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Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis

The Master of Arts Degree Program in Behavior Analysis prepares students for doctoral study work or for work at the MA level with individuals and organizations in developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, community mental health, education, government, business, and industry.  A minimum of 36 hours is required, and a minimum grade of B is required in all coursework in the program.

Undergraduate preparation

An undergraduate major in Psychology is preferred; a minimum of 18 hours in Psychology is required for admission.  These hours must include:

  1. An introductory course in statistics.  The equivalent course at Western Michigan University is PSY 3000.
  2. A minimum of 8 hours in both experimental and applied behavior analysis, including laboratory and field experience.  Equivalent courses at WMU include PSY 3300, PSY 3570, or PSY 3600, PSY 3770, and PSY 4600.

Students whose academic backgrounds do not contain preparatory experiences will be required to remediate program deficits through completion of PSY 5100 and additional course work.  Specific courses will be determined in conference with the student’s advisor.  Generally, such remedial work will be in addition to the minimum of 36 hours for the completion of the Master of Arts degree.


Area I: Principles of Learning and Motivation (3 credit hours) Area II: Theoretical Issues in Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours) Area III: Professional Issues (3 credit hours)
Area IV: Applications of Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)

Area V: Cognates (0-3 credit hours)
The course must be relevant to the student’s career goals as a behavior analyst and approved by the student’s advisor prior to enrolling in that course.  This can be a course from outside the Psychology Department.

Area VI: Research Methods (3 credit hours)

Area VII: Master's Thesis or Project (6 credit hours)
The student can select to do either a traditional Master’s Thesis or an approved Master’s Project.  The student will develop, implement and conduct research or a project in behavior analysis.  In the case of the thesis, the student will effectively communicate the data and the interpretation of the data in a written document of publishable quality.  Furthermore, the student will defend the research design and the interpretation of the data to a thesis committee.  In the case of the project, the student will present a summary of the activities and results in writing and orally, at the discretion of the student’s committee.

Area VIII: Behavioral Analysis: Theory and Application (6-15 credit hours)
Behavior Analysis Industrial/Organizational Clinical

Area IX: Professional Experience (0-9 credit hours)
The practicum 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 practicum.



And ONE of the following courses:

These are the courses in our Approved Course Sequence that meets the 4th Edition Task List requirements for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.  If you do not complete them or if you substitute courses for these in your curriculum, you may not be approved by the Board to sit for the exam. Completion of these courses and the required supervised field experience is needed to qualified to sit for the exam.  This does not guarantee that they will be certified, only that they will be able to sit for the exam.