M.A. Professional Behavior Analysis

Master of Arts
Online, Off-site
Main Campus - Melbourne
2016-2017 Catalog
Major Code: 8146 Degree Awarded: Master of Arts
Delivery Mode(s): Online, Off-site Age Restriction: No
Admission Status: Graduate Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne
Admission Materials: résumé, objectives

Program Chair
Joshua K. Pritchard, Ph.D., BCBA-D


The Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis combines 24 semester credit hours of coursework from Florida Tech's ABA online program with 21 semester credit hours completed in residence at an approved behavior analytic agency. The program provides students a high-quality hands-on education at convenient locations. Florida Tech faculty, housed around the globe at host agencies, help students integrate academic curriculum with practical experience.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) has approved the Florida Tech BCBA® course sequence as meeting all instructional requirements for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®). The second stage integrates coursework with supervised practica and a capstone project completed on site. The practicum is approved by the BACB to meet the requirement for BCBA certification with reduced hours compared to an applicant using supervised independent fieldwork. On graduation, students meet all the requirements to sit for the BCBA examination. The program also meets licensure standards in many states currently licensing professional behavior analysts. The program has been designed to meet the accreditation standards of the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

Admission Requirements

Prospective students may apply and be accepted into the program after submitting a practicum site agreement, and completing Foundations, Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis (BEH 5011), Basic Elements of Applied Behavior Analysis (BEH 5012) or with approval of the program chair. The courses from the certificate program are part of the graduation requirements for the professional master's program. Students who do not have an approved practicum site can enter the mentorship program and should register for continuing education's offering of Current Topics in Behavior Analysis: Mentorship (through their online system) to locate an approved site or have their current workplace evaluated as a potential practicum site.

All applicants must have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university. Only applicants with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (based on a 4.0 scale), or who have a GPA of 3.5 or higher after taking at least 12 credits of graduate-level instruction in behavior analysis will be considered for admission into the program.

Applicants must submit a graduate application with accompanying fee, statement of objectives, a résumé, official transcripts of all previous coursework, and three letters of recommendation.

General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.

Transition to Degree-Seeking Status

Graduate policy states a maximum of 12 semester credit hours may be applied toward a degree before admission and matriculation in a degree-seeking program, but in the case of the master's in professional behavior analysis, permission of the academic unit head allows for continuing education students to register for up to 24 semester credit hours as an exception to the stated policy. Thus, students may enroll for up to 24 semester credit hours through the online program as a continuing education student before applying, being admitted and enrolling as a degree-seeking student in the master of arts program. All credit completed with a grade of B or higher through ABA online will be counted toward graduation requirements for the degree once the student is offered admission and enrolls in the stage-two component.

Admitted students will be considered degree-seeking students once they enroll in stage two of the program at the designated host agency. Admitted students must complete a minimum of 12 credits of the online component with no grade lower than a B before enrolling in the second stage of the program. They may complete any additional required ABA online courses concurrently with or after completing stage two.

The program may be completed in 24 months, provided the student takes online courses concurrently with the second-stage component. Although online courses are offered during four 12-week terms per year while the in-residence courses are offered during three 15-week terms per year, online courses will be available concurrently with stage two courses.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis will be conferred on students who satisfy all program requirements and attend a week-long final program examination sequence at a hybrid host site or the main campus in Melbourne.

Students must complete the following program requirements for a total of 45 semester credit hours:

Core Curriculum (18 credit hours)

     BACB 2015 Standards (online)

  • BEH 5011 Foundations, Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
    Credit Hours: 3
    Covers concepts, principles and processes derived from the experimental analysis of behavior and how they relate to applied behavior analysis. Also covers foundational knowledge from the BACB® "Behavior Analyst Task List."
  • BEH 5012 Basic Elements of Applied Behavior Analysis
    Credit Hours: 3
    Covers philosophical foundations of behavior analysis, definitions and characteristics of applied behavior analysis, behavioral assessment, measurement of behavior, data display and interpretation, and experimental design. Introduces the experimental evaluation of interventions.
  • BEH 5013 Developing, Strengthening and Maintaining Behavior
    Credit Hours: 3
    Covers procedures for developing, strengthening and maintaining behavior. Also covers assessment, behavior change systems and supervision.
  • BEH 5014 Introduction to Ethical and Professional Conduct of Behavior Analysts
    Credit Hours: 1
    Introduces ethical and professional considerations relevant in the professional practice of applied behavior analysis as well as the ethical and disciplinary standards of the profession. Emphasizes ethical and professional conduct and legal issues relevant to both BCaBA- and BCBA-level practitioners.
  • BEH 5015 Decreasing, Eliminating and Replacing Problem Behavior
    Credit Hours: 2
    Covers functional assessment (descriptive assessment and functional analysis) and function-based intervention procedures for addressing problem behavior. Emphasizes building alternative behavioral repertoires. Discusses behavior change considerations of unwanted side effects of various intervention strategies.
  • BEH 5016 Ethical and Professional Conduct of Behavior Analysts
    Credit Hours: 2
    Expands on ethical and professional issues introduced in . Emphasizes ethical, professional and conduct issues relevant to BCBA-level practitioners and supervisors.
  • BEH 5017 Targeted Topics in Behavior Analysis
    Credit Hours: 1
    Covers special topics in all content areas of behavior analysis, as needed for independent behavior analysis practitioners. Includes introduction of supervision in behavior analysis and organizational behavior management, and other areas of behavior analysis.
  • BEH 5018 Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis
    Credit Hours: 3
    Covers advanced topics in several content areas of behavior analysis needed by independent behavior analysis practitioners.
Professional Curriculum (6 credit hours)


