Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S.

Saint Louis University’s School of Social Work offers a Master of Science and a post-master’s certificate in applied behavior analysis, both of which allow you to become a board-certified behavior analyst.

About the Program

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Learn to apply behavioral principles to produce socially significant changes in behavior in work with a variety of populations. Board-certified behavior analysts work with individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental health difficulties, substance abuse problems and others in homes, public or private schools, agencies, or organizations. The curriculum in SLU’s applied behavior analysis program includes six three-credit-hour courses and three practica.

Post-Master’s Certificate

SLU’s post-master's certificate in applied behavior analysis is for students who have already earned a master’s degree in behavior analysis, education or psychology. It includes six courses (three credit hours each) and an optional nine credit hours of supervised field education. Students must start this program in the fall semester and take one or two courses per semester.


Program Highlights

Saint Louis University offers the only applied behavior analysis program within a School of Social Work. This unique program is also the first in the nation to offer a Master of Social Work program with an applied behavior analysis concentration.

M.S. Curriculum and Program Details

Full-time students can complete the M.S. in six semesters; part-time students usually complete the program in seven to nine semesters. Completion of the degree is also based upon the needs of the student and thesis project.

Certificate Curriculum and Program Details

The post-master certificate program consists of 18 credit hours, as follows:

  • Principles and Concepts in Behavior Analysis
  • Measurement and Experimental Design
  • Assessment and Selecting Interventions
  • Behavior Change and Processes
  • Behavior Change and Ethics
  • Special Topics I

You'll also have the option to complete nine credit hours of practicum (1,000 total across three semesters).

Students can complete the certificate in three semesters (full-time plan with or without practicum) and six semesters (part-time plan with or without practicum). Completion of the certificate is also based upon the needs of the student and thesis project.

Students who complete SLU’s applied behavior analysis coursework and practicum experience will be eligible to sit for the national examination to become a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). You will also be prepared for doctoral programs in behavior analysis.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees
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Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid

SLU’s School of Social Work offers new and continuing students partial tuition remission and merit-based scholarships. Applicants who do not initially meet the scholarship criteria or who do not receive an award after their first application may re-apply during their first semester in the program. Scholarship awards are made based on information in the admission application. 

Additional scholarship/assistantship opportunities include:

  • Diversity and Presidential fellowship - for new master's or doctoral students at the School of Social Work, funded by Saint Louis University. The application period has closed for 2016-2017.
  • Graduate assistantship  - The application period has closed for 2016-2017.
  • Diversity scholarship - a full-tuition scholarship, funded by the School of Social Work. The application period has closed for 2016-2017.

Contact Kristi Richter, director of admissions, at 314-977-2752 with any questions.

Certification and Program Outcomes

Because SLU's ABA course sequence is board certified, our students are eligible to take the licensing exam immediately upon graduation.

behavior analyst certification board verified course sequence logo


Applicant Criteria

Successful applicants should possess bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

Candidates for the post-master's certificate should possess a master's degree in behavior analysis, education, psychology or a degree program where the you have completed a BACB-approved course sequence.

It is recommended you have taken prior coursework in applied behavior analysis or have independently studied ABA texts.

To apply, you’ll need:

Application Requirements

Application form and fee
Three letters of recommendation (two academic, one professional)
Professional statement

Requirements for International Students

Application Deadlines

All applicants who apply by the priority deadline of Feb. 1 are reviewed for merit-based scholarships. Applications will continue to be accepted and reviewed for admissions July 1. To be considered for a graduate assistantship, you must fill out the GA application by March 1.

Review Process

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. As soon as an application is complete, it is reviewed.

Admission decisions are based upon your overall application. Clinical experience in behavior analysis, potential or demonstrated leadership, and some background in research are important factors that are taken into consideration.