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The master's in ABA program requires 30 total credits, consisting of 10 individual classes. Many of our students take two courses per semester. That plan allows students to complete the program in five semesters or around 18 months. You can choose between a traditional 16-week course length or an accelerated 8-week course length. You will work with your student success specialist to create your plan of study, and so you may adjust that schedule as well.

When starting with two classes, most of our students will take SPCE 609 Introduction to ABA and SPCE 680 Introduction to Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders in their first semester. Depending on your specific plan of study, the order of your courses may vary. It is essential to schedule an initial advising appointment with your student success specialist to discuss your plan for registration. Another important note is that enrolling in SPCE 609 in your first semester allows you to begin accruing fieldwork hours for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam, assuming that your site and supervisor are also ready.

The field-based experience course requires that you practice ABA at a site during the semester in which you registered for either the SPCE 638 or SPCE 683 course. You may select your own site and supervisor for this course. Examples of site locations can be ABA clinics or centers, home-based programs, schools, or hospitals. You need to be working with at least two clients throughout the experience and log in a minimum of five hours weekly at that site throughout the entire semester. If you take SPCE 683 (field-based experience in autism), you must work with two clients with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis. You may potentially use your current employment position for this course as long as it meets the minimum requirements.

It is important to note that this is separate from the fieldwork supervision hours required for the BCBA exam. Hours completed during the semester in which you registered for the field-based experience may potentially be used toward both the course and the BACB fieldwork hours, as long as the requirements for both are met.

Students must complete an approval form listing the details of their field-based experience site and their supervisor before registering for the course.

For your field-based experience course (SPCE 638 or SPCE 683) at Ball State, your supervisor is not required to be a BCBA, although they should be familiar with ABA and with working with individuals with autism. Because the fieldwork hours for the BCBA exam are independent of your master's program at Ball State, we do not have partnerships with individual sites or supervisors. The BACB has resources on their website which allow students to Find a Certificant in their area.

For first-time BCBA exam candidates from Ball State's verified course sequence (VCS) in 2022, the pass rate was 56%. Our students' pass rate is consistently among the highest in the nation for high-enrolled ABA graduate programs.

You can view and compare university pass rate data on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board's website.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) compiles that information based on first-time candidates applying for the exam each year from Association of Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) verified course sequences.

For regular admission to the master's in ABA, you must have a completed bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher from an accredited institution. We do not require additional materials such as a personal statement, letters of recommendation, or GRE scores if you meet the requirements for regular admission.

If you are applying for earned admission, you will also need to upload or have sent in official copies of your GRE scores. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or lower should reach out to their student success specialist to discuss the earned admission specifics.

You can find more information on the apply now page.

You will complete the entire application process online. In the first part of the application, you will share general information: your name, address, employment history, and educational background. Then you will submit unofficial copies of all transcripts through your applicant portal or have official copies (hard copy or digital) sent directly to admissions.

If you are applying for earned admission, you will also need to upload or have sent in official copies of your GRE scores. Students with a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or lower should reach out to their student success specialist to discuss the earned admission specifics.

Filling out your application is quick and can be completed in an evening. Once you submit your application, the review process begins. The review process can take 3-6 weeks. You will receive an email from when there is a decision, and your student success specialist will reach out shortly after.

Most master's in ABA program graduates will sit for the BCBA exam to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. However, we also have students who teach, work in different government offices (connecting individuals to services), or apply what they learn in their existing careers. These include counseling in many areas, working in adult care facilities, working in group homes, and many more career paths that may not need a BCBA certification.

The vast majority of our graduates will go on to work as Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in clinics, schools, or consulting companies. However, career opportunities with a BCBA certification are broad. BCBAs work with individuals ranging from young children to the elderly in schools, clinics, nursing homes, group homes, and even the corporate world.

You do not. However, you are welcome to visit campus and participate in commencement upon graduation.

All assignments are assigned and turned in through Canvas LMS (learning management system). Assignments include but are not limited to papers, tests, quizzes, and group projects.

There is a possibility of transfer credits into the master's in ABA and the master's in special education degrees. There are requirements for this, and if you believe you may have transfer credits, contact a student success specialist to see if your credits qualify.

General Requirements

  • From a regionally accredited institution
  • Graduate-level courses
  • A letter grade of B or higher
  • Less than six years old at the time of your anticipated graduation from Ball State University
  • Not part of a completed degree (master's, bachelor's, or certificates)
  • A student can transfer in a maximum of 9 eligible credits in some instances

The BCBA is officially switching to the 5th Edition on January 1, 2022. We rolled out our 5th Edition coursework for the January 2020 semester in anticipation of this change. Any student starting the program now will be taking all 5th Edition coursework.

When submitting your application, you can choose which semester you’d like to start taking classes (Spring, Fall, or Summer). Review the “Quick Facts” on the master’s in ABA webpage for the next semester start date.