The online Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) certificate program at Saint Joseph's prepares students to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam when accompanied with a master's degree. The program curriculum explores both the theoretical and methodological foundations of behavior analysis.
Applied Behavior Analysis MS
Offered 100% online, the 30-credit Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at Saint Joseph’s University helps professionals develop a deeper understanding of diverse behavioral health needs. Through an online curriculum approved by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI), graduate students will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate quality techniques that result in positive behavioral change in people with exceptionalities.
Saint Joseph’s University’s online ABA master’s degree is designed for individuals with a background in education or the social sciences who are interested in becoming Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). However, anyone with an interest in learning about positive behavioral interventions and support can also benefit from this program. Our innovative program covers the foundations of behavior analysis, including the principles of learning and behavior, as well as how to purposefully apply these principles in educational, health and business environments.
Through Saint Joseph's 4+1 program, current undergraduate students can start earning credits toward their Applied Behavior Science MS degree during their senior year. This unique option allows you to graduate with two degrees — a bachelor's and master's — in just five years, saving you time and money. Students from all majors are welcome to apply, but students majoring in areas outside of computer science may be required to complete prerequisite coursework. Students interested in this program should apply to the graduate program in their junior year and be conditionally accepted before they complete their bachelor's degree.
What Sets Our Program Apart
The ABA MS at Saint Joseph’s University allows working professionals to complete the coursework required to take the BCBA exam without putting their life on hold. All courses are offered 100% online and supervision hours are provided through a unique clinical practice course. With engaging online learning opportunities and a dedicated faculty, individuals who want to advance in their career track or switch fields can both meet their goals and succeed through this program.
Saint Joseph’s also offers a 24-credit online graduate certificate in ABA — a valuable credential for professionals in the education, criminal justice, mental health services and human resource development fields.
Through Saint Joseph’s 4+1 program, current Saint Joseph's University undergraduate students who are completing a BS in autism behavioral studies or psychology can also begin earning credits towards an MS in ABA, allowing them to earn a master’s degree in just one additional year. Students interested in this option must apply to the graduate program in their junior year and be conditionally accepted before they complete their bachelor's degree. If you have taken ABA courses from a previous task list and need to complete bridge courses, please contact the ABA Program Director for further guidance.
As an online ABA student at Saint Joseph’s, you’ll learn how to use data-driven methodologies to effectively analyze and guide positive change in human behavior. Our program, taught by expert faculty, is unique because it emphasizes Ignatian pedagogical principles with the use of behaviorally based teaching strategies and opportunities for reflection, including interteaching, interactive practice and guest lectures.
We offer optional supervised fieldwork experience, which is required to apply for BCBA certification. Additionally, one of the BACB members who developed the certification exam questions is an online faculty member at Saint Joseph’s, meaning your behavior analysis education will come directly from those who are at the cutting edge of this emerging discipline.
Saint Joseph's faculty are experts in their fields, bringing theory, practice and relevance to the classroom. Our small, dynamic classes allow for discussion, reflection and collaboration.
We’ve designed our online ABA MS program for the working professional. Flexibility and choice are built-in so you can balance work, family and all the other commitments of a busy life.
What Can You Do With a Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis?
Behavior analysis is most widely used in therapy for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. It’s also used to address a variety of cognitive, emotional or behavioral challenges related to addiction, anxiety, eating disorders and learning disorders.
Obtaining a master’s in ABA will allow you to pursue and excel in numerous careers such as:
- Board certified behavioral analyst*
- Behavioral specialist in a school setting
- School counselor
- Educational consultant
- Social worker
- Speech-language pathologist
- Mobile therapist
- Medical professional
*While the ABAI has approved our courses as meeting the education requirements for eligibility to take the BCBA exam, applicants will still need to meet additional field experience requirements outside of the online program to qualify. You can find the most recent eligibility requirements for becoming a BCBA from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) here.
Applied Behavior Analysis MS Admissions Information
To be considered for admission you must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution and have earned an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.
- Apply online.
- Submit official college transcripts from all colleges attended.
- Submit a personal statement.
- Submit resume.
- Submit two letters of recommendation.
Visit our Graduate Admission Information page to learn more about admission requirements, key deadlines, additional requirements for international students and how to submit your application.
Graduate applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. New students may enroll in courses during the fall, spring and summer semesters.
- Fall: August
- Spring: January
- Summer: May
If you’re applying as an international student, you must provide proof of English Language Proficiency and Certification of Finances along with your application. Check the Graduate Admission page for additional requirements.
Affordable tuition options start at $941 per credit.*
*This rate applies to all students accepted by Saint Joseph's University after June 1, 2023. Tuition and fee rates for students accepted prior to June 1, 2023 differ. Pricing does not include room and board, health insurance or any professional, clinical or transportation fees. Visit our Tuition & Fees page or contact us for more information.
Financial aid may be available to you to help offset the cost of your degree. Explore your options on our Financial Aid page.
Have you completed a year or more of service with a recognized service organization? You may be eligible for our mission discount.
Alumni of Saint Joseph's are eligible to receive 10% off the cost of this program through our alumni discount.
Check with your employer to see if they are an Edcor or a Bright Horizons EdAssist member, which may entitle you to a discount on graduate programs.
Note: discounts cannot be combined.
Saint Joseph's is a Yellow Ribbon School that accepts GI education benefits. Our Office of Veterans Services can help you access and understand your benefits.
Saint Joseph’s University is approved by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Education and is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, that assesses institutions for the highest available form of accreditation.
Why Study an Applied Behavior Analysis MS in Philadelphia?
Saint Joseph’s Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support in Philadelphia has numerous training opportunities for those who want to enter the behavioral analysis field. Additionally, students who are pursuing a BCBA certification can apply for a competitive supervised internship in Philadelphia working with learners in Kinney programs. Students will learn how to complete skill assessments, build data collections, analyze behavior graphs, learn the process behind behavior intervention plans and more.
Frequently Asked Questions
Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy is used to help individuals with autism improve social interactions, learn new skills, and maintain positive behaviors.