  • BEH 5020 Current Topics in Behavior Analysis
    (one credit-hour course taken for a total of five credit hours)
    Credit Hours: 1
    Covers current topics in behavior analysis not included in previous coursework. Includes organizations' behavior management, performance management, behavioral systems analysis, behavior-based safety and behavior analysis supervision.
    May be taken for a maximum of five credits, provided topics change
  • BEH 5021 Coordinating Behavior Analysis With Psychiatric and Other Medical Services
    Credit Hours: 1
    Teaches how to integrate behavioral and medical services. Discusses coordinating medication trials with behavioral intervention phases to reduce potential confounds while evaluating treatment effectiveness. Focuses on single-subject research designs. Reviews medications most commonly used to address problem behavior and their side effects.
Stage Two Curriculum (9 credit hours)
  • BEH 5022 Using Measurement, Graphs and Single-Case Design in Behavior Analysis Practice
    Credit Hours: 3
    Teaches the selection of correct measurement procedures based on target behavior and environmental factors in clinical or educational settings. Covers how to graph data and integrate graphs for ongoing data-based treatment decisions. Emphasizes how to incorporate single-subject designs to evaluate effectiveness of the behavior analysis practice.
  • BEH 5023 Introduction to the Experimental Analysis of Behavior
    Credit Hours: 3
    Covers seminal research and current issues in the experimental analysis of behavior. Includes complex schedules of reinforcement, matching law, correlational law of effect, stimulus equivalence and behavioral economics.
  • BEH 5024 Conceptual Analysis of Behavior
    Credit Hours: 3
    Focuses on how the conceptual analysis of behavior can inform the practice of behavior analysis and the importance of precise technical language. Covers the varieties of behaviorism and emphasizes radical behaviorism. Includes private events, verbal behavior, molecular versus molar analysis, and operant and cultural selectionism.
Stage Two Practicum and Capstone Project (12 credit hours)
  • BEH 5025 Intensive Practicum in Professional Behavior Analysis
    (may be taken for a total of 9 credit hours)*
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes student-conducted assessments and development, implementation and evaluation of protocols. Covers how to train and monitor implementers. Includes intensive supervision provided by faculty members through direct observation, timely feedback and case discussions.
    Considered a full-load course
  • BEH 5026 Practicum in Professional Behavior Analysis
    (may be taken for a total of 9 credit hours)*
    Credit Hours: 3
    Provides supervision within the context of a human-service setting. Requires students to conduct behavioral assessments; develop, implement and evaluate behavior plans; train and monitor others implementing plans and related activities. Includes direct supervision in the form of observation and regular feedback.
    Must be taken for three semesters for a total of nine credit hours. Considered a full-load course
  • BEH 5027 Capstone Project in Professional Behavior Analysis
    or BEH 5028, BEH 5029 and BEH 5030 Credit Hours: 3
    Credit Hours: 3
    Includes conducting an individual project within the context of a clinical or educational setting. Also includes demonstrating mastery of a variety of professional behavior analytic skills. Requires judging by faculty supervisor using performance criteria set during proposal stage.
    Considered a full-load course
Total Credits Required: 45

*A total of nine semester credit hours of either BEH 5025 or BEH 5026, or a combination of BEH 5025 and BEH 5026.

Stage Two Coursework: May be delivered on-site, via broadcast to a site or online through synchronous or asynchronous presentation. While enrolled in the stage-two component, students may take online courses from any location. Other than practicum and capstone project courses, students will not be restricted to courses offered at the host site. Only the practicum and capstone project courses require on-site supervision by a faculty member. Between three and nine credits of Practicum in Professional Behavior Analysis (BEH 5026) may be substituted for Intensive Practicum in Professional Behavior Analysis (BEH 5025) to meet graduation requirements. Intensive Practicum in Behavior Analysis (BEH 5025), Practicum in Professional Behavior Analysis (BEH 5026), Capstone Project in Professional Behavior Analysis* (BEH 5027) and are considered full-load for financial aid purposes..

Additional Graduation Requirements: All credits must be completed with a grade no lower than a B in order to count toward graduation requirements. A grade lower than a B in six credits will be considered failure to make academic process and may result in dismissal. Students will also be required to complete a week-long final program examination sequence at a hybrid host site or the main campus in Melbourne and a guided review in order to graduate. The six-hour review and examination will be offered near the end of the third term.

*Students may opt to take BEH 5028, BEH 5029 and BEH 5030, each one credit, to fulfill the three-credit-hour requirement.