Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Description and Outcomes

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis emphasizes coursework that develops the understanding and application of applied behavioral theories and concepts. Content topics include behavioral assessment, treatment intervention and evaluation using a scientist-practitioner approach with a focus on ethical practice, and management and supervision processes.

The curriculum integrates learning modules to help prepare you to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) certification exam. This verified course sequence is designed to prepare you to work in the field of behavior analysis with a diverse population of clients in a variety of community and educational settings.

The program culminates with a capstone experience that incorporates a BCBA certification prep exam. Successful completion of the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis meets the educational requirements toward the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential in all states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territory of Guam.

Please refer to the website of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc., for full eligibility requirements as well as the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section for important program disclosure information.

Program Length

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program consists of a minimum of 45 quarter credit hours. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a master of science degree.

Program Outcomes

  1. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Examine how assessment and intervention procedures in applied behavior analysis are derived from behavioral theories and concepts. 
  2. Disciplinary Knowledge and Skills: Evaluate psychological and behavioral theories and concepts in relation to various real-world situations within the field of applied behavior analysis.
  3. Research and Analysis: Develop appropriate evidence-based practice strategies using the theoretical and conceptual foundations of applied behavior analysis. 
  4. Professionalism and Ethics: Integrate relevant legal, ethical, individual, cultural, and social validity standards and guidelines established within the field of applied behavior analysis.

Professional Competencies

In addition to the discipline-specific outcomes, professional competencies are integrated throughout your academic program. You can review the professional competencies associated with your academic program in the Professional Competencies section of this Catalog.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.


Progression Requirements

  1. You can enroll in no more than three courses per term.
  2. You may not use credit for prior learning to fulfill the following courses; you must complete these courses at Purdue Global. In addition, to be eligible to satisfy certification requirements and ensure your knowledge is current, you may be required to retake the following courses if you are a returning student and completed them more than 5 years prior to your re-enrollment. You may request exceptions, based on relevant coursework and professional experience, from the Dean or a designee.
    Code Title Credits
    PS507Ethics for Behavior Analysts5
    PS555Applied Behavior Analysis Fieldwork5
    PS558Behaviorism and Philosophical Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis5
    PS560Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis5
    PS561Concepts of Measurement and Experimental Designs5
    PS562Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis5
    PS563Implementing Procedures for Behavior Change5
    PS564Clinical Applications, Supervision, and Management5
    PS565Master's Capstone in Applied Behavior Analysis5

Fieldwork Requirements

If you elect to take PS555 Applied Behavior Analysis Fieldwork, you are responsible for locating a site in which to complete those hours and passing a background check for the site. You are also required to complete an orientation. You must complete all pre-fieldwork placement requirements and have permission of the Clinical Placement Team in order to enroll in a course that includes completion of practicum or field placement hours. A list of requirements is available from the Clinical Placement Team.

If you feel that you may not be able to complete the PS555 Applied Behavior Analysis Fieldwork prescribed requirements in 10 weeks, you must contact the Clinical Placement Team in order to gain an extension in the course. If an extension is granted, you will enroll in PS559 Practicum Field Placement Extension which will allow you 10 extra weeks to complete the requirements of PS555 Applied Behavior Analysis Fieldwork. Enrollment in this course will only be granted at the discretion of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams


Certain state certification and licensure boards have specific educational requirements for programs to lead to a license or certification that is a precondition for employment in a recognized occupation. Prospective and current students must review Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site to view program and state-specific licensure information.

Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) examination (via Pathway 2). Applicants will need to meet additional Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) eligibility requirements, including evidence of residency in an authorized country, before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
  • PS507 Ethics for Behavior Analysts
  • PS558 Behaviorism and Philosophical Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PS560 Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PS561 Concepts of Measurement and Experimental Designs
  • PS562 Assessment in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PS563 Implementing Procedures for Behavior Change
  • PS564 Clinical Applications, Supervision, and Management

Please refer to the BACB’s website for full eligibility requirements (

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis meets educational requirements for the BCBA credential in all states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territory of Guam.  

It is important to understand that the requirements for behavior analysts vary by state and can change with little to no warning. Students seeking employment as a behavior analyst should inquire directly to the jurisdiction where employment is desired, as some states require additional licensure or certification. The BACB U.S. state licensure requirements may be viewed at the following link: The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis meets the educational requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam that is required for the Behavior Specialist certification in Pennsylvania. Additional educational requirements for certification may be required in Pennsylvania.

Beginning January 1, 2023, applications for BCaBA or BCBA certification from candidates who live outside of the United States and other designated countries will no longer be accepted, per the BACB's Global Certification policies. Specific information regarding this policy can be found on the BACB’s website at

The BACB can be contacted at:

Behavior Analyst Certification Board
8051 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127
Tel: 720-438-4321