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Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Behavior Analysts Improve Lives and Communities

Behavior analysts assess and treat behavioral, communication, developmental, and learning disorders/disabilities. Behavior analysts work in lots of settings including providing care in clinics, homes, hospitals, schools, and everyday workplaces. ABA has become recognized as an empirically supported treatment for individuals with autism and is covered by insurance companies as a medically necessary form of therapy in most states.

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (MSABA) at Mount St. Mary’s University provides comprehensive training in the principles and application of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Graduates are empowered to create socially significant improvement in individuals’ lives. Further, through coursework, supervised fieldwork, and a capstone research project, graduates are prepared for numerous professional paths including direct clinical care, school-based intervention, and doctoral studies.

School of Education and School of Natural Science and Mathematics

The MSABA program is an interdisciplinary degree, housed jointly between the School of Education and the Department of Psychology in the School of Natural Science and Mathematics. As a result of the interdisciplinary structure of the program, students have the unique opportunity to learn from professors with diverse experiences in ABA. Students have access to basic and translational researchers in behavioral science, as well as applied practitioners of behavioral principles who have experience in early intensive behavioral intervention, severe behavior disorders, and classroom management. Further, the Mount is an inclusive environment in which individuals and groups are welcomed, supported, and valued.

We're committed to making it easy for you to help you quickly advance your career while maintaining a full-time employment.

  • Our classroom instruction can be received in person on our Frederick, Maryland campus or online (asynchronous) via Zoom.
  • Our classes can help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, meeting only once a week outside of traditional work hours.
  • Our course sequence can be completed in less than two years; however, a part-time sequence is also available.
  • Our faculty are nationally recognized experts with diverse experience in the practice of ABA.
  • Our resources are available to aid in your success, such as our Supervising Faculty for Fieldwork Supervision, Career Center, library and Learning Services.

Start your free application
  • Undergraduate Major
  • Undergraduate Minor
  • Graduate Degree
  • Graduate Certificate
  • Accelerated Undergraduate
  • Adult Undergraduate
  • Special Program

Coursework and Format

Candidates in the Mount’s MSABA program must complete 42 credit hours of coursework (36 hours of classroom instruction and six (6) hours of supervised fieldwork), including nine (9) fieldwork credits and a capstone research project. Most classroom courses are offered in eight-week semesters. Candidates may complete their education either in person at our Frederick, Maryland campus or online (asynchronous) via Zoom. The MSABA program aligns with the growing demand for skilled professionals in education and the health professions. With the training and knowledge imparted by the MSABA program, you will have the capacity to meaningfully contribute to your community.

The program is designed to make the student an expert in Applied Behavior Analysis, as well prepare the individual to be a certified behavior analyst by aligning with the Verified Course Sequence of Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

  • Program faculty are dedicated to developing meaningful teaching and mentoring relationships that allow students to lead lives of significance.
  • Program faculty are dedicated to imparting the knowledge and developing the skills that will best serve the student’s career goals.
  • Program faculty use continuous measures of student acquisition and fluency to track student progress throughout the course sequence, including core assignments and core skill demonstrations, as well as mock BACB certification exams. The result is a system whereby progress to certification is actively measured throughout the student’s enrollment.
  • Program faculty can provide the supervised field experiences necessary to qualify you to take the certification exam.

Prepared for Success

In 2023, 100% of Mount students who took the BCBA exam passed on the first try. This is based on a sample of four individuals who sat for the exam in 2023.

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Virtual Open Houses

Learn more about the Division of Continuing Studies programs at our virtual open house series! Gain more information about our programs from our admissions team and program directors.

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Course Content Overview

The program provides explicit instruction and rigorous training in behavior analysis from faculty that have a wealth of experience in the practical application of behavior analysis.

In addition to courses that hone your technical expertise in ABA, the program recognizes the need to support students long before they enter the profession to effectively navigate the complexity of a career. Therefore, students are required to take three 1-credit courses in self-care and/or technology facilitation in order to ensure that students acquire the resilience and persistence necessary to sustain in the profession.

Course Sampling

Core Courses - Verified Course Sequence

abai vcs logo

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

VCS Core Courses

  • Behavior Theory and Philosophy
  • Principles and Concepts of Behavior Analysis
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct
  • Behavior Assessment
  • Behavioral Intervention
  • Research Design, Measurement and Data Analysis
  • Introduction to Organizational Behavior Management & Supervision

Additional Required Courses

  • Community Intervention
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Fieldwork
  • Capstone

Elective Courses

  • Collaboration in Professional Settings
  • Mindfulness and Contemplative Practices
  • Advocacy in Professional Settings
  • Pedagogy of Virtual Practice
  • Utilizing Technology to Support Job-Embedded Coaching
  • Technology for Assessment and Data Management

Want to see a full listing of all Master of Science in applied behavior analysis courses?

See Full Course Listings
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Becoming a board certified behavior analyst embodies the idea of living compassionately and making a meaningful impact on your community. Being a student in our programs means you will have rigorous training from highly experienced professors, who adapt their mentoring to match your goals and care about their graduates leading lives of significance.

