Department of Psychology

Overview: Applied Behavior Analysis

Program mission: The mission of the Behavior Analysis graduate program at UNCW is to contribute to the advancement of the science and practice of behavior analysis by training graduate students in all of the major domains of behavior analysis. The curriculum offers coursework designed to provide strong backgrounds in the experimental and applied analyses of behavior, and in the methodological and conceptual foundations of behavior analysis. Proficiency in both research and practice is emphasized by requiring an empirical thesis and by providing practical experiences. Graduates of the program are prepared to move on to doctoral programs, or to immediate employment at the master’s level. This program includes an ABAI verified course sequence.

The Applied Behavior Analysis concentration focuses on the conceptual and methodological foundations of behavior analysis and takes a data-based approach to behavioral assessment and clinical psychology. Emphasis is placed on providing intervention services for individuals with developmental disabilities.

Program objectives: The overall objective is to train graduates who are recognized regionally, nationally, and internationally as highly effective researchers, educators, and/or practitioners in behavior analysis. The program is designed to achieve this overall objective by shaping the skills necessary for students to:

  1. Understand the foundational principles of behavior analysis and the empirical bases of those principles.
  2. Contribute to the knowledge base of behavior analysis by designing and conducting empirical research using established methodologies in behavior analysis.
  3. Apply the principles of behavior analysis to analyze and change socially relevant behavior, and to do so within the ethical tenets of behavior analysis.
  4. Understand the philosophical foundations of behavior analysis (i.e., radical behaviorism) so that they are able to interpret naturally occurring behavioral phenomena and to approach any situation behavior analytically.

The program is typically completed in 2½ years and consists of 53 credit hours of coursework including a research practicum, an applied practicum, and an empirical thesis. Upon completion of coursework and research, there is a 6-month/1000 hour internship. Students who successfully complete this program will obtain a Master of Arts Degree in Psychology with a clinical concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis.

The program meets all education and experience requirements to prepare graduates for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and licensure in North Carolina as a Licensed Psychological Associate. BCBA examination pass rates for verified course sequences may be found here.

While master's programs in applied behavior analysis are increasing nationally, UNCW's psychology master's program in applied behavior analysis is unique to North Carolina and the near southeast (i.e., VA, SC, and GA).