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  • MS in Applied Behavior Analysis, Online/Weekend Residency Option

    Millions of Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder. This is creating a high demand for professionals who understand behavior and learning. With an MS in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Drexel, you’ll build the skills to help others improve their lives by adopting positive behaviors.

    The interactive format of this program blends face-to-face weekend residencies on Drexel University's campus in Philadelphia, PA with online classes. It is perfect for the working professional located in or near Philadelphia. Completion of the program will satisfy the course requirements needed to be eligible to sit for the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst Examination® (BCBA) exam.

    What is a Master's in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the science of learning and behavior. The methods of ABA help many kinds of learners, such as those on the Autism spectrum, decrease harmful behaviors in favor of more useful ones. This can take the form of increased language and communication skills, social interactions, healthy life choices, and attention span.

    Drexel’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis focuses on providing evidence-based ABA principles, practices, and behavioral assessment tools in an Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)-verified curriculum. Through an in-depth exploration of how behavior works, you will also learn practical ways to apply these methods to solve social, behavioral and learning problems.

    Some of the key areas you’ll study in Drexel's program include functional analysis and consultation. Using these ABA methods, you will better understand how to help care for and teach learners of varying skill levels and at different stages in their lifespan.

    As such, the program is ideal for special education teachers, school psychologists, social workers, and case managers. Yet it also meets the needs of other professionals outside these fields who want to pursue an ABA-focused career.

    Program Features and Benefits

    • The blended online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis program features an ABAI-verified set of courses.
    • You will have access to the latest research from the AJ Drexel Autism Institute, which boasts renowned staff who are widely-published and respected in the field.
    • The MS in ABA highlights Drexel’s signature focus on collaboration and experience. Students enrolled in the Online/Weekend Residency program take courses online and also meet face-to-face two weekends per quarter on Drexel's campus in Philadelphia, PA. This format offers the convenience of taking courses online with the opportunity to meet professors and classmates in person and practice key skills.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to be mentored by our faculty and partner with them on research projects.

    Master's in ABA Concentrations

    Tailor your Master's in ABA through one of these concentrations:

    Advanced Topics in ABA
    You'll gain expanded education in the field of behavior analysis that will prepare you for advanced roles in the field or doctoral studies. This concentration provides an in-depth analysis of topics such as verbal behavior, behavioral economics, and equivalence-based instruction.

    Autism Spectrum Disorders
    Take a deeper dive into the study of autism by completing a concentration in Autism Spectrum Disorders, which emphasizes communication, language skills and research-based approaches.

    Social, Emotional and Behavioral Wellness
    You'll take courses focused on how to identify and address social, emotional, and behavioral barriers to learning as well as how to develop best practices for building collaborative partnerships with families, patients, and the larger educational community using evidence-based strategies.

    ABAI Verified Online MS in ABA

    Verified Course Sequence Behavior Analysts Certification Board badge

    The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified Drexel's MS in ABA course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination. Additional requirements will need to be met before you can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

    Archived Webinar

    Related Programs

    Drexel University offers a variety of Graduate Minors that can be added to any master's degree program.
    State restrictions may apply to some programs.


    This program is organized into four 10-week quarters per year (as opposed to the traditional two semester system) which means you can take more courses in a shorter time period. One semester credit is equivalent to 1.5 quarter credits.

    Verified Course Sequence Behavior Analysts Certification Board badge

    The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified Drexel's MS in ABA course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination. Additional requirements will need to be met before you can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

    Applied Behavior Analysis Core Courses  
    ABA 630 Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change 4.5
    ABA 631 Measurement and Experimental Design 4.5
    ABA 632 Behavioral Assessment and Functional Analysis 4.5
    ABA 633 Behavioral Interventions 4.5
    ABA 634 Consultation, Systems Change, and Supervision 4.5
    ABA 635 Ethical Considerations and Professional Conduct 4.5
    ABA 636 Applications of Fundamental Elements of Behavior Analysis 4.5
    Concentration Courses (select one concentration) 9.0
    Autism Spectrum Disorders - Select three of the following courses:  
    EDEX 555
    Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder  
    EDEX 556
    Characteristics & Methods: Autism  
    EDEX 558
    Characteristics & Methods: High Functioning Autism  
    EDEX 560
    Communication & Language Interventions: Autism Spectrum Disorders  
    EDEX 562
    Behavior & Sensory Support: Autism Spectrum Disorders  
    Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Wellness - Select three of the following courses:  
    EDEX 580
    Social Emotional Wellness and Evidence-Based Preventative School Practices  
    EDEX 581
    Understanding Social Emotional Disorders  
    EDEX 582
    Evidence-Based School Interventions and Trauma Informed Education/Care  
    EDEX 583
    Collaboration and Community Based Practices to Promote Social Emotional Wellness  
    Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis  
    ABA 640
    An Analysis of Verbal Behavior  
    ABA 641
    Therapeutic Approaches Using Principles of Behavior Analysis  
    ABA 642
    Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis  
    Capstone Courses (select one sequence) 6.0-7.5
    EDUT 780 Research Thesis I  
    EDUT 781 Research Thesis II  
    EDUP 780 Practitioner I  
    EDUP 781 Practitioner II  
    Total Credits 46.5-48.0

    View Course Descriptions

    Admissions Criteria

    • A bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution
    • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher (graduate GPA will be considered along with the undergraduate GPA)
      • If you do not meet this requirement, you’re still encouraged to apply and your file will be reviewed on an individual basis by the Program Director

    Required Documents

    With multiple ways to submit documents, Drexel makes it easy to complete your application. Learn more by visiting our Completing Your Application Guide.

    • A completed application
    • Official transcripts from all universities or colleges and other post-secondary educational institutions (including trade schools) attended
    • Two professional letters of recommendation
    • Personal essay addressing the following:
      • Why you’re interested in this field
      • Why you’re interested in attending the program at Drexel University
      • Your career goals and how Drexel’s program will help you achieve them
      • How this program relates to your previous education and/or work experience
    • Resume
    • Additional requirements for International Students


    The tuition rate for the academic year 2021-2022 is $1017 per credit. (A 25% tuition savings off Drexel's regular tuition rate of $1355 per credit)

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Special tuition rates available for Drexel University AlumniMilitary members, and members of our Partner Organizations
      • These rates apply only to new online students and students being readmitted.
      • These rates apply only to fully online courses. Hybrid or on-campus courses may have different rates.
      • Tuition rates are subject to increase with the start of each academic year in the fall term.
      • All students must contact applyDUonline@drexel.edu within the first two weeks of the term to request tuition savings for which they qualify.
      • Special rates cannot be combined. If you qualify for more than one special rate, you'll be given the one with the largest savings.
      • When receiving special tuition plans with Drexel University Online, you may not combine them with other tuition benefits that may be available from Drexel University.

    Academic Calendar

    2021-2022 Academic Year


    Classes Begin

    Classes End

    Exams Begin

    Exams End

    Fall 2021

    September 20, 2021

    December 4, 2021

    December 6, 2021

    December 11, 2021

    Winter 2022

    January 3, 2022

    March 12, 2022

    March 14, 2022

    March 19, 2022

    Spring 2022

    March 28, 2022

    June 4, 2022

    June 6, 2022

    June 11, 2022

    Summer 2022

    June 20, 2022

    August 27, 2022

    August 29, 2022

    September 3, 2022

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