Learn more about the Master of Science in Education in Applied Behavior Analysis.

About the Program

The Master of Science in Education program in Applied Behavior Analysis trains students to apply the principles of learning and behavior to influence behavior change that is significant to society. Students learn how to systematically change behavior by analyzing related environmental variables and applying interventions based on the principles of behavior science. Behavior analysts have improved a wide range of everyday issues, including enhancing staff performance, improving public safety initiatives, teaching effective parenting skills, treating problem behavior in children, improving general and special education teaching strategies, rehabilitating individuals who abuse substances, and more. This program fulfills the degree and coursework requirements and partially fulfills the supervised experience requirement for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) credential.

Graduates of the Applied Behavior Analysis MSEd program help fill the growing demand for individuals with applied behavior analytic training in social service agencies and educational institutions, particularly in service of individuals with autism and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Applied Behavior Analysis graduate degree also prepares educators, clinicians and other helping professionals to understand and implement interventions to address skill deficits and performance issues or problem behavior. Graduates of the program have a diverse set of skills, including the ability to analyze environmental variables affecting behavior, create individualized interventions, and assess the effectiveness of interventions to inform data-based decisions on modification and continuation.

Time Limit for Degree Completion: 5 years

Campus Location: Main, with some courses offered at off-site locations

Full-Time/Part-Time Status: Students complete the degree program through classes offered after 4:30 p.m. The degree program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis.

Interdisciplinary Study: The interdisciplinary Applied Behavior Analysis MSEd program blends courses in education and psychology. Courses are taught by faculty with top academic credentials and experience as practitioners.

Accreditation: The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) has verified the seven-course sequence of this MSEd's requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants need to, however, meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Job Prospects: Graduates are prepared for professional careers in a variety of environments, particularly in social service agencies and educational institutions.

Licensure/Certification: Coursework may apply toward earning the Behavior Specialist license from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Non-Matriculated Student Policy: Students may take up to, but not more than, 9 credits of graduate study in the program before being admitted to the program. The credits transfer into the program, if the student is admitted. Students completing non-matriculated courses before being admitted to the program are NOT guaranteed admission.

Financing Opportunities: Financial support opportunities may include scholarships, tuition remission, and other financial aid such as grants, loans and federal work study.

Admission Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadline:

Fall: March 1

Applicants should submit all required admissions documents by the application deadline to receive priority consideration for admission and financial support.

APPLY ONLINE to this graduate program.

Letters of Reference:
Number Required: 2

From Whom: Letters of recommendation should be obtained to provide insight regarding the applicant's academic competence. References from college/university faculty are recommended.

Bachelor's Degree in Discipline/Related Discipline: A bachelor's degree is required. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is expected.

International applicants should also submit an official document that validates completion and conferral of a degree, diploma and/or certificate. While not required, international applicants are encouraged to submit transcript(s) to the World Education Services (WES) for evaluation.

Statement of Goals: In 500 to 1,000 words, outline your interest in seeking a master’s degree with a specific focus on the career to which you aspire, your interests, and your academic and job-related experiences that are relevant to the program.

Standardized Test Scores:
Applicants who earned their baccalaureate degree from an institution where the language of instruction was other than English, with the exception of those who subsequently earned a master’s degree at a U.S. institution, must report scores for a standardized test of English that meet these minimums:

  • TOEFL iBT: 79
  • IELTS Academic: 6.5
  • PTE Academic: 53

Resume: Current resume required.

Interview: An interview with the faculty admissions committee may be required after a complete application is received.

Other Requirement: Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts from all accredited institutions attended and/or from which credit was earned must be submitted.

Credits Earned in a Certificate Program: Students who choose to enroll in the MSEd program may have up to 12 credits earned for either the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate or Autism Endorsement Graduate Certificate applied to the MSEd upon acceptance into the program. Completion of a certificate program does not guarantee admission into the master's program, and students who are accepted may have to complete more than 33 credits to meet all requirements for the master's program. Students currently enrolled in a certificate program and considering matriculation into a master's program are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 36

Required Courses:

Core Courses
ABA 5302Effective Teaching Strategies and Academic Interventions3
ABA 5303Ethical and Legal Issues3
ABA 5304Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis3
ABA 5305Single Subject Research Design3
ABA 5306Organizational Behavior Management - OBM3
or PSY 8610 Topical Seminar in Organizational-Social
ABA 5307Experimental Analysis of Behavior - EAB3
ABA 5676Applied Behavior Analysis3
ABA 8787Seminar on Verbal Behavior3
ABA 9387Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 16
Culminating Project
ABA 9991Applied Research Experience 26
Total Credit Hours36

Students are required to take two 150-hour practica for 3 credits each: ABA 9387 Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis. Acceptable practicum sites are those engaged in applied behavior analysis practice/research with the ability to provide ongoing supervision to students in the discipline. A list of approved sites is available, although other sites can be approved by the program.


ABA 9991 Applied Research Experience (3 s.h.) is taken twice for credit.

Culminating Event:
Applied Research Experience:
Students are required to select a research project and participate in supervised research activities through ABA 9991. They develop a research question and then may conduct a literature review, develop and/or follow a research protocol, collect and analyze data, and/or report research results as part of their research experience.


Program Web Address:

Department Information:

Dept. of Teaching and Learning

College of Education and Human Development

1301 Cecil B. Moore Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19122-6091


Submission Address for Application Materials:

Department Contacts:


Office of Enrollment Management


Graduate Advising:

College of Education and Human Development

Program Coordinator:

Dr. Jason Travers

Teaching and Learning Department Chair:

Dr. Kristie Newton