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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Admission requirements

Step 1: University Application and Fee (MA-ABA Program Code: 6771)

  • Application deadline is January 15.
  • Our program is designed to start in the fall.
  • In this application, please leave the "personal statement" an "academic statement" blank. You will upload a personal statement in the GEA portal.
  • Note the application fees, payable to Michigan State University, are non-refundable.
  • Note that the recommendation form provided in the graduate application is not required, and does not need to be submitted in conjunction with recommendation letters. Your recommendation letters are to be submitted through the GEA Portal described below.
  • After completion of the University Application plus payment, an email inviting you to complete the GEA Portal will be sent to the email address submitted on your University Graduate School Application. The supplemental application will serve as an electronic depository for your student-generated application materials.

Step 2: MSU Graduate Education Application Portal (GEA Portal)

The GEA Portal allows you to upload supplemental documents, request letter of recommendations, check the status of your application and send e-messages to the program. Log into the GEA Portal using your applicant ID and password to complete the application process and monitor your application status.

  1. Provide contact information for 3 recommendation letter writers is GEA Portal

    • You will need to include: Title (e.g., Dr.), first and last name, job title, employer, email address.
    • Please ensure you have a mutual agreement and understanding with your recommender prior to submitting their information into the system. You are responsible for ensuring the required letters of recommendation are submitted on your behalf.  You may need to follow up with your recommenders regarding missing letters to complete your application.
    • Your recommenders should look for an emai from

  2. Upload your Professional & Scholarly Goal Statement to GEA Portal (specify "personal statement" as document type)

  3. Upload your Vita or Resume to the GEA Portal (specify "Resume" as the document type)
    • List professional experience, awards, honors, publications, presentations, professional affiliations and professional development activities.

  4. Send one official copy of your Transcripts from all previous institutions attended

    • Have the transcripts sent directly to: (Note that Transcripts and the CDGDC report (for applicants from Chinese universities) are the only materials to be sent to this address.)

      Missy Davis, Office Assistant
      CEPSE Michigan State University
      620 Farm Lane
      Room 335
      East Lansing
      MI 48824-1034 USA

    • Applicants from Chinese Universities: Please arrange for a verification report of your university academic records with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development center (CDGDC). The report must be mailed directly to Missy Davis (see address above) by the CDGDC, rather than by you or any third party.
      • China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center Verification Division B-17. Tongfang Scientific Plaza No. 1 Wangzhuang Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, P.R. China Tel: +86-10-82379480 Fax: +86-10-82378718 (24 hours) Email: Website:

    • These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution; please contact the Registrar's Office at the institutions you attended for the appropriate procedures and fee information.

  5. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • The verbal, quantitative and analytical portions of the GRE should be submitted. Applications should have official test results reporting to institution code 1465.
    • Information on testing may be obtained from:
      • MSU testing office 207 Student Services Building East Lansing MI  48824 517-355-8385.

At this time, an international student cannot be a part of the ABA program.