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Explore our MS in Psychology Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specialization

Help people with autism and developmental disabilities engage more successfully with the world when you choose the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) specialization. ABA is an evidence-based therapy used with both adults and children, particularly those on the autism spectrum. Learn to use the principles of human behavior to transform problem behaviors, build positive social skills, and improve lives.

This specialization offers a course sequence verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), which meets the 5th edition task list requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) exam.1 Graduates of this program who wish to pursue certification must also complete a period of supervised practical experience as defined by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board® (BACB®). Walden does not offer the fieldwork component required for the BCBA exam.

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Curriculum

Completion Requirements

  • 63 quarter credits

This course sequence represents the minimum credit requirement for program completion. The number of credits for completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of credits required for program completion, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits

The 11-week courses must be taken in the prescribed sequence below.

PSYC 6002

Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

Students in this course are introduced to Walden University and to the requirements for successful participation in an online curriculum. Students build a foundation for academic and professional success as social change agents. They assess the relationship of Walden's mission and vision to professional goals. They establish connections with their peers and the broader Walden community. Students engage in course assignments focused on the practical application of scholarly writing, critical-thinking skills, academic integrity, ethics, and the promotion of professional and academic excellence within the field of psychology.

(3 cr.)
PSYC 6215

Lifespan Development

In this course, students are provided with an advanced overview of development through the lifespan, including prenatal, childhood, adolescent, adult, and late adult phases. Basic developmental processes and theories are examined and applied to developmental milestones that occur within these phases of development. Themes of diversity are highlighted throughout the course. Additional topics include ethics, research, global perspectives, and social change.

(5 cr.)
RSCH 6110

Research Theory, Design, and Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for understanding, analyzing, and designing research at the graduate level. Students explore the philosophy of science, the role of theory, and research processes. Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research designs and data collection methods are introduced. The alignment of research components is emphasized. Students also explore ethical and social change implications of designing and conducting research. Students demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing an annotated bibliography.

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6717

Foundation and Philosophy of Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a set of skills used in the assessment and treatment of individuals with a variety of behavioral problems and developmental delays, including autism spectrum disorders. In this course, students explore the philosophy and theory of behaviorism and how these undergird applied behavior analysis. Students apply the theory and philosophy of behaviorism to the application of behavioral principles and concepts in the context of applied behavior analysis to impact social change.This course covers tasks from the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) Task List (5th ed.) and includes knowledge and skills foundational for the BCBA examination. The course is part of a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standards and meets coursework eligibility criteria for BCBA Eligibility Pathway 2 coursework requirements as part of the application for Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) examinations.

Prerequisites

  • Admission into the Walden University MS in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6800

Applied Psychology Research Methods

In this research course, students are provided with core knowledge and skills for collecting, analyzing, and interpreting quantitative data at the graduate level. Students are provided practical skills in conducting applied research activities including methodological approaches, data collection, and management. They also explore basic exploratory, descriptive, and inferential analyses and apply statistical techniques to analyze data.

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6731

Concepts and Principles of Behavioral Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a set of skills used in the assessment and treatment of individuals with a variety of behavioral problems and developmental delays, including autism spectrum disorders. Students in this course will explore the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis. They also examine the concepts and principles of behaviorism to the application of behavioral principles in the context of applied behavior analysis, including behavioral observation and measurement, functions of behavior, developing and maintaining behaviors, and related ethical considerations. Students explore the impact of promoting positive social change through the application of ABA.This course covers tasks from the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Task List (5th ed.) and includes knowledge and skills foundational for the BCBA examination. The course is part of a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standards and meets coursework eligibility criteria for BCBA Eligibility Pathway 2 coursework requirements as part of the application for Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) examinations.

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6733

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Behavioral Analysis

With a focus on the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts issued by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®), students in this course review responsible conduct of behavior analysts, ethical responsibilities to clients and their welfare, and ethical responsibilities to other individuals (e.g., colleagues) and the BACB®. In addition, students examine professional and legal issues involved in providing services in different contexts and with different client groups.This course covers tasks from the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Task List (5th ed.) and includes knowledge and skills foundational for the BCBA examination. The course is part of a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standards and meets coursework eligibility criteria for BCBA Eligibility Pathway 2 coursework requirements as part of the application for Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) examinations.

