Behavior Analysis

Students viewing rat in lab

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University offers two graduate programs in behavior analysis:

program characteristics

  • Both programs have been accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International through 2019.
  • Both programs operate using a mentorship model.
  • Primary specialty areas: developmental disabilities, basic operant research with humans and non-humans, organizational behavior management and performance management, behavioral pharmacology, behavioral gerontology and behavioral medicine.
  • Research facilities: non-human behavior labs (including behavioral pharmacology), child and adult studies labs, physiological research facilities and organizational behavior management labs.
  • Students have practical opportunities in behavioral medicine, performance management and out-patient and in-patient clinical and educational sites.
  • The core curriculum is pre-approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.


Applications are considered for the fall semester only. The departmental application file must be completed by Dec. 1. Applications to the Office of Admissions must also be submitted by this date.

For those in the Metro Detroit region, applications are considered for the spring semester only (January). The departmental application file must be completed by Sep. 1 if applying to the WMU-MetroDetroit cohort. View more details about the Metro Detroit program.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • A bachelor's degree with at least 18 semester hours in psychology
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Minimum scores corresponding to the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.

Additional criteria taken into consideration include:

  • Previous coursework in behavioral psychology.
  • Research experience.
  • Professional experience.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Social and professional skills.
  • A personal statement.
  • The extent to which the applicant's interests are judged to match the professional interests of the faculty.

Meeting or exceeding these criteria does not guarantee admission to the department or any of its programs.


International applicant information
Helpful hints for international applicants