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Best BCBA Programs

Last Updated on November 14, 2022 by Fola Shade

Are you in search of the best bcba programs? Do you want to enhance your chances of furthering your career by pursuing a postgraduate degree in your chosen field? If this sounds like you, this article is for you.

More than that, it also offers you more information on best bcba programs online, best online aba master’s programs, best online bcba certificate programs, aba masters programs california, and best bcba graduate programs. Numerous related resources can be found on Collegelearners..

The best BCBA programs are designed with working professionals in mind. These programs offer flexible schedules, which means students can complete their coursework at times that work best for their schedule—including nights and weekends—and still earn their degree in as little as two years. They also provide access to resources like online tutoring services or live webinars where instructors answer questions about difficult concepts or help guide students through difficult assignments.

What is Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis is a science-based approach to understanding behavior and its causes and effects. It can be used to improve learning, treat mental health issues, and more.

What Is an Online MSA Program?

An MSA program (Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis) teaches students how they can use their knowledge of behavioral science to solve problems related to human behavior and development. This degree prepares graduates for work as a clinical psychologist or other similar positions within the healthcare industry where they would use their knowledge of psychology and applied behavior analysis in order to help clients overcome challenges or develop new skills through therapy sessions or assessments conducted with patients/clients who need assistance improving their quality of life through various interventions such as DBT therapy sessions conducted by trained professionals who specialize in this type of treatment for mental illnesses such

The 10 Best Schools Offering BCBA and ABA Therapy Degree Programs in 2022

Receiving the best education on your way to becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) means choosing a program accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) that gives you the tools you need to succeed. Passing the BCBA exam is the first step in your career, and the right program will help you achieve your goal of becoming an Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA).

The University of Houston at Clear Lake stands out for its balanced program and 100% BCBA exam pass rate. They offer plenty of hands-on training, and the university is widely acclaimed for its excellent results.

Each of the programs I’ve listed here is ABAI-accredited and has an above-average BCBA exam pass rate. In this guide, I’ll go over ten programs to help you pass the BCBA exam and achieve your academic and career goals.

Degree Programs to Explore

  1. University of Houston at Clear Lake
  2. Simmons University
  3. Caldwell University
  4. Cambridge College Boston
  5. Northern Illinois University
  6. St. Cloud State University
  7. Oregon Institute of Technology
  8. California State University
  9. University of North Carolina
  10. Florida State University

1. University of Houston at Clear Lake

The University of Houston at Clear Lake had a 100% BCBA exam pass rate in 2019 and 2020, ranking it among the best universities for ABA therapy. Its well-balanced program combines coursework, research, and practical experience in the field. 

The program emphasizes hands-on training, including at their Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, which contributes to its high pass rate. The program offers a strong foundation for students who want to get their Ph.D. and those taking the exam after graduation.

As one of the most widely acclaimed programs available, it earns its place as the featured program in this guide. It’s also fairly affordable at an average of $9,031 per year for in-state students and $18,337 for out-of-state.

2. Simmons University

Simmons University offers MS, Ed.S., and Ph.D. programs in Behavior Analysis both on-campus and online. It boasts the lowest student-to-faculty ratio at 7:1, allowing for more individualized attention.

Simmons is a women-centric university that focuses on empowering women in their education and careers. However, they accept applications from people of all genders.

The program focuses on helping students keep up with the most recent research in the ABA field and prepare them to make strides in their careers. Over 23 months, students learn about everything from research and analysis to advanced ABA topics. Mentoring and supervision hours are also included.

Simmons is more expensive than most other universities on this list at about $21,726 per year for its master’s program alone.

3. Caldwell University

Caldwell University offers several ABA degrees, including:

  • Combined BA in Psychology/MA in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • MA in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Post-Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis

These programs prepare students to work in many environments, including special education. Students complete a research thesis, as well as a capstone that includes completion of a survey and original thesis in their specific area of ABA.

Caldwell’s program also takes longer to complete than most due to the degree requirements, but 96% of students would recommend it. Because the school is also more expensive than others at $44,775 for the MA alone, it may not work for students looking for a more affordable option.

4. Cambridge College Boston

Cambridge College’s program focuses on ABA applied to autism. Its online, evening, and weekend courses are designed to accommodate students who don’t go to school full-time.

The program prepares students for the BCBA exam with general ABA principles and education and working with autistic individuals. While the program works well for people who want to focus on autism in their careers, it doesn’t help as much toward working with people with other developmental disabilities, which may deter some students.

5. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University is an excellent option for students who want to use their degree to work in special education. Their Special Education-Behavior Analysis Specialization program offers courses that help students learn how to support children with disabilities and their families. 

Although the program only offers a master’s degree, as opposed to a Ph.D. or combination degree, 90% of graduates get a job in their field within the first year after program completion.

