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The 10 Best Online Graduate Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) - Early Childhood Education Degrees
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The 10 Best Online Graduate Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

B.F. Skinner or “the grandfather of behavioral analysis” taught pigeons how to spin and peck. What appeared on T.V. to be pigeons reading was actually B.F. Skinner’s use of a series of reinforcement and punishment strategies that would guide and shape those pigeons’ behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of B.F. Skinner’s principles. Through a series of behavioral modification techniques, individuals may engage in behavioral change. Today Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is used to help change maladaptive behaviors, teach new life skills, help with reading comprehension and so much more. The principles that surround ABA were once applied to birds, but now are used by many to change behavior in humans. But Skinner didn’t stop at pecking and spinning, he argued that language was in fact influenced through the environment and verbalizations too could be modified just like physical movement. His then theory would become a very important component to the ABA pedagogy- verbal behavior. Whether you’re looking to teach student with autism how to communicate their needs, help the elderly reclaim independence, or simply modify your own behaviors, learning about the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis is essential. In today’s world, where insurance companies are required to cover services for autistic individuals, it is essential to provide these companies with evidence-based practices that show improvement. ABA is one of the few practices approved through medical insurance companies. If you’re ready to change the lives of individuals from all types of backgrounds try one of our graduate programs in Applied Behavior Analysis

Methodology:

  • Affordability (1/3): Combined analysis of overall tuition of the program, financial aid or scholarship assistance programs, and estimated cost per credit hour for out-of-state students.
  • Flexibility (1/3): The number of flexibility-enhancing elements specific to the degree program including teaching philosophy concentrations, degree specialties, prior learning or life experience crediting options, accelerated or self-paced courses, personalized student advisement/guidance, and competency-based credit options.
  • Academic Prestige (1/3): The academic prestige of the parent institution operationally defined through the analyses of the rankings/reviews of prominent education review entities such as US News & World Report and The Princeton Review.

1.)Arizona State University

Arizona State University is a public research university that enrolls over 50,000 students and has a student-to-faculty ratio of 23:1. U.S. News ranks Arizona State 1st for Most Innovative School in the country. Additionally, ASU ranks 61st for top public schoo and 129th in the nation for best graduate school. The Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College is considered to be one of the best graduate colleges of education and ranked 11th according to U.S. News The online degrees include fields of study such as anthropology, communication, global leadership, social policy, and marketing among others. There are also a number of online Master’s of Education degrees available that cover specializations like special education and instructional technology.

Arizona State University (ASU) offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis. This course work is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. We selected ASU for the high quality academic programming and for the affordable tuition rates. This online degree requires 30 credit hours for completion and offers course materials in reading and communication strategies for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), Foundations of ASD, methods for using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for exceptional populations, behavioral change systems, ABA in inclusion and much more. This program includes research and culminates with a capstone experience. If you are looking for an affordable and high quality master’s degree, the master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from ASU is a great option.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking 11
  • Affordability 11/50
  • Flexibility: online

2.) California University of Pennsylvania

California University of Pennsylvania is a public university that was established in 1852. It is located in the rural town of California, Pennsylvania. Currently there are 7,854 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 21:1. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools accredits California University of Pennsylvania to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs. Through their 14 schools, Cal U offers over 100 undergraduate majors and minors, and 50 graduate degree programs. The Princeton Review rates Cal U as one the most affordable options for higher education in Pennsylvania. The U.S. News ranks Cal U as a “Best for Veterans” university. In fact, Cal U offers a Military tuition discount program, veteran benefits as well as military tuition assistance and more. The Global Online program at Cal U offers over 75 online degree programs that are both affordable and accelerated.

California University of Pennsylvania offers a number of routes to a Master of Education (M.Ed) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Student may select from the following options: M.Ed. in Special Education (autism track) with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, M.Ed. in Special Education (general track) with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Preparation Certificate. The certificate is a viable option for individuals who already hold a Master’s degree in a related field of study and are looking to pursuse their BCBA. The master’s degree programs require between 33 and 39 credit hours for completion and were selected for their flexibility and affordable tuition rate. For an affordable degree or certification in ABA, try the Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis from California University of Pennsylvania.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking N/A
  • Affordability: 4/50
  • Flexibility: 2 tracks

3.) Bay Path University

Bay Path University is an independent university located in Massachusetts. There are 3,225 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1. Known originally as a foot path for Native Americans, this “path” was a much-travelled route for early settlers including Boston where this university is located. Bay Path is also a member of the Women’s College Coalition though Bay Path offers both all-women and coeducational degree opportunities. When it comes to online education, Bay Path offers nearly 20 fully online degree programs in fields like liberal arts, criminal science, accounting, and higher education. According to U.S. News Bay Path University ranks as the 102nd best university in the North.

