Applied Behavior Analysis MS

Admission Requirements

Applicants must meet the general graduate admission requirements of the Graduate School, described in the UMSL Bulletin.  Students are considered for admission to the graduate program in Applied Behavioral Analysis only after they have formally applied for admission through the Graduate School.  Applications may be completed on-line.

In addition to Graduate School admission requirements, the following requirements apply:

  • An undergraduate degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Letter of Intent/Statement of Purpose (1-2 pages)
  • One Letter of Reference

Degree Requirements

To earn an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, students must complete at least 23 credit hours of graduate-level course work, 10 credit hours of practicum experience, and at least 6 credit hours of Thesis Research for which students will be required to write and defend a thesis.

Required Foundation Courses 

Students are required to complete the following courses within the first 15 credit hours of study.

SPEC ED 6641Basic Principles and Concepts of Behavior Analysis3
SPEC ED 6642Behavior Assessment3
SPEC ED 6643Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis3
Total Hours9

Required Courses

Students are required to complete the following courses.

SPEC ED 6644Behavior Interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPEC ED 6645Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPEC ED 6646Verbal Behavior Concepts and Applications3
SPEC ED 6647Advanced Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis3
SPEC ED 6648Behavior-Based Consultation and Supervision3
Total Hours15

Required Practicum Courses 

Through the course of five semesters, students are required to complete practicum courses in order to accrue the minimal hours of supervised experience required by the BACB to qualify for the BCBA exam.

SPEC ED 6651Practicum I in Applied Behavior Analysis2
SPEC ED 6652Practicum II in Applied Behavior Analysis2
SPEC ED 6653Practicum III in Applied Behavior Analysis 2
SPEC ED 6654Practicum IV in Applied Behavior Analysis2
SPEC ED 6655Practicum V in Applied Behavior Analysis2
Total Hours10

Required Research Courses 

Students take a minimum of 6 thesis credit hours (no more than 3 per semester) starting in year two of the program.

SPEC ED 6661Thesis in Applied Behavior Analysis6
Total Hours6

Thesis Requirement

Students are required to complete a total of 6 credit hours of thesis. The student will engage in sustained and self-motivated study through the research process, conferring with advisors, and drafting and revising a manuscript.  The thesis proposal must be approved by the committee and successfully defended. A committee chair will be identified, who will consult with the student on selecting two other members for the committee.

Students will work with their committee chair to identify a thesis project such as the following but not limited to a literature review, a scholarly tutorial, or an empirical study. The thesis project should be a scholarly work related to behavior analysis.

Students are expected to follow all other general requirements of the Graduate School regarding master’s degree and thesis requirements.