Toya S., Class of 2019

Master of Science in Applied
Behavioral Analysis Degree

Toya S.
Class of 2019
Toya S., Class of 2019

Prepare for a Career in Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis program at National University is designed for those who have a true passion for working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum and those with neurodiverse conditions that benefit from behavior change systems. ABA is an in-demand and rewarding profession that makes an impact in clients’ lives. This is an excellent path if you wish to help others by developing, implementing, analyzing, and evaluating behaviorally accepted methods that result in positive outcomes.

The curriculum includes a 10-course sequence, of which eight courses are verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Upon completion of the program, you will be well prepared to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam and pursue a career as a behavior analyst.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of National University’s master’s in Applied Behavioral Analysis program, graduates will be able to:

  • Explain Radical Behaviorism’s foundational concepts and principles from a behavior-analytic approach.
  • Analyze measurement, data display, and interpretation in experimental design format.
  • Integrate the Code of Ethics during the behavior change process and assessment procedures.
  • Integrate behavior management and performance monitoring during the behavior change process and assessment procedures.
  • Apply applied behavior analysis in research and daily life.
  • Conduct research using relevant design, statistical, measurements, data analysis, and program evaluation methods to improve student outcomes.

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You’ll work with faculty who are also experts in the field and have the opportunity to take advantage of their real-world insights. The program is highly individualized and focused on the student learning experience.

This program utilizes precision learning and a verified course sequence, which are unique to National University. Additionally, you’ll focus on practitioner self-care, social and emotional learning, and cultural competency. You’ll complete a research-based capstone project, and upon completion of the program, we’ll help place you in an internship program.

Behavior analysts provide services to individuals, families, group homes, schools, mental health agencies, hospitals, industrial and business settings, and other agencies working with individuals who require intensive behavioral training and/or consultation.

Why pursue applied behavioral analysis? The opportunities and rewards within the profession are plentiful. If you are a person who wants an in-demand and rewarding career that makes a difference in the lives of others using evidence-based, proven techniques, ABA is an excellent career choice for you.

In order to be eligible to sit for the BACB (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) exam, you must have a master’s degree with the verified course sequence (provided by NU) and have 2,000 supervision hours. Once you pass the exam, you are a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). According to, the range for BCBA is $50-79K with an average of $64,607 as of August 2021.*

This degree might appeal to those seeking positions in:

  • Hospitals
  • Group homes
  • Clinics
  • Higher education institutions
  • Schools
  • Nursing homes

*SOURCE:, on the internet, at (viewed August 21, 2021) Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth. Candidates are strongly encouraged to conduct their research.

To receive a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, students must complete at least 45 quarter units of graduate work. A total of 4.5 quarter units of graduate credit may be granted for equivalent graduate work completed at another institution.

To effectively transfer units to this degree, transfer units from other VCS approved programs must be completed for the current Task List 5 program. Any previous coursework representing previous Task Lists are not eligible for transfer credit as they do not meet current requirements. Please refer to the graduate information section of the University Catalog for admission and evaluation.

  • (10 courses, 45 quarter units)
Course Description
ABA 620 Philosophical Underpinning ABA
ABA 622 Concepts and Principles of ABA – Prerequisite: ABA 620
ABA 624 Measurement and Design – Prerequisite: ABA 622
ABA 626 Functional Behavior Assessment – Prerequisite: ABA 624
ABA 628 Behavioral Change Procedures – Prerequisite: ABA 626
ABA 630 Developing ABA Interventions – Prerequisite: ABA 628
ABA 632 BACB Ethics Compliance Code – Prerequisite: ABA 630
ABA 634 Supervision and Management – Prerequisite: ABA 632
ABA 636 Application of ABA Skills – Prerequisite: ABA 634
ABA 670 ABA Capstone Project – Prerequisite: ABA 636

Dr. Sharlyn Crump, BCBA

Dr. Sharlyn Crump, BCBA

MSABA Asst. Professor,
MSABA Academic Program Director

“Cultural Humility is essential for ABA practitioners to be effective change agents within our society.”

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To speak to an enrollment advisor about this program, please email [email protected].

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A master’s degree in ABA provides students with advanced study in research-based theories and findings, arming them with the knowledge to implement the concepts and principles of behavior analysis so as to begin or advance in professional practice.

Aspiring behavior analysts need a master’s degree in special education, psychology, or a related field. Depending on the state in which they practice, professionals might also need to meet licensing requirements.

Several colleges in the United States now offer behavioral analysis graduate programs for students who want to work in this field. These programs usually take two years to finish and have a thesis requirement.

You can apply online via the BACB’s website. The application asks that you show proof of your degree, coursework, and supervised experience; you’ll also have to pay an application fee. Once the Behavior Analyst Certification Board sees that you’ve met these requirements, they will approve your application to be eligible to sit for the BCBA examination.

In order to obtain the Behavior Analysts Certification ABA certificate, a person has to complete the required coursework. Most certifications require 270 hours of coursework at an accredited institution if the person holds a master’s degree.

Why Choose National University?

We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 180,000 alumni worldwide.

Program Disclosure

Successful completion and attainment of National University degrees do not lead to automatic or immediate licensure, employment, or certification in any state/country. The University cannot guarantee that any professional organization or business will accept a graduate’s application to sit for any certification, licensure, or related exam for the purpose of professional certification.

Program availability varies by state. Many disciplines, professions, and jobs require disclosure of an individual’s criminal history, and a variety of states require background checks to apply to, or be eligible for, certain certificates, registrations, and licenses. Existence of a criminal history may also subject an individual to denial of an initial application for a certificate, registration, or license and/or result in the revocation or suspension of an existing certificate, registration, or license. Requirements can vary by state, occupation, and/or licensing authority.

NU graduates will be subject to additional requirements on a program, certification/licensure, employment, and state-by-state basis that can include one or more of the following items: internships, practicum experience, additional coursework, exams, tests, drug testing, earning an additional degree, and/or other training/education requirements.

All prospective students are advised to review employment, certification, and/or licensure requirements in their state, and to contact the certification/licensing body of the state and/or country where they intend to obtain certification/licensure to verify that these courses/programs qualify in that state/country, prior to enrolling. Prospective students are also advised to regularly review the state’s/country’s policies and procedures relating to certification/licensure, as those policies are subject to change.

National University degrees do not guarantee employment or salary of any kind. Prospective students are strongly encouraged to review desired job positions to review degrees, education, and/or training required to apply for desired positions. Prospective students should monitor these positions as requirements, salary, and other relevant factors can change over time.

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