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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Programs

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The Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at William James College are designed to meet the growing need for practitioners who are knowledgeable about the principles of behavior and skilled in the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral interventions.  Several options are available for individuals interested in pursuing training and a career in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Upon completion of the program requirements, students will meet the minimum coursework set forth by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) to take the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Applicants will need to meet additional fieldwork requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. Contingent on passing the BCBA exam, students will also meet the requirements to become a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in Massachusetts.


Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

(Online or On-Campus) is designed for students who are seeking a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.  This program consists of 34-credits. The on-campus program can be completed in as few as 4 consecutive semesters, with part-time options available. The online program can be completed only on a part-time basis in 6-consecutive semesters.

  • Eight courses (23 credits) will provide students with a solid foundation in the philosophy, principles, and techniques of behavior analysis.
  • Five courses (11 credits) will provide students with instruction and experience with practical professional skills that are commonly required of Applied Behavior Analysts.

Masters of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis plus Fieldwork Option

(On-campus only) is designed for students pursuing the Master’s in ABA and who are also interested in obtaining individualized field placement or employment at an ABA-based organization and individual supervision from an ABA faculty member from William James College.   

  • Five courses, (5 credits), will provide students with individualized mentorship and supervision with a William James College ABA Faculty Member. 
  • Weekly supervision of work-experience in an ABA setting is provided over the course of 4 consecutive semesters.  Students will complete up to 1000 hours of experience required by the BACB to sit for the BCBA exam.

Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

(Online or On-Campus) This program is designed for individuals who already hold a graduate degree and are interested in extending their education to include training in Applied Behavior Analysis.   


Careers for Applied Behavior Analysts

Most Applied Behavior Analysts have found professional opportunities in the field of educating and treating people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Other Applied Behavior Analysts have found their skills to be useful and relevant in fields, such as:

  • Organizational Behavior Management (OBM), or what is more commonly known as Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Regular and Special Education (Preschool, Elementary, Secondary, High School and Graduate School)
  • Mental Health
  • Sports Psychology
  • Behavioral Health, Behavioral Medicine, Behavioral Pharmacology
  • Community Research and Applications

Rooted in the science of behavior, Applied Behavior Analysis can have useful applications in a diverse range of fields of interest beyond those listed above. For more information on areas in which ABA is being used, take a look at the  Special Interest Groups of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

In addition to working as a practitioner, many BCBAs find themselves in demand to provide supervision for other students entering the field and who are seeking to become certified and licensed in ABA. Further, many BCBAs may formally become Continuing Education Providers with the ABAI, allowing them to conduct presentations and workshops in their areas of expertise for other BCBAs and LABAs.


ABA Masters Program Design

Graduates of the ABA program will be positioned to include Applied Behavior Analytic procedures and perspectives in education, mental health, clinical, and other human-service settings (e.g., school- and community/home-based settings, in- and out-patient hospital and clinics).

The coursework will provide students with a foundation in the philosophy of behaviorism, the principles of learning theory, and behavior-analytic research methods. Over the course of 4 semesters,students will also be exposed to current and best practices in behavioral assessment, intervention, and evaluation.

Consistent with the experiential model of the William James College, students will complete coursework that will provide training in professional activities required of behavior analysts across settings.  Students who opt to enroll in fieldwork placement and supervision will complete a practicum in each semester that will provide mentorship and a link between coursework and real-world applications.

The coursework schedule  has taken into account the work-schedules of potential students and all courses will be scheduled in the early evenings.

Dr. Lee Addresses ABA Misconceptions

Kids holding Puzzle pieces with the letters ABA

BCBA Teacher with Student