavior Analysis program today.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board's verified course sequence mark.

The Masters in ABA program includes a Verified Course Sequence and a Verified Experience provided by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Students who complete the program meet the coursework and practicum experience requirements to sit for the national certification exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Degree Conferred: M.A.