Skip to main
University-wide Navigation

Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis


Mission Statement

The University of Kentucky’s Applied Behavior Analysis programs are dedicated to training competent and compassionate professionals who are prepared to serve children with disabilities in authentic settings. Our mission is to equip our students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to effectively assess, design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based behavioral interventions.

We believe in the importance of respecting the individuality and dignity of each child and their families, and our program is committed to providing culturally sensitive and ethical practices. We strive to create a collaborative learning environment that fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and professional growth.

Our program's ultimate goal is to prepare behavior analysts who are capable of making meaningful contributions to the lives of children with disabilities and their families, as well as to the broader field of applied behavior analysis. We aim to empower our graduates to advocate for the rights and well-being of individuals with disabilities and to promote positive social change.

Program Description

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (MS in ABA) is an on-campus degree program that will train graduate students to provide behavior analytic services to individuals with challenging behavior and/or skill deficits. These services are provided through direct care, consultation, support, and training to teachers, staff, parents, and clients. The MS in ABA provides opportunities for graduate students to work within schools, homes, clinics, or related settings with individuals with or at-risk for disabilities (Birth – 21 years of age).

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has accepted courses within the MS in ABA program as a verified course sequence. In addition, students in the MS in ABA program will receive required supervision within the practicum setting. The verified course sequence and practicum/supervision requirements will prepare those who complete the MS in ABA to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination. More information regarding the BCBA examination and requirements can be found at

The University of Kentucky Verified Course Sequence has a strong history of high pass rate percentages. For the MOST recent pass rates, as well as previous pass rates, please visit the Behavior Analysis Certification Board Verified Course Sequences page.

The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program is approved by the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).


Faculty Contact

Sally Shepley, PhD, BCBA-D, LBA 

Director of ABA Programs

Associate Professor



Admission Requirements

  1. CV
    1. Please include degree(s), relevant work history, service to the community, honors, membership(s), organizations.
  2. Personal Statement
    1. Applicants must submit a personal statement describing previous experiences that led to this career goal
  3. Writing sample
    1. Please include a research, literature review, or professional paper from a previous college course. Make sure the paper conforms to APA 6th edition guidelines.
  4. Three letters of recommendation- Ideally one from a previous faculty member, and at least one describing your interactions with individuals with disabilities.
  5. Contact information to set up interview with faculty.

Applicants must meet the Graduate School admission requirements.

The GRE is not required for admission to this program.


  • Fall Start Only: December 15 


Retention Requirements

  1. Students must demonstrate professional growth throughout the program in alignment with the BACB 5th Edition Task List (2017), as well as the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020).
  2. Per practicum observation or report from practicum supervisors, students make be placed on academic probation or dismissed from the program for lack of growth according to the Professional Dispositions Rubric or for violations of the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020). This would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis with the level of violation being taken into account.

How to Apply

  1. Start an account with the University of Kentucky Graduate School.
  2. Gather your materials.
  3. Upload your materials: All materials gathered must be uploaded in electronic format to the online application system. If you have any questions about UK’s online application process to Graduate School, you may either send an e-mail to or call (859) 257-4905.
  4. Submit your application.
  5. Check on your recommenders: You may log in to your application at any time to check on whether your recommenders have submitted their letters.
  6. Wait for us to review your materials.


State Authorization & Licensure

If you plan to complete a University of Kentucky online program while living outside of Kentucky, you should check the Out-of-State Students page to determine if the University of Kentucky is authorized to provide this program in your state of residence. If you plan to use the degree to seek licensure, you should also determine if the degree meets the educational requirements for licensure in your state.

Tuition and Fees

For information regarding current program cost please refer to the UK Graduate Tuition and Fees page.

Refund Policies

You can find tuition refund policies, deadlines, amounts, and other important information on the UK Student Account Services website.