Erika Lasrado
Written By - Erika Lasrado

Check MarkEdited By Darryl S.

Check MarkReview & Contribution By Dr. Milton N. Hall

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific discipline focused on understanding and modifying behavior. It integrates principles that examine how behaviors change in response to the environment and how learning occurs. Behavior, referring to essential skills for daily life, can be systematically influenced through interventions. ABA applies established learning principles, behavioral strategies, and environmental modifications to teach and improve behaviors systematically. In practice, systematic implementation enables teachers to identify and understand behavioral changes and learning processes. The ultimate goal is to enhance socially significant behaviors, covering academic, social, communication, and daily living skills, to improve individual independence and overall quality of life.

Applied Behavior Analysis

Table Of Contents

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

Best Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Selecting the best ABA Maste’rs online programs involves meticulously evaluating faculty expertise, program accreditation, and curriculum content. OMC’s dedicated teams have thoroughly researched and identified top programs, ensuring they meet high standards in delivering quality education and preparing students with the necessary skills for impactful roles in Applied Behavior Analysis.

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College Name & AddressTuitionGraduation Rate
University of washington
1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, Washington 98195
Endicott College
376 Hale Street, Beverly, Massachusetts 01915
university of South Florida
4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, Florida 33620
George Mason University
4400 University Dr, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Slippery Rock University
1 Morrow Way, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 16057
Ball State University
2000 University Ave, Muncie, Indiana 47306
Arizona State University
University Drive and Mill Avenue, Tempe, Arizona 85287
Cairn University
200 Manor Ave, Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047
Southeast Missouri State University
One University Plaza, MS2025, Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701
Florida Institute of Technology
150 West University Blvd, Melbourne, Florida 32901
Western Connecticut State University
181 White Street, Danbury, Connecticut 06810
Oregon Institute of technology
3201 Campus Drive, Klamath Falls, Oregon 97601
University of West Florida
11000 University Parkway, Pensacola, Florida 32514
Saint Cloud State University
720 Fourth Ave. South, Saint Cloud, Minnesota 56301
National University
11255 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth St, Portland, Maine 04103
Mary Baldwin University
318 Prospect Street, Staunton, Virginia 24401
Montana State University Billings
1500 University Drive, Billings, Montana 59101
Purdue University Global
2550 Northwestern Avenue, Suite 1100, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
Brandman University
16355 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine, California 92618

Source – Integrated Post Secondary Education Data System & University Data
*Tuition rates are for in-state and per year. Program specific rates may apply.
**NA – data not available

Understanding Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Master’s in ABA programs immerse students in exploring behavior analysis principles, research methodologies, and applied interventions in-depth. Covering subjects like behavioral assessment, ethical considerations, and specialized concentrations such as autism or organizational behavior management, the curriculum typically spans around 36 to 48 credits. Practical experiences, research projects, and a capstone or thesis project shape graduates into skilled professionals for impactful roles in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Curriculum and Skills Gained in Master’s in ABA Programs

The curriculum in Master’s in ABA programs comprises a structured set of academic components, blending theoretical foundations and practical applications. It includes a comprehensive study of behavior analysis principles, research methods, and specialized areas, ensuring graduates acquire the expertise needed to address diverse behavioral challenges in professional settings within Applied Behavior Analysis.

Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
This course provides a foundational understanding of key concepts, principles, and techniques in behavior analysis. Students explore the fundamental elements that form the basis of effective interventions, setting the stage for more advanced coursework and practical applications in the field.

Science and Human Behavior
This course examines the interdisciplinary relationship between scientific principles and human actions within the context of behavior analysis. It delves into the foundational aspects shaping the understanding of human behavior, providing insight into the evidence-based basis for applied interventions and strategies within the field.

Behavioral Assessment
This course systematically studies behavior to identify functional relationships and inform intervention strategies. Students learn to conduct thorough assessments, analyze data, and develop behavior intervention plans. This course equips them with the skills needed to address various behavioral challenges within the framework of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Ethics in ABA
This course explores ethical considerations and principles within the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis. Students examine ethical guidelines, dilemmas, and decision-making processes, fostering a deep understanding of responsible and ethical conduct in their roles as behavior analysts. This course emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in professional behavior analysis practice.

