Jul 15, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Graduate Catalog

Applied Behavior Analysis, Ph.D.

College of Behavioral and Community Sciences  
Department: Child and Family Studies 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is widely regarded as the most research-based intervention for individuals with autism. ABA is an applied science and a profession that provides services to meet the diverse needs of individuals. The emphasis of the ABA doctoral major is on the development of behavior analysts who are scientist-practitioners. Students graduating from the major will receive training through coursework and research and practice activities with community partners.

Major Research Areas:
ABA, Applied Behavior Analysis, autism, behavior, behavior analysis, behavior management, behavioral intervention, children, developmental disabilities, experimental analysis of behavior, functional assessment, and positive behavior support.

Admission Information

Must meet University Admission and English Proficiency requirements as well as requirements for admission to the major, listed below.

  • Master’s degree in behavior analysis or related field with strong behavior analysis content
  • Minimum 3.50 GPA in a master’s major
  • GRE required, preferred scores of:
    • Verbal – 40 percentile or above
    • Quantitative – 40 percentile or above
    • Analytical – 40 percentile or above
  • Research experiences and expertise
  • Three strong letters of recommendation
  • Campus visit and interview with ABA faculty members
  • Personal statement describing experience and accomplishments in ABA, future goals, and reasons for applying
  • CV

Students entering the doctoral major with their master’s degree are expected to have completed:

  • 18 credit hours of didactic coursework in behavior analysis in the following areas: Basic behavioral principles (3 credits), research methods (3 credits), conceptual foundations (3 credits), applied behavior analysis (6 credits), and ethics (3 credits)
  • An accepted master’s thesis, and
  • 10 hours of practicum seminar.

Students lacking in any of these prerequisites will be required to take classes in the doctoral major to cover the missing prerequisites.

Curriculum Requirements

Total Minimum Hours - 54 Credit Hours (Post-Master’s)

  • Core - 21 Credit Hours
  • Independent Research - 15 Credit hours
  • Dissertation - 18 Credit Hours Minimum

Independent Research (15 Credit Hours)

15 credit hours of independent research are required.

Qualifying Exam

  • Successful completion of two literature review papers (approved by the student’s advisor and the graduate director)
  • Passing score on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Certification Exam (Students who do not pass the exam may take the exam a second time)

Dissertation (18 Credit Hours)

The dissertation will consist of original research designed and conducted by the student under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The student will assemble a dissertation committee consisting of the adviser and three other faculty members (see Office of Graduate Studies policy on Doctoral Committees for more details).