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Master’s Degree Specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Department of Psychology at Central Washington University is excited to offer a Master's degree specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Graduates from this program will earn a Master of Science degree in Experimental Psychology with a specialization in ABA. The program is designed to meet the coursework requirements necessary to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination. Although the program is not yet pre-approved by the BCBA, we are currently preparing to submit our application for pre-approval as a BCAB certified program. Students completing the program prior to pre-approval are required to submit transcripts and syllabi to the BACB.

In addition to the formal coursework, the CWU ABA program arranges one academic year of BCBA-supervised internship, contingent upon individual approval. However, students must complete additional internship requirements to be eligible to be certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst™. For a more detailed description about certification, click here.

Students enrolled in this program will be prepared for future doctoral study or for work at the Masters level with individuals and organizations in education, developmental disabilities, community mental health, gerontology, and other related areas. Students are trained to provide programmatic habilitative services to individuals, addressing the goals of mastering new skills and ameliorating behavioral problems. Degree requirements focus on integrating foundational and specialized coursework with practical experience.

Enrollment Options

MS Experimental Psychology Program with a Specialization in ABA

Students interested in obtaining their Master of Science degree may enroll in the MS Experimental Psychology/ABA program. In addition to receiving training in ABA, students enrolled in the Experimental Psychology program will take a set of core courses that are designed to provide them with a generalized background in experimental psychology. Upon approval, students will meet with their faculty advisor to discuss objectives, establish a plan of study, and outline research opportunities. For additional information, contact the MS Applied Behavior Analysis Program Director, Dr. Sadie Lovett at or 509-963-3453.

Other Degree Programs with Coursework in ABA

Students interested in obtaining a Masters degree in fields other than Experimental Psychology may enroll the ABA courses with approval from the program director. Students enrolled in graduate programs in Special Education or Family Studies may attend ABA courses (with approval from the MS Experimental Psychology Director) and can receive training for BCBA™ certification, as well as taking the courses designed to prepare them for their career. It is important to note that the BCBA™ coursework requires approximately one additional year (not including supervised internship hours), and should be added to the student’s Course of Study. Students interested in adding ABA courses should contact the MS MS Applied Behavior Analysis Program Director for approval at


The Experimental Psychology program with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed so that graduates meet coursework requirements specified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) for qualifying to take the certification examination to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts™. Students will also have the opportunity to complete approximately 800+ supervised internship hours required to meet the experience requirement specified by the BACB®. We are currently submitting both coursework and practicum training for approval to the BACB®, and we expect to receive approval for program coursework and experience training later this year. More about certification.

Central Washington University

Located in Ellensburg, WA in the beautiful Kittitas Valley, Central Washington University is a comprehensive, four-year public university that is dedicated to developing students’ intellectual inquiry, exploration, and application of knowledge. Beyond outstanding education and research, Central offers small classes taught by first-rate professors who value learning above all else. Central is home to a vibrant student community that supports diversity and nurtures interaction and involvement.