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Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis

Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis


Post Master’s Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

Help people with autism spectrum disorder and other intellectual disabilities achieve their greatest potential, in school and in life. Designed especially for students who wish to work in educational settings, the Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at Georgian Court University prepares you for careers as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®).

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Program Highlights


Certificate in ABA

2 years

Average time to complete





Total credits


Time of entry

Fall, Spring, or Summer

Theresa Brown

Master’s Degree in

Applied Behavior Analysis

Our course sequence has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). This means that when you graduate, you’ll meet the coursework requirement to be eligible to take the BCBA examination and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Our faculty include nationally recognized experts in applied behavior analysis who are also dedicated and accessible teachers, here to answer your questions and help you succeed. We will also help connect you with field experiences at regional mental and behavioral health care facilities to satisfy the experience requirement to be eligible to take the BCBA examination and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is used to help individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (such as autism spectrum disorder) to increase language and communication skills and decrease challenging behaviors. Grounded in the science of learning and behavior, ABA therapy has been proven to help children improve academic performance, form important social relationships, and generally support long-term healthy development through a variety of effective behavioral interventions. ABA can also be applied to assist athletes and employees in optimizing performance.

Yes. The Georgian Court University graduate assistantship program gives graduate students the financial resources necessary to pursue their degrees. This financial support—stipend, tuition remission, and benefits—is part of GCU’s commitment to the success of our graduate students.

Program Information

The Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis is a 39-credit program that provides training in the philosophy of behaviorism, basic and applied principles, assessment, and intervention strategies, as well as ethical practice in the field of applied behavior analysis.

*ABA505 is required for all students entering the MA in ABA program in Fall 2023.

MA in ABA Tracks:  Generalist, Autism Specialist, or School Specialist

Students select one of the following three tracks:  Generalist, Autism Specialist, or School Specialist.  Each track requires 39 credits, composed of 27 credits (9 courses) in required courses and 12 credits (four courses) in elective courses.  Students who earn a grade below a B- in any ABA course will be required to repeat that course. Students who earn two or more grades below a B- will be formally reviewed by program faculty and may be subject to academic dismissal.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterCredits
ABA501 Ethical & Professional Conduct 3.0
ABA503 Experimental Analysis of Behavior 3.0
Elective (chosen in consultation with program director; see list below) 3.0
Spring Semester
ABA504 Philosophy of Behaviorism 3.0
or SPS5910
Behavior Assessment
or Beh Assessment in Edu & Comm Settings
Elective (chosen in consultation with program director; see list below) 3.0
Summer Semester
ABA502 Measurement & Experimental Design 3.0
Second Year
Fall Semester
or SPS6911
Behavior Change Procedures I
or Beh Interventions in Edu & Comm Settings
ABA550 Practicum in Applied Behav. Analysis 3.0
Elective (chosen in consultation with program director; see list below) 3.0
Spring Semester
or SPS6912
Behavior Change Procedures II
or Adv Beh Chng Procdr in Edu&Comm Settings
ABA551 ABA Practicum Continuation 3.0
Elective (chosen in consultation with program director; see list below) 3.0
 Total Credits39.0
Autism Specialist Track Electives (select four)
EDC5301Nature & Needs Indivs w/Aut&PervasDevDis3.0
EDC5302Strategies Teach Students w/Aut & DevDis3.0
EDC5303Soc Communic Intervent Students w/ASD3.0
EDC5304Assess & Curr Inter for Autism Spec Dis 13.0
EDC5305Intervent & Supports Level 1 Char ASD 13.0
Any ABA elective3.0
School Specialist Track Electives (select four)
EDC5001Philo & Psych Found of Incl Ed3.0
EDC5032Comm Serv for Stdts at-Risk & w/ Except3.0
EDC5038Psychology of the Exceptional Child3.0
Any of the electives for the Autism Specialist Track 13.0
Generalist Track Electives (select four)
Any of the Autism Specialist Track or School Specialist Track Courses 112.0

Must take both EDC5304 Assess & Curr Inter for Autism Spec Dis and EDC5305 Intervent & Supports Level 1 Char ASD to earn postgraduate Certificate in Autism Studies from the School of Education

View the full curriculum and admission requirements.

