Become a Behavior Analyst

Our ABA master’s program has a specific focus on autism. It is approved by NYSED as a licensure-qualifying program for behavior analysts in New York State.

It is also a Verified Course Sequence approved by the Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting coursework requirements to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examination for BCBA certification.

  • You’ll engage with professionals from around the world in our online ABA master’s program, while benefiting from the personal attention Sage guarantees every student. You’ll gain a deep understanding of autism and how it affects a person’s behavior and development while learning skills to shape and change behaviors. 
  • You’ll gain hands-on experience through our applied activities in courses. The optional 8-credit practicum track allows you to get the hours you need to complete the Board Certified Behavior Analyst fieldwork as well as towards New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst fieldwork. 
  • ABA program faculty are professionals with years of experience. Small class sizes of 16 ensure that you always get one-on-one attention. 
  • Professors teach in an online, multimedia format, giving you access to the learning tools you need to be successful — and to prepare you to take the next step in your career. 
  • Faculty also engage in research, often with students, focused on generating evidence-based solutions to applied problems.
  • Their ultimate goal? To provide you with a world-class Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism education that directly relates to your applied work setting.   
  • A thesis track is also available, and you can apply to be a research assistant.

Course Requirements

Credits and Completion

Our master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis programs range from 38 credits for practicum-track students and 30 credits for nonpracticum-track student. Both the practicum and nonpracticum track options take approximately five to six semesters to complete. It is important to note that this includes summer semesters.

Our online ABA master’s program is accessible anytime, anywhere.

Course Format

Taking a multimedia approach, you’ll have access to many learning tools: audio-visual presentations, written tools and active learning experiences such as fluency drills, practice taking data and case analysis.

Faculty’s direct field experiences allow for real-life scenarios to be integrated into the classroom. The asynchronous format of the program allows you to access your coursework on your own schedule.

The program is focused on the ultimate goal of teaching you how to change socially significant behavior that you can apply in your work setting. Learn how to:

  • Develop strategies to promote skill acquisition utilizing the principles of reinforcement
  • Assess the function of problem behaviors and implement programs to teach functionally equivalent replacement behaviors
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of interventions using a variety of measurement systems
  • Evaluate research to determine the effectiveness and utilize it within your programming

The Russell Sage College ABA and Autism Master’s program seeks to prepare professionals to provide respectful, compassionate, culturally humble and effective services for behavior change. The program meets educational requirements for Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (VCS approved) as well as New York State licensure in behavior analysis. The program covers the methods, principles, and procedures of applied behavior analysis with an emphasis on using applied behavior analysis in multiple settings, and across varied age groups. The program emphasizes evidence-based practices that have been proven effective for those with disabilities, with a focus on autism, by providing an education that teaches students to:

  • Provide high-quality services at all levels of applied behavior analysis for clients with disabilities with an emphasis on autism;
  • Evaluate current research in the field related to the application of evidence-based practices as well as theories of learning and behavior to assist clients;
  • Use the applications of applied behavior analysis and advocate for its broad scope of skill acquisition and behavior needs identified by clients and caregivers within and beyond autism;
  • Follow the Behavior Analysis Certification Board Ethics Code as well as be culturally humble and responsive in their work and research.

Designed to follow the scientist-practitioner model, all instruction is based on the study of human behavior. Learn all the components of Applied Behavior Analysis to promote skills with individuals with autism and promote generalization and maintenance of these skills.

While other schools may weed out a higher number of candidates during the admission process, we give all students who meet the admission criteria and demonstrate the ability to learn and grow an opportunity. Not all students pass the BCBA exam on the first attempt. Our first-time test-taker pass rate for 2022 was 47%.

Easily Apply

Rolling admission for fall, and spring semesters: start when you’re ready. And our application is free!

Applicants should:

  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • Two letters of recommendation (letters from a BCBA or BCBA-D are preferred)
  • One- to two-page career goals essay
  • Current resume
Student teacher high fives student

Your Future Career with an ABA Master’s Degree

Licensure or Certification for Behavioral Analysts

When you complete the Applied Behavior Analysis master’s degree, you’ll meet all the coursework requirements needed to take the NYSED LBA and BCBA exams.

After completing our program, you’ll have met the coursework requirement for the BACB and the New York State Education Department requirements for licensure or certification as a Behavioral Analyst.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of our Applied Behavior Analysis master’s program become Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Licensed Behavior Analysts and work in a variety of settings.

Recent graduates are BCBAs, LBAs, special education teachers, and behavior technicians with schools, school districts, and in education and health care-related practices in New York state and across the country. Graduates also serve as executive directors, directors of training, and in similar leadership roles at organizations serving individuals on the autism spectrum.

Spotlights Pattern

“Many online programs offer an education, but don’t provide hands-on experience or practicum supervision. At Sage, you can get a rigorous education that covers the concepts and strategies while you fulfill the BCBA practicum requirement. That blend is really important, and there isn’t another program that offers that.”


M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism
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Assistant Professor, Chair

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