Choose Excellence with a MA or Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Individuals, children, and families need your expertise. 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.
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).
Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis is a 34-credit program offered online or on-campus. Depending on when you begin the program (fall or spring), and how you choose to take the courses (full-time or part-time; on-campus or online), you can complete the program in 4-6 semesters.
On-campus courses are offered after 4:00 PM to accomodate working professionals. Online courses include asynchronous work, which can be completed on your own time. There will also be a 60-90 minute Zoom meeting once per week, which will take place after 4:00 PM EST.
Please Note: The Master of Arts (MA) and Post-Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis will be offered only as a fully online program for students entering the program in Fall 2022.
Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is a post-graduate certificate, designed for students who already hold a graduate degree in another discipline. Students may pursue the Certificate to fulfill the behavior analytic courseswork requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The program is 21-credits, and can be completed online or on-campus, across 4-semesters.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied Behavior Analysis is the science of behavior and how it is applied to problems of individual and social significance. Applied Behavior Analysts work with people across the lifespan. Their goal is to improve the lives of individuals and those who care for them. Behavior analysts focus on observable events within the environment. They seek to understand the interaction between the environment and the individual.
Behavior analysts practice ongoing assessment and objective evaluation to continuously alter and improve their work. Guided by the basic principles of behavior, each individual client receives a customized plan and curriculum to suit their needs.
Upon completion of the MA and Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program requirements, you will meet the minimum coursework set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) 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 meet the requirements to become a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in the majority of US states.
If you are currently working in an ABA setting, it is likely that you can meet the fieldwork requirements for licensure. Our Program Director can help you navigate this process or obtain individual supervision from a partner organization. We have many partnerships with ABA-based organizations, including opportunities outside of Massachusetts.
If you are not currently working in an ABA setting where you can receive mentored training, you will have the option to take 5 additional credits and obtain an individualized field placement. This option will include regular supervision in an ABA setting over the course of 4 consecutive semesters, as well as coursework. You will complete approximately 1,000 hours of experience required by the BACB to sit for the BCBA exam.
Choose Community Connectivity, Support and Student Life
The William James College community is supportive and connected. Our Dean of Students Office offers regular programming, in person and online, for all students, and oversees our Academic Resource Center. Student leadership and student groups create more opportunities for engagement, and we are proud to be home to the William James College Black Mental Health Graduate Academy, a community for Black students enrolled in our doctoral and master’s degree programs, that provides mentorship and networking opportunities.
Choose Mentorship and Personal Growth
As a student in our Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis, you will engage with faculty through education and advising. All students work closely with an advisor to navigate the program, access support services, and enhance your personal and professional development.
Our faculty members, collectively, have experience and interests that are representative of the wide-ranging applicability of the principles of behavior analysis.
William James College faculty are practicing professionals who bring their ABA expertise and real-world examples into the classroom.
Frequently Asked Questions
An Applied Behavior Analyst is an expert on the science of behavior and how it is applied to problems of individual and social significance.
Applied Behavior Analysts work with people across the lifespan. Their goal is to improve the lives of individuals and those who care for them.
Behavior analysts focus on observable events within the environment. They seek to understand the interaction between the environment and the individual. By doing so, behavior analysts seek to make the smallest changes that can have the most meaningful impact. There is a significant emphasis on the role of consequences such as through reinforcing positive behavior through rewards.
Behavior analysts practice ongoing assessment and objective evaluation to continuously alter and improve their work. Guided by the basic principles of behavior, each individual client receives a customized plan and curriculum to suit his/her needs.
We offer our Master’s or Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis both online or on campus. Depending on when you begin the program (fall or spring), and how you choose to take the courses (full-time or part-time; on-campus or online), you can complete the program in 4-6 semesters.
Decades of research and applications of behavioral techniques have established ABA therapy as the treatment of choice for individuals with autism. People with autism can make substantial gains through behavior analytic interventions. This includes improvements in overall skills and functioning as well as in targeted areas. Behavior analysts can address a variety of needs and areas, such as learning and academic performance, language, communication, and social skills, daily-living and self-care skills, motor skills, behavioral regulation and coping, and many more.
An Applied Behavior Analyst can work in many settings:
- Classrooms, Schools/School-Districts
- Community-based agencies
- In-home/residential treatment
- Clinics (Private practices)
- Other types of business
The following statistics are from the “US Behavior Analyst Workforce: Understanding the National Demand for Behavior Analysts” report by Burning Glass. The career outlook is great for BCBAs.
- Demand for credentialed behavior analysts is increasing.
- Demand is highest in 3 states: Massachusetts, California and New Jersey
- The demand for the BCBA credential has increased and is required in a range of occupations and titles.
- 85% of job postings fall into Health Care, Educational Services, or Social Assistance industries.
Here are some common job titles:
- Behavior/Behavioral Analyst
- ABA/Behavioral Assistant
- Behavior Interventionst
- BCBA Clinical Supervisor/Manager
- Behavior Clinician
- Behavior/Behavorial Consultant
- Behavior Specialist
- BCBA Program Supervisor
You can learn more about your potential career path in our Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis Career Outlook page.