facebook pixel
skip to main content

Applied Behavior Analysis: M.S.

Ouachita is pleased to offer the first full master’s degree in applied behavior analysis in the state of Arkansas, seeking to address the critical shortage of trained Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)* in the nation. As a successful therapy option to treat autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia in addition to common behavioral problems, applied behavior analysis focuses on applying key principles to improve the learning and lives of students, the elderly and other at-risk populations. Ouachita’s low-residency program combines online and in-person instruction, carefully and efficiently aligning field experience with course curriculum.

Details about program updates for 2023 coming soon!

APPLY NOW


*We are in the process of determining licensing requirements in other states.

Autism Therapy

Developmental Preschools

Special Education

Skilled Nursing Facilities

Residential/Home Care

Behavioral Health

Training, Supervision, and Consultation

Behavior Assessment

Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues

Research Methods

Behavior Change Procedures

  • No particular undergraduate degree is required for this program. Common areas of study for BCBAs include psychology, education or speech pathology.

VCS LogoThis program offers two options: a Master of Science degree in applied behavior analysis and a certificate in applied behavior analysis. Both options are low-residency programs that include one on-campus intensive with the remainder of the curriculum delivered online. 
 
 
 
background

test

Only M.S. in ABA in Arkansas

background

test+

Clinical Partners

background

test

Month Program

background

test

On-Campus Intensive (One Week)

In their words

learn more about our program & how ABA is making a difference

“Applied behavior analysis is the application of scientific principles of behavior like positive reinforcement to build useful skills and reduce problematic behaviors in a wide variety of settings. As the first Master of Science degree in ABA in Arkansas, Ouachita’s program will meet deeply-felt needs in our state and nation. We are proud to provide a program that prepares professionals for lives of meaningful work in a format that creates synergy between course and field work for deep and effective learning.” 

Sheila headshotSheila K. Barnes, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Founding Director, Applied Behavior Analysis Program

Student and senior adult

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN SOCIETY AND MEET THE NEEDS OF INDIVIDUALS

One in 54 children in the nation is diagnosed with autism each year (CDC 2020), and the state’s senior population will increase an estimated 72% from 2000-2030. Therapists trained in applied behavior analysis are at the forefront of improving quality of life for these currently underserved populations and their families.

Student working with child

FIELD EXPERIENCE ALIGNED WITH COURSEWORK FOR DEEPER KNOWLEDGE

Ouachita’s innovative approach to ABA training pairs the knowledge learned in class to the practical work done in the field with clinical partners in real time. This allows students to apply theoretical concepts immediately, improving learning outcomes, and allows them to complete the program in just 15 months, 3 months shorter than typical ABA programs.

Student working on computer

ONLINE FLEXIBILITY TO ADVANCE YOUR CAREER AND EDUCATION AT ONCE

Ouachita’s low-residency program allows you to complete the degree almost completely online so you can continue or begin your career from your own community while also making face-to-face connections with other students in your cohort. Plus the clinical work completed in the program is a great launching point for your future as an ABA therapist.

Icon
Icon
Icon
Icon

LEARN FROM OUTSTANDING PRACTITIONERS

Meet Dr. Julyse Migan-Gandonou Horr:

In addition to learning from carefully vetted clinical partners in the field, you’ll study under the instruction of Dr. Julyse Migan-Gandonou Horr, program director. Dr. Horr has worked in the field for more than 10 years as a clinician, educator and researcher. She is a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) as well as a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). Dr. Horr has published three research studies and has presented her work at national and international conferences. She also has developed and implemented training curricula for ABA. Dr. Horr has taught at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida International University in Miami and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and she has served as a visiting assistant professor at Ouachita since August 2020. As a clinician, Dr. Horr’s area of expertise is in the functional analysis and treatment of problem behaviors including autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, sexually deviant behaviors and co-morbid psychiatric disorders.

program details

Ouachita is a place of community and relationship. By coming to campus for a five-day intensive, you will connect with your classmates, professors and your future alma mater. This will enrich your academic experience as you complete the program remotely through online courses. After five days, you will have a jump start on the rest of your degree. And, research indicates that online students who engage with their campuses have much higher success rates.
 
 Dates: May 19-22, 2022

 Total Hours = 36

FIRST SEMESTER

ABA 6113 Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues  

May Term

3 hours

ABA 6123 Basic Concepts and Principles

Summer Term

3 hours

ABA 6133 Fieldwork Experience (1/4)

Summer Term

3 hours

 

 

 

SECOND SEMESTER

ABA 6213 Research Methods 

Fall Term 1

3 hours

ABA 6223 Behavior Change Procedures I

Fall Term 2

3 hours

ABA 6233 Fieldwork Experience (2/4)

Fall 

3 hours

 

 

 

THIRD SEMESTER

ABA 6313 Behavior Assessment 

Spring Term 1

3 hours

ABA 6323 Behavior Change Procedures II

Spring Term 2

3 hours

ABA 6333 Fieldwork Experience (3/4)