Bay Path University offers three routes to a degree with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, EdS in Applied Behavior Analysis/ Applied Research Focus, and a M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis/ Autism Spectrum Disorders. We selected this program for the flexible options. All courses may be taken either full-time or part time. Those pursuing the autism course will be required to complete 45 credit hours of course material before graduation. All online degrees are pre-approved by the Behavior Analys Certification Board. Students who wish to pursue certification must complete 1500 hours of supervised fieldwork. Unlike other programs that focus on ABA and autism, Bay Path allows for individuals to use behavioral principles outside of the autism community. If you are looking for an affordable and flexible route towards a career in Applied Behavior Analysis, Bay Path University is a great option.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking
  • Affordability 5/50
  • Flexibility: 3 tracks, part-time or full-time available

4.) University of Washington

University of Washington is a public 4-year institution located in Seattle, Washington. There are 45,591 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 17:1. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities accredits UW to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees as well as post-master’s certifications. According to U.S. News University of Washington ranks as the 56th best school in the nation, 24th best college for veterans, and 10th best global university. Founded in 1861, it is the oldest university Seattle. As one of the best universities in the world, it may come as no surprise the UW offers an extraordinarily vast range of degree programs. Students attending UW have the privaledge to study fields like plant science, architecture history, Korean studies, genetics, artificial intelligence, slavic languages, nursing administration, jazz and so much more. The range of programs makes UW stand out among the top. When it comes to online education, UW offers nearly 10 fully online degrees for both undergraduate and graduate students alike.

University of Washington offers a Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Applied Behavior Analysis. We selected this online degree for the high quality academic prestige. The UW College of Education ranks as the 9th best education college in the country. UW offers a course sequence verified (VCS) throug the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The VCS includes among other, methods of ABA research, behavioral measurement and assessment, ethics, application of principles, and educating students with autism. Additional course material includes special education and families, collaboration and supervision, special education and the law and a capstone experience. If you are looking for a top-notch degree in the field of behavior analysis, the online master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at UW is second to none.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking 9
  • Affordability 18/50
  • Flexibility: online

5.) Ball State University

Ball State University is public research university located in Muncie, Indiana. There are 21,998 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 14:1. U.S. News ranks Ball State as the 176th best university in the nation and 93rd best public school. There are eight academic colleges including the college of applied sciences and technology, college of architecture and planning, college of fine arts, the teachers college and others. Ball State also has a vast number of online degree programs available; including their top ranked online business, education, and nursing programs for graduates. The Higher Learning Commission accredits the institution to offer degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoralrate level. According to Ball State, they are committed to something called “immersive learning” giving the students opportunities to incorporate research, involvement with community partners, and capstone programming.

Ball State University offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) with an emphasis in autism. We selected this online degree for the high quality academic programming and affordable tuition rate. All students will complete a course load sequence that has been pre-approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. As an autism-centric degree, the course material focuses on ABA and its application to persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). You will study, an introductory course to ABA, behavioral consultation, advanced ABA, reserach methods, verbal behavior, professional issues in ABA, and more. All students will complete a field-based experience in autism and ABA. For a high quality degree that will prepare you for work in the fields of behavior analysis, the online master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Ball State is a phenomenal choice.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking: 101
  • Affordability6/50
  • Flexibility: online

6.)Brandman University


Brandman University is a private institution located in Irvine, California. There are 7,331 students enrolled and the student to faculty ratio is 15:1. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges accredits Brandman to award comprehensive degree programming and professional certifications. U.S. News ranks Brandman University for its online degree offerings and specifically as: 63rd best online bachelor’s programs, 89th best online graduate business programs, and 101st for best online graduate education programs. The majority of academic programs are online. In fact, Brandman University offers nearly 50 fully online degrees and professional certifications. The most popular online degrees by enrollment are in business, education, psychology, and health.

Brandman University offers an online certification in Applied Behavior Analysis and includes the verified course sequence (VCS) to meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This certification program is designed for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in education or a related field. We selected this program because it is accelerated and affordable. Classes are just 8 weeks in length and may be taken full-time. All student will learn about ABA, Ethics, Application, Procedures and Experiemental Design, Advanced Applications and more. If you are looking to sit for the BCBA exam, this certification in Applied Behavior Analysis is a great way to get you ready.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking
  • Affordability8/50
  • Flexibility: accelerated

7.) University of Northern Colorado

University of Northern Colorado is a public 4-year institution located in Greeley, Colorado. There are 13,087 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 19:1. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Northern Colorado to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees. According to U.S. News University of Northern Colorado ranks as the 231st best school in the nation and 123rd for best online graduate education programs as well as 165th for best online bachelor’s programs. Carnegie classifies University of Northern Colorado as a research university with higher research activity. When it comes to academics, UNC offers a blend of on-campus and online degrees in a wide range of fields that include human sciences, health, linguistics, and more. There are 20 online degrees and professional certifications available for prospective students including a bachelor’s in social sciences and a master’s in educational psychology among others.

