Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Program Overview

Applied Behavior Analysis is a branch of behaviorism in which the principles of behavior are applied to the social issues to systematically change and improve behavior.  This program will prepare individuals to:

  • Enter careers working with children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities
  • Treat challenging behavior in various populations and settings
  • Work with others to increase compliance with treatment strategies and recommendations
  • Teach target audience new skills, promote positive behavior; and assess behavioral conditions 


The Master in Applied Behavior Analysis curriculum includes:

  • Course sequence approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB®)
  • A practicum experience that prepares graduates to sit for the BACB exam
  • Hands-on experience working alongside faculty at clinical experiential learning sites in developing, teaching, and analyzing the skills of individuals


Completion of the ABA program requires a total of 45 credit hours. Students accepted into and enrolled in the program will register for 9 credit hours each semester, which includes both coursework and practicum hours. The program will span 5 semesters (fall, spring, summer, fall, spring).

Students will be required to take 18 hours of the core courses, in addition to 12 hours of elective coursework related to developmental disabilities.

Students possessing a Master's degree in Psychology or Education can be considered for the Certification Only Program.  This program comprises of 21 credit hours with students completing nine credit hours a semester .  The Certification Only Program can be completed over 3 semesters (fall, spring, summer).  

Financial Assistance

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) currently has funds available to support Iowa residents who are attending school to become board certified behavioral analysts. The actual number of awards and award amounts will vary depending on the number of applicants, the estimated future tuition, and fee costs for awarded applicants.

Visit or email for more details on the IDPH grant program.


For more information about ABA, contact:

Sacha Pence, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Program Director, Applied Behavior Analysis
Assistant Professor
1-800-44-DRAKE (37253) x3026

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