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Doctor of Philosophy in Behavior Analysis

The doctoral program in behavior analysis at Western Michigan University prepares students for teaching, applied work and research involving behavioral pharmacology, business and industry, community mental health, developmental disabilities (including autism), education, government and substance abuse. A minimum of 78 semester hours, with a minimum grade of B in each course, is required. The student must have completed all M.A. requirements, including the M.A. project or thesis, before additional academic credits can count towards the Ph.D. Thirty hours of coursework and 12 dissertation credit hours are required following 36 credits counted towards the master's degree.

The Ph.D. program at Western Michigan University:


I. Core courses (27 credit hours)*

Area 1: Applied behavior analysis (6 credit hours)

This area should include two of the following:

One of the following may be substituted for one of the above
courses by petition:

Area 2: Experimental analysis of behavior (6 credit hours) Area 3: Conceptual and theoretical issues (6 credit hours) Area 4: Research methods and statistics (6 credit hours) Area 5: Professional issues (3 credit hours)

II. Elective courses (15 or more credit hours)

Area 6: Electives

The student also can select from psychology courses not listed above and from courses offered outside of the Department of Psychology. These courses must be relevant to the student's career goals as a behavior analyst and approved by the student's advisor prior to enrolling in the course.

III. Research and practical experience (27 or more credit hours)

Area 7: Master's thesis or project (6 credit hours) Area 8: Professional experience (9 or more credit hours) Area 9: Doctoral dissertation (12 credit hours) Area 10: Research tools

The student will show a working knowledge of two research tools (5-6 credit hours for each research tool). This knowledge will be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of course work and/or a clear demonstration of competence in tool use in the preparation, implementation and dissemination of research data. Research tools should be selected in conference with the student's dissertation committee.

Area 11: Professional and scholarly activity

The student will complete a six-hour examination prepared by his or her doctoral committee. The area of study is defined by the student in consultation with his or her advisor and dissertation committee. As an alternative, a student can publish a first-authored article or prepare and submit a grant proposal. These activities will be approved by appropriate faculty members.

**Students entering the Ph.D. program during the 2008-2009 academic year must follow these guidelines. Students enrolled at an earlier data may follow these guidelines, or those in place when they were admitted.

* Please note that a course cannot satisfy more than one requirement in Areas 1-6.
** PSY 5970/6970 is not a course for substitution petitions.