Saint Louis University

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) | Master of Science Degree

At Saint Louis University School of Social Work, students earn degrees in the distinguished fields of ABA, criminal justice or social work, fields that empower people to use their knowledge to touch the lives of others.

Deeply rooted in a mission of social justice, the School of Social Work is a leader in integrating ABA education and practice. The School of Social Work hosts several programs in ABA. ABA is a field that systematically applies behavioral principles and procedures to change socially relevant behavior. Behavior analysts use findings from empirical research to create programs designed to produce a variety of behavior changes (e.g., smoking cessation, language development, vocational skill acquisition). In addition, behavior analysts work with a wide variety of populations (e.g., individuals with autism, school-aged children, elderly individuals).

School of Social Work
Applicants can start only in the fall term.
The Application Components Apply Online
March 1 (priority deadline)
Aug. 1 (final deadline)
-- Application Form
-- Resume
-- Application Fee
-- Professional Statement
-- Three (3) Reference Letters
-- Interview
-- Transcript

(Advantages of the web application)
Spring: No admittance
Summer: No admittance
Dir. of Graduate Admissions: Kristi Richter

Tel. No.: 314.977.2752
Program Director: Alyssa Wilson, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Additional Required Application Components for International Students

Scholarship Application Deadline: Applicants must have their admissions applications in by March 1 and must have received either full or provisional admission to be considered for Fall term Scholarships.

ABA Program Application Review Process

  • Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. As soon as an application is complete, it is reviewed.
  • Admission decisions are based upon the applicant's overall application. Clinical experience in behavior analysis, potential or demonstrated leadership, and some background in research are important factors that are taken into consideration. These elements, along with the admission requirements and the application components, comprise the admission process.
  • It is recommended that students have taken prior coursework in ABA or have independently studied ABA texts (e.g., Miller [1996] Principles of Everyday Behavior Analysis, Mittenberger [2007] "Behavior Modification").

Credit Hours/Coursework: The Master of Science in ABA degree consists of 39 credit hours, as follows:

Principles and Concepts in Behavior Analysis
Measurement and Experimental Design
Assessment and Selecting Interventions
Behavior Change and Processes
Behavior Change and Ethics
Special Topic I
Mission and Practice for Global Public Health
Practicum (3) each with an integrative seminar

Career Possibilities: Students who complete the ABA coursework and practicum experience will be eligible to sit for the national examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). BCBAs are qualified to work with a variety of populations (e.g., individuals with intellectual disabilities, individuals with mental health difficulties, individuals with substance abuse problems) in a variety of settings (e.g., homes, public or private schools, agencies, or organizations). Coursework and research experience will also prepare students for doctoral programs in behavior analysis. According to the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (the national leader in BCBA certification), there are four BCBA jobs for every graduate with the certification.

Credit Hours/Coursework | ABA Course Details

About the ABA Faculty: As faculty, we endeavor to help our constituents -- students, the larger university community, alumni, and professional colleagues -- to develop as critical, reflective thinkers who are capable and willing to exercise leadership in advancing the cause of human good in the world.

Faculty pursue this goal by providing learning-teaching environments, which nurture, strengthen, and sustain creative intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, and technical abilities and interests.

Faculty encourage and support innovative scholarship and research.

Faculty strive for excellence in teaching, advising, and mentoring.

Faculty actively engage in community service, linking the School and its resources to local communities to provide services in the form of behavioral assessments, behavioral interventions for a wide range of behavioral deficits (e.g., limited language skills) and behavioral excesses (e.g., aggression), and training for parents, teachers, and practitioners. | Learn More

Scholarships & Financial Aid: The School of Social Work offers new and continuing ABA students partial tuition remission merit based scholarships. MSW students receive scholarships ranging from $500-$10,000. Applicants who do not initially meet the scholarship criteria or who have applied for scholarship and are not awarded a scholarship may re-apply during their first semester in the ABA Program. 

Applicants who do meet the merit criteria are encouraged to explore opportunities available through the Office of Scholarship and Financial Aid. | Scholarship & Financial Aid  | Student Financial Services at SLU | Affording Graduate Education at SLU

Higher purpose. Greater good.
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