Social Work, M.S.W. and Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S. Dual Degree

The Applied Behavior Analysis M.S. and Social Work, M.S.W, dual degree program is a dual certification program, as students are able to sit both for their licensing exam in social work and their certification in behavior analysis. This program can be completed in five semesters. Students interested in working with individual, family, group, organization, and/or community behaviors of marginalized populations would be well suited for this dual degree. Few programs in the United States blend social work and applied behavior analysis, so students who complete this dual degree will be able to achieve positions in a variety of fields. Graduates will have an advantage over other students in that they will both understand the principles of how and why behavior happens and how people operate in systems. 

For additional information, see the catalog entries for the following SLU programs:

Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S.

Social Work, M.S.W.

Financial Aid

We recognize that cost can be a concern when choosing to continue your education and have identified the following financial aid resources to assist you.

FAFSA and Other Resources

All incoming students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application. 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:


All new incoming students will receive a partial scholarship upon admittance thanks to our generous alumni and benefactors. Students may also qualify for federal graduate student loans and apply for assistantship and fellowship opportunities.


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 by the Doerr Center throughout the year.

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. Find more details on application components here.

Graduate Assistantships and Internships

By filling out a graduate assistantship/internships application, you will automatically be considered for a graduate assistantship or a graduate internship with the School of Social Work. Assistantships are appointed for one year. Students must reapply to be considered for a second year, and recipients are not guaranteed to receive subsequent/continuing internships.

Graduate assistantships are University-funded assistantships 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. Benefits include 12 months of health care coverage, a stipend and 18 credit hours of tuition remission. 

Depending on faculty needs, the graduate assistant works with one or two faculty members. Time is divided between both faculty mentors if the student is assigned to two. Students who receive a fully-funded University-funded assistantship in one year may not receive it in subsequent years. However, they remain eligible for graduate internship while pursuing a graduate degree in the School of Social Work.

Graduate internships are funded and awarded by the School of Social Work. They are assigned and funded for two semesters (a duration of nine months, 8 to 16 hours per week), working with assigned faculty. Graduate interns may be assigned to assist with administrative work, research or faculty teaching. Depending on the hours assigned, tuition benefits will differ; health insurance and stipends are not awarded for graduate internships.

Other Funding for Current Students

Current students may be eligible for conference/training funding, graduate assistantships and scholarships. 


The social work bachelor's and master's programs are accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). 

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
Council on Social Work Education logo

1701 Duke Street, Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314-3457
Phone: 703-683-8080 

Saint Louis University’s applied behavior analysis program is currently a Verified Course Sequence (VCS). Students who graduate from the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program will have completed all requirements necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) exam.

Applied Behavior Analysis M.S.

  1. Graduates will be able to assess relevant behavior analysis literature/scholarly contributions.
  2. Graduates will be able to apply behavioral theories, practices, policies or research methodologies.
  3. Graduates will be able to apply knowledge from applied behavior analysis to address problems in broader contexts.
  4. Graduates will be able to articulate applied behavior analysis explanations/arguments to a disciplinary/professional audience in both written and oral formats.
  5. Graduates will be able to evidence scholarly/professional integrity (ethics) in behavior analysis.

Social Work, M.S.W.

  1. Graduates will be able to demonstrate ethical and professional behavior.
  2. Graduates will be able to advance human rights and social, racial, economic and environmental justice.
  3. Graduates will be able to engage anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion (ADEI) in practice.
  4. Graduates will be able to engage in practice-informed research and research-informed practice.
  5. Graduates will be able to engage in policy practice.
  6. Graduates will be able to engage with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  7. Graduates will be able to assess individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  8. Graduates will be able to intervene with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
  9. Graduates will be able to evaluate practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.

M.S.W. Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes

Admission Requirements

Admission standards will not differ from either program. To be accepted into the dual degree program, students must apply to both separately and meet the requirements of both the M.S. ABA program and the M.S.W. program. There are several overlapping requirements currently including an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher, two letters of recommendation, and a statement of interest.

Program Requirements

The M.S.W. program requires 48 credits. The M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis requires 36 credit hours. Students will complete all necessary requirements of both degrees and certifications/licenses. Some of the courses (up to 20 credit hours total) will be taught such that they fulfill the requirements for both degrees. The dual degree program will require students to earn a minimum of 64 credit hours to complete the program.

Continuation Standards

Students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.00 in all graduate/professional courses. Any course with a letter grade B- or below will have to be retaken.

Roadmaps are recommended semester-by-semester plans of study for programs and assume full-time enrollment unless otherwise noted.  

Courses and milestones designated as critical (marked with !) must be completed in the semester listed to ensure a timely graduation. Transfer credit may change the roadmap.

This roadmap should not be used in the place of regular academic advising appointments. All students are encouraged to meet with their advisor/mentor each semester. Requirements, course availability and sequencing are subject to change.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
SWRK 5750 Social Work Practice with Individuals, Families, & Groups 3
ABA 5746 Principles & Concepts in Behavior Analysis 3
ABA 5774 Measurement & Experimental Design 3
ABA 5820 ABA Introduction to Practicum Seminar 1
ABA 5826 Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum I 2
SWRK 5725 Human Behavior & the Social Environment 3
ABA 5747 Behavioral Assessment 3
ABA 5748 Behavior Change and Process 3
SWRK 5819 Foundation Integrative Practice Seminar 1
SWRK 5821 MSW/ABA Foundation Practicum 2
ABA 5775 Basic Behavior Analysis 3
ABA 5001 Supervision and Organizational Behavior Management 3
SWRK 5733 Advanced Clinical Practice with Individuals 3
SWRK 5842 Clinical Practicum I 2
SWRK 5820 Integrative Practice Seminar 1
Year Two
SWRK 5702 Social Policy 3
SWRK 5751 Social Work Practice with Communities & Organizations 3
SWRK 5843 Clinical Practicum II 3
ABA 5115 Advanced Clinical Research Capstone 3
ABA 5002 Philosophy of Behavioral Science 3
SWRK 5762 Diagnosis & Assessment in Clinical Practice 3
SWRK 5736 Advanced Clinical Practice with Families and Groups 3
ABA 5118 Practicum V 1
SWRK 5707 Policy Practice for Social Justice 3
ABA 5749 Ethics in Behavior Analysis 3
 Total Credits64

Apply for Admission

For admission questions contact:

Social Work School Graduate Admissions Office

For program questions contact:

Kristi Richter, M.S.W., LCSW, CDFT
Director of Master of Social Work Program
Assistant clinical professor of Social Work

Natalie Parks, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA, IBA
Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program
Assistant Clinical Professor