Master of Science in applied behavior analysis (online)

This is an interactive, discussion-based, online, program that trains practitioners extensively in Applied Behavior Analysis, with a focus on treating autism. Students obtain their degree in five consecutive semesters beginning in the fall each year as a cohort model. Field placement assistance is provided, and field work is integrated throughout the coursework. Students will be prepared to complete the required supervised field work and sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. Wayne State University offers a challenging, but supportive environment, preparing students to provide excellent care in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Important dates

  • August 2023: Application portal opens for Fall 2024 admissions

  • January 15, 2024: Fall 2024 applications due


The M.S. in ABA is fully online. Tuition rates are the same for in-state and out-of-state students for cohorts beginning in Fall 2022.

Program overview

The coursework in this program aligns with Task content Outline 6 as indicated by the Behavior Analytic Certification board meeting requirements for eligibility to take the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® examination under Pathway 2. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination, including having the BCS Coordinator complete a Coursework Attestation Form. Students' quality to sit for the BCBA exam following completion of the ABA Master's degree and the field experience hours which are completed simultaneously within the program. To learn more about Applied Behavior Analysis the website for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board provides additional resources. For additional information on licensure requirements across the United States, visit U.S. Licensure of Behavior Analysts.


Applicants are expected to meet a minimum undergraduate 2.75 GPA. Following a successful interview with the program coordinator, students must pass a background check prior to final admission to the program. Applicants are also encouraged to have their Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification. Although having a RBT certificate is not a required prerequisite to apply for the program, if applicants are accepted to the program, they will need to be RBT certified or have minimally completed the 40-hour RBT training curriculum recommended by the BACB before beginning coursework in the Fall. See the following website for more information about becoming a certified RBT

Course requirements

The Master of Science (M.S.) degree in Applied Behavior Analysis involves a total of 40 credits to be completed in a five-semester course sequence. Students are required to maintain an overall GPA of 3.0 throughout the program classes and field experience, with no more than one grade of C+ or lower.  Students who earn a second C will not be permitted to continue in the program. Grades of B- and lower, or patterns of grades only in the B range, are of concern, and intervention may be warranted. Grades reflect content mastery and affect how well students perform on the national exam. The program brochure outlines in detail the program requirements, course work and field experience requirements.


Fall Semester I

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Total 8
EDP 7101 Foundations in Applied Behavior Analysis 4
EDP 7106 Field Experience in Applied Behavior Analysis I 3
EDP 7112 Conceptual Analysis 2

Winter Semester II

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Total 9
EDP 7102 Assessment Techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
EDP 7107 Field Experience in Applied Behavior Analysis II 2
EDP 7104 Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis 4

Spring/Summer Semester III

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Total 7
EDP 7103 Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment Planning 4
EDP 7108 Field Experience in Applied Behavior Analysis III 2
EDP 7991 Capstone Project in ABA Introduction 1

Fall Semester IV

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Total 8
EDP 7111 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment Planning 4
EDP 7109 Field Experience in Applied Behavior Analysis IV 2
EDP 7992 Capstone Project in ABA 1 2

Winter Semester V

Courses Cr. Hrs.
Total 8
EDP 7105 Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis 3
EDP 7113 Organizational Behavior Management in ABA 3
EDP 7993 Capstone Project in ABA 1 2


This training program is a cohort model which includes a combination of supported and independent learning through lecture-based and practiced-based hands-on learning. Cohort-mates work collaboratively throughout their training. The cohort training model instills a sense of professional community not only during the program, but as students move into the field as practitioners. Our program emphasizes the importance of intensive learning while in the program as well as the need for collaborative lifelong learning. Each cohort takes the five successive semesters of courses and field experience in sequence, as outlined. Cohorts begin in the fall semester (August) and will take five semesters in sequence: fall, winter, spring/summer, fall and winter. Students must be aware that they are committing to this going into the program. 

Student Pass Rates for the BCBA exam

Approved Program

ABAI Aproved Program LogoThe 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 eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.



Krista Clancy, Ph.D., LLP, BCBA
Associate professor (teaching)
BCBA and BCaBA Program director

Lei-Juan Stewart-Walker
Program secretary

Theoretical & Behavioral Foundations

Phone: 313-577-1613

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