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M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis

Oregon’s first—and only—stand-alone master’s degree in applied behavior analysis.

Meeting the demand for highly qualified Behavior Analysts

Licensure and Certification

MS-ABA prepares students to meet national certification and Oregon licensure requirements.

  • BCBA course sequence: the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has verified these courses as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® exam. (Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify) (BCBA course descriptions: www.oit.edu/portland-metro/academics/degrees/applied-behavior-analysis/graduate-courses
  • ABA Practicum: second year practicum placements provide students with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. ® approved supervised experience required for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst ® exam. Practicum placements are paid positions with approved ABA agencies and, in Klamath Falls, with Oregon Tech’s BIG ABA clinic and local schools

In-depth focus on Applied Behavior Analysis

Oregon’s only master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, the MS-ABA curriculum focuses on providing a rigorous and thorough foundation in the science of behavior analysis. Students will be prepared to apply the principles of behavior analysis with diverse populations and in a wide variety of settings.

Accessible and Personal

The use of synchronous videoconferencing technology provides an alternative to fully online, asynchronous programs for students in all areas of the state who prefer the real-time, face-to-face educational experience. Courses are taught on the Klamath Falls and Portland-Metro campuses and are available to students everywhere via Zoom (a synchronous videoconferencing program). Zoom provides students with the immediate interaction of a traditional face-to-face course, while providing access from anywhere.

Oregon Tech’s experienced and highly qualified ABA faculty are located on both the Klamath Falls and Wilsonville campuses. Students can meet with faculty in person on their preferred campus or by phone or zoom.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach for understanding and addressing socially significant problem behaviors and teaching meaningful skills. ABA is based on the science of behaviorism and is an evidence-based, data-driven, systematic approach to intervention that improves the quality of life for individuals.

Applied Behavior Analysis emphasizes understanding the effects of environmental factors on observable behavior. Methods in applied behavior analysis stress direct measurement of target behaviors, understanding the causes of behavior, manipulating environmental variables to produce socially significant effects, and evaluation of outcomes. While validated intensive behavioral interventions have been most publicly recognized for treatment for children with an autism spectrum disorder, the principles and methods of ABA has successful applications in a wide range of other areas including:

  • Business management and safety
  • Education
  • Gerontology
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Behavioral medicine and public health
  • Language Acquisition
  • Community improvement
  • Mental health
  • Sports
  • Animal training

About the Program

Degrees Offered

  • Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis


  • Klamath Falls
  • Portland-Metro


View the Requirements

For Questions, Contact:

Dr. Maria Lynn Kessler

Dr. Maria Lynn Kessler, Program Director


How are courses for this program taught?

Faculty for this program are located at both the Klamath Falls and Wilsonville campuses. Some courses may be taught at the campus a student is located at or courses may be delivered via Zoom depending on qualified and experienced faculty campus location.

Does this program meet the requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® exam?

Yes, this program consists of courses designed to prepare students for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® in a variety of clinical settings. Oregon residents who complete the program and earn certification as a BCBA® will be eligible to apply as a Licensed Behavior Analyst in Oregon. Oregon Tech also offers a standalone Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis for individuals who already have a graduate degree.

How is this program different from the Master of Education with Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The MS-ABA program enables students to become effective and ethical behavior analysts practicing in any discipline of ABA. The program emphasizes a foundation in theory, concepts, and principles, development of basic behavior analytic skills, and an emphasis on professional and ethical responsibilities. The Master of Education with Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder features a focus on the application of the degree in the education setting.


Settings where behavior analysts provide services include homes, clinics, rehabilitation settings, residential facilities, social service agencies, mental health facilities, schools, and in business and industry. Some of the areas in which ABA is used include child abuse and neglect, behavioral medicine, gerontology, sports, education, performance management, autism, developmental and intellectual disabilities, brain injury, and organizational behavior management.

Behavior analysts work with organizations, businesses, and industry applying principles of behavior analysis to improve workplace performance. Behavior analysts are in high demand, particularly for providing autism related services. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is recognized as the Standard of Care for Autism when provided by well-qualified professionals.

Career Success

Demand for Behavior Analysts continues to grow as indicated in this report on workforce demand.

The 2014 survey conducted by the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) reported that the modal income for behavior analysts was between $65,000 and $75,000, with 30% reporting income over $75,000. Behavior analysts reported working in a variety of areas including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual and developmental disabilities, education, child welfare, brain injury, corrections and delinquency, and organizational behavior management.


In addition to the nine course BCBA course sequence, electives to choose from include:

Organizational Behavior Management (ABA 565)

Application of the theory, principles, and methods of behavior analysis in businesses, industries, human service organizations, and governments. The course examines organizational systems including their parts, processes, and people and key components of process improvement. Research in OBM is applied to conducting behavioral systems analyses, designing process maps and generating basic interventions for improving organizational processes.

ABA and Education (ABA 566)

Applications of behavior analysis in education; instructional design and classroom behavior management applications in education, special education, and college instruction. Research based methods and applications of behavioral principles of learning and instruction for diverse populations in educational settings with focus on practical, ethical, and contextual considerations.

ABA and Health (ABA 567)

Application of the theory, principles, and methods of behavior analysis to areas of behavioral medicine, individual health, and public health. Examines behavior analytic research-based approaches and applications to health, behavioral medicine, public health, individual health. Focus on key components of health behavior change interventions.

ABA and Special Populations (ABA 577)

Applications of behavior analysis across diverse populations including intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and brain injury; ethical, legal, and practical considerations. Application of behavior analytic research and methods for selecting and assessing target behaviors, and designing and implementing appropriate interventions for diverse populations. Focus on legal, ethical, and practical considerations when working with special populations.

Community Behavior Analysis (ABA 575)

Applications of behavior analysis in the community; historical developments, conceptual issues, and practical issues are examined; applications to socially significant issues. Examines behavior analytic research and applications for addressing socially significant issues in the community. Focus on ethical and practical considerations for community based behavior change interventions.

Clinical Behavior Analysis (ABA 576)

Clinical applications of behavior analysis; focus on methods, theory, and evidence-based practices. Examination of the theory, background, and basic behavioral principles on which the techniques of behavior therapy are based. Focus on behavior therapy techniques, therapeutic process, and basic therapeutic skills.

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