Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis


The Master of Arts in behavior analysis in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University prepares students for doctoral study work or employment at the M.A. level in developmental disabilities, mental illness, substance abuse, education, government, and business and industry.

Program details

Credit requirements to degree:

  • A minimum of 36 credit hours
  • A minimum grade of B is required for all coursework in the program

Undergraduate prerequisites overview

An undergraduate major in psychology is preferred; a minimum of 18 hours in psychology is required for admission. These hours must include:

  • An introductory course in statistics. The equivalent course at WMU is PSY 3000.
  • A minimum of eight hours in both experimental and applied behavior analysis, including laboratory and field experience. Courses at WMU that satisfy this requirement include PSY 3300, PSY 3570, PSY 3600, PSY 3770 and PSY 4600.

If your academic background does not contain preparatory experiences you will be required to remediate program deficits through completion of PSY 5100 and additional course work. Specific courses will be determined in conference with your advisor. Generally, such remedial work will be in addition to the minimum of 37 hours for the completion of the Master of Arts degree.

Goals and objectives

Program requirements

Area I: Principles of Learning and Motivation (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 6100 - Conditioning and Learning

Area II: Theoretical Issues in Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 6760 - Skinner's Behaviorism

Area III: Professional Ethics (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 6050 - Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology

Area IV: Applied Behavior Analysis (7 - 10 credit hours; *=required)

  • PSY 6260 - Behavioral Assessment*

  • PSY 6270 - Supervision and ABA (must take if seeking BCBA certification) 

  • PSY 6650 - Behavioral Interventions*

Area V: Research Methods (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 6080 - Research Methods in Behavior Analysis

Area VI: Experimental Analysis of Behavior (3 credit hours)

  • PSY 6110 - Experimental Analysis of Behavior

Area VII: Master's Thesis or Master's Project (6 credit hours)

  • PSY 7000 - Master's Thesis

  • PSY 7050 - Master's Project

Area VIII: Professional Experience (6 credit hours)

  • PSY 5980 - Special Projects in Psychology

  • PSY 5990 - Practicum in Psychology (Available opportunities

  • PSY 6910 - College Teaching Practicum

  • PSY 7100 - Independent Research

Area IX: Electives (0 - 3 credit hours)