M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis degree program teaches students to become independent practitioners of applied behavior analysis.

The Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis prepares students with training in the science of learning and behavior and prepares them to work as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA).   Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to the study of behavior.  Behavior analysts work directly with individuals to improve their social, educational, health, adaptive skills, and behavioral outcomes through the development of programming based upon the principles of ABA.  Behavior analysts are trained to describe behavior, explain, predict, and analyze the occurrence and non-occurrence of behavior, and change behavior through the development of programming based on ABA principles.

Starting in the Fall of 2024 this program will become a 36-credit hour degree.  Please see the updated plan of study to learn more about the revised curriculum.  In addition, effective calendar year 2025, this program will move to a fall term only admit process.  To start in this program in 2025 or beyond, the application priority deadline to have all materials in will be March 15 and the hard deadline for applications will be May 15.  Applications submitted by these deadlines will be reviewed as they are received.

The mission of the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn is for its graduates to develop an understanding of the depth, breadth, and scope of behavior analysis. Through coursework and practical experiences firmly rooted in the science of behavior, the program seeks to train highly skilled behavioral practitioners who utilize data-based and empirical approaches to develop socially valid treatment for those they serve.  

Through coursework firmly grounded in theory, with an emphasis on application of theory to socially significant and effective practice, the M.S. in ABA program provides students with an excellent foundation to meet the proficiencies mandated by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  Students will be prepared to complete the required supervised field work and sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. For additional information on licensure requirements across the United States, please visit the U.S. Licensure of Behavior Analysts page.

Pass-Rate Data are available at the BACB website. Pass-rate data are not published for programs with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year.

BCBAs provide services within mental health, educational, and human services environments that may include collecting and analyzing data, writing and evaluating behavior intervention plans, training others to implement components of treatment plans, and overseeing the implementation of treatment plans.  BCBAs are qualified to provide services to individuals with a variety of needs such as academic performance, skill deficits (e.g., communication, adaptive behavior and functional skills), and problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior), and social interactions.  BCBAs also provide supervision to Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT).

The program usually takes between 1.5 to 2.5 calendar years to be completed, depending on the course load each semester. Students may attend the program full- or part-time. Evening courses are available.

Image of the Association for Behavior Analysis International

What Will I Learn?

Graduates of the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis will:

  • describe and apply the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to a variety of behavioral issues across a range of clinical, educational, pre-vocational, vocational, home, and community settings;
  • describe and demonstrate behavioral assessment procedures, hypothesis development, and functional analysis methodology;
  • describe and demonstrate the principles and practices of single-subject research methodology;
  • acquire and demonstrate skills related to the education and treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other mental health needs;
  • acquire skills that demonstrate an understanding of the physical, educational, and mental health needs of individuals who have had adverse childhood experiences.

Visit the University Catalog to learn more about required coursework for the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis. Students can also learn about the 4+1 Accelerated Program  that is designed for undergraduate students from any major who have the interest, and demonstrated ability, to pursue the MS in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Admission Requirements

Students must submit the follow items with their application.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program. The Office of International Affairs lists additional admission requirements for international students.

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • 3.0 GPA or higher on submitted transcripts
  • Two professional letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement

Completion Requirements

Before exiting from the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, you need to complete two steps:

  1. Apply for graduation
  2. Submit an Exit Survey.

Exit Survey:

The purpose of this survey is to assist the College of Education, Health, and Human Services with the evaluation of the master’s degree program and to serve as a guide for program development. The Exit Survey is a requirement for completion of the program. Submit the exit survey.

Course Offerings

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. Please visit the Association for Behavior Analysis International for additional information on the University of Michigan-Dearborn's Verified Course Sequence.

Verified course content hours by course

Content Areas and CoursesBACB Compliance Code and Disciplinary Systems; ProfessionalismPhilosophical UnderpinningsConcepts and PrincipalsMeasurements, Data Display and Interpretation; Experimental DesignBehavior AssessmentBehavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing InterventionsPersonnel Supervision and Management
EDC 506  45    
EDC 507     45 
EDC 516   45   
EDC 580    45  
EDC 622 45     
EDC 62345      
EDC 624     1530

Contact Information

CEHHS Office for Student Success
262 Fairlane Center South (FCS)
[email protected]

Academic Advisor

Kim Killu



Kim Killu, Ph.D., LLP, BCBA-D, LBA.


To schedule an appointment with Dr. Killu please contact:

CEHHS Office of Student Success
email: [email protected]
phone: 313-593-5090.