6. St. Cloud University

St. Cloud University’s online ABA program is convenient for students who can’t make it to campus every day. It also has the highest pass rates for the BCBA exam of any online program. The program has all PhD-level instructors, allowing students to take advantage of their extensive experience.

Because this is an online program and the school has a higher student-to-faculty ratio at 22:1, it may be harder to get individualized attention. It also offers fewer specialization options compared to other programs.

7. Oregon Institute of Technology

Oregon Institute of Technology is home to Oregon’s only ABA master’s program. It offers a paid position to approved agencies for all students to make it easier to get the necessary supervised hours and experience they need in the ABA field before applying for the BCBA exam.

The program has a BCBA course sequence and practicum to help students prepare for the exam. It prepares students to work in many positions, whether in special education, a person’s home, or a clinic. 

Unfortunately, the program doesn’t offer concentrated studies since it’s the only one in the area.

8. California State University

California State University at Sacramento prepares students to earn their Ph.D. in ABA by offering networking opportunities, guest speakers, professional conferences, and other resources through the school. It helps students aiming to get into many areas of ABA, whether they plan to become caseworkers, behavioral consultants, or work in special education.

Students can participate in research opportunities through the school, allowing them to further their education independently. However, with a high student-to-faculty ratio at 25:1, it may be harder to get one-on-one help. The program also has no online degree option, which may make the program inaccessible to some students.

9. University of North Carolina

At about $4,720 per year for North Carolina residents and $18,548 for out-of-state students, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington has some of the lowest tuition in the US while still offering a high-quality education.

The program emphasizes intervention services for people with developmental disabilities. Students complete 53 credit hours of coursework, which includes research and applied practicums and an empirical thesis. The school offers a six-month, 1000-hour internship after course completion, too.

Students looking for a specific emphasis on an area of ABA other than intervention services may want to look into a different program. UNCW has fewer program options than other schools, but the one it offers may work for students who want a more low-cost program.

10. Florida State University

Florida State University at Panama City offers a five-semester program that ends with students creating a professional portfolio to show their skills in ABA. When students get placed with behavior analytic agencies, they receive assistantships and tuition waivers to make their education more accessible.

With several ABA-trained Ph.D. faculty on campus, students have all the resources they need for their education. As a limited access program, only a certain number of students can enter it each year. Prospective students should have a backup program option.

10 Best Master’s in ABA Programs Ranking Methodology

For the purpose of this list, we looked at 42 regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities that offer ABA master’s degree programs in a traditional on-campus format. We selected accredited ABA programs, many of which aligned their coursework with the standards set forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). We also chose schools with graduate tuition (inclusive of fees) of less than $25,000 per year. Many of the programs on our list are BACB-certified and offer eligibility to sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification exam. To narrow down our options still further, we included only programs with course sequences approved by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Also, we included only programs with indicated BCBA examination pass rates of 70% or higher.

Ranking the 10 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Schools of 2021

10. Georgia State University

Applied Behavior Analysis, M.S.

Atlanta, Georgia

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $24,517

Georgia State University’s master’s in applied behavior analysis is among the best behavioral analysis degree programs available. Georgia State University ranks with U.S. News & World Report as #3 among most innovative schools. It also ranks among top national universities. This school had a BCBA examination pass rate of 71%. Some of the courses in this program are principles of behavior analysis, psychology of learning & learners, strategies for challenging behaviors, and ethics for behavior analysts. The course sequence is approved by the ABAI, and Georgia State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. This is one of our top picks for best ABA master’s degree programs.

9. The University of Nebraska Omaha

Applied Behavior Analysis, MS

Omaha, Nebraska

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,718

The University of Nebraska Omaha, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, is one of the best ABA therapy schools. Although it is not the cheapest on our list of ABA programs, it is a high-quality degree, as evidenced by several factors, including its 17-1 student-to-faculty ratio and its BCBA pass rate of 88%. Another factor is that this program ranks among top national universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. It is also one of the top performers on social mobility, which means that it helps students with family incomes below the national median to graduate and acquire jobs. The course sequence for this program is approved by the ABAI; students will need to choose the path that is approved, as there are multiple course sequences offered. The master’s degree in applied behavior analysis is available for those with a bachelor’s degree in education, psychology, or applied behavior analysis.

8. The University of North Texas

MA in Applied Behavior Analysis

Denton, Texas

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,906

The Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis offered by the University of North Texas is one of the top ABA therapy programs available. Some of the courses in this program are: fundamentals & techniques of compassionate & effective behavior change, evidence-based practice: understanding & using applied behavior analytic research, and culturally responsive ethics in behavioral practice. All of the courses in this program are available every semester, so students do not need to wait for the course they plan to take. The course sequence in ABAI-approved. Graduates of this program have a pass rate of 94% on the BCBA examination, which is remarkable among applied behavior analysis schools.The University of North Texas tied for #44 in social mobility, according to U.S. News & World Report, as well as ranking among top national universities and top public schools. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. The University of Texas is among the best applied behaviour analysis schools.

