M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis


M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis


The field of Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of the science of behavior to understand and improve human behavior. Our goal is to create a socially significant change in behavior that improves the lives of our clients.

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 www.bacb.com.

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).

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree in psychology, education, special education, social work, communication disorders, or a closely related field.
  2. Applicants must have a minimum of a 3.0 undergraduate grade point average or a minimum of 3.25 graduate grade point average.
  3. Applicants must secure three (3) letters of recommendations with one related to academic performance (e.g., from professor, advisor) and two related to the applicant’s work with children and youth (e.g., from practicum supervisor, research supervisor).
  4. Applicants must submit an updated CV (or resume) overviewing their education and experiences.
  5. Applicants must submit a writing sample of a scholarly paper (e.g., research paper, literature review completed in APA formatting).
  6. Applicants must submit a personal statement describing previous experiences that led to this career goal.
  7. Applicants must participate in an interview with program faculty.
  8. Upon acceptance, applicants must satisfactorily pass a criminal background check (due to the nature of the work performed by behavior analysts).

Applications for Fall 2023 are due March 1, 2023.

Retention Requirements

  1. Students must maintain a 3.0 GPA on all program coursework.
  2. Earning a C or lower on any program coursework results in academic probation and the student must retake the course; if a student earns a second grade of C or lower, the student may be dismissed from program.
  3. Students must demonstrate professional growth throughout the program in alignment with the Behavior Analysts Certification Board 5th Edition Task List as well as the BACB Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (2020).
  4. 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 grad.admit@nulluky.edu 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.