M.S. or Ed.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis
NLU’s advanced degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) are designed for students interested in a career as a professional behavior analyst. Through NLU’s Master’s (M.S.) and post-Master’s Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degrees in ABA, students learn the fundamental underpinnings of behavioral learning theory and are trained in core practitioner skills, including assessment techniques, the design of skill acquisition and behavior reduction programming, and staff training and management strategies.
The thoroughgoing curriculum and training experiences will equip students to work in multiple settings and across multiple client demographics, including, but not limited to, children with autism or related disorders and adults with intellectual disabilities.
Consider getting your Applied Behavior Analysis degree at NLU if you:
- Are interested in expanding your knowledge of human behavior and the field of Applied Behavior Analysis
- Are interested in understanding the intersection of Applied Behavior Analysis and other related fields, such as education and psychology
- Are interested in working with a diverse population of clients in a wide range of clinical and educational settings
Students will learn about the historical and philosophical underpinnings of behavior analysis, in addition to its fundamental concepts and principles. In the classroom, students will learn core practitioner skills, including assessment techniques, the design of skill acquisition and behavior reduction programming, and staff training and management strategies. These skills will then be practiced during intensive practicum internships, which are a requirement for students in the M.S. in ABA program and optional for students in the Ed.S. in ABA program. Students in the M.S. in ABA program will also be expected to design and conduct a behavior-analytic experimental thesis.
Master of Science (M.S.): The M.S. degree is designed for students with a Bachelor’s degree who are looking for a program that focuses on training well-rounded behavior analysts in the professional practice of applied behavior analysis through an emphasis in the theoretical and scientific underpinnings of behaviorism.
Education Specialist (Ed.S.): The Ed.S. degree, as a post-Master’s degree, is designed for individuals who already hold a Master’s in Education, Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, Speech Language Pathology, Rehabilitation Sciences, or other related fields who wish to deepen their knowledge of ABA and integrate the professional practice of ABA into their current professional domains. There are two options available for the Ed.S.: a 27-semester hour Non-Practicum Track and a 38-semester hour Practicum Track.
Per the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's (BACB) national workforce report*, the demand for behavior analysts doubled between 2012 to 2014, with demand increasing in nearly every state. Per the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts' (APBA) 2009 Professional Employment Survey, "80% of respondents reported working full time. Of the remainder, 14.8% indicated that they worked part time by choice, and only 3% worked part time because they could not find additional work." The majority of respondents reported salaries ranging between $40,000 and $80,000, with an additional 25% of respondents reporting salaries greater than $80,000.
*Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). (2015). US behavior analyst workforce: Understanding the national demand for behavior analysts. Produced by Burning Glass Technologies on behalf of the BACB
**Johnston, J.M. (2009). APBA 2009 professional survey results
- Courses are taught in a blended model with weekly online programmed instruction modules, face-to-face class time, and weekly field experience opportunities, in addition to monthly workshops. This allows students the opportunity to work at their own pace learning foundational knowledge each week before synthesizing knowledge in the classroom and applying lessons learned during weekly field experiences. Monthly workshops provide the opportunity to review and reflect cumulatively on lessons learned.
- The practitioner-oriented curriculum focuses on helping students understand the field’s basic experimental beginnings and translating that science into the practice of behavior analysis.
- Through an Intensive practicum, field experience hours are completed in less time while students receive extensive support and supervision from both a faculty member and on-site supervisor.
- M.S. program includes an experimental thesis with an applied focus, allowing students to bridge research and practice while completing their field experience.
All applicants must meet NLU's general admission requirements, as well as additional requirements specific to an M.S. or Ed.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis. Refer to the appropriate application checklist available online at nl.edu/applyonline.
Get more information today about enrolling in NLU's Applied Behavior Analysis degree programs. Connect with an Enrollment Specialist or call 888.NLU.TODAY (888-658-8632).