If you’re interested in our Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis, here are other programs at GCU you might want to explore:

  • Psychology, B.A./Applied Behavior Analysis, M.A.
  • Clinical Mental Health Counseling, M.A.
  • School Psychology, M.A./Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study
  • NEWPost-Master’s Certificate in ABA
    • The certificate is for those with a master’s degree who wish to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts®. It prepare you to become a practitioner or researcher who is interested in working with individuals across a variety of settings including clinics, hospitals, schools, residential treatment facilities and business organizations.

      The Post-Master’s Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is a 21-credit program that has been approved as a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

      Successful completion of the 21-credit program satisfies the education requirement to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®) examination. Students can work toward satisfying the experience requirement to sit for the BCBA® examination upon entry into the program. For more information about becoming a BCBA®, see the BACB website.

      Start dates are flexible (fall, spring, summer). All courses are offered in a hybrid format.

Why Earn Your Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at GCU?

At GCU our Mercy Core Values permeate everything that we do. They provide a bedrock of integrity and social justice upon which our programs are built. We prepare you to do good work, so that you can go out into the world and serve others with excellence and compassion. Our Mercy Core Values inspire you to become an ethical supervisor and leader.

Our MA in ABA Program features:

Three tracks of study that are tailored to your career goals

  • Generalist
  • School Specialist
  • Autism Specialist

Partnerships with agencies and schools to help you identify opportunities to earn supervised fieldwork experience hours
BCBA exam preparation built into required coursework
Flexible start dates (fall, spring, summer)

Here are more reasons to earn your Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis at GCU.

Focus Your Degree in ABA Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders or Working in School Settings

In 2020, the CDC reported that approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Time at school can be especially challenging for children with autism and ABA therapy has proven to be among the few approaches that are consistently effective at dealing with behavioral disorders in classroom environments.

Work Closely With Caring, Experienced Faculty

Our ABA master’s program faculty include Ph.D.-level Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA-D) with extensive experience in the areas of clinical services, education, and research across a variety of client populations including autism and intellectual/developmental disabilities. Because our class sizes are small, you’ll also benefit from individualized attention and mentorship to support your academic and career goals.

Take Courses Needed to Sit for the BCBA Exam

Study with confidence in a rigorous, comprehensive degree program that meets the educational requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified GCU’s Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis core courses as meeting the coursework requirement for eligibility to take the BCBA exam.

Activities for kids with disabilities. Preschool Activities for Children with Special Needs. Boy
Applied Behavior Analysis

What Can You Do With a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis?

Our ABA degree is focused on positioning students to succeed in their work and their professions. Whether you’re a registered behavior technician ready to take the next step in your career, a special education teacher, or a recent undergraduate, our program is a great opportunity to take the next step to ABA therapist and open new opportunities for high-demand careers.

Applied Behavior Analysis Jobs

Although ABA therapists are generally known for their work with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ABA therapists also work with a wide range of populations and behavioral disorders. Opportunities for master’s level ABA therapists who become Board Certified Behavior Analysts include:

  • ABA therapist for school districts,
  • ABA therapist for home programs,
  • clinical director of programs that support people with autism,
  • parent or staff trainer, and
  • group home supervisor.

Applied Behavior Analysis Salary

According to PayScale, the nationwide average salary for BCBA was $73,000 as of July 2023. Indeed states that the average salary for BCBA in NJ was $115,000.

Keep in mind that an applied behavior analyst salary will vary depending on experience and education, and BCBAs will typically earn in the higher salary ranges for the field.

A thank you letter
I truly cannot say it enough - GCU is the best! The small class sizes were conducive to engaging lessons and meaningful relationships with faculty. Academically, the emphasis that is placed on planning behavior interventions provides GCU graduates with the knowledge necessary for life as a BCBA. Upon graduation, I felt proficient at identifying the functions of behavior, deescalating problem behavior, and planning for skill acquisition. GCU's institutional values, as well as the incredibly knowledgeable faculty and the precisely planned coursework, have produced ethical, competent, and innovative behavior analysts.
Applied Behavior Analysis student
Jillian Behan ’17, ’19
BCBA, Professional Therapy Associates
Robbinsville, NJ

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Deposit Deadline Extended to June 1

Georgian Court University has extended the deposit deadline to June 1 in response to the U.S. Department of Education announcement concerning delayed data availability from the revised Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Additionally, deposits are also refundable up to June 1. Click here for more information about the deposit extension.