Research Methods Behavior Analysis
This course focuses on equipping students with the skills to design, conduct, and evaluate research in the field. Emphasizing quantitative and qualitative methodologies, students learn to apply research principles in behavior analysis, preparing them for evidence-based practice and contributions to advancing behavioral science.

Upon completing this program, students can expect to gain the following skills:

  • Expertise in behavior analysis principles
  • Proficient in conducting behavioral assessments
  • Advanced research and data analysis skills
  • Competence in designing and implementing evidence-based interventions
  • Ability to develop and assess behavior intervention plans
  • Specialized knowledge in chosen ABA specialization
  • Strong ethical decision-making and professionalism
  • Effective communication and collaboration in interdisciplinary settings
  • Leadership and management skills in behavioral services
  • Application of ABA principles in diverse professional contexts.

Master’s in ABA Degree Types

Master’s in ABA degree types include various options tailored to different career paths. These degrees include the Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), Master of Education (MEd), and others. Each degree type offers a unique focus, allowing students to tailor their education to specific professional objectives within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Master of Arts (MA) in ABA

The Master of Arts (MA) in ABA emphasizes theoretical foundations and practical applications within Applied Behavior Analysis. This degree type provides students with a comprehensive understanding of behavior analysis principles, preparing them for diverse roles in the field and fostering expertise in developing effective interventions for behavior-related challenges.

Master of Science (MS) in ABA

The Master of Science (MS) in ABA emphasizes systematic research and practical applications of behavior analysis principles. This degree equips students with the skills to conduct research, analyze data, and implement evidence-based interventions. It prepares them for roles emphasizing theoretical knowledge and hands-on, data-driven approaches in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Master of Education (MEd) in ABA

The Master of Education (MEd) in ABA focuses on applying behavior analysis principles in educational settings. This degree equips educators with the knowledge and skills to design and implement effective interventions for diverse learning needs, fostering a comprehensive understanding of behavior analysis within the educational context.

Specializations for Master’s in ABA Students

Specializations for Master’s in ABA students offer focused expertise, enhancing career prospects. These tailored programs provide in-depth knowledge and skills, aligning graduates with specific sectors within behavior analysis. By selecting a specialization, students refine their proficiency, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the unique challenges of their chosen field, thus contributing to their overall success in diverse career paths within Applied Behavior Analysis. Some of these ABA concentrations are:

Area of FocusDescriptionCareers This Concentration Prepares For
Advanced Research in Behavior AnalysisSpecializing in Advanced Research in Behavior Analysis allows students to explore cutting-edge methodologies, conduct in-depth research, and contribute to the evolving field. This concentration provides a strong foundation for individuals aspiring to pursue careers in academia, research, or applied behavior analysis.• University Professors in Behavior Analysis
• Applied Research Consultants
• Experimental Psychologists
Autism Spectrum DisordersThis specialization equips students with specialized knowledge and skills to support individuals on the autism spectrum. This concentration delves into evidence-based interventions, assessments, and strategies tailored to address the unique needs of individuals with autism, preparing graduates for impactful careers in autism intervention and support.• Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) specializing in Autism
• Autism Intervention Specialists
• Behavioral Therapists for Autism
Organizational Behavior ManagementThis specialization emphasizes applying behavior analysis principles in organizational settings. Students explore strategies to enhance workplace performance, employee motivation, and organizational effectiveness. This concentration equips graduates to drive positive behavioral changes within businesses and contribute to organizational success through behavioral interventions.• Organizational Behavior Analysts
• Human Resources Specialists
• Performance Management Consultants
Pediatric Behavior AnalysisThis specialization focuses on applying behavior analysis principles to address the unique needs of children. This concentration explores interventions for developmental and behavioral challenges in pediatric populations, preparing graduates to positively impact the lives of children and their families through evidence-based practices.• Pediatric Behavior Analysts
• Early Intervention Specialists
• School-based  Behavior Analysts
Adult Behavior AnalysisThis specialization centers on applying behavior analysis principles to address the unique challenges adults face. Students delve into evidence-based interventions tailored for adult populations, equipping graduates to make meaningful contributions in areas such as mental health, rehabilitation, and other contexts where behavior analysis can enhance the lives of adults.• Adult Behavior Analysts
• Mental Health Counselors
• Rehabilitation Specialists

