Interested in Pursuing a Career in Applied Behavioral Analysis?

The Department of Psychology offers a BACB approved Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to individuals who work in a number of different settings such as schools, including traditional and special education classrooms, business and industry specific employers, healthcare, and other community based environments.

Why Westfield?

All courses are offered weekdays during the evening, making the program flexible and accommodating. Upon completion of this program, students are eligible to sit for the BCBA exam to be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Our program allows you to complete the curriculum on a full or part time basis, with classes being offered in Fall, Spring and Summer sessions.

Read about our Applied Behavior Analysis program in MassLive!

How much will it cost?

We offer affordable programs. Please visit our Tuition and Fees Page with up to date costs.

Requirements

Program Description

The Department of Psychology offers a 48-credit graduate program designed to be completed in 2 years although an extended part-time option is available. Fulfillment of the requirements of the M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis entails completion of academic and applied practicum experience as well as successful completion of a comprehensive examination or experimental thesis. Students who successfully complete the program of study are then eligible to apply for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board at http://www.bacb.com.

Requirements include completion of the ABA Core Curriculum (30 credits); the Practicum series in Applied Behavior Analysis(12 credits); elective courses (6 credits non-thesis option or 6 credit thesis option). All students must complete a comprehensive examination or thesis at the end of their program of study.

Program Policies

The M.A. program must be completed within seven years of the first course counted toward the degree. Since courses are offered in a sequence rather than each semester, planning with advisors is imperative. Upon acceptance into the program, the student is assigned an advisor who will assist in planning a program to fit individual needs. There will be continual evaluation during the course of study with students apprised of their progress. A favorable evaluation is necessary for continuation in the program. The granting of the degree is based on professional competence, completion of the program of study, and satisfactory performance in a comprehensive exam or professional portfolio.

To accommodate students who work and/or have other substantial demands placed upon their time, courses are offered during the evenings and/or late afternoon. Important exceptions to this schedule are the Pre-practicum, Practicum and Internship experiences. While some placements permit flexible scheduling, many place restrictions on scheduling. Since these experiences are an essential component of counselor training, students must plan for the flexibility that will allow them to complete these requirements.

Dispositional Assessment

Candidates will be subject to an ongoing dispositional assessment coordinated by the faculty advisor in collaboration with cooperating course instructors, faculty supervisors, and site supervisors. In order for a candidate to advance academically from semester to semester, advance to a Field Placement or graduate with an M.A. Counseling degree, they must hold no unresolved "0" or "-1" scores in their dispositional record.

Any candidate who fails to achieve and maintain a satisfactory level on the Dispositional Assessment will be subject to review by the Graduate Committee in Counseling who may determine that the candidate can proceed without intervention or may work with the candidate (or provide a designated faculty member to work with the candidate) on a remedial plan. The Graduate Committee in Counseling may also decide the candidate is not eligible to proceed academically or proceed to Field Placement. If a candidate's assessment displays "0" or "-1" scores, the Graduate Committee in Counseling may remove them from a Field Placement.

Admission Requirements

Admissions requirements for MA programs, including Applied Behavior Analysis, Mental Health Counseling, Forensic Mental Health Counseling, School Counseling, and School Adjustment Counseling are:

  1. A Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university.
  2. Applicants with a firm foundation in psychology, education, or related field are highly preferred. [Note - applicants with degrees in unrelated fields may enhance their application through the successful completion of undergraduate courses in Statistics, Child or Adolescent Development, Personality, Abnormal Psychology, Counseling, and/or Behavior Modification, as appropriate to the targeted degree program.]
  3. A 3.0 overall undergraduate GPA.
  4. Applicants must submit the Graduate Admissions application specifying either Applied Behavior Analysis, Mental Health Counseling, Forensic Mental Health Counseling, School Adjustment Counseling, OR School Counseling AND whether they would like to attend full-time or part-time.
  5. Applicants must submit three letters of reference, including at least one academic reference.
  6. Applicants must submit a personal statement that describes (1) reason for interest in the field, (2) assessment of personal strengths and limitations, and (3) goals of graduate study.
  7. Applicants must submit a professional vitae or resume, including information on prior and/or current volunteer and /or employment positions. Applicants to the ABA program should indicate whether or not BCBA supervision is available in their current employment setting.
  8. Applicants selected for interviews must attend a formal interview with members of the graduate admissions committee.
  9. Applicants applying to the School Counseling program or School Adjustment Counseling must submit passing scores in Communication and Literacy Skills portions of the Massachusetts Educators Certification Tests (MTEL).
  10. Applicants may transfer in up to 6 graduate credits toward their degree program, assessed following successful matriculation. These transferred courses may not count toward BACB-approved core courses in the ABA program.
  11. In extraordinary circumstances, one or more of the above requirements may be waived by the graduate admissions committee.

The closing date for receipt of all admissions materials is February 1st.

Notice of acceptance will occur on or about April 15th for study beginning the following September.

Due to the competitive natures of these programs, we require a nonrefundable program deposit of $150.00 within 10 days of acceptance. This deposit is used to ensure your space in the program. The deposit is applied to your first registration as a matriculated student in the Fall semester immediately following your acceptance. If we do not hear from you within 10 days, we will assume you have selected an alternative direction, and we will close your matriculation.

Applied Behavior Analysis - 48 Credits