7 Best ABA Graduate Programs & Degrees

Want to become an ABA therapist? Here's a comprehensive guide to finding the best graduate programs.

Ruben Kesherim
June 22, 2023

7 Best ABA Graduate Programs & Degrees

Best Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs

We've done the research for you and put together a list of the best ABA therapy graduate programs for aspiring ABA therapists.

Best Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Programs

1. University of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina in Wilmington is home to a popular ABA program. It’s called the Master of Arts in Psychology.

Aside from the psychology program, there's also a Master of Arts in Psychology major at the institution with courses on ABA. The rate for students finishing the major is 100%.

Tuition for graduates pursuing this major is slightly over $4,700 annually. Out-of-state students would pay more than $18,500 each year. Yet for ABA, it's considered a top school for students going into the field.

The program is suited to teach all of the fundamentals of ABA, from its concept to its methodology. Students learn skills about different services that are given to therapists and their application usage to patients and clients. It takes most students over a year years to finish the degree.

However, UNCW also has a graduate program for ABA credited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, called the BACB. The program is for a Master of Science in Psychology, primarily geared for ABA.

All students in the program are tasked with finishing a certain percentage of coursework adhering to BACB standards. Some of the specifics of the program are practical experience that’s supervised. It’s a necessity for one to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst or a BCBA.

Other than practical experience and the needed coursework, students must finalize a master thesis on ABA research. Although UNCW is known to be one of the top universities for students wishing to become a BCBA, the best program for some to take on might not fit what's offered with the programs at this specific institution.

Students are recommended to research the programs of other schools, visit their websites, and make trips to their college or university of interest, if possible. Talking with other students, faculty, and staff is greatly encouraged since it could open student hopefuls up to the program that interests them.

2. Queen's College

Queen's College has different programs with courses teaching behavior analysis. Their Master of Science in Education in School Psychology major is esteemed.

It's a program built for young people with plans to work as psychologists in a school atmosphere. There are behavior analysis assessment and intervention courses. Field experience is supervised when carried out.

Queen's College also maintains an Advanced Certificate in School Psychology.

The program is suitable for students that have previously earned a Master's degree in psychology or any equivalent field and wish to get more certifications relative to their career field. It has coursework in assessment, intervention, and behavior analysis, Supervised field experience is also included with this program.

Included at Queen is a Master of Arts in Psychology. It's acceptable for students that are looking into psychology studies for a doctoral field. Courses are available in different subcategories of psychology, with applied behavior analysis encompassing.

The Master of Arts major for ABA studies can assist students with plans to get certified during or after studying for their field.

The Post-Master's Certificate in Psychology is an additional program meant for students that already have a Master's degree in psychology, or something related. Students can earn more certifications in this program too. ABA is included in the program, which teaches general psychology.

The BACB requires that students wishing to become BCBAs finish coursework that's meticulously supervised and accredited by them to earn certification.

Queen's College has courses in ABA, the same as the Post Master’s. But like all colleges and universities that offer identical programs, students are tasked with making sure that whichever path they take meets the standards and accreditation of the BACB.

3. Utah State University

Utah State University harbors graduate-level programs for ABA, the most notable of them being its Master of Education in Special Education, with courses emphasizing ABA.

The program is for students at the school showing an interest in BCBA as a career choice. All of the fundamental courses are included, like intervention and general behavior analysis. Students in the program must finish a thesis or research project to pass.

Separate from the former is a Graduate Certificate in ABA. It's great for students who already have a graduate degree and are interested in getting certified as a BCBA. Like the MEd program, this one features courses on interventions and behavior analyses. Its supervised field experience plays an integral part in getting a BCBA and is recommended to do by the BACB.

The Doctor of Philosophy in Disability Disciplines teaches behavior analysis. Students wanting to become researchers in the ABA field are recommended for this program. Coursework is featured consisting of ABA research methods, studies of disabilities, and ABA. To pass, students are required to write a dissertation.