Spring

3 hours

 

 

 

FOURTH SEMESTER

ABA 6413 Training, Supervision, and Consultation

May Term 

3 hours

ABA 6423 Advanced Concepts and Principles

Summer Term 

3 hours

ABA 6433 Fieldwork Experience (4/4)

Summer Term 

3 hours

 

Tuition per graduate credit hour: $750
Estimated total tuition and fees for full 36-hour program: $27,525

Ouachita Baptist University General Graduate Admissions Requirements:

  • Conferred bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution
  • 2.5 minimum GPA on a 4.0 scale (individual programs will delineate more specifics)
  • Completed application, which includes a personal statement
  • Three references
  • Minimum English proficiency requirements for international students are as follows:
    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL):
      At least 79 on the Internet-based TOEFL (iBT)
      At least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL
    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS):
      At least a 6.5 on the IELTS exam

Admissions Requirements for the M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis:

  • Meet general university graduate admissions requirements
  • A minimum GPA of 3.000 on a 4.000 scale*

*Conditional admission is considered for applicants who meet all other admissions requirements and have a GPA below 3.000, but not lower than 2.500.

*Applications are evaluated based on the following criteria:  Personal Statement: Writing; Personal Statement: Goals/Program Fit; GPA; Letters of Reference; Related Experience; and Persistence/Motivation.

*A GRE score is not required for admission to the ABA program.

Applications are now open through March 15. Jan. 15 is the priority deadline and March 15 is the final deadline.

While fieldwork placement is not required for admission, fieldwork placement is required for enrollment in the master’s degree program. Fieldwork placement requires a significant time commitment of at least 25 hours per week. A Ouachita Memorandum of Understanding/Supervision Agreement must be received by April 15. This letter must state that the clinical partner agrees to provide fieldwork experience (including restricted and unrestricted supervision). While Ouachita will assist with this process, the student is expected to take the lead in finding an appropriate placement. In some cases fieldwork placement may require relocation to an available fieldwork placement site.  

See the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's BCBA Fieldwork Requirements for additional information about the expectations for fieldwork. If you cannot devote this time to the program and your placement, you will not be able to complete the program requirements for the Master’s of Science degree in applied behavior analysis.

Fieldwork placement is not required for the certificate option. The certificate option is only available to applicants holding a master's degree. According to the BACB (2021), "Due to increased coursework and fieldwork requirements that more closely reflect the academic requirements of other reputable master’s programs, and for the added benefit of certifying individuals with diverse training backgrounds and connections to other professional communities, the previous field-of-study restriction has been removed" (as of January 1, 2022). 


Some of our clinical partners: 

ABC Children’s Academy & Development Center

Autism In Motion (AIM)

Children’s ABA Team

Friendship Community Care

FUNdamentals

InBloom Autism Services

In-Sync Pediatric Services

Irby Psychological Services

Key Autism Services

Nash Therapeutic Service

Pediatrics Plus

Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), Corp.

Rose Street

Temple Memorial

The Learning Center

Touchstone ABA

If you’re interested in applying to graduate programs but you’re not a U.S. citizen, contact Angie Schleiff (schleiffa@obu.edubefore submitting an application. Due to visa requirements, requests from non-U.S. citizens are handled on a case-by-case basis and take extra time. Please inquire early in the process.

The State of Arkansas and Ouachita Baptist University requires students to show proof of immunity for MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella). Ouachita Baptist University must receive an immunization record that includes the MMR vaccinations. For more information please click here.

  1. Students will demonstrate knowledge of the philosophical foundations and basic concepts and principles of ABA from content areas A and B from the BCBA® Task List (5th ed.)
  2. Students will conduct single-subject research based on valid and reliable measurement
    systems given the dimensions of socially valid behavior; environmental constraints and logistics; and collect, graph, and interpret the data using visual analysis.
  3. Students will behave ethically and responsibly and demonstrate professional dispositions.
  4. Students will conduct functional behavior assessments and design, implement, collect data, and interpret results of function-based behavior plans designed to decrease maladaptive behavior.
  5. Students will demonstrate mastery of basic clinical skills of using evidence-based interventions to develop new behaviors in applied settings.
  6. Students will demonstrate behavioral analytic supervision skills including the use of performance assessment, monitoring, feedback, and reinforcement systems BCBA® Task List (5th ed.)
 

Graduate professional studies

GRADUATE & PROFESSIONAL STUDIES

Graduate and Professional Studies at Ouachita seek to be a source of ongoing intellectual and spiritual growth for those pursuing lifelong learning or career advancement. Ouachita fosters community through relationships with classmates and professors in all learning environments. Through innovative modalities, fields and approaches, these programs combine the very best of Ouachita’s more than 130 years of Christ-centered learning with meeting the ongoing and changing needs of the work force.

GET IN TOUCH

Have a question about Ouachita? Want more information? Shoot our Graduate and Professional Studies team a message!

Top