The Psychology Department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth welcomes applications for the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) option in the Master of Arts program in Psychology. Graduate programs in ABA are designed to fill a critical need for fully trained behavior analysts. This program of study prepares students to meet the course and fieldwork qualifications necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) examination.
BCBA's find solutions to a variety of behavioral challenges through careful assessment of behavior (e.g. functional analysis) and the application of learning theory based interventions. Typically, BCBA's work with autistic children and adults, but they also treat a variety of behavior problems in clinics, hospitals, residential treatment centers, public schools and community agencies. BCBA's use skillfully crafted strategies to assess and improve behavior and learning. Behavior analysis is a challenging and rapidly growing profession with very competitive salary and growth potential. For those anticipating entering graduate programs in human service and mental health professions, ABA offers an interesting alternative to traditional counseling or social work programs and generally offers better salary and advancement possibilities. Learn more about ABA.
The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB®) dictates the course content of ABA programs to determine if graduates are eligible to take the BCBA exam. The UMass Dartmouth core ABA courses are approved by the BACB and therefore graduates are eligible to take the BCBA exam. Our program is somewhat unique in that we combine three characteristics not common to ABA programs. First, we offer a graduate degree in Psychology. Most other programs offer a degree in other academic areas. Second, our program is at a state university and therefore tuition and fees are more manageable. Third, our ABA training is offered in partnership with a large agency with a long history of providing high quality comprehensive ABA services. The Evergreen Center and Beacon Services partnered with the Psychology Department and the Professional and Continuing Education division at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to form the Evergreen/Beacon Initiative, which is an industry/education collaboration to offer advanced degrees in ABA to future human service professionals.
The Evergreen Center is a comprehensive residential school serving children and adolescents with severe developmental disabilities. The Evergreen Center offers ABA services along with a wide variety of professional and educational services. Behavioral Education, Assessment, and Consultation, Inc. or Beacon Services is a private group practice of BCBA's, special educators and early childhood professionals experienced in serving toddlers, preschool and school age children in need of behavioral support and specialized educational services.
Following is a typical course sequence for this program. Students must take one of the electives listed in the course descriptions. UMass Dartmouth certificate courses are highlighted below. Please note, choices for electives are subject to change. For updated course schedule, descriptions and location.
The BACB has developed new requirements for sitting for the BCBA examination after the December 2014 testing date. These changes will necessitate the addition of a new course and modification in the credits and description of the Fieldwork and seminar courses. However, the total number of credits will remain at 36.
- PSY 525 Implementing Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings (3-credits)
Total Year 1 Course Credits: 15 credits (excludes Optional: Statistics Refresher)
- PSY 502 Statistical Methods in Psychology (3-credits)
- PSY 526 Research Design and Ethics ABA (3-credits)
- PSY 518 Cognitive Neuroscience (3-credits)
- PSY 582 Fieldwork and Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis I (2-credits)
Total Year 2 Course Credits: 11 credits
- PSY 503 Advanced Psychopathology (3-credits) or PSY 505 Research Methods and Design (3 credits)
- PSY 583 Fieldwork and Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis II (2-credits
- PSY 527 Clinical Applications of ABA (3-credits)
- PSY 584 Fieldwork and Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis III (2-credits)
Total Year 3 Course Credits: 10 credits