Timeline For Graduating From ABA Master’s Online Programs

Most master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis online typically takes anywhere between 16 and 24 months, while many accelerated master’s programs require just one year of study after students have completed their bachelor’s. In doing an accelerated program, students can save money on tuition. Typically, for an ABAI-verified ABA master’s program, students must take 36 to 48 total credits to complete the course.

Accelerated Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Accelerated ABA programs provide a shorter path for graduates seeking a fast track to a master’s degree. To find accredited options, prospective students should thoroughly research institutions offering accelerated programs, ensuring they meet industry standards. Some colleges provide 4+1 accelerated programs, allowing students to seamlessly transition from a bachelor’s to a master’s, streamlining their educational journey in Applied Behavior Analysis. Here are a few examples of universities that offer 4+1 accelerated bachelor’s to master’s ABA programs:

Admission Requirements for Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Admission requirements for ABA Master’s online programs vary by institution but typically encompass academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and standardized test scores. Applicants may also need relevant professional experience or a background in psychology or related fields. Prospective students should carefully review the specific prerequisites outlined by their chosen program for accurate and updated information. Here is the admission requirement list for a master’s in ABA:

  • Academic transcripts demonstrating a relevant bachelor’s degree
  • Letters of Recommendation from academic or professional sources
  • Statement of purpose outlining career goals and objectives
  • Standardized test scores (e.g., GRE)
  • Relevant professional experience in psychology or related fields may be required
  • Meeting any GPA minimum requirements specified by the program

Master’s in ABA Online No GRE Programs

To attract a broader range of students, some ABA Master’s online programs in the USA have waived the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) requirement. This approach makes the application process more accessible, allowing individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences to pursue advanced education in Applied Behavior Analysis. Here are a few examples of universities that don’t require the GRE for admissions:

Accredited Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Accreditation is crucial for ABA students, ensuring program quality and adherence to industry standards. Prospective students must thoroughly research and prioritize accredited ABA programs. This ensures a rigorous and recognized curriculum, fostering confidence in the education received and enhancing opportunities for professional growth within the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. The accrediting body for ABA programs is the Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Accreditation Board7.

Here are the six regional accrediting agencies in the United States:

More information on accreditation and its importance is available in the Accreditation Guide.

Free Online ABA Courses

ABA students can expand their knowledge through free online courses, providing valuable insights into behavior analysis concepts. While these courses lack accreditation, some offer certifications upon completion. As supplementary resources, they enhance learning experiences, allowing students to deepen their understanding of ABA principles, methodologies, and applications. Here are a few free online courses ABA graduates can tap into:

CourseApplied Behavior Analysis8
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis free online course introduces ABA, including guiding theories, rules, and techniques. The course also includes detailed demonstrations of using various ABA techniques such as chaining and patterning, enhancing motor skills, language proficiency, cognitive function, and visuospatial skills.
CourseManaging ADHD, Autism, Learning Disabilities, and Concussion in School9
Provided byClass Central
DescriptionThis course explores prevalent developmental and behavioral disorders in children, including ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, learning disorders, and concussions. It emphasizes how schools can support children through symptom recognition and diagnosis understanding. Clinician experiences with ADHD scenarios, management options for disorders, and interview modules on autism and learning disorders are covered, concluding with insights into concussions.
CourseDiploma in Special Needs10
Provided byAlison
DescriptionThis free online course imparts knowledge and skills for addressing children with developmental disorders such as Autism, ADHD, and anxiety disorder. It explores the characteristics and challenges encountered by children with these conditions. The course also guides proven techniques for managing such children in various scenarios, including Applied Behavior Analysis, considered the gold standard for Autism treatment.

