Residential Master of Science in Educational Studies (MSEd): Applied Behavior Analysis


Discover how people learn and explore theories of behavior change.

The Purdue University College of Education’s hybrid master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a fast-paced way for individuals to broaden their professional skillset and gain confidence to be successful.

This 30-credit program will focus on the principles and foundations of applied behavior analysis and how they can be used to teach new skills and improve human behavior. Students will earn a master’s in education degree and be prepared to sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)® exam.  The program offers two course delivery options: fully online or a hybrid model (mix of online and face-to-face).

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 understanding 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 interventions is unique to each person or situation, but in general, the goal is to increase behaviors that are helpful and promote learning. ABA can be used with any population including children, adults, families, and communities.

Our degree program will focus on ethical principles and evidence-based best practices. This includes assessing behavior, developing personalized intervention plans, and using data to track progress.

The 30-credit hour program also serves as an avenue for recruitment into the Special Education doctoral program for which all credits (minimum =30) accrued from the Master’s can count towards the doctoral program of study.


(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.

Content of the program is an ABAI approved Verified Course Sequence for the 5th Edition Task List.


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


For more information, view the
Admissions Application Checklist

Request Information - MS ABA Residential

This program does not lead to licensure in the state of Indiana or elsewhere. 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.


Students spend an average of 15 hours a week on homework.

Program Overview

  • Cohort model to foster professional learning communities
  • Asynchronous and Synchronous class meetings to interact with professors and classmates
    • Opportunity to attend in face-to-face setting on campus
  • Community developed with collaborative opportunities in the synchronous coursework
  • Opportunity to participate in independent applied behavior analysis research

Core Courses (27 credit hours)

EDPS 54700 – Foundations and Principles of Behavior Analysis

Required Textbooks:

  • Sulzer-Azaroff, B., & Mayer, G. R., Sulzer-Azaroff, B., Wallace, M.  (2019). Behavior analysis for lasting change (4th ed.). Sloan.

Supplemental Text:

  • Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed).Pearson.

EDPS 54800 – Ethics of Applied Behavior Analysis

Required Textbooks:

  • Bailey, J. S., & Burch, M. R. (2016). Ethics for Behavior Analysts: (3rd Edition). New York: Routledge. ISBN-13: 978-1138949201
  • Brodhead, M. T., Cox, D. J., & Quigley, S. P. (2018). Practical Ethics for Effective Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. London, UK: Elsevier. Paperback
    ISBN: 9780128140987

EDPS 54900 – Verbal Behavior and Social Communication

Required Textbooks:

  • Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
  • Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis, 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 978-0134752556
  • An Introduction to Verbal Behavior – FoxyLearning Tutorial – Directions for registering can be found at

EDPS 50800 – Cultural and Linguistic Diversity

EDPS 61200 – Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis

Required Textbooks:

  • Mayer, G. R., Sulzer-Azaroff, B., & Wallace, M.  (2019). Behavior analysis for lasting change (4th ed.). Sloan.

Supplemental Text:

  • Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed).Pearson.

EDPS 68800 – Single Subject Research Design

Required Textbooks:

  • Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2019). Applied Behavior Analysis, 3rd ed. Hoboken, N.J.: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 978-0134752556
  • Kennedy, C. H. (2005). Single-case designs for educational research. Pearson/A & B.
  • Ledford, J. R. & Gast, D. L. (Eds.). (2018). Single case research methodology: Applications in special education and behavioral sciences, (3rd Ed). New York, NY: Routledge.

EDPS 55200 – Basic Concepts of ABA

Required Textbooks:

  • Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Pearson.
  • Michael, J. L. (2004). Concepts and principles of behavior analysis. Kalamazoo, MI: Association for Behavior Analysis International.

EDPS 62800 – The Behavior Analyst as Supervisor

Required Textbooks:

  • Bailey, J., & Burch, M. (2016). Ethics for Behavior Analysts, 3rd ed. New York & London: Routledge, Taylor and Francis. ISBN: 978-1138949201
  • Britton, L.N., & Cicoria, M.J. (2019). Remote Fieldwork Supervision for BCBA Trainees. San Diego, CA: Academic Press. ISBN: 978-0128159149

Choose one of the following:

  • EDPS 55300 – Application of Applied Behavior Analysis to Manage and Support Personnel


  • EDPS 55000 – Behavioral Consultation and Systems Change

Required Textbooks:

  • Kampwirth, T. J., Powers, K. M. (2016). Collaborative Consultation in the Schools: Effective Practices for Students with Learning and Behavior Problems. Pearson: New York.

Educational Studies Required Course (3 credit hours)

  • EDPS 53300 – Introduction to Educational Research

CBA Modules

All students in the program are required to purchase a one-year subscription to the CBA Learning Modules, offered by Behavior Development Solutions. Students will receive a discount on the price of the subscription due to this being a program requirement which brings the total to $345 for 12 months. Students will receive instructions for subscribing to the CBA modules via email from Behavior Development Solutions. It will be used in all courses and is required for taking the certification exam.

The CBA modules were specifically developed for learners to become fluent with the ABA terminology and prepare for the certification exam. Each learning module set consists of a 60 minute acquisition module and a timed fluency module. Specific CBA modules will be assigned in each of the 6 core courses. Within each module, students will complete the acquisition section followed by the fluency test. Though not required, students are encouraged to maintain their subscription until they sit for the BCBA exam. More information about the CBA modules >

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