Program Overview

Choose Excellence with an MA or Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of individuals, children, and families? Do you have a passion for understanding behavior and increasing the independence of your clients? The Applied Behavior Analysis programs at William James College can help you achieve a rewarding career in a field with a growing need for highly skilled and culturally responsive practitioners.

The Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis and the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at William James will provide you with an education focused on the principles of behavior and the skills needed for the development, implementation, and evaluation of behavioral interventions. With this training, you will meet the coursework requirements to take the licensure exam and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). You can pursue careers in education, mental health, clinical, and other human-service settings (e.g., school-, community- and home-based settings or in- and out-patient hospitals and clinics).

Whether you pursue the master’s or certificate program, our online courses are designed to accommodate working professionals, and include asynchronous work, which can be completed on your own time, as well as one 60-90 minute Zoom meeting per week, which will take place after 4:00 PM ET. 

Want to learn more? Request info here.


Clicking the "Submit" button constitutes your express written consent to be called and/or texted by William James College at the number(s) you provided, regarding furthering your education. You understand that these calls may be generated using an automated technology. View our Privacy Policy here.

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 34 graduate credits for completion. The program is offered online and you can begin in the fall or the spring semester, and take courses full time or part time. Based on these factors, you can complete the ABA master’s program in between four and six semesters. Upon completion of the program, you will meet the behavior analytic coursework requirements to take the exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). 

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. This certificate can fulfill the behavior analytic coursework requirements to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The program requires 21 credits and can be completed in four semesters online.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is the science of behavior and how it influences problems of individual and social significance. Applied Behavior Analysts work with people across the lifespan in a wide variety of environments. Their goal is to improve the lives, functioning, and independence of clients and their families.

Behavior analysts focus on observation of behavior and seek to understand the interaction between the environment and the individual. Guided by the basic principles of behavior, a customized evaluation and intervention plan is developed to suit the specific needs of each individual client.

Choose Licensure

Upon completion of the MA or 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). 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.

To be fully eligible to take the exam, you will need to meet additional fieldwork requirements. If you are currently working in an ABA setting, it is likely that you can meet these fieldwork requirements for licensure through your place of employment.

If you are not currently working in an ABA setting where you can receive mentored training, you will have the option to take five additional credits and obtain an individualized field placement. This option will include regular supervision in an ABA setting over the course of four consecutive semesters as well as the required coursework. You will complete approximately 1,000 hours of experience toward the total required by the BACB to sit for the BCBA exam.

We have many partnerships with ABA-based organizations, including opportunities outside of Massachusetts. Our Program Director, Dr. Ron Lee, can help you navigate the licensure process, obtain individual supervision from a partner organization, and answer any questions you have about the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. 

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 their personal and professional development.

Our faculty members have experience and interests in a wide-range of behavior analysis principles, applications, and settings.

William James College faculty are practicing professionals who bring their ABA expertise and real-world examples into the classroom.


Student:Faculty Ratio