What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is an approach to psychological science that uses learning theory and behavioral research strategies to understand and influence socially important behaviors. Often when people think of ABA, they think of working with autistic clients, usually children. While this is an important population that ABA professionals serve, it is not the only population.
ABA professionals, known as Board Certified Behavior Analysts, work in a number of settings including schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and human service settings. Analysts work with individuals to improve performance on socially influential behaviors. BCBAs can treat individuals across the age span to address individual occupational performance, problematic behaviors, or instructional techniques for individuals with disabilities.
Why pursue a career in Applied Behavior Analysis?
- Employability: 4000% increase in job postings over last 10 years.
- Great pay: Earn an average of $70,000/year.
- Versatility: Work in a variety of settings, including as a private practitioner.
Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis
NMU's ABA program is designed with a clinical focus and meets all educational requirements for national certification and state licensure. The program is completed full-time in 5 semesters. Course content focuses on the following:
- Behavior principles and theory
- Assessment and treatment procedures
- Research and experimental methods
- Staff training
Students benefit from hands-on learning through practicum at the Behavior Education Assessment and Research (BEAR) Center. The BEAR center is a university clinic and research facility overseen by the Department of Psychological Sciences. The center provides behavior and learning support to the Marquette community.
Important program outcomes and benefits
- 76% first time pass rate for BCBA certification test
- 100% of 20/21 graduates offered jobs in their field
- Most grads are offered job during their final semester
- Faculty supervision and training
- Interdisciplinary practicum experience alongside NMU Nursing degree candidates
The ABA Master's program is open to students from all disciplines. Those with a bachelor's degree in one of the following disciplines may be exceptionally well-suited:
- Speech/Language/Hearing Sciences
- Social Work
- Neuroscience (cognitive & behavioral)
Application requirements include:
- Bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA
- Personal statement outlining interest in the program, expectations for the program, and career goals
- Curriculum Vitae or academic resume
- Three letters of reference