Online Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

While working with students who have autism or similar disorders can be challenging, the potential reward is immeasurable. A degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, gives you the tools and skills to help these children and their families. ABA applies the principles and theories derived from studying behavior to solve social, behavioral and learning problems.

By using ABA methods with students, you can help them learn to increase and maintain desired behaviors, acquire new skills, transfer behavior from one situation to another, reduce interfering behaviors and narrow down situations in which these interfering behaviors occur.

Autism is the most commonly studied specialization in ABA, and students and children with this disorder seem to respond very well to these methods, with observed improvements in their communication, social relationships, play, self-care, school, and employment. If you are interested in helping students in a school setting overcome behavioral and learning disorders to achieve academic success, earning an online master’s degree in ABA may be the right choice for you.

There are two key components to becoming a practicing behavior analyst: earning a master’s degree in ABA from an accredited institution and getting board certified. The second component, board certification, involves becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) by obtaining a graduate degree and sitting for, and passing, the associated exam created by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). For details on the BCBA exam, check out exam information directly from the BACB.

A master’s degree from an accredited institution is essential to becoming a practicing behavior analyst, and, when combined with state certification, will allow you to become a behavior analyst at any grade level. Often, for the busy professional, online BCBA programs offer the easiest path to certification while refusing to compromise the quality of traditional format programs.

Jumpstart Your Career in Behavior Analysis, Explore Online BCBA Programs:

Earn your Master’s Degree in Behavior Analysis from Simmons College
    • No GRE Required
    • Nationally Recognized Expert Faculty
    • Complete Your Master's in 19 Months
Learn more about BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons
Earn a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Pepperdine University
    • No GRE required
    • Complete online in as few as 18 months
    • Experience field placement in clinical settings
Discover Psychology@Pepperdine

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ABA Masters Online Admissions Requirements

Before you begin the application process, be sure to contact your accredited institution for information about any prerequisites you may need to fulfill. Depending on the requirements of the program you are applying to, you may be asked to submit some or all of the following items:

  1. Application: Fill out an initial application, which you can find on the website of your accredited institution of choice. Paper and online forms are both generally accepted.
  2. Bachelor’s degree: You should have a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent from an accredited institution prior to applying to an ABA program.
  3. Transcripts: Request transcripts in advance of the application deadline, and upload one official copy of each transcript from any postsecondary schools you have attended.
  4. Personal statement: Write a personal statement, which is typically in the form of an essay. You may be required to submit multiple essays to fully express the intent and purpose of your application. Below are some common topics that should be mentioned in a statement.
    • Your main academic and personal interests
    • Experiences in school or work that have helped to prepare you for this course of study
    • Why you wish to study for the degree you’ve chosen
    • Why you wish to study at the university
    • Your plans for the future after you earn your degree
  5. Resume/CV: Upload a copy of your most recent resume or curriculum vitae as part of your application.
  6. Letters of recommendation: Submit your letters of recommendation. The number of letters required varies with each school. Be sure to request them well in advance of the deadline.
  7. Test scores: Mail in copies of your test scores. Many schools require GRE General Test scores or TOEFL/IELTS scores for international students; however, some programs do not require test scores at all.  

BCBA Online Programs

When searching for an online ABA program that works for you, be sure to check to ensure that the program is certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The certification process involves the BACB reviewing ABA program curriculum to ensure that it follows standards and features up-to-date curriculum that best prepares students for careers in behavior analysis. Programs that meet BACB standards are able to provide for their students a top notch education designed to help them take the next steps towards becoming a BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst), a qualification that enhances their personal credibility in the field. The value in seeking out BCBA online programs is that students who graduate from certified programs will experience a much higher rate of success on the exam than those who do not.

The applied behavior analysis program at Simmons College features a BACB certified curriculum that, for traditional students, boasts a 83% BCBA® exam pass rate (18% higher than the national average of 65%).

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Typically, BCBA online programs will place a heavy emphasis on practical application of modern research, methodology, and exploration of a variety of ABA techniques and schools of thought.

ABA Masters Online Curriculum

The curriculum and number of credits required to complete a master’s program vary widely depending on your school and specialization. However, a typical master’s program in ABA includes courses in:

  • Intensive practical training
  • Biological foundations of behavior
  • ABA electives
  • Research/thesis

Careers in Applied Behavior Analysis

After completing a online aba masters program, the next step is to get licensed, which will enable you to officially work in the field of your choice. Every state has its own licensure requirements to become a school behavior analyst but, as outlined previously, by earning a degree from a bcba online program, gaining your initial licensure will be made simple. The median annual salary for a board-certified behavior analyst was $55,018 in 2015. The most common behavior analyst roles are in schools ranging from the elementary level through high school.

Graduates of online ABA master’s programs can pursue other specializations and different roles including:

  1. Autism spectrum disorders (ASD): Currently there is a shortage of behavior analysts specializing in autism and other developmental disabilities. In this specialization, you'd be focusing on helping children and students improve language, motor, social and reasoning skills.
  2. Special education teacher: This role entails educating special needs students and addressing their individual differences and needs to promote learning, motivation, and self-sufficiency.
  3. Staff performance: Rather than working with students, you may also work with your peers in a school setting, analyzing data and conducting assessments to see if students’ needs and skills are being addressed. 

Finding the Best ABA Online Masters Program For You

All Online Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

In searching for the best online aba programs that might fit your needs, carefully consider the structure of the coursework and the admissions requirements before making your decision. We’ve made note of programs’ Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) accreditation status and strongly encourage you to check the university websites to find out if the program is a bcba online program as well.

Featured No GRE Requried ABA Online Masters Programs

Featured No GRE Requried Online ABA Programs
School Name GRE Requirement Accreditation Degree Type
Simmons College No GRE Required ABAI and BACB Masters of Behavior Analysis
Pepperdine University No GRE Required BACB Master's in Behavioral Analysis

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Teach.com has compiled a comprehensive list of all the online aba masters programs in the United States along with their GRE requirements, accreditation status, and degree type. Find a school that interests you and find out what it takes to graduate with from one of these online aba programs! Below are the online applied behavior analysis programs of 2018.

All Online EdD Programs
School Name GRE Requirement ABAI Accredited? Degree Type
Arcadia University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
Arizona State University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
Ball State University No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Bay Path University No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Brandman University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
Cairn University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
California University of Pennsylvania No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Drexel University No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Endicott College No GRE Required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
McNeese State University GRE required CCombined score of 285+) Yes Master of Psychology (ABS focus)
Northeastern University No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Nova Southeastern No GRE Required No MCsl
Pennsylvania State University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
Pepperdine University No GRE required No Master's in Behavior Analysis
The Sage Colleges No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Simmons University - sponsored No GRE required Yes Master of Behavioral Analysis
St. Cloud State University GRE Required (Verbal 152+, Quantitative 144+) Yes Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
Texas A and M University No GRE required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
University of Cincinnati No GRE required Yes Master of Education (ABA focus)
University of Kansas No GRE required Yes Master of Applied Behavioral Science
University of Nevada, Reno GRE required Yes Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
University of South Florida GRE required Yes Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis
University of Southern Maine N/A No Master of Education (ABA focus)
University of West Florida GRE Required No Master of Education (ABA focus)
Western Connecticut State University No GRE required No Master of Applied Behavioral Analysis

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