ASU applied behavior analysis degree to expand beyond Arizona

New virtual synchronous learning option

Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis Students

Students in the 2019-2020 cohort of the Master of Science in applied behavior analysis. Photo by Robert Ewing, ASU


This fall, the Master of Science in applied behavior analysis (MS ABA) at Arizona State University will be available to students outside of the Phoenix area with the addition of a virtual synchronous learning option.

Applied behavior analysis can assist children and families with developmental or behavioral issues such as autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or learning disabilities. Behavior analysis is also used in competitive sports, organizational psychology, and in many environments that optimize prosocial behavior.

RELATED: What is applied behavior analysis?

Over 92% of the students in ASU’s MS ABA program become certified to work as behavioral analysts. The nationwide average is 65%. The MS ABA program also has a 100% job placement rate in the Phoenix area for its students. The program will add a virtual learning classroom option to allow people located outside of Phoenix to join the program.

“We have always had interest from students and practicum sites outside of the Tempe area and now we can give students an opportunity to experience a synchronous learning environment from the comfort of where they are currently living,” said Adam Hahs, associate clinical professor and director of the MS ABA program. “We have carefully designed our program for a high level of success. Our students are excellent and our practicum supervisors are leaders in the field. We are confident that expanding it will allow the same high-quality instruction and placements for students who are not local.”

The synchronous learning option offers through live-streamed classes the same training that students on the Tempe campus. Additionally, this fall the GRE requirement has been waived.

The MS ABA program is a two-year degree that includes the scientific curriculum and practitioner training required for applied behavior analyst certification and state licensing for Arizona.

One of the key features of the MS ABA program is the practicum experience for students. The students participating in synchronous learning would be matched to practicum sites in their area.

“The combination of the practicum element with the curriculum component is an imperative part of our program. The experience from the practicum sets the tone for the type of behavior analysts our students will become,” said Hahs.

Frequently asked questions about this program can be found on the department website.

Alumni from the program are now enjoying many types of jobs. Jim Jarynowski works as a clinical supervisor at Touchstone Language Services where he teaches children how to communicate. Reyna Rivera works as clinical director at Arion Care Solutions, and Katelin Hobson is working on her doctoral degree at the University of Washington.  

“We are excited to have the opportunity to impact the lives of children and families outside of the Phoenix area, and we are grateful to our extensive practicum network that allows expansion,” said Don Stenhoff, assistant clinical professor.

Video from the ASU Department of Psychology

RELATED: Current student Ahtziry Vasquez translates clinical work for a diverse population

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