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An Applied Behavior Analysis Student works in the library Applied Behavior Analysis

M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis

  • San Diego, CA
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time, 3 Years Part-Time

In addition to providing a solid foundation in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis, the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) San Diego Campus program incorporates the content areas and practicum requirements to make graduates eligible for national board certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the […]

In addition to providing a solid foundation in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis, the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) San Diego Campus program incorporates the content areas and practicum requirements to make graduates eligible for national board certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth for psychologists is expected to grow much faster than average due to increased need and new technologies. This master’s ABA program addresses that need by preparing students to serve diverse populations— including children, adults, and seniors—in residential, school, and community-based settings.

Guided by faculty with years of experience in the field, students in the San Diego Campus ABA master’s program will learn about the ethical design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental changes to produce socially significant improvements in behavior. By combining theory with real-world application, graduates of this Applied Behavior Analysis master’s program will find themselves uniquely qualified to provide much-needed services to underrepresented communities.

 

San Diego Student Experience

The Chicago School, San Diego Campus has served Southern California for the better part of a decade. By providing exceptional master’s programs in psychology and the related mental health sciences—including Clinical Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis, and Marriage and Family Therapy—the programs at our San Diego Campus provide expanded access to students in diverse communities all throughout Southern California.

Maintaining partnerships with local organizations and clinical sites all through Southern California, our San Diego Campus gives students the opportunity to engage in hands-on training where they can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom in real-world situations. By serving diverse and underserved neighborhoods and communities during their master’s programs, students will develop a global worldview that can be applied to a career in any field, from psychology and health to business and more.

Learn more about The Chicago School – San Diego Campus.

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Science and Human Behavior

Designed to enhance a student’s 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.

Research Methods

This course teaches students how to conduct an experiment in applied behavior analysis that is methodologically and logically sound, socially valid, ethical, and legal. The course covers the major experimental designs used in behavior analysis, interpretation and evaluation of data, and limitations of behavioral and nonbehavioral research.

Observation and Measurement

This course addresses behavioral definition, data collection, inter-observer agreement, and data displays. Students learn to employ and evaluate various measurement and display techniques and to interpret data displays.

The M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis is aligned with degree, coursework, and supervised experience requirements for eligibility to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®).  Applicants for BCBA® certification must meet additional requirements established by BACB® including application, examination, and background check.

There may be state professional licensure requirements to practice applied behavior analysis.  A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional licensure and those requirements are subject to change.  The following is professional licensure information as of the date of publication:

  • Graduation from the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis Program in conjunction with BCBA® certification aligns with degree and certification requirements for professional licensure in Alabama, Arizona, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Graduation from the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis Program aligns with degree requirements for professional licensure in Arizona, Massachusetts, and New York. Note that candidates for licensure may be required to meet additional state requirements such as application, examination, and background check.
  • A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

Due to recent and ongoing changes in state professional licensure of applied behavior analysis practitioners, students should contact the state board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure.  To assist with this research, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysists (APBA) publishes information regarding state licensure.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

The Advanced Applied Project allows a student 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 pursing a doctoral degree.

 

Chicago School’s ABA course sequence is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. Graduates are eligible to sit for certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
350 N Orleans St, Suite 1050
Chicago, IL 60654-1822

Students applying to the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following question within three double spaced typed pages (approximately 500-750 words). Essay must specifically address the program/specialization for which you are applying.
    • Psychology is a vast discipline with many career options. In an essay format, please describe:
      • Why you chose this particular program/specialization * Cite specific experiences and examples.
      • Why it is important to you to study this discipline at a school that emphasizes cultural awareness, competence, and understanding of diversity.
      • Your professional career goals as they relate to this specialization.
      • Why you believe this program will assist you in reaching these goals.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.

International Application Requirements

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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