Behavior specialists work in education, business and social work as teachers, counselors and consultants; they may work with students who need special education or as consultants for large corporations. Undergraduate programs are usually geared toward education professionals, while graduate and certificate programs provide training for other specialties; schools with graduate programs for behavior specialists often allow students to work with faculty conducting research studies in behavior analysis.
10 Schools with Behavioral Analysis Programs
The following list includes a number of public colleges and universities that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in behavior analysis or related disciplines.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)**|
|Western Michigan University||Kalamazoo, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $11,029; Out-of-state $25,713|
|Ball State University||Muncie, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $9,498; Out-of-state $25,016|
|Florida Institute of Technology||Melbourne, FL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$39,290|
|Arizona State University-Skysong||Scottsdale, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $8,565; Out-of-state $15,529|
|California State University-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $6,355; Out-of-state $17,515|
|University of Houston-Clear Lake||Houston, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $5,802; Out-of-state $16,170|
|University of Massachusetts-Boston||Boston, MA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $12,682; Out-of-state $29,920|
|University of Nebraska-Omaha||Omaha, NE||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||In-state $6,898; Out-of-state $18,610|
|University of North Texas||Denton, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Doctoral||In-state $9,730; Out-of-state $19,090|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||In-state $6,507; Out-of-state $21,673|
Sources: *School websites, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
There are several things that should be considered when choosing a behavior specialist school.
- Students may want to seek out programs that provide career counseling, if they are seeking a specific occupation.
- Practical work experience may be necessary for students to meet requirements for board certification as teachers or counselors; students may prioritize programs that offer practicums or internship opportunities.
- An important consideration for students as they select a school is whether or not the school's behavior analysis program is accredited.
- Some schools may only offer undergraduate degrees, and those planning to pursue graduate studies after acquiring their bachelor's degree may prefer to attend a school where they can complete all of their studies.
Bachelor's Degree in Education
Undergraduate degrees for behavior specialists are usually education degrees, such as a Bachelor of Science in Education or Bachelor of Science in Special Education. Many bachelor's degrees in special education include preparation for teacher certification as part of the program.
Master's Degree in Special Education
Graduate degrees for behavior specialists include a Master of Science Special Education - Learning Behavior Specialist II, and a Master of Science in Education in Special Education - Behavior Intervention Specialist. Acceptance into a master's program requires a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution and previous teaching experience.
Students who want to supplement prior education can earn a graduate certificate such as a Learning Behavior Specialist II graduate certificate or a Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Students are usually required to have a master's degree and prior work experience, but a bachelor's degree is sometimes sufficient.
There are several colleges and universities that offer psychology degrees; some also offer behavioral analysis concentrations or majors. It's possible to pursue studies related to behavioral analysis at undergraduate and graduate levels from public and private institutions across the country.