Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Expand your behavior analytic knowledge and learn to effectively address socially maladaptive behaviors in Marian's online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Or fulfill the coursework requirements to sit for board exams with targeted study in our online, non-degree core ABA coursework in just three to four semesters. Successful completion of this Verified Course Sequence meets Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) coursework requirements.
This flexible, fully online program is designed for working professionals just like you. You will learn how to identify and implement behavior analytic techniques to increase socially appropriate behaviors, ensuring individuals are able to live, work, and be educated in the least restrictive environments.
Whether you start with a bachelor's or master's degree, you have a pathway at Marian to being fully prepared to take your Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) licensure exam.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
Applied behavior analysis is a type of therapy based on scientifically backed theories of learning and behavior. At its core, ABA examines why people behave the way they do in their environment and uses these observations to teach appropriate skills and improve an individual’s quality of life. Designed for both children and adults, applied behavior analysis techniques assist with improving social skills, reading, communication, academic habits, and adaptive learning skills, including personal hygiene, on-the-job behaviors, and fine motor skills.
ABA therapy is an evidence-based treatment for individuals with autism. That said, ABA can be applied with individuals of varying needs, disabilities, and ages. Behavior Analytic interventions can be implemented with individuals in a variety of settings, (e.g. schools, job sites, residential treatment facilities, and group homes) to improve daily living skills, self-help skills, and vocational skills. Businesses are also utilizing the skills of behavior analysts and hiring them to reduce absenteeism and increase productivity.
Behavior analysts develop treatment plans and behavior support plans, specific to the environment(s) in which the individual needs support. Behavior analysts create individualized plans for each client that include function-based interventions. Lastly, those closest to the client are also an integral part of the plan, both in creation and implementation.
Additional information about the implementation of ABA:
- ABA principles have helped elderly adults adjust to and manage the effects of memory loss.
- ABA techniques can be used to help students improve their language, cognitive, and social skills and reduce aggressive behaviors.
- ABA techniques have helped individuals with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
- Organizational behavior management (OBM) is rooted in ABA.
Online ABA Curriculum
Marian’s online ABA courses are taught by BCBAs who provide real-world connections to class content. They improve your ability to assess behavior, determine the function of a behavior, identify appropriate interventions, and implement interventions.
Prepare for a career in applied behavior analysis with rigorous coursework delivered by supportive instructors, many of whom hold WebEx sessions many times during the course for additional help.
The curriculum for each core ABA course is rooted in the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s fifth edition Task List, the definitive document for conducting a Functional Behavior Assessment, and is an approved Verified Course Sequence (VCS) by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The ABAI has verified Marian's core ABA courses toward the subject requirements needed for eligibility to take the BCBA® or BCaBA® examinations. (Note: applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.)
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis is a 32 credit-hour program for those with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university who wish to earn their BCBA® or BCaBA® credentials. The ABA master's degree envelops the seven VCS-approved behavioral science courses found in the non-degree core ABA coursework listed below. Additionally, students build on these core classes with SPD 663: Child Development and Behavior Analysis, SPD 665: Behavior Analysis and Exceptionalities, and their choice of one of the following concentrations or electives.
School Consultation Concentration
- SPD 667: Consultation and Collaboration in Educational Settings
- SPD 669: Special Education and Behavior Analysis
- SPD 683: Principles in Practice – School Experience
Autism Spectrum Disorders Concentration
- SPD 675: Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder
- SPD 677: Autism Spectrum Disorder Interventions
- SPD 685: Principles in Practice – ASD
- SPD 671: Advanced Behavior Assessment and Consultation
- SPD 673: Intervention Identification and Implementation
- SPD 681: Principles in Practice – Field Experience
All ABA course descriptions are available here.
Verified Course Sequence – ABA Required Coursework
For those with a master's degree, you will find our VCS-approved, non-degree core ABA course-work only pathway to most efficiently prepare you for the BCBA® or BCaBA® licensure exams. Marian's online core ABA curriculum consists of seven courses (18 credit hours total) administered 100 percent online over three to four semesters for you to learn and practice the behavior analytic skills required by the BACB.
- SPD 650: Behavior Analytic Concepts and Principles
- SPD 652: Advanced Behavior Analytic Concepts and Principles
- SPD 654: Behavior Assessment and Change
- SPD 656: Ethical Practice of Behavior Analysts
- SPD 658: Verbal Behavior Foundations and Application
- SPD 660: Experimental Design and Data Analysis
- SPD 662: Personnel Development and Management
Marian's non-degree courses focus on foundational concepts and philosophical underpinnings, as well as instruction specific to the BACB's Code of Ethics. Courses also include advanced behavior analytic concepts and principles and application of interventions, and personnel training and development. Further details and course descriptions on the core ABA courses are found here.
Careers Utilizing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Principles
Marian’s online ABA courses strengthen the preparation of future teachers and professionals that work directly with students and individuals who require additional support to develop socially appropriate behaviors in various social settings. ABA certification is an option for those with a desire to further their careers. Behavior analysts are able to support individuals exhibiting challenging behavior and/or are working to acquire new skills into their repertoire.
Thinking about earning ABA certification? Consider your options.
- BCBA certification: candidates should have an advanced degree, completed relevant VCS-approved training courses, and worked a number of supervised clinical hours.
- BCaBA certification: individuals should have completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, VCS-approved ABA coursework, and a certain amount of supervised practical experience. The BCaBA credential is an undergraduate-level behavior analysis certificate, and while individuals holding this distinction cannot practice independently, they can work under the supervision of a BCBA and monitor Registered Behavior Technicians.
Individuals holding a BCaBC or BCBA may seek full-time employment in that role. That said, there are many other professions where this credential can complement what you are already doing: This includes educators, social workers, and even mental health professionals.
BACB board certified behavior analysts are in high demand across the United States in countless industries. As companies and institutions sought to hire professionals with the explicit experience and credentials of trained BCBAs from 2010 to 2018, job postings skyrocketed a whopping 1,942 percent. Between 2017 and 2018 alone, available ABA related positions increased by 127 percent. And most recently, from April 2018 to March 2019, an outstanding 19,563 behavior analyst job openings were reported by Burning Glass Technologies (2019).
Apply to Marian's Online ABA Program
Candidates interested in Marian’s online ABA program must have previously completed a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.