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Make a difference in others’ mental health and well-being as an applied behavior analyst.

Applied Behavior Analysis emphasizes the analysis and design of the environment to improve the performance of individuals as diverse as children or adults with autism, the foster parent of an aggressive youth, and the corporate executive intent on maximizing the productivity of her employees. Behavior analysts work in settings such as hospitals, mental health centers, residential facilities and schools.

What Our Program Offers You


What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

Through Shenandoah’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program, you’ll develop knowledge, skills, ethical standards and experiences in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of mental disorders, learning disabilities and cognitive, behavioral and emotional problems through observation, interviews and psychological testing.

Combining classroom learning with practical clinical experiences, you’ll receive hands-on training in a diverse range of settings, including classrooms, homes and residential facilities.

You’ll learn how to:

  • understand and apply ethical considerations in behavior analysis
  • master the concepts and principles of behavior analysis
  • identify and apply appropriate measurement systems of behavior
  • apply experimental design skills to behavior analysis
  • understand fundamental and specific elements of behavior change
  • design and apply procedures to evaluate the efficacy of their diagnoses and interventions
  • identify and apply intervention strategies, including plans for unwanted effects
  • apply behavior change systems
  • implement a behavior change management and supervision program
  • develop expertise in a behavior analytic application such as autism, organizational behavior management, behavioral pharmacology, etc.

Shenandoah University’s program prepares you to sit for the Behavior Analysis Certification Exam, and is designed to accommodate professionals who are employed full- or part-time.

What kind of issues/problems does this major prepare you to solve?

As an applied behavior analyst, you help individuals by analyzing and designing their environment to improve individual performance and quality of life. You could  serve a variety of populations, including individuals with developmental and learning disabilities, mental health impairments or traumatic brain injury, and families experiencing challenges with managing their children.

What makes our program unique?

You will learn from nationally and regionally renowned faculty mentors who are as passionate about teaching as they are about helping others. This reinforces our philosophy that applied behavior analysis is a craft acquired not by sitting in front of a keyboard, but at the side of an expert who has practiced it for a lifetime.

Shenandoah has partnered with organizations and Board Certified Behavior Analysts throughout the area to provide you with exceptional hands-on experiences working with a variety of populations in classrooms, homes, residential facilities and other settings.

Earning Potential

Starting salaries for Board Certified Behavior Analysts range from $50,000 to $70,000. You could be a self-employed consultant or work for local, regional or national organizations.


Why This Program?

  • Nationally and regionally renowned faculty mentors
  • Designed for individuals who are employed full or part-time
  • Provides hands-on experiences in a diverse range of settings, including classrooms, homes and residential facilities
  • Starting salaries for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) range from $50,000 – $70,000. — BCBAs may be self-employed consultants or work for local, regional or national organizations.
  • Learn More.
    Office of Graduate Admissions 800-432-2266  admit@su.edu
    http://www.su.edu/a/graduate-professional-degrees/

Course Requirements

The Applied Behavior Analysis Program requires a minimum of 37 credit hours, which includes 21 credit hours in coursework, 12 credit hours of supervised practical experience and four (4) credit hours for a Capstone Project. The coursework and sequence is as follows:

First Semester (FALL)

 PSY 561 –  CONCEPTS & PRINCIPLES OF BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 571 –  BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS & SPECIAL POPULATIONS (3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 501 –  PRACTICA IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

Second Semester (SPRING)

 PSY 562 –  RESEARCH METHODS IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 563 –  APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (TOPICS I – 3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 501 –  PRACTICA IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

Third Semester (SUMMER)

 PSY 572 – ETHICAL, LEGAL & PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 595 –  APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (TOPICS II – 3 Credit Hours)

 PSY 501 –  PRACTICA IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

Fourth Semester  (FALL)

ELECTIVE (3 Credit Hours)

PSY 564 – ADVANCED APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS, CAPSTONE PROJECT (4 Credit Hours)*

 PSY 501 –  PRACTICA IN BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (3 Credit Hours)

*The Capstone culminates in a product suitable for professional presentation and showcases your application of behavior analysis to the treatment or solution of a real-world problem.

Meet the ABA Faculty

Brandon F. Greene, Ph.D., BCBA-D, is coordinator of Shenandoah’s ABA Program and professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University, where he served on the faculty of the world’s first program in Behavior Analysis & Therapy. Dr. Greene has published extensively, served on the editorial board of the discipline’s leading journals, founded the Behavior Analysis Society of Illinois and secured approximately $20 million to support 500 graduate students and related personnel.

Jason Craig, MS, BCBA, is clinical associate and director of ABA Services for Grafton Integrated Health Network. He received his M.S. in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton, and is currently a doctoral candidate at Nova Southeastern University. He has worked with children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the private and public sectors.

Autumn Kaufmann, M.S., BCBA, is clinical associate & regional program coordinator for the Commonwealth Autism Service (CAS). She received her M.S. from Southern Illinois University and subsequently replicated Project 12-Ways, which services families with a history of child maltreatment, in Canada. Her current work at CAS involves implementation research on the use of the Competent Learner Model with early childhood education programs.

Courtney Deal Vaughan, M.S., BCBA, is clinical associate & administrative director of the Aurora School, Paxton Campus. She received her M.S. from Southern Illinois University and has provided behavior analytic services in homes, schools and residential facilities. Her interests include clinical work with children, parent and staff training, and organizational behavior management.

How Do I Apply?

Shenandoah’s graduate ABA program is a cohort program, and admissions is limited to the fall semester. To be accepted into the program, you must meet Shenandoah University’s admissions requirements, have a minimum 3.0 GPA in your undergraduate work and a bachelor’s degree with an undergraduate major preferably in psychology, education, special education, social work, speech pathology or a similar discipline.

Apply Here (www.applyweb.com/apply/sug) and submit the following:

  • Graduate Application for Admission, along with $30 non-refundable application fee submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions

  • Official transcripts from all institutions of higher education previously attended

  • An essay/statement of the applicant’s reason for applying to the Applied Behavior Analysis program, including what factors influenced the decision and how this program will help the individual to reach professional goals

  • Three (3) letters of recommendation from professors, supervisors or others engaged in the practice of Applied Behavior Analysis or other human services professions.

    Students seeking transfer credits from other universities must make the request in writing to the ABA Program Coordinator.  A maximum of nine credit hours may be considered for transfer.