How to Pay for Master’s in ABA Online Programs

Covering the costs of an ABA Master’s online program requires careful consideration. Prospective students should assess program affordability, considering tuition, fees, and potential additional expenses. Exploring financial aid options, scholarships, and employer-sponsored benefits can contribute to funding. Prioritizing budgeting and financial planning helps students make informed decisions, ensuring a feasible investment in their education and future careers. Here are a few ways graduates of ABA can fund their program:


Scholarships are financial aid awarded based on academic, extracurricular, or demographic criteria. They alleviate the financial burden of education, making it more accessible. Scholarships recognize and reward students for their achievements, fostering academic excellence and supporting diverse educational pursuits.


Grants are financial awards given to individuals, often students, based on criteria such as academic achievement or financial need. Unlike loans, grants do not require repayment, making them valuable funding sources for education and other endeavors.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate assistantships allow students to work part-time within an academic institution while pursuing their graduate studies. In exchange for their services, students may receive financial support, including tuition waivers or stipends, to help offset their education costs.

Student Loans

Student loans are financial resources provided to students to cover education costs. Repayment typically begins after graduation, and interest rates vary. While loans offer immediate financial support, careful consideration is essential to manage debt responsibly and plan for post-graduation repayment.


Internships provide valuable hands-on experience in a specific field, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world situations. While not typically a direct funding source, internships can enhance employability post-graduation and may lead to stipends, scholarships, or networking opportunities that support educational expenses.


FAFSA, or the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is crucial for accessing federal grants, loans, and work-study opportunities. Completing FAFSA determines eligibility for financial assistance, making higher education more affordable for students.

Read the Financial Aid Guide for more information on funding higher education.

Scholarships for Master’s in Applied Behaviour Analysis Students

Prospective ABA master’s students can significantly benefit from scholarships, easing financial burdens and making advanced education more accessible. To maximize opportunities, diligent research into institutions offering ABA programs is crucial. Students must explore scholarship offerings specific to behavior analysis, considering eligibility criteria and application processes. Here are two examples of scholarships ABA students can explore:

Women in Behavior Analysis11

WIBA presents scholarships for both in-person and live-stream attendance at their conference. The scholarship covers registration, a two-night hotel stay, and lunches on Thursday and Friday. Three students and one behavior analysis professional are awarded, fostering diversity and supporting emerging analysts’ professional development. Priority is given to individuals from historically marginalized communities.
Award/Amount: $1,500
Deadline: Varies

SABA Grant for Student Research in Behavior Analysis12

SABA annually offers grants to advance behavior analysis research and development. Academic grants aid graduate students in researching diverse topics, international grants support global behavior analysis initiatives, and project grants fund messaging emphasizing behavior science solutions. Additionally, SABA provides complimentary registration for qualifying students presenting at ABAI events.
Award/Amount: Varies
Deadline: Varies

Careers and Salary Outlook For Master’s in ABA Online Graduates

Graduates with a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can anticipate promising salary prospects and diverse career opportunities. The demand for skilled professionals in this field continues to grow, with competitive compensation reflecting the specialized expertise acquired through online ABA master’s programs. This favorable outlook underscores the potential for rewarding financial returns and career advancement for ABA graduates in various professional settings. Here are some career titles and salaries for graduates of online ABA:

