Applied Behavior Analysis

Discover how people learn and explore theories of behavior change.

Content of the program is in compliance with the Verified Course Sequence and the 5th Edition Task List.

If you are considering a career centered on application of behavior analytic principles to teach new behaviors and decrease undesired behaviors, particularly in the areas of education or human service, then this program is for you. Be prepared to: work with individuals with moderate to severe disabilities, including autism, across settings; work with individuals with and without disabilities who engage in challenging behavior and/or who are in need of increasing skills; consult with teachers and school systems to create positive behavior support systems; train parents; and collaborate with medical professionals. The courses included in all of our applied behavior analysis degree options are verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International® (5th Edition Task list). Graduates will meet the coursework requirements necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. released its 2021 rankings, and our Master’s in ABA was named one of today’s best for online learning in applied behavior analysis. Specifically, our program was ranked #8 for Best Online ABA Master’s Programs for BCBA Certification


(For residential students only in the masters program)

The US Department of Education Office for Special Education Programs has been awarded to the Colleges of Education and Health & Human Sciences to train graduate students to work collaboratively in treating K-6 students with high intensity needs.

IPE-SHINES (Inter-professional Education for Supporting High Intensity Needs of Exceptional Students; Grant # H325K210078) is an interdisciplinary preparation training grant designed to address a national need for highly-skilled SLPs and BCBAs to provide high-quality, evidenced based services for children with high intensity needs across a wide variety of settings. For more information, click here.

Purdue quality. Flexible schedule.

Online and hybrid students enjoy the same rigorous academic programs as on-campus students, but with a much more flexible class schedule. Assignments, discussions, and other coursework are posted each week in the virtual classroom.

We have several options to meet your needs.

Online Master of Science in Educational Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis
The 30-credit program offers students a fully online opportunity. All courses include asynchronous activities and regularly scheduled synchronous class meetings which students can join virtually.

April 1st is the priority deadline for consideration for Fall admission.

Residential Master of Science in Educational Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis
The 30-credit program offers students a synchronous (face-to-face) and asynchronous (distance/online) components.

April 1st is the priority deadline for consideration for Fall admission.

Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies in Applied Behavior Analysis
This 7-course sequence, 21- credit program, is for those that already have a master’s degree.

Applied Behavior Analysis 4 plus 1
This provides an accelerated pathway for undergraduates to fulfill the degree and course requirements for becoming Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Fourth-year undergraduate students in the program will begin their ABA course work while completing undergraduate course work. After completing their undergraduate degree, students matriculate into the graduate program in ABA and can complete the master’s degree with one additional year.  Undergraduates in the following programs are eligible to apply when they are classified as a junior:

  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • Educational Studies
  • Human Development and Family Studies
  • Psychological Sciences
  • Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

This program does not lead to licensure in the state of Indiana. Contact the College of Education Office of Teacher Education and Licensure (OTEL) at before continuing with program application if you have questions regarding licensure or contact your state Department of Education about how this program may translate to licensure in your state of residence. 

What is applied behavior analysis?

Applied behavioral science is a broad field of study using behavioral research and knowledge to solve real-world problems. The study of applied behavioral science is based on principles of exploring and understand complex human behavior. ABA can be used to teach new skills, enhance performance, or reduce challenging behaviors in people of all ages, with or without disabilities. The specific focus of ABA therapy is unique to each person or situation, but in general, the goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and promote learning. Applied behavior analysis can be used with any population including children, adults, families, and communities.

Our applied behavior analysis degree will focus on ethical principles and evidence-based best practices. This includes practicing how to assess behavior, develop personalized therapy plans and use data to track progress. Our program supports ABA across contexts such as schools, home, community, and clinics.  The opportunities and rewards within the profession are plentiful.

Make your next giant leap