The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program will train you to be an exceptional behavior analyst who has the skills to improve quality of life for people with behavioral challenges, including children and adults with developmental needs.
In our program, you’ll learn the conceptual foundations of ABA and how these behavioral principles are applied to improve behavior. Central to this program is a collaboration with the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders, which serves as the primary practicum site to give you an exceptional experiential learning opportunity working with individuals with developmental needs. We place a heavy emphasis on face-to-face contact. Therefore, our program is an on-campus only program.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. (Please note: Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.)
A minimum of 39 semester credit hours must be completed in fulfillment of degree requirements. Completion of this degree includes completion of a Thesis/Capstone. In addition to the coursework requirement, you will need to meet experience standards. The BACB has three experience categories: (a) supervised independent fieldwork (1500 hrs), (b) practicum (1000 hrs), or (c) intensive practicum (750 hrs). Students in the Master’s program will be required to complete intensive practicum at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders for credit (6 credits) under the supervision of a BCBA.
- For fall semester: March 1
Complete the following steps before your application deadline.
1. Complete the Graduate Studies application online.
- If you’re a former MU degree-seeking student wishing to resume the same program/degree, use the Graduate Re-activation Form
- Current MU graduate students changing or adding degrees should use the Change of Degree, Program Adviser Form.
- Post-baccalaureate (non-degree seeking) graduate students who have applied in the past three semesters should contact Graduate Studies to request their application be made available to us.
2. Complete the Personal Data Sheet.
- The Personal Data Sheet includes pertinent biographical information and professional experience.
- As a part of this requirement, the applicant must confer or correspond with one of the special education faculty members in the proposed area of concentration prior to submitting an application. If you do not know who to speak to, contact Delinda van Garderen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Write a statement of purpose, usually around 500 words, in which you summarize your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for advanced graduate work and other pertinent information.
4. Submit at least three letters of recommendation.
- The letters should attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work.
- Ideally, two letters should be from college or university professors who can discuss your academic abilities, and one should be from an administrator or colleague who can describe authoritatively your professional experience and potential.
- Letters are submitted through the online application system.
5. Unofficial transcript: Please upload all of your undergraduate and graduate unofficial transcripts.
6. GRE scores from the past five years
7. TOEFL or IELTS scores from the past two years (only required for students whose native language is not English). Waivers will not be granted for this requirement.
8. Upon department acceptance, have official transcripts from all previous college work at institutions other than MU sent directly to: Office of Graduate Studies, 210 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211.
Conditional acceptance into the program is not provided for those students who wish to pursue English language training in the U.S. prior to starting their graduate studies. Applications submitted will be reviewed for admission into the program as per the criteria noted below.
An interview may be required by the admissions committee. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications. If you have questions or if you would like a paper application packet, contact the Department of Special Education at email@example.com.
Each applicant’s credentials are reviewed by a committee of faculty that is committed to using professional judgement to find applicants with great potential for success and contribution to the profession. Membership in underrepresented groups is a special consideration for the committee. The department cannot assure admission to all applicants who meet minimum admission requirements.
For information on the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate, click here.