A master’s in ABA is a degree needed to work in the field of behavior analysis. A master’s degree and certification in ABA is often required when students want to become licensed to work in the field of behavior analysis. You will also need to obtain the BACB’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst designation if you want to work as an independent ABA in the field.
It’s important to choose a graduate program that has been accredited. This gives you the best opportunity to obtain the qualifying designation.
Top 5 Masters in ABA in 2021
|1||McNeese State University||Lake Charles, Louisiana|
|2||University of Nevada||Reno, Nevada|
|3||St. Cloud University||St. Cloud, Minnesota|
|4||Caldwell University||Caldwell, New Jersey|
|5||Endicott College||Beverly, Massachusetts|
Choosing a Masters in ABA
A board-certified behavior analyst can earn a significant amount annually, but it depends on their role. The 2019 median pay was around $46,240, though some people earn $80,000 or even more depending on their specialties. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 23% increase in the number of jobs available for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors between 2019 and 2029.
The following is a list of the top 15 schools where you can earn a master’s in ABA. These are ranked from best to worst based on tuition and enrollment. If you are still interested in learning more, let us help you find the right educational program for your schooling.
The Best 15 Schools for a Masters in ABA
McNeese State University
McNeese State University, located in Lake Charles, LA, tops our list with a robust graduate program featuring a MA in Psychology with a concentration in ABA available on-campus and online-only. The on-campus program is accredited by ABAI. On average, over 10 students earn this degree from McNeese annually. GRE scores are required to enter into this program.
University of Nevada
The University of Nevada offers an MA in Psychology with a specialization in behavior analysis. GRE scores are needed to apply to the program, which is conducted with a junior-colleague model.
St. Cloud University
St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis is a top-ranked academic program for educating practitioners to help children who are diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder to thrive. Students learn from faculty who are nationally regarded for their teaching and research in the field of applied behavioral science.
St. Cloud State’s program has board certification application pass rates that average near 100 percent and with an online format, students attend from across the world. In 2022 St. Cloud State is launching a Doctorate of Psychology in ABA that prepares students to serve clients and manage a clinic.
Located in Caldwell, New Jersey, Caldwell University offers an MA in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Students need to have a GRE or MAT to enter the program unless they already hold a master’s degree. The program does require students to complete an original thesis with the principles of ABA.
Endicott College is located in Beverly, Massachusetts, and offers several ABA degrees with various focuses such as autism, special education, and non-licensure special education. No entrance exams are required, and small classes make this a good program for students.
Southern Illinois University
Southern Illinois University offers an MS in Behavioral Analysis and Therapy. This program is designed to train students to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) or advance onward towards doctoral training to eventually become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (BCBA-D). The degree is offered in the traditional on-campus format in Carbondale and in an innovative online format that consists of 100% of all coursework online. Students will be able to practice behavioral techniques learned in the classroom in actual clinical settings. They will have access to diverse populations of clients ranging from children with autism, adults with brain injury, and elderly persons suffering from dementia. The Southern Illinois University Carbondale master’s degree program in Behavioral Analysis and Therapy is board-accredited by the Association for Behavioral Analysis International (ABAI).
California State University
California State University offers an MS in Counseling with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis. No entrance exam is required to enter into this program, which is beneficial for those without a GRE.
University of North Texas
The University of North Texas offers an MS in Behavior Analysis. This program requires a GRE and accepts students from around the world. It was the first program of its kind to get the BAAB-ABAI accreditation.
Teachers College, Columbia University
Located in New York City, Teachers College at Columbia University offers an MA in Teaching as Applied Behavior Analysis. This program only accepts between 15 and 25 students to its program annually. A GRE is required for admission.
University of Kansas
At the University of Kansas, students can get an MA in Applied Behavioral Science. This course doesn’t require a GRE, but it is encouraged. Only four ABA master’s degrees are awarded annually from this competitive program.
Florida Institute of Technology
At the Florida Institute of Technology, students can get an MA in Applied Behavior Analysis on campus. They can also get a dual degree in organizational behavior management. The GRE may be required for this program.
University of South Florida
The University of South Florida offers an MS or MA in Applied Behavior Analysis with on-campus or online options. The programs do require students to have passed the GRE. The classes come in 8-week seminars with 1,000 hours of supervised experience.
Eastern Michigan University
Eastern Michigan University offers an MS in Clinical Behavioral Psychology. The program’s course sequence is verified by ABAI and the coursework prepares students to be eligible for both the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Limited License Psychologist (LLP) credentials when the relevant practicum experiences are met. The GRE is typically required for entrance but will be optional for the 2022 application cycle. Program graduates are changing lives with behavioral science in diverse practice domains.
University of Cincinnati
Ohio State University
Ohio State University offers an MA in Educational Studies and Special Education with an ABA emphasis. The program is accredited by the Behavior Analysis Accreditation Board of ABAI.
In this article, we have listed the schools above from our preferred school to the least preferred. These are ranked based on tuition and enrollment, with higher tuition rates and enrollment being negative. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. Keep in mind that the list is not guaranteed and may be altered at any time.
Does Your School’s Ranking Concern You?
If you work at one of these schools and are concerned about your ranking, the information provided here, or have questions about anything at all, please contact us. We’re happy to speak with you about this list and can update information as needed. If you’d like to have your school represented here, let us know!