ABA with an Emphasis in Autism

Employment growth projections for Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are expected to increase – over 18 percent, nationwide – within the next 10 years (Source: Lightcast™ – lightcast.io). If you’re looking to advance in or transition your career to the applied behavior analysis field, Ball State University’s 100 percent online master’s in applied behavior analysis (ABA) with an emphasis in autism can help you. 

Quick Facts

  Next Start Date: August 19, 2024

  • Delivery: 100% Online
  • Major Credits: 30
  • Course Length: 8-week or 16-week
  • ABAI-verified course sequence
  • No GRE Required

While it’s true that Ball State has the largest ABA program in the nation, you will still receive individual attention from our renowned faculty who are dedicated to your success. The quality and rigor of the ABA courses you will take speak for themselves, as Ball State’s BCBA first-time exam pass rate is among the highest in the nation for high-enrolled programs. Ball State offers multiple pathways to prepare you for this credential, at a lower cost than other highly enrolled master’s in ABA programs.

Why a Master's in ABA with an Emphasis in Autism?

  • You can elect to complete the degree in less than two years.
  • Our ABA degree is housed within Ball State’s Teachers College, which holds numerous national rankings and recognitions.
  • Ball State is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), the Higher Learning Commission, and Indiana Teacher Training and Licensing Commission.
  • Our degree’s emphasis on autism gives you an advantage in the job market. You’ll take up to three additional courses on autism, which goes above and beyond the Verified Course Sequence (VCS) by ABAI.
  • Small class sizes of 20 students or less allow for individual attention from faculty.


The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the course work requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

QABA Approved Training Program

Our graduate ABA program coursework is QABA-approved. The coursework prepares for the ABAT, QASP-S, or QBA exams and is intended to provide a foundation of knowledge to not only pass the exam, but to prepare the professionals/paraprofessional with information to utilize in treatment development and implementation.

 Calculate the Cost of a Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis

It's important to you to understand the expenses associated with your education. We encourage you to utilize our cost calculator to gauge the anticipated costs of your education to plan for your future. Need assistance? Our student success specialists stand ready to support you.

Calculate Your Costs

 Career Outcomes

Your master’s in ABA will translate to several employment sectors including schools, hospitals, mental health centers, behavioral centers, and residential facilities where you’ll help clients improve language, motor, social, and reasoning skills. The skills you learn at Ball State can be immediately applied to your career.

Admissions Information

Before you apply, review our program admission requirements and application process.

Learn More

Doors to corporations and industrial settings are now opening where applied behavior analysts teach job skills and promote work performance. The national average salary in the ABA field is $64,000. Below are a few examples of industries that students with a master’s in ABA work in.

  • federal or local government
  • hospitals or other offices of health practitioners
  • local schools
  • family services

 Academic Advisor

The role of your academic advisor is more than telling you which courses to take. For starters, they are student success specialists, and they are dedicated to your academic success. You’ll work with the same specialist from application to graduation.

Contact your student success specialist, who can answer questions you have about our program.

 Meet Our Students and Faculty

Course Requirements

Our program allows you to create a plan of study that fits your life. The 30-credit program can be completed in less than two years, plus course offerings are designed to be flexible. You can choose between an 8-week or 16-week course length.

You can choose to take one or two courses each semester. Your academic advisor will help you create a plan of study that best fits your needs.

Courses required for completion of the degree are:

  • SPCE 609 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 610 Behavioral Consultation (3 credits)
  • SPCE 611 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 619 Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 630 Research Methods for Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 680 Introduction to Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPCE 682 Interventions and Treatments for Persons with Autism (3 credits)
  • SPCE 683 Field-Based Experience in Autism (3 credits)
    or SPCE 638 Field-Based Experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • SPCE 689 Verbal Behavior (3 credits)
  • SPCE 691 Supervising Human Service Staff in ABA (3 credits)

You can start the sequence of courses any semester. For more information on required courses, see the course catalog.

View Catalog

This course sequence is verified for students who will apply for the BCBA exam under the 5th edition task list. If you have questions, email online@bsu.edu, call 765-285-1581, or dial toll-free at 1-800-872-0369.

Convenient, Flexible, and Applicable

The 100 percent online master’s in ABA is designed with the working adult in mind. Courses are asynchronous, meaning you can complete them at a pace that fits into your daily routine without worrying about being late to class.

If you’re worried about timing or course work, most students take one or two courses at a time. Or if you’re looking for a flexible way to quickly complete your degree, all of our courses can be completed on an 8-week accelerated schedule.

You can also start your master’s degree by earning either a graduate certificate in ABA or autism, and then earning the second later. Once you have both certificates, you only need one additional course to earn your masters’ in ABA with an emphasis in autism.

Federal Employees Pay In-State Tuition

Ball State has joined the Federal Academic Alliance and is offering reduced tuition rates for all eligible, non-Indiana resident Federal Government Employees (civil servants), spouses, dependents, and retirees who enroll in online graduate-level programs and courses through Ball State’s Teachers College. Learn more.

Ready to Apply?

Review deadlines, admission requirements, and application materials, then start your application.

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! Request more information using our online form, explore frequently asked questions, or reach out directly to one of our staff.

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