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 analysts 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.  

Program mission:

To graduate scientist-practitioners who meet the coursework requirements needed to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and provide our students with the knowledge that will prepare them to serve individual clients, the community, and the field of behavior analysis as a whole through research and practice.

Program objectives:

  1. Students will describe the philosophy of behaviorism, the theoretical approaches to understanding behavior, and the underlying assumptions of science.
  2. Students will apply their understanding of behavioral concepts and principles.
  3. Students will implement behavior analytic research methods.
  4. Students will assess and intervene on behavior.
  5. Students will apply the ethical guidelines and use professional skills in accordance with the field of applied behavior analysis.
  6. Students will demonstrate social and cultural awareness.
  7. Students will demonstrate the skills to effectively supervise others and monitor organizational systems.

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

  1. The M.S. in ABA program requires a minimum of 33 hours of graduate coursework.

  2. The program consists of 21 hours of ABA-specific content and 12 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 4 semesters.

  4. Please note that completion of the degree does not fulfill all requirements to "sit" for the BCBA exam. Please see requirements (including supervised fieldwork) at the Pathway 2: Behavior Analytic Coursework in the eligibility requirements as of January 1, 2022.

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. 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 to Apply?

To be considered for admission the Applied Behavior Analysis, MS program, applicants must complete the following steps:  

  1. Create your Charger Status account and submit the UAH graduate application for admission.
  2. Submit official college transcript to the UAH Graduate Admissions Office through an electronic delivery service. UAH Graduate Admissions accepts official transcripts from Parchment and Student Clearinghouse.
  3. Upload an essay as per the instructions provided within Charger Status.
    • Essay Instructions:
      • Place your first and last name at the top left corner of each page of the essay.
      • Type the essay double-spaced using Times New Roman, 12 font.
      • Avoid quotes unless they have a specific relevance to justify a conclusion. In most cases, quotes should be avoided as evidence or support.
  4. All candidates will be required to complete an interview with the faculty. 

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. Applications must be submitted by July 15 to be considered for the upcoming fall semester. 
  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. Jennifer Bruzek.  Dr. Bruzek will complete a program of study and inform you of any prerequisites that may be required. 
  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 requisite GPA, a plan of action must be created in order to support the student to move forward.
  2. All new students are required to attend an orientation via Zoom prior to beginning their behavior analysis course sequence.
  3. 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. However, all of the behavior analysis courses require "live" attendance in weekly course meetings via Zoom. This software allows participants to gather together in an online environment to have a "face-to-face" class. Other class activities may require readings, viewing videos, and participating in asynchronous 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.

When are courses offered?

The ABA program is designed for new students to begin each fall based on the required sequence of the behavior analysis courses. Students must contact Dr. Bruzek prior to enrolling in coursework during every semester.

What resources will I need to purchase?

As with many university courses, students will be required to purchase textbooks. However, this program requires students to purchase an online training package through Behavior Development Solutions (BDS). The BDS learning modules will be assigned in all seven (7) core courses of the program. BDS has various license lengths to choose from, and, based on our program requirements, we recommend that students purchase the 24-month license. 

Considering becoming a BCBA?

The BACB published this handbook which describes the requirements for obtaining and maintaining BCBA certification.

Certification vs. Licensure

In addition to the certification requirements described in the BCBA handbook, many states, including Alabama, have licensure requirements for Board Certified Behavior Analysts to practice in their states. For an updated list of licensure requirements, please visit the following website: https://www.bacb.com/u-s-licensure-of-behavior-analysts/

If you plan to practice behavior analysis in a state with a licensure law, please contact Dr. Jennifer Bruzek to identify whether the M.S. in ABA at UAH will meet the requirements.

How will I complete my Supervised Fieldwork?

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.

*Please note that it is possible that you will be required to pay additional fees to obtain your Supervised Fieldwork.

Does this program have a verified course sequence?

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination.  Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. 

abai vcs program copy

What courses will I take as part of this program?


Course Number and Title (*online) Number of Credit Hours
ABA Core Courses  
EDC 610: Behavioral Assessment*
45 hours of BACB© behavior assessment
EDC 611: Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis*
45 hours in BACB© compliance code and disciplinary systems; professionalism
EDC 612: Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis I*
45 hours in BACB© concepts and principles of behavior analysis
EDC 613: Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis II*
23 hours in BACB© philosophical underpinnings; 22 hours in BACB© concepts and principles of behavior analysis
EDC 614: Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis*
45 hours in BACB© measurement, data display, and interpretation; experimental design
EDC 615: Interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis*
45 hours in BACB© behavior-change procedures; selecting and implementing interventions
EDC 616: Supervision and Management in Applied Behavior Analysis*
30 hours in personnel supervision and management; 15 hours behavior-change procedures/selecting and implementing interventions
Free Electives (select 4) (Other courses not listed may be chosen with approval of the Department)  
EDC 636: Introduction to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3)
EDC 645: Assessment and Behavioral Applications in ASD (3)
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)


PY 514: Advanced Learning (3)
PY 503: Human Factors (3)
EDC 652: Introduction to Orientation and Mobility  (3)
EDC 593: Exceptional Child and Youth (3)
ED 535: Introduction to Applied Educational Research (3)

Sample Program of Study

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