Jun 27, 2022  
2016-2017 Course Catalog 
2016-2017 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S.

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Also see
Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate  

Autism Spectrum Disorders Graduate Certificate   

Institute for Autism and Behavioral Studies  

The Master of Science in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis combines expertise in Applied Behavior Analysis with a specialization in Autism to develop professionals skilled in the application of Applied Behavior Analysis principles and practices to the education and treatment of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders across the lifespan. Our multi-disciplinary curriculum prepares well-rounded professionals to enter challenging positions through coursework in behavior analysis, which is nationally approved as meeting the eligibility requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® Examination by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

The Master of Science in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis is designed to develop mastery in the science and application of behavior analysis by improving the skills of experienced human service professionals from such disciplines as Education, Special Education, Psychology, and others seeking proficiency in understanding the characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorders and related interventions along with applied pedagogical concepts, principles and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis for application to school or other professional settings. The following competencies are mastered: 

  • Describe the historical and current views regarding the characteristics, etiology, family issues and prognosis of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Use specialized assessment tools designed to determine student eligibility for special education and related services as part of the multi-disciplinary team process

  • Examine factors that contribute to behaviors demonstrated by students with ASD and select research-based best practices for analyzing student behavior, develop intervention plans and evaluate program effectiveness

  • Assess the communication needs of students with ASD and select appropriate interventions, including possible alternative/augmentative modes of communication, assistive technology devices and computer-assisted instruction

  • Meet the eligibility requirements to sit for certification in behavior analysis though the Behavior Analyst Certification Board

  • Describe the history, philosophy and terminology of behaviorism and Applied Behavior Analysis and understanding of basic behavioral principles and their application

  • Collect and analyze data, using within-subject experimental designs, and link assessment to treatment

  • Use behavioral technology to conduct assessment of behavioral function and instructional programs to make data-based, timely decisions on the effectiveness of behavioral procedures and the need for modification to intervention

  • Examine factors that contribute to behaviors demonstrated by students with ASD and select research-based best practices for analyzing student behavior, develop intervention plans and evaluate program effectiveness

  • Participate as a part of a multi-disciplinary team, exercising ethical responsibility to clients, and the limitations of their expertise and the protection of the dignity of those they serve

  • Implement behavioral strategies in organizations by way of consultation and staff training, and discuss development from a behavioral perspective including verbal behavior and the development of play

  • Identify the role of development and culture when addressing behavioral and educational needs

  • Develop assessment strategies to empirically validate assessment results and subsequent interventions

Graduates will be able to:

  • Pass the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination

  • Be employed as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at a level that is commensurate with having a terminal degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. This includes the assessment and development of supports for individuals within a variety of settings (e.g., school, community, early childhood education)

The Master of Science program in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis will emphasize depth of knowledge, mastery of competencies and application of these skills. Professionals who complete the  program will serve multiple roles within applied settings, including inpatient and outpatient clinical settings, and community-based agencies serving individuals with developmental disabilities or mental health needs.

Admission Requirements

  • On-line graduate school application
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all accredited colleges or universities attended, with minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Two letters of recommendation from current professional references
  • Personal Entrance Essay
    • Part 1: Please explain why you have chosen to enter the field of behavior analysis (300 word minimum)
    • Part 2: Identify the elements that you feel are essential to becoming an effective, well-rounded behavior analyst (300 word minimum)
  • Immunization records


  • Qualified applicants are admitted on an ongoing space-available basis for fall and spring entry
  • Priority admissions deadlines are April 1 for fall and October 1 for spring
  • A limited number of competitive graduate assistantships are available

More Information

Andrea B. Courtemanche, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Graduate Program director in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis


Office of Graduate Admissions

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