All programs provided at Utah State are done through the Department of Special Education and Rehabilitation. They're accredited by the BACB.

Additionally, USU is further approved by the BACB as a critical area for training to become a behavior analyst, where students that finish the Ph.D. or MEd program aren't mandated to take supervised experience courses and other studies that are outside of them.

4. Cambridge College Boston

Cambridge College Boston has a prestigious ABA program that students can enroll in to finish a Master's degree.

There are 14 credits specifically for students studying special education. However, 24 are for courses about behavior analysis.

Cambridge has a Master of Education geared for students planning to become board-certified behavior analysts. Courses are approved by the BACB, including fieldwork done with a board-approved supervisor. For completion of the course, a capstone project must be passed.

Another is the Graduate Certificate for behavior analysis, primarily centered on students that have a graduate degree in psychology and strive to become BACB certified. As the name of the course shows, behavior analysis is the primary component of its coursework.

A Post-Master's Certificate in ABA is recommended for students with a Master's planning to further a career in a supervisory role for ABA. Each of the courses is approved, the same as the rest, though not all graduate students are suggested to apply to this program.

ABA programs at Cambridge in Boston are administered through the School of Education and Leadership. All are accredited by the BACB.

Students going through the Post-master's Certificate program or MEd typically have fewer courses extending past what's taught within their program. This means that once the courses are done and their degree is completed, they may find more positions and easier employment in the field.

5. University of Houston

There's more than one graduate program for individuals at the University of Houston.

They're made to give students the proper skills and knowledge to work as a behavior analyst for long-term careers. Graduate programs at the university begin with a Master of Education in Special Populations, which focuses on ABA.

Coursework focuses on students planning to take the BCBA certification exam. Additional portions of the courses teach intervention design and implementation, ethics, data analysis, and assessment of behaviors.

The Graduate Certificate in ABA is ideal for anyone already holding a Master's. Still, students must finish all coursework laid out in the program to prepare themselves for the final BCBA exam at the end of the program.

A Doctor in Education Curriculum and Instruction is best for students that wish to be in a position of a supervisory nature during their careers. It's also suitable for those with ambitions to be a behavior specialist at a university.

Courses teach ABA, curriculum, instruction for ABA, and research methods for the specifics of the field. Students conduct research that's submitted as part of their finals for passing the course.

All of the university's graduate programs are accepted by the BACB. Courses within the university's programs emphasize hands-on work and experience, especially regarding research and fieldwork that's supervised.

6. Jacksonville State University

JSU has a graduate program centered on ABA named the Master of Science in Education, or MSEd, in Collaborative Teacher Special Education.

The program includes courses that last 36 hours long and consist of on-campus learning and supervised experience.

Topics consist of behavior analysis principles, intervention design, behavioral assessment, and methods of research. The supervised portion of the course has an internship where students can get experience in a hands-on setting with real BCBAs.

Many interns work directly with people having disorders, like ADHD and ASD but in a manner that's strictly managed by superiors.

The ABA program at Jacksonville State is approved by the BACB. The MSEd focuses on web and in-person instructional methods and is suggested for students that wish to gain experience through face-to-face interactions with patients and BCBAs.

7. Baylor University

Baylor University maintains a Master's degree program for ABA in educational psychology. The program teaches general behavioral assessment, and behavior analysis, and meets the BACB's standards.

There's also in-person learning. All coursework is built to prepare students for the BCBA exam, which is given to students at finals.


  1. https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/rankings/applied-behavior-analysis-programs/
  2. https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisedu.org/20-best-schools-offering-aba-masters-programs/
  3. https://blog.actionbehavior.com/top-30-aba-programs-in-the-us-2022
  4. https://www.totalcareaba.com/autism/best-aba-graduate-programs
  5. https://www.bestcolleges.com/psychology/masters/applied-behavior-analysis/

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