Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S.
Saint Louis University's program in applied behavior analysis involves the application of behavioral principles to produce socially significant changes in behavior. The curriculum includes six three-credit courses, six credits of thesis, and three three-credit practica. The program requires 39 credits, as follows:
- Principles and concepts in behavior analysis
- Measurement and experimental design
- Assessment and selecting interventions
- Behavior change and processes
- Behavior change and ethics
- Special topics I and II
- Mission and practice of global public health
- Practica (nine credits), each with an integrative seminar
- Thesis (six credits)
SLU's applied behavior analysis curriculum includes six three-credit courses, six credits of thesis, and three, three-credit practica courses. Students must complete 1,000 hours of field practicum under the supervision of a board-certified behavior analyst. This program is offered in full-time and part-time formats.
This program is also offered with a specialization in gerontology, which includes two additional three-credit courses and requires that two of the practica focus on older adults. Students can complete the M.S. in either five semesters (full-time plan) or in six semesters (part-time plan) based upon the needs of the student and depending on thesis completion schedule.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
Students seeking BCBA certification must complete 1,000 clock hours of field practicum (333-334 hours per semester) under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Five hours a week need to be research hours with SLU BCBA faculty.
Fieldwork and Research Opportunities
SLU's applied behavior analysis program offers students a practice-integrated education. Students are transformed into knowledgeable, ethical, scientist-practitioners prepared for a range of clinical and management careers across the health, education and social services sector.
After graduation, applied behavior analysis students are eligible to sit for the examination to become a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Alumni from this program have gone on to provide behavioral health services to a range of individuals, from children and adults with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders to leading state education initiatives and advocacy projects.
Practitioners use direct assessments, research evidence, and single-subject research designs to inform and evaluate interventions designed to increase behavior (e.g., social skills) or decrease behavior (e.g., aggression). ABA approaches may involve services for a full spectrum of mental health disorders, especially developmental disorders. Other areas of practice include work with communities and organizations.
Successful applicants should possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00.
It is recommended that students have taken prior coursework in applied behavior analysis or have independently studied ABA texts.
- Application form and fee $65
- Three letters of recommendation (two academic, one professional)
- Professional statement
Requirements for International Students
All admission policies and requirements for domestic students apply to international students along with the following:
- Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
- Proof of financial support must include:
- A letter of financial support from the person(s) or sponsoring agency funding the time at Saint Louis University
- A letter from the sponsor's bank verifying that the funds are available and will be so for the duration of study at the University
- Academic records, in English translation, of students who have undertaken postsecondary studies outside the United States must include the courses taken and/or lectures attended, practical laboratory work, the maximum and minimum grades attainable, the grades earned or the results of all end-of-term examinations, and any honors or degrees received. WES and ECE transcripts are accepted.
All applicants who apply by the priority deadline of March 1 are reviewed for merit-based scholarships. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed for admissions
until August 1. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, students must fill out the GA application found under the Scholarship and Financial aid tab by March 1.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. As soon as an application is complete, it is reviewed. Admission decisions are based upon overall application. Clinical experience in behavior analysis, potential or demonstrated leadership, and some background in research are important factors that are taken into consideration.
Scholarships and Financial Aid
We recognize that when choosing to continue your education, cost can be a concern. To help ease that decision, we have identified the following financial aid resources.
FASFA and Other Resources
All incoming students should complete the application for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). A step-by-step guide to submitting your FAFSA is available online.
Saint Louis University Student Financial Services provides a Graduate Financial Aid Handbook that outlines the process of financing your graduate education.
The following links to resources in Saint Louis University Student Financial Services may also be helpful:
New and continuing students are eligible for merit-based scholarships. Prospective students who apply for admission by the priority deadline are automatically screened for scholarship eligibility. No additional application is required; awards are based on information provided in the admission application.
March 1 for Fall
Please note that the terms of scholarship are subject to change if the student petitions for a degree transfer or fails to remain in good academic standing.
The Doerr Fellowship for Equity and Inclusion is a full-tuition fellowship funded by the School of Social Work for new and continuing students. A separate application is required with a deadline of March 1. This fellowship requires that recipients serve as members of the School of Social Work's Equity and Inclusion Committee. Recipients will also be expected to actively participate in the diversity, equity, and inclusion activities sponsored throughout the year by the Doerr Center.
Newly accepted master's or doctoral students and students in the first year of a program are eligible to apply for a University-wide Diversity, Dissertation or Presidential fellowship. You must first submit the full application minus the nomination letter to the School of Social Work by Jan. 2 to be considered for nomination. Please click here for more details on application components. Completed applications including all application components minus the nomination letter should be submitted as a PDF to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By filling out a graduate assistantship application you will automatically be considered for a full or partial graduate assistantship with the School of Social Work. Assistantships are appointed for one year. Students must reapply to be considered for a second year and there are no guarantees that recipients will receive subsequent/continuing assistantships.
Full graduate assistantships are University-funded assistantships (UFA) are awarded by the School of Social Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 20 hours per week, working with designated faculty. Most full assistantships are assigned to help faculty with research (GRA) and a small number may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA), or faculty teaching (GTA).
The full graduate assistant works with one or two faculty, depending on faculty needs. Time is divided between both faculty mentors, if the student is assigned two. Students who receive a fully-funded UFA in one year may not receive a UFA in subsequent years, although they remain eligible for partial assistantships throughout their pursuit of a graduate degree in the School of Social Work.
• 18 credit hour tuition remission (nine per semester)
• 9-month stipend (paid in nine equal payments at the end of the month – August through April)
• Health insurance for nine months
Partial graduate assistantships are funded and awarded by the School of Social Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters, a duration of nine months, 8-16 hours per week, working with assigned faculty. Partial assistantships may be assigned to assist with administrative work (GA), research (GRA), or faculty teaching (GTA). Depending on the hours assigned, tuition benefits will differ; health insurance and stipends are not awarded with partial assistantships.
Current students may be eligible for conference/training funding, graduate assistantships and scholarships. For more information and applications, visit the School of Social Work's Google Site.
- Graduates will be able to assess relevant behavior analysis literature/scholarly contributions.
- Graduates will be able to apply behavioral theories, practices, policies or research methodologies.
- Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from applied behavior analysis to address problems in broader contexts.
- Graduates will be able to will articulate applied behavior analysis explanations/arguments to a disciplinary/professional audience in both written and oral formats.
- Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly/professional integrity (ethics) in behavior analysis.
|ABA 5746||Principles & Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5774||Measurement & Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5747||Assessment & Selecting Interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5748||Behavior Change & Processes in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5749||Behavior Change & Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5931||Special Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|ABA 5826||Practicum I||2|
|ABA 5820||ABA Integrative Seminar I||1|
|ABA 5830||ABA Integrative Seminar II||0|
|ABA 5840||ABA Integrative Seminar III||0|
|ABA 5827||Practicum II||3|
|ABA 5828||Practicum III||3|
|ABA 5990||Thesis Research||6|
|ABA 5950||Special Study for Exams||0|
|ABA 5932||Special Topics II in Applied Behavior Analysis||3|
|PUBH 5010||Mission and Practice of Global Public Health||3|
Persons seeking BACB certification must complete 333-334 clock hours of ABA field practicum/semester under the supervision of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Five hours a week need to be research under the supervision of Alyssa Wilson, Ph.D. Fall practica placement is dependent upon initial meeting with practicum liaison and date of acceptance.
Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses.
For additional admission questions please contact,
Kristi Richter, MSW, LCSW
Director of Graduate Recruitment and Admissions
School of Social Work