7. The University of Houston Clear Lake

Behavior Analysis M. A.

Houston, Texas

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,752

Ranking #7 on our list of top ABA programs, here is a great option from the University of Houston Clear Lake. This program offers a balance of experience, coursework, and research, all three of which are invaluable for those going into the field of behavior analysis. The program emphasises both knowledge, or the theoretical, and skills, or the practical aspects of the field. This emphasis appears to be effective, as the University of Houston Clear Lake has a BCBA pass rate of 100% – rare even among the best applied behavior analysis programs. The University of Houston Clear Lake is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges. It has a student-to-faculty ratio of 17-1. Some graduates take the BCBA exam; others continue further in their studies, either in applied behavior analysis or in psychology. 

6. California State University Northridge

M. S., Applied Behavior Analysis

Los Angeles, California

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees$18,897

California State University Northridge is a top pick for accredited ABA graduate programs and offers one of the best applied behavior analysis programs. Their course sequence aligns with the standards set forth by the ABAI. Major publications like U.S. News & World Report rank California State University Northridge one of the best global universities. The courses will get students ready to assess patients’ behavior, and it will prepare them to intervene and eventually help to change the patient’s behavior for the better. Graduates of this program had a 92% pass rate on the BCBA examination. Also, this school is accredited by the WASC Senior College & University Commission.

5. Salem State University

Master of Science in Behavior Analysis

Salem, Massachusetts

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees$18,480

Salem State University offers an ABA master’s degree program that is designed to prepare students to be highly competent behavior analysts in applied or research settings. According to the school’s website, the mission of the program is, “To use behavior analysis to inspire solutions that lead to a more rewarding life.” Salem State University graduates had a 71% pass rate on the BCBA examination. Students who complete the graduate degree may need to meet additional requirements in order to be eligible to take the examination to become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst.  In addition to the reputation of the ABA program, Michigan State has earned top rankings with U.S. News & World Report, tying for #36 for social mobility, #44 in top public schools, and #125 in best regional universities in the North.

4. The University of South Florida

Master of Science in ABA

Tampa, Florida

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees$17,898

One of the top online ABA programs on our list is the 44-credit master of science in applied behavior analysis at the University of South Florida. Three colleges work together to award this degree: the College of Behavioral & Community Sciences, the College of Arts & Sciences, and the College of Education. This program had a 82% BCBA pass rate. According to the program’s website, this ABA master’s program prepares students for work in the fields of mental health, education, autism, rehabilitation, and others. The University of South Florida has been accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges, and ranks #103 with U.S. News & World Report among best national universities. Also, the course sequence for this program is approved by the ABAI. This school has one of the best ABA programs available.

3. St. Cloud State University

Applied Behavior Analysis (M. S.)

St. Cloud, Minnesota

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17, 195

Breaking into the top three on our list of the top ABA master’s programs is St. Cloud University’s master’s in applied behavior analysis. St. Cloud University offers this program either online or on-campus. Students in this program have the opportunity to present at conferences during the course of their studies. There are two options for completion of this degree: Plan A is heavy on research and the student writes a thesis, while Plan B finishes with a comprehensive exam. Plan A requires 45 credits, while Plan B requires 46. The course sequence is approved by the ABAI. St. Cloud University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the BCBA pass rate for this program is 90%.

2. Cambridge College Boston

Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis Program (MEd)

Boston, Massachusetts

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees$16,266

Cambridge College Boston offers a master of education in autism/applied behavior analysis that takes 38 credits to earn. 14 of those credits are autism or special education credits, and 24 of them are part of the ABA course sequence. Cambridge College Boston is dedicated to helping adult students who have other responsibilities than school, so there are online, evening and weekend options for working students. Graduates of this program had a 94% pass rate on the BCBA exam. Cambridge College Boston is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and has the remarkable student-to-faculty ratio of 11-1. This affordable college has among the best ABA degree programs available.

1. Queens College

Psychology: Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Behavior Analysis

Cambridge, Massachusetts

School Profile

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,488

Queens College offers the most affordable ABA master’s degree on our list. This master of arts in applied behavior analysis program supports students whether they plan to continue with their education and earn a doctoral degree or plan to begin work in the field immediately upon graduation. Those who wish to study in this program must have taken 15 credits in undergraduate psychology, including specific laboratory courses. If they have not met this requirement, but are otherwise qualified for admission, they will be required to take the courses they have missed at the undergraduate level. Queens College tied for #50 in best regional universities in the North and is #23 in best colleges for veterans according to U.S. News & World Report. Queens College had a BCBA pass rate of 88%. This is the most affordable ABA master’s degree on our list of the top ABA master’s programs.

ABA Staff
April 2021

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