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Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis (Hybrid)

Not accepting new students

The Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis Master's program is not accepting new students at this time.

Earn your master’s degree from UMassD

Earn your Master of Arts in Psychology with an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focus in just 6 semesters. Our program offers blended courses—combining online and face-to-face classes in each course—that are verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) as meeting specific faculty and coursework standards. This program suits the needs of today's students by offering this hybrid style of learning.

ABA Program

  • This master’s program prepares students to meet the academic requirements necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. View BCBA pass rates.
  • This part-time, 36-credit hybrid program is designed to be completed in three years. Students can have some flexibility as long as they complete it on a timely basis. UMass Dartmouth also offers an Applied Behavior Analyst Graduate Certificate for professionals who have earned a master’s degree in education or psychology. This is a two-year, 24-credit program that provides the academic requirements necessary to sit for the BCBA exam.

Fall, Year 1

  • PSY534—Philosophical Underpinnings of ABA
  • PSY504—Topics in Child Development

Spring, Year 1

  • PSY526—Measurement and Design in ABA
  • PSY509—Concepts and Principles of ABA

Fall, Year 2

  • PSY531—Behavioral Assessment
  • PSY525—Implementing Behavior Analysis in Educational Settings

Spring, Year 2

  • PSY532—Behavioral Interventions
  • PSY518—Cognitive Neuroscience

Fall, Year 3

  • PSY529—Ethics and Professionalism in ABA
  • PSY527—Clinical Applications in ABA

Spring, Year 3

  • PSY533—Supervision and Management
  • PSY586—ABA Seminar

Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

Student success

Career Opportunities

  • work with a variety of populations including autistic children and adults, typically developing children, adults with intellectual disabilities, and seniors with dementia
  • practice in various settings including clinics, hospitals, residential treatment centers, public schools and community agencies

UMassD advantages

  • Earn your MA in psychology and learn from faculty who have specific training in behavior analysis and psychology. This coursework sequence has been verified to meet the academic requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination.
  • Receive comprehensive ABA training that complements the theoretical framework of psychology.
  • As a state university UMass Dartmouth’s tuition and fees are more manageable.
  • Conveniently located in the SouthCoast of Massachusetts where there is a strong, local demand for BCBAs.
  • The UMassD program is structured so that individuals can do their experience hours as part of their job, provided they can be supervised by a certified BCBA.
  • Hybrid learning style—courses combine online and face-to-face classes in each course.

Master of Arts in Psychology students may also choose concentrations in:

University requirements for graduate admissions

  • Submit an application via the online portal. Be sure to provide your full legal name and to capitalize the first letter of all proper nouns.
  • Pay non-refundable $60 application fee (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa) via the online portal. For Nursing applicants, the non-refundable application fee is $75.
  • Statement of Purpose, minimum 300 words. Unless otherwise indicated in the program requirement details, indicate your graduate study objectives, research interests and experience, and business or industry experience if applicable. If you are applying for a teaching or research assistantship, include any special skills or experience that would assist us in making assistantship decisions.
  • Resume
  • Transcripts for all post-secondary institutions attended (regardless of whether a credential is earned or not). Unofficial transcripts are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled a final official transcript is required. International students applying with an transcript evaluation, please submit that document with your unofficial transcripts. International applicants for Data Science must submit semester-by-semester transcripts as well as consolidated transcripts. 
  • Many programs have specific recommendations/requirements, please see the additional program-specific requirements for more information.
  • International students: official TOEFL iBT, IELTS, Pearson PTE or Duolingo (if accepted by program) score. Unofficial scores are accepted for admissions application review, once enrolled official scores are required and must be sent by the testing agency (copies/scans not accepted). This is required of any applicant who did not earn a bachelor’s degree or higher degree from an accredited academic institution in the U.S. or accepted English-speaking country, see exemptions for more details. We require an overall/total minimum score of 72 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.0 on the IELTS or a 52 on the Pearsons PTE Academic for entrance to any program and a minimum score of 79 on the TOEFL iBT or BAND 6.5 on the IELTS for consideration for a teaching assistantship. Some programs require higher minimum scores (see program-specific requirements). Most programs also accept the Duolingo with a minimum score of 95. The following programs do not accept the Duolingo: Art Education, Biology/Marine Biology, Nursing (MS, DNP, PhD), Psychology: Clinical, and Public Policy. 
  • All official documents are required for enrollment, please have documents (ie. test scores) sent prior to the expiration. 

Program-specific requirements

Candidates must submit the required application materials, university requirements and program-specific requirements, for consideration.

  • Bachelor’s degree in psychology or closely related field including human services, sociology, education and/or work experience in the ABA field.
  • A minimum undergraduate cumulative average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading system is required. Students not meeting this requirement but who otherwise give evidence of strong academic ability may be admitted.
  • 2 letters of recommendation. Applicants are encouraged to obtain letters from both academic settings addressing academic readiness, and from work settings addressing capacity for employment in ABA. Applicants will be required to provide the recommenders name and email address so we can contact the recommender for the letter of recommendation.

Program deadlines

Psychology: Applied Behavior Analysis faculty

R. Thomas Boone, PhD 
Social and Developmental Psychology, Brandeis University: 
Studies emotion communication and cooperation.

Gary M. Pace, PhD, BCBA-D 
Learning and Physiological Psychology, University of Kentucky: research interests include applied 
behavior analysis, severe behavior disorders, antecedent control procedures, treatment integrity, acquired brain injury.

Melanie DuBard, PhD, BCBA-D 
School Psychology, University of Southern Mississippi: clinical and research interests include functional behavior assessment, treatment integrity, school consultation, assessment and treatment of severe behavior.

Thomas Boone
R. Thomas Boone

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Course descriptions, schedules and requirements

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