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Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education

The first cohort of active science-practitioners is rising above averages and making an impact in the field.
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Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis

About the Program

The Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (MA-ABA) program at Michigan State University prepares students to be highly competent behavior analysts in educational settings, and to develop and deliver educational and behavioral programming to children with autism, intellectual and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Students will develop in-depth knowledge and applied competence in the delivery of behavior analysis to improve the quality of life of consumers in various service settings. Students who complete the MA-ABA program at MSU will be eligible to take the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Program Overview

The MA-ABA program is intended to provide students an opportunity to develop and grow in the skills of behavior analysis to ultimately help improve the quality of life of their consumers in a variety of settings. This program is relevant for persons interested in pursuing careers in behavior analysis that require the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. This is a hybrid program, offering the convenience of online coursework combined with on-campus instruction and a small cohort. Practicum fieldwork is supervised directly by MSU faculty.

Ready to change the lives of others?

MA-ABA Program Goals


Become Scientist Practitioners

Learn to use data to inform intervention decisions.


Support Meaningful Change for Others

Create socially significant growth for children and families.


Become a Leader in the Field

Participate and lead our professional communities.

MA-ABA By the Numbers

of 2016-17 cohort received substantial funding
All students
advised by doctoral level BCBAs
student to faculty ratio
Credit program
Concentrations in Your Studies

With the MA-ABA, there is a fusion of fieldwork experiences with coursework to create learning opportunities in behavior analysis across all aspects of the program. The cohort model takes advantage of working your way through the program with a peer network for additional support and learning.

These high-quality learning experiences can lead to success in and out of the classroom. Learn about the first cohort of MA-ABA graduates.

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For me, the best part of the MA-ABA program at Michigan State University is the amount of access we have to our professors, and the amount of supervision, feedback and support we receive within our practicum placements as well as within our courses. All of the faculty are outstanding, very personable people who are always willing to offer advice or support.

Kenzie Gatewood

MA-ABA Student, Lead Behavior Technician