Prerequisites

  • PSYC 6731

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6734

Introduction to Behavioral Assessment and Intervention

With a focus on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's (BACB's) Fourth Edition Task List, this 45 instructional hour course covers the basic principles of behavioral assessment and applied behavior analysis. Course participants will explore fundamental techniques leading to the implementation of behavioral procedures and behavioral programs. More specifically, instruction focuses on conducting functional assessments and functional analyses; developing intervention procedures based on the outcome of these assessments and analyses; implementing these procedures; and data-based decision-making.

Prerequisites

  • PSYC 6731
  • PSYC 6733

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6735

Research Methods for Behavioral Analysis

This course covers a variety of methods for data collection, measurement data collection, data analysis, and experimental designs that are common to applied behavior analysis. In addition to the theoretical background for single subject research, this course will also emphasize practical applications of research methods from baseline measurement to treatment evaluation. Advantages and limitations of various single subject research methods will be examined. Students will also design a small-n research study based on a research question developed from the applied behavior analysis literature. In addition, they will critically evaluate research studies for the appropriate research design and methodology.

Prerequisites

  • PSYC 6731
  • PSYC 6733
  • PSYC 6734

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6736

Advanced Behavioral Assessment and Intervention

This course will extend students' knowledge of operationalizing behavior, behavioral assessment, developing interventions, functional analysis/assessment, and social validity concerns through the utilization of applied behavior analysis methodologies. Emphasis will be placed on the relationship between valid assessment data and socially relevant interventions. Students will also examine case management skills and supervision strategies.

Prerequisites

  • PSYC 6731
  • PSYC 6733
  • PSYC 6734
  • PSYC 6735

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6701

Culture and Psychology

Students in this course explore the cultural components, research, and theory of cross-cultural psychology. In addition to the previously listed goals, students focus on the impact that culture has on the field of psychology around the world. The scope of this course is broad, with the core theme being cross-cultural psychology (focusing on cultures representing different parts of the world) and comparing cultural influence on human psychology. Many of the topics addressed are related to human development. Additionally, interactions among culture and social behaviors, health, mental health, and mental illnesses are emphasized throughout the duration of this course.

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6738

Applications and Special Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis: Supervision and Autism Spectrum Disorder

This course covers two separate but related topics within applied behavior analysis (ABA): personnel supervision and management and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Personnel supervision and management includes case management, supervision goals and procedures, function-based supervision, and evaluation. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with widely varying symptomatology and represents one of the primary client groups for whom behavior analysts provide services. Students examine ASD theory, research, and history as well as diagnostic issues and interventions for the treatment of autism.This course covers tasks from the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) Task List (5th ed.) and includes knowledge and skills foundational for the BCBA examination. The course is part of a Verified Course Sequence (VCS) verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting specific coursework requirements, content hours, and faculty standards and meets coursework eligibility criteria for BCBA Eligibility Pathway 2 coursework requirements as part of the application for Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) examinations.

Prerequisites

  • PSYC 6717
  • PSYC 6731

(5 cr.)
PSYC 6393

MS in Psychology Capstone

Students are provided with the opportunity to synthesize knowledge and skills acquired throughout their program into a practical project designed to promote positive social change in a capstone project. During this course, students work on a capstone project in which they complete a major integrative paper on a topic related to their specialization, incorporating theoretical and practical knowledge as well as social scientific research skills acquired throughout the program. The instructor may approve other capstone projects presented by students.

(5 cr.)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost amount
Tuition 63 quarter credit $535 per quarter hour $33,705
Technology Fee Per quarter $160 $1,120


  $34,825*

*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 24 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-646-5286.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost between $2,500 to $3,500.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

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Program Savings

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Admission Requirements

Program Admission Considerations: A bachelor's degree or higher.

General Admission Requirements: Completed online application and transcripts. Please note that the materials you are required to submit may vary depending on the academic program to which you apply. More information for international applicants.

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