What is the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program?

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (M.S. in ABA) is intended to meet a growing need for behavior specialists in the state and region. The intent of the program is to prepare individuals to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. Over the past three years, the demand for BCBAs nationally has doubled with over 85% of all BCBAs working in healthcare, educational services, and social assistance. Individuals with this degree and certification are in high demand to serve as applied behavior analysts, mental health clinicians or therapists, and school psychologists. The primary pool of potential candidates for this program will be individuals with undergraduate degrees in education, special education, psychology, nursing, counseling, social work, and other related fields.  

How long will it take me to complete the M.S. in ABA Program?

  1. The M.S. in ABA program requires a mimimum of 33 hours of graduate coursework.
  2. The program consists of 21 hours of ABA-specific content, 6 hours of coursework focused on autism spectrum disorders, and 6 hours of electives selected from prescribed education and/or psychology courses.
  3. For students who maintain full-time status (9 hours in fall and spring, 6 hours in the summer), the program can be completed in 5-6 semesters.
  4. Please note that completion of the degree does not fulfill all requirements to "sit" for the BCBA exam. Please see requirements (including clinical hours) at the BCBA Option 1 website.

How do I know if I am eligible for the M.S. in ABA Program?

  • Candidates must have earned a bachelor's or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • To be admitted unconditionally, applicants must satisfy the following criteria:

    1. A minimum grade-point average of 3.0 on the undergraduate record, and
    2. A minimum GRE score of 300 (combined verbal and quantitative, with no scores below 150), or a score of 410 on the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).
    3. TOEFL or IELTS (for non-native English speakers only):
      1. TOEFL (iBT): all sub-scores greater than or equal to 18 OR
      2. IELTS: all sub-scores greater than or equal to 6.0

How do I enroll in the program?

  1. Apply for admission to the UAH graduate program. Be sure to indicate that you want to apply for the M.S. in ABA program. Send official transcripts from all degree granting institutions you have attended to the UAH Graduate Admissions Office.
  2. Earn a passing score on an approved entrance exam (see above).
  3. Once you have been formally accepted to UAH, you should meet with Dr. Derrick Smith.  Dr. Smith will complete a program of study and inform you of any prerequisites that may be required. You must complete all undergraduate prerequisites prior to beginning any courses in the teacher education program.
  4. You are now ready to begin the program. Continue to meet with your advisor.

What must I do to continue in the program?

  1. The UAH Graduate School requires that all students must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher in order to remain in their programs. If a student falls below the requiste GPA, a plan of action must be created in order to support the student to move forward.
  2. In order to graduate, the student must have a 3.0 GPA or higher at graduation.

How are the courses offered?

The majority of the courses will be offered online through UAH's Canvas Learning Management System. The course instructors will utilize a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Therefore, some classes may have "real-time" class meetings using UAH's Zoom software. This software allows participants to gather together in an online environment to have a "face-to-face" class. Other class activites may require readings, viewing videos, and participating in ascynchronous discussions online in Canvas's discussion boards. Some instructors may require a face-to-face meeting at UAH on specified weekends for more intensive work. However, please note that all coursework offered by the Department of Psychology is offered only face-to-face on campus in the evenings.

How will I complete my Clinical Experiences?

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction will work with all students to ensure that they have ample opportunities to complete the required clinical experiences in various settings. Some clinical experiences will be connected to coursework but most experiences will be conducted outside of the program. The ABA program advisor will support students to ensure that they are prepared to apply and take the BCBA examination.

What courses will I take as part of this program?

Course Number and Title (*online) Number of Credit Hours
ABA Core Courses  
EDC 610: Functional Assessment and Observation with Applied Behavior Analysis* 3
EDC 611: Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis* 3
EDC 612: Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis in Education* 3
EDC 613: Positive Behavioral Support Systems* 3
EDC 614: Research Methods in Applied Behavioral Analysis I* 3
EDC 615: Research Methods in Applied Behavioral Analysis II* 3
EDC 616: Practicum in Applied Behavioral Analysis* 3
EDC 636: Introduction to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders* 3
EDC 645: Assessment and Behavioral Applications in ASD* 3
Free Electives (select 2) (Other courses not listed may be chosen with approval of the Department)  
ED 540: Cognitive Developmental Learning Theories* (3)
PY 505: Psychopharmacology (3)
PY 530: Psychometrics (3)
PY 535: Theories of Abnormal Psychology (3)
PY 537: Psychobiology of Stress and Illness (3)
PY 615: Special Topics: Brain and Behavior (3)
PY 520: Special Topics (multiple options)


If you have additional questions or need advisement about the M.S. in ABA program, please contact:

Dr. Jennifer Bruzek


Or call the Department of Curriculum & Instruction at:  256-824-6180