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D. Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program / Assistant Professor

Career Outcomes

A strong and growing demand for Applied Behavior Analysts

Market analysis indicates that the need for national licensed behavior analysts is growing in Maryland, regionally and nationally. According to the most recent report of the US Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts, annual demand for BCBAs has increased about 800% from 2010 to 2017. This new program, by virtue of the interdisciplinary nature, will prepare behavior analysts for positions in education, hospital-based mental health, and community based mental health.

According to market research,1 this increase in regional and statewide demand for master’s-level ABA professionals indicates a strong job market for program graduates. Employer demand for master’s-level ABA professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region increased from 312 to 681 postings over the last two years (i.e., a 118 percent increase.) In addition, statewide demand for master’s-level ABA professionals rose from 26 to 55 postings during this period (i.e., a 112 percent increase).

Career Paths

Use your skills and knowledge from the Mount to pursue a career as an applied behavior analyst in positions such as:

  • Clinical Director of Center or a Clinic
  • School/District Based Behavior Analyst
  • Special Education Teacher (when combined with a teaching degree)
  • Case-Manager for Home-Based Care
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Wellness Coach
  • OR start your own practice, center, or clinic to serve your community
  • OR stay in school by using your top-notch skills and knowledge from the Mount to apply to get your doctorate

1Market research conducted by EAB in partnership EMSI (Economic Modeling Specialists International).

From resume analysis to job search tools to networking with alumni, the Career Center is available through every step of your professional journey.

Visit our Career Center
U.S. Job Growth 800% US Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts reported annual demand for BCBAs has increased about 800% from 2010 to 2017.
Annual Salary ~$80,000 Top yearly BCBA salaries in the Mid-Atlantic region exceed $100,000 and the average yearly salary is approximately $80,000 according to online job sites.
Mid-Atlantic Job Growth 118% Employer demand for master’s-level ABA professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region increased from 312 to 681 postings over the last two years.

Designed to Fit Your Life

Flexibility and efficiency are the cornerstones of graduate programs at the Mount, which are designed to give you the freedom and control to balance work, family, and school. Every aspect of the PMC program is geared to help you earn your degree including:

  1. Course times that are designed not to interfere with traditional work hours.
  2. Classes that meet only once a week during the academic year; twice a week in the summer.
  3. Classroom instruction that can be received via Zoom.
  4. A full-time course sequence that can be completed in 2 years.
  5. A part-time course sequence is available.

The Mount also offers a Post-Master’s Certificate (PMC) in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Learn About the Certificate

Affordability & Financial Aid

Graduate level programs are designed to be taken one course at a time, providing you the flexibility you need to complete the classes at your own pace; with that the program pricing is set by credit hours instead of by the year like traditional undergraduate programs.

  • 2023-24 tuition rates effective July 1, 2023 - $29,400 – Estimated total cost of program tuition.* No additional fees. Cost is based on 42 credits at $700 per credit.
  • 2024-25 tuition rates effective July 1, 2024 - $29,820 – Estimated total cost of program tuition.* No additional fees. Cost is based on 42 credits at $710 per credit.

*Tuition is subject to change without notice. Learn more about tuition and fees.

Financial Aid

Students enrolled in the Mount’s graduate programs may seek assistance through federal and state-funded programs. To qualify for financial aid, students must be enrolled on at least a half-time basis, i.e., at least three (3) credits per semester. Most financial aid will be in the form of deferred student loans, though some students may be eligible to receive state scholarships and/or grants.

The Mount also has a variety of employer tuition remission or reimbursement agreements with local school districts, businesses and other community health, therapeutic and education providers, so you may receive a discount from your employer. Open the application to find out if your employer has an agreement with the Mount.

Questions about financial aid? Contact Director of Applied Behavioral Analysis Program / Assistant Professor Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D. to learn more.

Not sure if you qualify for financial aid? Learn more from our financial aid office.

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Admissions & Application

Admission to the program is rolling, which means we accept applications at any time of the year. Classes for the program begin in August; submitting your application six weeks before your expected start date ensures a priority application decision.

  • Classes begin: August.
  • Admissions acceptance: Rolling.
  • No application fee.

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the program will follow the university standards for admission to graduate study. Prospective students must have earned the following to be considered for admission (graduate degree GPAs will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA):

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year institution.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • PMC applicants must also hold a master’s degree in in behavior analysis, education or psychology.

Additional requirements may be applicable to international students.

Application Process

A complete application includes the following:

  • Free online application.
  • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges attended.

Free Application

Contact us to Learn More

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Director of Applied Behavioral Analysis Program
119 Coad Science Building
Mount St. Mary’s University
(301) 447-5143

Meet Our Faculty

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D.

Griffin W. Rooker, BCBA, Ph.D.

Director of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program / Assistant Professor

Kwadwo Britwum

Kwadwo Britwum, Ph.D.

Assistant Director / Assistant Professor

Rebecca Correll, Ph.D.

Rebecca Correll, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


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