M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis in D.C.

Program Description

Students studying Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at The Chicago School's Washington, D.C. Campus learn to effect socially significant behavioral changes in individuals with developmental disabilities, those in regular educational settings, and those who wish to improve performance or master skills in a variety of ways. Using a natural science approach, ABA professionals systematically collect and analyze data to validate incremental changes in observable behavior.

Students in the D.C. Campus' Applied Behavior Analysis master's program gain experience and exposure in a wide variety of ABA applications and specialties, including instructional design, precision teaching, and verbal behavior. Our program is unique in that students receive a solid foundation in the principles of clinical psychology, in addition to thorough training in ABA techniques—preparing them to work with a range of populations in both clinical and business/industry settings. Opportunities to gain real-world experience provide graduates with valuable skills to take with them into the work force. 

The Advanced Applied Project allows a student at our Washington, D.C. Campus to demonstrate a level of competency that is necessary to be a successful professional applied Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The thesis option, the Advanced Research Project is targeted for individuals who are interested in conducting experimental research and pursuing a doctoral degree.

The ABA course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® and graduates are eligible to sit for national certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board®. 

We will offer the Masters of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (MS ABA) using a weekend on-ground blended format. This change reflects our commitment to The Engaged Professional Model of Education.

Classes will be scheduled every other weekend primarily on Saturdays and Sundays. For each credit hour of course work students will spend 66% of time in class and 33% of the course work will be completed online.

This format is ideal for commuting students and working professionals who want to earn a graduate degree to advance in their career.


Applied Behavior Analysis



Graduates are eligible to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analysts ® (BCBA).

Total Credits


Fieldwork Requirements

1,000 hours of supervised field placements

Program Time to Completion

2 years Full Time, 3 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

Science and Human Behavior

Designed to enhance students' understanding of the application of behavior analysis to individual and social problems, with an emphasis on the philosophical bases of behavior analysis. Students read Skinner's seminal text, Science and Human Behavior, in which he describes behavioral and cultural analyses, as well as critiques and related articles. The major objective of the class includes understanding and critiquing Skinner's approach to the study and control of individual and group behavior. Topics include discussing individual behavior that seems difficult to study with a behavior-analytic approach (e.g., private events) as well as control of group behavior and the problems associated with such control. Students will be able to discuss the pros and cons of Skinner's perspective, identify the aspects of his beliefs with which they agree or disagree, and explain their own perspectives.

Organizational Behavior Management
Focuses on applying behavior analytic principles in the domain of behavioral consultation and management. Emphasis is placed upon understanding the various stages of successful behavioral consultation, identifying potential problems that may arise during the consultation process, and knowing how to overcome them. Other learning objectives include:
  • Correctly identifying, explaining, and understanding the key concepts of behavioral consultation.
  • Applying the key concepts of behavioral consultation to any targeted consultation population.
  • Correctly identifying, explaining, and understanding the various stages of successful behavioral consultation.
  • Successfully identifying potential problems that may arise during the consultation process and knowing how to overcome them.
Behavioral Pharmacology

Presents the basic principles required for the use of psychopharmacological agents. All major classes of psychotropics are presented, including antidepressants, mood stabilizers, antipsychotics, anxiolytics and sedatives/hypnotics, psycho-stimulants, and atypical medications. Other topics covered include laboratory and physiological assessments pertinent to their use, basic neuron-chemical and anatomical concepts associated with their proposed mechanism of action, drug-drug interactions, adverse reactions, and pertinent aspects of differential diagnosis. Psychiatric aspects of general medical conditions, with particular attention to the diagnosis and treatment of delirium, are presented.

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