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Program Highlights

Master's Degree Program Highlights

The master’s degree in psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at McNeese provides students with a well-rounded educational experience. Students acquire a firm foundation in behavior analytic principles and procedures through coursework, completion of an empirical thesis, and on-site supervised practicum experience at the McNeese Autism Program (MAP).

MAP is an outpatient treatment center that provides ABA services to individuals diagnosed with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, and genetic disorders such as down syndrome. These services are designed to improve patients’ quality of life by reducing maladaptive behavior and establishing adaptive, academic, communication, feeding, independent living, social, and vocational skills. MAP serves approximately 30 patients of various ages and diagnoses, whose programs are implemented by graduate students, supervised by a team of BCBAs, and overseen by the ABA program faculty. Students in the campus program gain a breadth and depth of clinical experience that will prove invaluable following graduation.

The combination of a rigorous course sequence, research experience, on-site practicum, and outstanding faculty creates scientist-practitioners who excel in their professional environments.

Prepare to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam with this nationally and internationally accredited degree

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a nationally certified behavioral health care professional who provides and supervises behavioral health care services. A BCBA® is qualified to address behavioral problems of social significance, within their areas of expertise, at an individual or group level. McNeese’s ABA program prepares students with all coursework requirements necessary to sit for the BCBA® exam. The campus program provides students with the supervised experience (practicum) required to sit for the board exam. Students obtain on-site supervised experience through internships at MAP.

McNeese’s on campus ABA program is the only graduate program in the State of Louisiana—and one of only twenty-three programs worldwide—that is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). Our on campus, online, and graduate certificate programs are ABAI Verified Course Sequences (VCS) meaning the Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

At a Glance

Degree Type: Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Program: Psychology

Program Length: 2 years

Availability: online, in person

Applied Behavior Analysis is also offered 100% Online.
Program overview

Explore More for Applied Behavior Analysis Majors

Here are a few reasons McNeese’s ABA master’s program is the first choice for students across the United States:

Affordable, high-quality education

McNeese’s ABA master’s degree program provides students with high-quality graduate training, yet it is one of the most affordable programs of its kind. The curriculum emphasizes basic learning principles and their application to problems of social significance experienced by diverse populations. Students develop critical thinking and scientific communication skills, particularly as they relate to real-world applications of behavior analysis. Students gain experience consuming and conducting behavior analytic research with diverse populations. Students are encouraged to attend and present at regional and national conferences. Psychology graduate students have the opportunity to earn a dual-concentration master’s (in a second concentration of their choosing) by taking courses in both concentrations concurrently.

Expert faculty

All courses in the ABA program are taught by BACB-approved faculty whose expertise includes intensive behavioral intervention; acquisition of verbal behavior, social skills, and self-care skills; functional assessment and treatment of problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior); caregiver training; nonhuman animal research; gambling; and substance abuse. Faculty members conduct and supervise applied, nonhuman, and/or translational research, with which students actively assist.

Hands-on experience

The McNeese ABA program’s five-course internship sequence allows students to obtain more than 1500 hours of supervised practicum experience. As interns, campus students will obtain diverse, hands-on experience implementing and designing ABA assessments and interventions for individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders at our on-site facility, MAP. Campus students also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in basic research by working at our on-site non-human animal research laboratory.

Graduate assistantships

Graduate assistantships (GAs) are available to all ABA graduate students. Typically, GAs require students to work 27 hours per week at MAP. GA roles and responsibilities at MAP are similar to those required during the 5-course internship; however, GAs receive a stipend of $1200 per month along with a 50% tuition reduction for in-state graduate students or a 100% waiver of out-of-state tuition for non-Louisiana residents. Over 80% of ABA graduate students choose to serve as GAs during their first year in the program, prior to beginning their internship curse sequence. GAs differ from interns in that they do not accrue supervised experience hours necessary for BACB certification.

Learn More

Two ways to earn your degree

On Campus

Accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International, McNeese's on campus program incorporates a five course internship sequence and on-site placement at MAP.

Online

Earn your ABA master's degree on your own schedule with our online degree option. Students obtain off-campus internship placements through approved supervisory Board Certified Behavior Analysts. Off-site experience/practicum sites and supervisors must be approved by the ABA program faculty.

Careers and Opportunities

What can you do with a degree in applied behavior analysis?

Past McNeese ABA graduates have been successful in securing clinical BCBA positions prior to or within weeks of graduation. Many students have secured job placements as board-eligible candidates prior to sitting for their BACB credentialing exams. Recent McNeese ABA graduates work as clinical BCBA staff members in local/regional centers in Southwest Louisiana and Texas. Employers have reliably found that our alumni are highly skilled and well-rounded in their knowledge of ABA. Alternatively, some students choose to pursue doctoral degrees upon graduation. Opportunities for further study and career paths with this degree include:

Graduate Schools or Programs

  • PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PhD in Experimental Psychology

Potential Credential and Job Titles

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
  • Clinical Supervisor
  • ABA Service Provider
  • Behavioral Consultant
  • Training Coordinator
  • Animal Behavior Consultant
  • School Behavior Analyst
  • Special Education Assistant

Potential Specialties

  • Non-human Animal Behavior
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Behavioral Gerontology
  • Behavioral Health and Technology
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Organizational Behavior Management
  • School-Based Behavior Analysis
  • Gambling, Addiction, Substance abuse

 

Take their word for it

Program Recogntion

Student Activities

Students can join a variety of clubs and networking opportunities on campus, including the Autism Society at McNeese, the international honor society in psychology Psi Chi, and the Student Association for Methods in Behavior Analysis (SAMBA).

Community Engagement

Our students stay active in the ABA community by  presenting at local, regional, and international conferences, including the Louisiana Association for Applied Behavior Analysis Conference, the Texas Association for Applied Behavior Analysis Conference, and the annual convention of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. Students are also encouraged to participate in regularly held fundraising events for MAP.

Special Facilities

The Department of Psychology and MAP are located in Farrar Hall on the McNeese campus, which houses office suites, session rooms, classrooms, and research laboratories including a rat laboratory and vivarium.

Accreditation Information

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
Number of students whose degrees were conferred by the program. 9 20 17 7 6
Median years until graduation for students whose degrees were conferred by the program. 2 2 2 2 2
Number of students enrolled in the program on January 1st of the reporting year. 22 33 33 26 18
Number of students no longer enrolled for any reason other than conferral of degree. 0 1 0 0 3
Number of completed applications received. 47 42 52 45 27
Number of students admitted during the reporting year. 17 21 25 22 16
Number of Core Program Faculty Members. 4 3 3 2 3
Number of Other Contributors. 0 0 9 7 7
Number of first-time candidates sitting for their Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) examination. 8 18 11 8
Percentage of first time candidates passing the BCBA certification. 89% 85% 73% 50%
Number of graduates obtaining a master- level state license as a behavior analyst. 8 14 5 5 3
Median undergraduate grade point average (GPA) for applicants admitted (report on a 4-point scale). 3.5 3.4 3.9 3.36 3.38
Median score on GRE combined (verbal + quantitative) 292 289 289 293.5 291.5
Applied Behavior Analysis

Programs Related to the Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis

Not sure if the master's degree in psychology with a concentration in applied behavior analysis is right for you? Check out these other master's degree programs at McNeese and talk about your options with a recruiter.

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Program Contact

Dr. Cam Melville, Ph.D. - ABA Program Integrity Director
337-475-5462
melville@mcneese.edu