University of Northern Colorado offers a Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate. We selected this program for the affordable tuition rate. This is our most affordable program selection costing approximately $495 per credit hour. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board approved this course sequence (VCS) and this certification does prepare students for the BCBA examination. All students will study concepts and foundations of ABA, measurement and experimental design, identifying functions or problem behavior, designing implementing and evaluating interventions, behavior change systems, ethics, management and supervision and ABA through the lifespan. If you hold a master’s degree in a related field and are ready to become a board certified behavior analyst, this certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at UNC is a great pick.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking
  • Affordability:1/50
  • Flexibility: online

8.)University of Southern Maine


The University of Southern Maine (USM) is a multi-campus public university located in Gorham, Lewiston, and Portland, Maine and is part of the University of Maine System. There are 7,739 students and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits USM to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees, as well as professional certifications. Students may select from a vast range of programs from accounting and art to women and gender studies as well as creative writing. According to U.S. News ranks as one of the best schools in the nation and highly for their online master’s in education programming. In addition to academics USM offers fantastic professional development opportunities for civilians, active military, and veterans as well as customized training, test preparation, intensive workshops, and certificate programs. The online programs include 7 bachelor’s degrees and 5 master’s degrees in fields like business administration, social and behavioral sciences, and special education.

University of Southern Maine (USC) offers both a Master of Scienc in Eucation Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and a Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. The certificate is a great option for individuals who already hold a master’s degree in special education, educational psychology, or a realted field. The M.S. requires 36 credit hours for completion and is our second most affordable pick. You will learn about functional behavioral assessment, Applied Behavior Analysis, Ethics in Behavior Analysis and more. If you are looking for an affordable route to a online master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis try the programming at USC.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking
  • Affordability:2/50
  • Flexibility: online

9.) Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University- World Campus is the global campus of Pennsylvania State University (Penn State). There are 13,411 students enrolled at through their world campus and 47,789 students enrolled through their main campus. The Middle State Commission on Higher Education accredits Penn State comprehenive degree programs and professional certificates. According to U.S News, Penn State ranks as the 50th best school in the nation, 14th top public school, and as the 56th best university in the world. As you may have guessed their world campus is vast- offering a wide array of high quality online degrees. In fact, their online degree offerings are comprehensive and available for people seeking associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certifications. Some of their unique online offerings include a bachelor’s in agriculture, a professional certification in bioinformatics, and a master’s degree in acoustics. Some of the most popular online degrees are in the fields of engineering, social sciences, and education.

Pennsylvania State University offers a Master of Education in Special Education with an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. We selected this online degree for the high quality academic prestige. This online degree follows the verified course sequrence (VCS) approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and does prepare students to sit for the BCBA exam. The programs require 32 credit hours for completion 24 of which are in Applied Behavior Analysis. The program culminated with a capstone experience. All students will study ABA principles, applications, current issuses as well as ethical considerations. Individuals who are looking for a high quality program in ABA should try the Master of Education in Special Education with an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis from Penn State.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking 38
  • Affordability: 22/50
  • Flexibility: online

10.) George Mason University

George Mason University is located in Fairfax, Virginia. There are 34,909 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits George Mason to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate programs including postbaccalaureate certifications and post-master’s certifications. According to U.S. News Mason ranks as the 140th best school in the nation, 89th best college for veterans, and 68th top public school.Their online graduate education programs rank 123rd. George Mason University offers a number of the nation’s top online degree programs in the fields of business, computer information technology, and education both undergraduate and graduate students.

George Mason University offers an online graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. (ABA) We selected this online course for the high quality academic offerings. This certificate follows the verified course sequence (VCS) approved through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The certificate will prepare students to sit for the BACB examination that leads to ABA certification. Through this VCS you will learn about ABA principles, procedures and philosophy, ABA empirical bases, ABA assessements and interventions, ABA applications, ABA verbal behavior, and ethical and professional conduct for behavior analysts. If you are looking for a top-notch certification in ABA, the program at George Mason is a great option.

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  • Academic Prestige: Education Department Ranking 62
  • Affordability:19/50
  • Flexibility: online
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