Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis
Sample MS in ABA Curriculum (39 credit hours of classroom and practica courses)
Full Time Plan
Year 1-Fall (9 credit hours) Saturday Courses
Year 1-Spring (9 credit hours) Saturday Courses
Year 1-Summer (9 credit hours) Two Evenings During the Week
Year 2-Fall (6-12 credit hours)
Year 2-Spring (0-6 credit hours)
The minimum total credit-hours required is 39.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) involves the application of behavioral principles to produce socially significant changes in behavior. 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., smoking).
Client populations served include children, adolescents, adults and older adults. ABA approaches may involve services for a full spectrum of mental health disorders, especially pervasive developmental disorders. Other areas of practice include work with communities and organizations.
The curriculum includes eight 3-credit hour courses and three practica. Students must complete 1,000 hours of field practicum under the supervision of a board certified behavior analyst and defend a thesis. We offer this program in full-time and part-time format. This program is also offered with a specialization in gerontology, which includes one additional 3-credit hour course and requires that two of the practica focus on older adults. Students can complete the MS in a minimum of 6 semesters, but the total time to complete the degree is based on the individual's length of thesis process.
This Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is for students who have already earned a master's degree. It includes seven 3-credit hour courses and an optional nine hours of supervised field education. Students must start the program in the fall semester with two courses for two semesters and one course in the final semester.
Faculty and Research
SLU's faculty are internationally recognized as leaders in applied behavior analysis. Our faculty have diverse research interests, including:
- Assessment and treatment of problem behavior exhibited by individuals with intellectual disabilities
- Assessment and treatment of disordered gambling
- Complex human behavior
- Translational research in behavior analysis
Admission Requirements and Deadlines
Applicants are required to submit a résumé, professional statement, three confidential reference letters (two academic references and one professional reference) and transcripts. Applicants are also required to complete an interview. Additional factors considered in determining an applicant's eligibility include academic achievement, strength of the undergraduate program attended, work experience, previous graduate degrees, motivation, leadership and service.
Applicants must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university, a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 and 24 credit hours completed in the liberal arts. These should reflect a range of courses in the social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, history, English, literature, philosophy, theology and fine arts.
Students may be asked to undergo a criminal background check or drug screening to secure placements at certain practicum sites. In addition, Saint Louis University requires all full-time graduate and professional students to have basic health insurance coverage.
The priority deadline is March 1 for fall; the final deadline is August 1. Applicants must have submitted their application by the priority deadline to be considered for graduate assistantships and scholarships.
The School of Social Work offers new and continuing students partial tuition-remission merit-based scholarships ranging from $500-$10,000. Applicants who do not initially meet the scholarship criteria or who have applied for a scholarship and were not awarded a scholarship may re-apply during their first semester. Applicants who do not meet the merit criteria are encouraged to explore opportunities available through the Office of Financial Aid. Applicants who apply by the priority deadline can also apply for graduate assistantships.
Why Choose SLU
- SLU has the only Applied Behavior Analysis program that is part of a School of Social Work.
- SLU is the first in the nation to offer a Master of Social Work with an Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration.
- SLU- ABA graduates have a BCBA pass rate higher than the national average.
If you'd like more information about SLU's Applied Behavior Analysis program, fill out our information request form to contact our office of admission.
Applications are now being accepted for the fall semester. If you're ready to get started, apply now.