Behavior Analysis—Frequently Asked Questions

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Application Process

  • Do I have to live in Metro Detroit to apply?

    No. We consider applicants who live within a 3-hour radius of Metro Detroit. The main geographic limitation is whether or not our Metro Detroit-based faculty can reasonably visit a student’s practicum site on a regular basis. If you are unsure if you live close enough, please contact us to find out.

  • When is the application deadline?

    September 15.

  • What materials do I need to submit along with my application?
    • Three letters of recommendation (these should be from academic references who can speak to your academic abilities/potential for graduate study and/or clinical references (e.g., supervisor) who can speak to your abilities for implementing applied behavior analytic programs (submitted through online application)
    • All official transcripts from any college or university attended
    • GRE general test scores (subject test scores are not required) using the following codes:
      • Institution code: 1902.
      • Psychology code: no code.
    • Personal Statement (submitted through online application)
    • Curriculum Vitae (submitted through online application)
    • For international students, TOEL or IETLS scores.
  • Can I submit more than three letters of recommendation?

    We encourage students to focus on quality of recommendations rather than quantity.

  • What are the average GREs and average GPAs of students who are admitted the program?

    We only review scores from the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE. Over the past 5 years, the average combined verbal and quantitative GRE score of admitted students was 1100. The average GPA of admitted students (on a 4-point scale) was 3.65.

  • Is the psychology GRE sub-test required for admission?

    No. We require only the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

  • If I submit my application early, can I interview early?

    Yes, once we receive your completed application, if faculty are available to conduct early an interview early they will. Applications are accepted year round.

  • Should I visit WMU (Kalamazoo or Clinton Township locations) while applying?

    If you would like to know more about the program and interact with faculty members prior to applying, please request an advising session. We do not require students to make a pre-application visit to the either location, however, invited students are required to attend their interview at the Clinton Township Location. Following the application deadline, we will contact you and invite you for an interview if you are among the students considered for admission.

  • When will I know if I have been accepted to WMU-MetroDetroit?

    Letters notifying applicants of their status are sent by November 30.


Questions about the program

  • When do classes start?

    Once accepted to the program, the courses begin in early to mid January, based on Western Michigan Universities academic calendar.

  • When do the classes meet?

    All fall and spring courses meet in-person once per month at the Clinton Township location. The exact meeting date is generally the second Saturday of the month, but is sometimes adjusted due to holidays or conferences. Precise meeting dates are posted on the course offerings page. Once there, students will select the term they are interested in (e.g., Fall 2017). The next page will allow students to enter specifics about the campus (select “Metro Detroit MCC”). If multiple programs come from selecting the campus, students should select psychology as the subject. From there, students can click the link for multiple meeting dates and see when courses meet.

  • Is attendance required?

    Students are required to attend all in-person meeting dates as well as online meeting dates set by faculty. Given the hybrid nature of the course, we take attendance very seriously. Missing any in-person meeting (in Metro Detroit or Kalamazoo) could result in students having to take the course again. Courses are offered once a year, so an unexcused absence may require a student to delay graduation. To avoid any delays, students applying for the program should consider whether they will have any scheduled major life events or vacations that could impact their ability to attend the monthly and summer meetings.

  • How much do courses cost?

    Information about the cost of tuition, employer reimbursement plans, and financial aid can be found on the tuition page. Students should keep in mind that during Summer II semesters they will not be enrolled in enough credits to count as a full time student, which will impact the amount of financial aid support they can receive.

  • Where will I conduct my practicum?

    The WMU Behavior Analysis program works with approved practicum sites throughout the Metro area. Students who are not already working with a WMU-approved site will be placed with one during their first semester. NOTE: While we will make every effort to accommodate student-employer preferences, we reserve the right to place students at a WMU-approved site even if students are working for a different provider. Practicum site placements are ultimately based on our evaluation of the site and available supervisors. If you have questions about whether your current employer is a WMU-approved practicum site, please contact Amanda Karsten.

  • What type of supervised practicum experience does WMU offer?

    The WMU Behavior Analysis program provides students with “practicum level” BCBA supervision. Students count 15 hours per week toward practicum. This breaks down into one hour of individual supervision on site, one hour of remote supervision with WMU BCBAs, and 13 hours of independent experience hours. While many of our students work for more than 15 hours per week, we cap the number that will count toward practicum at 15. This allows students to accrue their hours over the entire course of their graduate training, ensuring that they can advance in skills and activities.

  • How many courses do students take per semester?

    Most semesters consist of two courses and practicum, or 7 credits. Some semesters involve only one course, practicum, and possibly master’s project credit, or 5 credits.

  • What is the current schedule for courses?
    • Spring of year one
      • PSY 6100 (Conditioning and Learning)
      • PSY 6050 (Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology)
      • PSY 5990 (pre-practicum)
    • Summer I of year one
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
      • PSY 6570 (Autism: Etiology, Assessment, and Behavioral Treatment)
    • Summer II of year one
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
    • Fall of year one
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
      • PSY 6080 (Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis)
      • PSY 6750 (Behavioral Approaches to language)
    • Spring of year two
      • PSY 6510 (Applied Behavior Analysis: A Systems Approach)
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
      • PSY 7050 (Master’s project)
    • Summer I of year two
      • PSY 6680 (Analysis and Treatment of Developmental Disabilities)
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
      • PSY 7050 (Master’s project)
    • Summer II of year two
      • PSY 7050 (Master’s project)
    • Fall of year two
      • PSY 6760 (Skinner’s Behaviorism)
      • PSY 5990 (practicum)
      • PSY 7050 (Master’s project)

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