Special education M.A. with an emphasis in applied behavioral analysis

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College of Education and Human Development wordmark.
Department of Educational Psychology wordmark.

Special education M.A. with an emphasis
in applied behavior analysis

faculty member and student analyze information on a computer
Jennifer McComas and student, Brittany Pennington, meet to discuss applied behavioral analysis Pennington has conducted.

Improve the lives of people with disabilities through research

11.2% of people in Minnesota and 13.1% of people in the United State are living with some kind of disability according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. That’s approximately one in every ten people. The M.A. in special education with an emphasis applied behavior analysis (A.B.A.), prepares you to meet this growing need by becoming a board certified behavior analyst. You’ll work with people with disabilities—such as autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities—to recognize and analyze problem behaviors and recommend actions to improve their day-to-day lives.

Rated #8 in the nation among special education graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2017

Why study at the U?

  • Get your master’s degree in only four semesters and prepare to become board certified as a behavior analyst.
  • Conduct research with faculty who are leading the way in behavior analysis.
  • Gain real world experience working alongside board certified practitioners.
  • Make lifelong connections with other students and faculty who share your passion for making a difference.
  • Feel confident and knowledgeable in a high-need field.
  • Prepare for a career where your work will have lasting change on people’s lives and wellbeing.

Careers

Graduates of the M.A. with Applied Behavioral Analysis degree will find careers as:

  • behavior analysts
  • clinical behavior therapists
  • education behavior support specialists
  • intensive behavior therapists
  • residential and vocational specialists

Coursework

BACB logo

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

The special education M.A. with A.B.A. is a full-time, on-campus program and requires 36 total credits (nine credits in four semesters). As part of this coursework, you’ll complete three semesters of practicum experience with a board certified behavior analyst and a final capstone research project.

Year 1

Fall term
  • EPSY 5657 – Interventions for Behavioral Problems in School Settings (3 cr)*
  • Statisitcs core course requirement (3 cr)
  • EPSY 5659 – Foundations in Behavior Analysis (learning and cognition requirement) (3 cr)*
Spring term
  • EPSY 8708 – Functional Behavior Assessment (3 cr) OR EPSY 5661 - Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)(3 cr)*
  • EPSY 5623 – Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 cr)*
  • EPSY 8994 – Research Problems: Educational Psychology: Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 cr)*

Year 2

Fall term
  • EPSY 8706 – Single-Case Design (3 cr)*
  • Measurement/evaluation core course requirement (3 cr)
  • EPSY 8994 – Research Problems: Educational Psychology: Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 cr)
Spring term
  • EPSY 5663 – Methods in ASD (3 cr)
  • Social/personal core course requirement (3 cr)
  • EPSY 8994 – Research Problems: Educational Psychology: Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 cr)

*Denotes courses that address Board Certified Behavior Analysts task list items.

Tuition

Visit the College of Education and Human Development's Finance and Funding page for information on tuition.

Funding

Fellowships & awards

Submit your application materials by Dec. 1, and you’ll automatically be considered for Graduate School fellowships and departmental awards based on scholastic achievement. Notification of awards will be sent in March.

Financial aid

Visit OneStop Student Services for more information on available financial aid.

Scholarships

Visit the College of Education and Human Development’s Awards page for scholarship information.

Faculty

Jennifer McComas headshot

Jennifer McComasAssociate department chair, head special education M.A. with emphasis in A.B.A. and emotional behavioral disorders licensure & M.Ed. program
jmccomas@umn.edu

  • Functional analysis of problem behavior in educational and residential settings
  • Basic behavioral processes maintaining desirable and undesirable behavior, such as schedules of reinforcement, stimulus control, and establishing operations
  • Behavioral treatment of problem behavior based on concurrent schedules of reinforcement as well as antecedent stimuli
  • Analysis of academic performance of students with behavior problems
Robin Codding headshot

Robin Codding rcodding@umn.edu| Lab

  • Prevention and intervention of academic problems
  • Data-based instructional decision making
  • Evaluation of the circumstances surrounding responsiveness to various levels of academic support
  • Implementation of evidence-based practices in schools
Veronica Fleury headshot

Veronica FleuryAutism Spectrum Disorder licensure & M.Ed. coordinator
vpfleury@umn.edu

  • Examine how core characteristics of ASD inhibit or promote students’ ability to participate in classroom activities
  • Identify and develop instructional strategies to address early academic and social-communication difficulties for young children with ASD
  • Support parents and educators use of evidence-based practices with high fidelity in home and school settings