OccupationSpecial Education Teachers13
Median Annual Salary$62,950
Job Growth (up to 2032)0% (little or no change)
Job DescriptionEducators in special education cater to students facing learning, mental, emotional, or physical challenges. They modify standard lessons and instruct diverse subjects for those with mild to moderate disabilities while also focusing on imparting fundamental skills to students experiencing more severe challenges.
OccupationOccupational Therapists 14
Median Annual Salary$93,180
Job Growth (up to 2032)12% (much faster than average)
Job DescriptionOccupational therapists assist individuals with enduring disabilities, like cerebral palsy, in daily tasks. They suggest and demonstrate the use of adaptive equipment, fostering independence. Some therapists focus on children, offering early intervention to infants and toddlers or engaging school-aged kids in academic activities within inpatient, outpatient, or educational settings.
Median Annual Salary$85,330
Job Growth (up to 2032)6% (faster than average)
Job DescriptionPsychologists aim to comprehend and elucidate thoughts, emotions, feelings, and behavior, employing methods like observation and experimentation to formulate theories on influencing beliefs. Using controlled experiments, psychoanalysis, or psychotherapy, psychologists gather and assess information, administer tests to explore behavior patterns and relationships, and apply findings to research and patient treatment.
OccupationSubstance Abuse, Behavioral Disorder, and Mental Health Counselors16
Median Annual Salary$49,710
Job Growth (up to 2032)18% (much faster than average)
Job DescriptionCounselors specializing in substance abuse, behavioral disorders, and mental health offer guidance on various concerns, including alcoholism, addiction, and depression. They offer assistance, encompassing prevention, to aid clients in overcoming addiction, changing problematic behaviors, and enhancing mental well-being.

Certifications and Licensure for Master’s in ABA Online Students

With licensure in over 33 states, the behavior analysis profession is rapidly becoming regulated. Behavior analysts working in one of these states should review the relevant websites immediately and either (a) apply for licensure or (b) determine whether they are in a class exempted from licensure. Below are a few certifications in the field of applied behavior analysis:

Board-certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)17
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. BCBAs may supervise the work of Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), and other professionals who implement behavior-analytic interventions.

Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)18
The BCaBA certification is an undergraduate-level credential in behavior analysis. Individuals holding the BCaBA designation offer behavior-analytic services while supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®).

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)19
The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional certification in behavior analysis. RBTs assist in delivering behavior analysis services and practice under the direction and close supervision of an RBT Supervisor and/or an RBT Requirements Coordinator, who are responsible for all work RBTs perform.

Additional Resources for Master’s in ABA Online Students

Students can benefit from diverse resources to enrich their learning experience. Virtual forums, webinars, and mentorship programs provide avenues for networking with peers and professionals. These connections facilitate knowledge exchange, discussions, and collaboration, fostering a supportive community that enhances their educational journey and prepares them for success in the field of ABA. Here are a few resources ABA master’s students can explore:

Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)

Established in 1974, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is the leading membership organization for individuals passionate about the philosophy, science, application, and teaching of behavior analysis. Dedicated to advancing the field, ABAI offers various services and resources to its members, fostering collaboration and promoting the continued growth and excellence of behavior analysis.

National Autism Center (NAC)

The National Autism Center, part of May Institute’s Center for the Promotion of Evidence-based Practice, is a nonprofit dedicated to disseminating evidence-based information on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) treatment. It promotes best practices, offers resources for families and practitioners, and houses a concentration of clinical expertise. The Center collaborates with professionals and strives to improve the quality of life for individuals with ASD and their families.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks collaborates with expert organizations to extend support to low-resource communities, advocates for rights-based and quality-of-care legislation, and utilizes its assets to enhance the overall capacity of the autism field. By transforming data landscapes and facilitating research, they accelerate adult quality of life needs. Additionally, they drive inclusion through autism-friendly designations in communities and workplaces.

FAQs About Master’s in ABA Online Programs

What is a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

A Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a graduate-level program focusing on the principles of behavior analysis to address behavioral challenges. Students learn to apply evidence-based interventions, conduct assessments, and design behavior modification strategies. This degree prepares professionals to work in diverse settings, particularly autism treatment and special education.

How long does it typically take to complete a Master’s in ABA program?

What career opportunities are available with a Master’s in ABA?

Is accreditation important for ABA master’s programs?

Can I pursue a Master’s in ABA online?

Can I pursue a Master’s in ABA part-time while working?

Is a Master’s in ABA program worth it?