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 as a clinician or supervisor 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 will meet the educational requirements toward the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential.

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:
    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
    You must complete these courses at Purdue Global.

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.

Unless otherwise specified, Purdue Global's programs are not designed to meet any specific state’s licensure or certification requirements. Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

You are responsible for understanding the requirements of optional certification exams. Such requirements may change during the course of your program. You are not automatically certified in any way upon program completion. Although certain programs are designed to prepare you to take various optional certification exams, Purdue Global cannot guarantee you will be eligible to take these exams or become certified. Your eligibility may depend on your work experience, completion of education and/or degree requirements, not having a criminal record, and meeting other certification requirements.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the Purdue Global course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination given by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®).  Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. 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 examination in the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the territory of Guam, and all states.  

It is important to understand that the out-of-state requirements vary by state and can change with little to no warning. Students seeking licensure or certification in another state should inquire directly to the jurisdiction where employment is desired. The BCBA licensure requirements may be viewed at the following link:

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 Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) 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