|Major Code: 8147
||Degree Awarded: Master of Science
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom, Off-site
||Age Restriction: No
|Admission Status: Graduate
||Location(s): Main Campus, Orlando
|Admission Materials: 3 letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, GRE
David A. Wilder, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the applied research branch of the behavioral sciences. It includes the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental modifications to produce changes in behavior that are socially significant. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior. Based on the findings of descriptive and functional analyses, ABA uses antecedents and consequences to produce practical change. ABA is based on sound scientific principles and has a solid research foundation that proves its effectiveness. ABA is based on the belief that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables such as genetics. Thus, it focuses on explaining behavior in terms of external events (that can be manipulated) rather than internal constructs (that are beyond our control).
An applicant should hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education in which they should have maintained a grade point average of 3.0 (B) or higher. An applicant should submit an application form, the provided supplemental form and the graduate application fee. Applicants should submit a statement of career objectives, résumé, three letters of recommendation and Graduate Record Examination General Test scores. In addition, official transcripts must be submitted of all undergraduate and graduate courses attempted. All applications should be submitted by February 15, but will be accepted throughout the year. Pre-admission visits to the campus and conferences with faculty and students are strongly encouraged. At the discretion of the admissions committee, any student who is admitted but has not completed one of these courses (basic principles of learning (or conditioning), basic principles of behavior or an introductory course in behavior analysis), may be required to complete the prerequisite before they are able to register for ABA core courses. The prerequisite course is in addition to the credits required for a degree.
A minimum of 44 semester credit hours is required. Requirements include completing the behavior analysis core curriculum (22 credit hours), a course covering biological foundations of behavior and pharmacology (3 credit hours), and intensive practical training (9 credit hours). Furthermore, students will be required to complete a capstone project and five credit hours of pre-approved electives. However, students are encouraged to substitute a thesis preparation course, a minimum of six credit hours of thesis and a one-credit pre-approved elective in lieu of the capstone option, but must have the support of a behavior analysis faculty member who will chair the committee. In addition all students must pass a final program examination that consists of a multiple-choice examination simulating the Behavior Analyst Certification Board certification examination at the behavior analyst (BCBA) level and covers material from all required behavior analysis courses. The final program examination is administered toward the end of the student’s second spring semester. All courses for a letter grade must be passed with a grade of B or better.