Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis in Los Angeles

Program Description

Applied Behavior Analysis uses a natural science approach to help people make meaningful differences in their lives.

The Chicago School's Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program in Los Angeles, California trains students to affect socially significant behavioral changes in individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and traumatic brain injury. ABA professionals work in a wide-range of settings including both regular and special education settings, as well as in a variety of businesses. 

The curriculum covers all four domains of behavior analysis--applied behavior analysis, the experimental analysis of behavior, service delivery, and theory and philosophy (Radical Behaviorism). In addition to coursework, students take comprehensive examinations and complete a doctoral dissertation, providing them the opportunity to make an original contribution to the behavior analytic body of knowledge. Doctoral students also have the opportunity to teach courses.

Students at our downtown, Los Angeles Campus have the unique opportunity to train caregivers, who teach individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities to use ABA techniques through the campus' TEACH Center.

Graduates are prepared to be change agents in whatever settings they enter, by drawing on behavioral principles, careful measurement to drive decision making, and using scientific methods to generate knowable results. They may assume roles in the ABA field as leaders, teachers and administrators, researchers, and clinicians in a variety of settings. They may also teach and mentor future generations of behavior analysts, as well as contribute original research to the ABA field. 


Applied Behavior Analysis




Students who do not yet have their BCBA certifications will complete a BCBA-approved course sequence that prepares them to sit for national certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board®.

Total Credits

112 credit hours, post- baccalaureate; 77 credit hours, post-master’s

Fieldwork Requirements

Program Time to Completion

3 years full time, 5 years part time
  • Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
  • A course in Psychology, with a grade earned of C or better
  • A course in Statistics or Research Methods, with a grade earned of C or better
  • N/A
Admission Requirements

GRE Requirements

Sample Courses


Addresses the major definitions for mental disorders, as well as the theories of etiology within the context of recent developments in the categorization and classification of psychological phenomena (DSM-IV TR). A survey of the classes of psychotropics used for the major disorders is also addressed in this course.

Psychology of the Lifespan

Examines normal development from infancy throh advanced ages, focusing on the development of perceptual and cognitive processes, psychosocial roles and familial interpersonal processes. Current clinical approaches are examined from diverse theoretical viewpoints and in view of recent research findings. Cultural diversity and individual differences are integral to this course.

Analysis and Treatment of Developmental Disabilities

Builds upon the basic principles of learning and applied behavior analysis. This course offers advanced coverage of special topics, including practicing behavior analysis in applied settings, such as schools and hospitals; conducting parent training; assessment and treatment procedures for improving communication skills of individuals with developmental disabilities; managing problem behavior such as self injury, food refusal, and noncompliance, and for dealing with special populations such as children with autism.

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