Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

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Program at a Glance

  • Develop the skills to give clients with diverse behavior disorders the tools to enhance their lives and better engage with their world.
  • Prepare to earn your Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) credential.*†
  • Learn to work effectively with clients who have autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), physical illnesses that affect behavior, and more.
  • Take your master’s in ABA courses 100% online, with BCBA certification exam prep and academic requirements built into the curriculum.
  • Complete optional fieldwork experience at your workplace or with one of Purdue Global’s 435 partners nationwide.
Upcoming Start Dates

We offer multiple start dates to give you flexibility in your education, life, and work schedules.

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Master of Science in ABA Overview

Help clients with a range of behavior-related issues improve their lives and outcomes by addressing behavioral issues and developing the functional skills to live a more independent life. In this ABA master’s online program, you’ll learn to understand and apply behavioral theories and concepts through topics including behavioral assessment, treatment intervention, and evaluation using a science-practitioner approach where you’ll integrate research techniques and science to your applied practice. You’ll focus on ethical practice, management, and supervision processes.

Direct Path to BCBA® Certification

Graduate with everything you’ll need to pass the BCBA exam. Through a series of learning modules, certification exam prep is built into the curriculum. The MS in ABA course sequence is also verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI®). You’ll meet all of the academic requirements for certification and build the competencies required of practicing behavior analysts. The program culminates with a capstone experience that incorporates a BCBA certification prep exam.

Fieldwork Experience

Put into practice what you’ve learned in the classroom with an optional applied behavior analysis fieldwork course. You’ll locate a site at which to complete the required hours and work with our Clinical Placement Team, who must review and approve the site before you can begin the course. It may be possible to fulfill the course requirement with your current employer if you’re already working in the field.

We’ve also established partnerships with over 350 organizations that are willing to work with our students as ABA site hosts or in locating an appropriate applied behavior analysis site and BCBA supervisor, volunteer positions, internships, supervisions, or future employment opportunities.

Program Outcomes

At the end of the MS in ABA program, you’ll be equipped to:

  • Examine how assessment and intervention procedures in applied behavior analysis are derived from behavioral theories and concepts.
  • Evaluate psychological and behavioral theories and concepts in relation to various real-world situations within the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Develop appropriate evidence-based practice strategies using the theoretical and conceptual foundations of applied behavior analysis.
  • Integrate relevant legal, ethical, individual, cultural, and social validity standards and guidelines established within the field of applied behavior analysis.


See the University Catalog for policy and degree plan information specific to this program.

This program meets certification requirements for the BCBA® examination in specific states. Refer to Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific information on licensure and state authorizations.
Learning Resources

The graduate resource center and ABA student site offer resources to support graduate students. You’ll also have access to CBA learning modules for ABA to supplement coursework and help you prepare to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination.

ABAI Verified Course Sequence Logo Course Sequence Verified by ABAI

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the course sequence of the MS in Applied Behavior Analysis program toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination.*

Note: Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. Refer to Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information. Visit the BACB website (www.BACB.com) for additional state-specific requirements.
View BACB exam pass rates

Purdue University Global Is Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

The HLC (HLCommission.org) is an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Admissions Requirements

A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in a master’s degree program. You will need to provide an official transcript that shows completion of your bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, though an unofficial copy may be provided during the application process. Refer to the University Catalog or speak to an Advisor to learn more.

Ways to Save

  • Financial Aid

    Title IV federal financial aid is available for many of our degree programs.

    Financial Aid FAQ

  • Grants

    Learn about federal financial grants and loan programs that may be available.

    Federal and State Grants

  • Corporate Partner Benefits

    Employees of Purdue Global partner organizations may be eligible for special tuition reductions.

    Employee Savings and Benefits

  • Military Tuition Reduction

    55% reduction per credit for current servicemembers, 38% per credit for veterans for undergraduate programs.

    Tuition Savings for Military

  • International Tuition Reduction

    International students living outside of the United States are eligible for a 25% tuition reduction.

    International Tuition and Benefits

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Career Opportunities

Overall employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health professionals in the U.S. is expected grow 23% from 2021 to 2031—much faster than average. According to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, the demand for board-certified behavior analysts increased 38% from 2020 to 2021.§

With a master’s in applied behavior analysis, you can advance your career as a clinician who assists clients with a range of behavioral disorders or as a supervisor who oversees assistant behavior analysts, registered behavior technicians, and other behavior analysis professionals.

Employment and Career Advancement: Purdue Global cannot guarantee employment placement, salary level, or career advancement. Actual outcomes vary by geographic area, previous work experience, and opportunities for employment.

The professional practice of psychology is regulated by each state, and the degree requirements of this program do not guarantee or prepare you for licensure in any state upon graduation. It is important to note that, while earning a master’s degree in psychology may qualify you to work in the helping professions, a doctorate degree is required to become a psychologist and a medical degree is required to become a psychiatrist.

Top 5 Skills Employers Are Looking for
  • Active Listening
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Speaking

What Courses Will I Take?

The online master’s in ABA features an ABAI Verified Course Sequence, which develops the advanced knowledge and skills you’ll need in the field.

The curriculum also includes learning modules that serve as BCBA certification exam prep. The degree program culminates with a capstone experience and BCBA certification practice exam.

See All Psychology Courses
Sample Courses
  • Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts
  • Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Implementing Procedures for Behavioral Change
  • Clinical Applications, Supervision, and Management

Program Requirements

  • Core Credits
    45
  • Total Credits
    45

Get to Know Our Faculty

Purdue Global faculty members are real-world practitioners who bring knowledge gained through the powerful combination of higher learning and industry experience.

View Psychology Faculty Directory
grad hat icon 98% Faculty members who have advanced degrees
diploma icon 50% Faculty members who hold a doctorate
tablet icon 237 Faculty publications in 2020–2021
student at desk icon More Than 36,000 Professional development hours logged by faculty in 2020–2021

Statistics include all Purdue Global faculty members and are not school or program-specific calculations. Source: Purdue Global Office of Reporting and Analysis, September 2021. 2020–2021 academic year.

NOTES AND CONDITIONS

*Certification and Licensure: Refer to Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications page for state-specific licensure information. Visit the BACB website (www.BACB.com) for additional state-specific requirements. The BACB verifies university training as meeting its eligibility requirements; it does not accredit university programs. Students are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. The University cannot guarantee students will be eligible to sit for or pass exams. In some cases, work experience, additional coursework beyond the Purdue Global program, fieldwork, and/or background checks may be necessary to be eligible to take or to successfully pass the exams.

BCBA®: Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a registered trademark of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

ABAI®: Association for Behavior Analysis International® and ABA International® are registered trademarks of the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

§Job Growth and Demand: Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Substance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors. Behavior Analyst Certification Board, U.S. Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts, www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/BurningGlass2022_220208.pdf. National long-term projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions, and do not guarantee actual job growth.