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Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Why Earn Your Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Pepperdine University?

Pepperdine University's online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program empowers students to become board-certified behavior analysts (BCBA®) and gain the key behavior analysis tools they need to better the lives of their patients. The immersive learning experience combines live, online classes with in-person field placements and BCBA supervision while working at approved clinical sites—so you can serve your community while you continue to learn.


Admission Requirements

Applicants for Pepperdine University's online behavior analysis program should be passionate about serving those in need, engaged in furthering social justice, and committed to bettering the lives of their patients. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and offer several cohort start dates throughout the year.

Application requirements include:

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for initial admissions review; however official transcripts from the regionally accredited colleges or universities that awarded your baccalaureate degree must be received to complete your student file.
  • Statement of purpose: A 2–5 page statement describing your previous training and experience, current interests, future professional goals, and reasons for applying to the program.
  • Letters of recommendation: Two professional recommendations from individuals familiar with your academic and professional competencies.

GRE scores are not required to apply. If you are an international student applying to the program, please visit our application requirements page for more information.



Online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis Curriculum 

Able to be completed in 12–15 months, the master’s in ABA online curriculum prepares students to understand behavioral psychology from an evidence-based, data-driven perspective. Key topics that students will cover include concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis, autism spectrum disorders, selecting and implementing interventions in ABA, and organizational behavior management.

Upon completion of the program and all necessary experience hours, you will be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam. The curriculum consists of 4–5 terms, 30 units, and 6 units of supervised field placement. As an ABA master’s online student you will learn to:

  • Observe and assess behavior patterns.
  • Communicate concepts in technical and nontechnical language.
  • Determine target behaviors.
  • Select strategies to promote positive change.


Course spotlight

Multiculturalism and Diversity in Applied Behavior Analysis

Prepare to work with diverse populations by learning how gender, trauma, ethnicity and race, belief systems, and socioeconomic backgrounds factor into your practice.

Assessment Procedures for ABA

Learn to identify client challenges, communicate concepts in technical and nontechnical language, collaborate with other client providers, design assessment procedures, and interpret data.



Behavior Analysis Careers

After earning your degree, you may pursue certification and employment in a variety of roles. Here are some examples of types of careers you will be able to pursue after you complete your ABA master’s online. Please note that some careers in the field of behavior analysis may require additional education or certification.

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
  • Clinical supervisor/Manager of ABA services
  • Clinical director of ABA services
  • Supervisor of fieldwork experience
  • Care manager
  • Behavior consultant
  • Behavior specialist
  • Autism specialist

Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®)

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a certification in applied behavior analysis (ABA) received by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®). With a focus on socially significant behaviors, BCBAs support individuals from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings, including classrooms, clinics, hospitals, and nonprofits, and often specialize in areas such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, or organizational behavior management (OBM).

Clinical Supervisor/Manager of ABA Services

Clinical supervisors manage a caseload at organizations who provide behavioral clinical services. This involves conducting initial and ongoing assessments and designing behavioral intervention programs for clients. It also involves providing training and oversight to behavior technicians who provide direct intervention services to clients. In addition to providing clinical supervision, clinical managers may oversee other clinical supervisors within the organization. Clinical managers may manage one single office for an organization or multiple office locations.

Care Manager

Care managers are hired by insurance companies to review intervention plans submitted by ABA providers who work with individuals with ASD. Care managers examine clinical outcome measures to ensure they are aligned with funder policies and criteria. They also review intervention plans to determine the appropriateness of clinical recommendations and treatment dosages. Care managers consult with BCBAs® regarding intervention goals to meet client needs and funding source policies. Finally, they consult with diagnosis providers (e.g., medical physicians, licensed psychologists, nurse practitioners) regarding diagnostic tools and documentation that meets funding source policies.

Behavior Consultant

Behavior consultants contract with individuals and organizations to provide their clinical expertise in various sectors of ABA. The types of services they provide could include project-based tasks such as creating a curriculum, program, or process for an individual or organization, assisting an organization with developing a new program or service, training staff, and providing a clinical opinion or recommendation.


Take the Next Step

Reach out to us to learn more about Pepperdine's online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis program.


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