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Applied Behavior Analysis


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At Salve Regina University, our master’s degree program in applied behavior analysis prepares students for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam and promotes a thorough understanding of behavioral science. Our supportive, distinguished faculty guide students in becoming compassionate behavior analysts who assist people with autism and other developmental disabilities. In addition, our program nurtures students’ leadership and practical research skills.

Individuals with a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree in any major are qualified to apply to our applied behavior analysis program. Evening classes are available at our Newport campus, and we also coordinate sites for practicum placements.

Through our popular accelerated program, qualified undergraduates can earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in just five years.

Applied Behavior Analysis (M.A.)

Time to Complete


Two years

Program Format


Evening classes

Application Deadline


July 1

Explore Our Program

Our 12-course master’s degree in applied behavior analysis provides the coursework and practicum experience required to sit for the BCBA certification exam and prepares graduates for leadership roles in the field. Through their coursework, students build strong foundations and fluency in critical behavior analytic content, while the supervised practicum nurtures students’ clinical skills, preparing them for the practicalities of designing behavioral programs for clients. The curriculum offered in the applied behavior analysis program is a verified course sequence per the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Course Requirements

Required courses

  • PSY510: ABA Ethics and Professional Conduct
  • PSY511: History of Behaviorism
  • PSY520: ABA Concepts and Principles
  • PSY530: ABA Research Methods
  • PSY535: Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • PSY540: ABA Intervention
  • PSY550: ABA Assessment
  • PSY560: ABA Supervision and Systems
  • PSY570: Applied Behavior Analysis: Practicum I
  • PSY571: Applied Behavior Analysis: Practicum II
  • PSY590: ABA Advanced Seminar in Behavior Analysis

Students also choose one of the following:

  • PSY513: Educational Psychology
  • PSY521: Health Psychology
  • PSY523: Autism Spectrum and Other Developmental Disabilities
  • PSY525: Abnormal Psychology
  • PSY531: ABA Consultation
  • PSY533: Organizational Behavior Management
  • PSY542: Behavior Analysis and Societal Issues 
  • PSY551: Critical Thinking and Decision Making in Psychology
  • PSY580: Individual Research
  • PSY585: Thesis Research and Writing  
  • PSY599: Special Topics

Prerequisite Coursework

Applicants who do not have an introductory applied behavior analysis course on their transcript (or demonstrated relevant work experience on their resume) may be conditionally admitted and asked to complete PSY502: Survey of Behavior Analysis prior to enrollment. This course provides the foundational knowledge essential for success in our highly focused master's degree program. Students who successfully complete the prerequisite course will be fully matriculated into the program.

Salve Regina’s course requirements for the M.A. in applied behavior analysis embed the 315 hours of content required for verified course sequences through the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Prepare for BCBA Certification

For applied behavior analysis practitioners, BCBA certification is required for professional licensure in several states, including Rhode Island. The BCBA credential connects the high-quality education our students receive to greater professional pathways in applied behavior analysis.

Our applied behavior analysis course sequence has been verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International to meet the coursework requirements needed to take the BCBA certification exam. Applicants for certification will need to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Applied behavior analysis is one of the fastest-growing areas in psychology, and BCBA certification could uplift the careers of many human services professionals, including special education teachers, social workers, behavior technicians and clinical researchers.

Professional licensure disclosure

Learn More About Salve Regina’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program

Our applied behavior analysis program empowers students to fill the need for board-certified behavior analysts in a variety of settings.

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Program Spotlight: Jesse Perrin

Jesse Perrin, who earned his master's degree in applied behavior analysis from Salve Regina in 2017, said he was able to truly study, learn and grow into this ever-expanding field through the professors he encountered.

 The connections that I made while going to Salve … are connections within the field of behavior analysis that not only taught me a great deal in terms of coursework, but it's a nice complement as well when you can work with them once you become a behavior analyst.