Master's Degree in Special Education - Applied Behavior Analysis

Program Description

Fully online MA in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. This 36-unit degree option includes all 6 courses (18 units) required to qualify for the BCBA exam. Those needing to meet both, the coursework and Master's degree requirements established by the BCBA will also find this program to be a good fit.

Requirements for Admission

  • Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal Statement

Admission Requirements for International Students

Include the same criteria above, as well as:

English Proficiency

Course Description

SERP 500 (or equivalent) - Foundations of Special Education and Rehabilitation (3 units)
Provides beginning graduate students with an overview of issues surrounding the fields of special education and rehabilitation, including legal principles, concepts of assessment; and principles of teaching and counseling. Students will examine and develop their personal philosophies regarding assessment of, services to and intervention with individuals with exceptionalities.

SERP 502 - Behavior Principles and Disability:  Assessment and Intervention (3 units)
Grounds participants in the basic behavioral principles and techniques needed to successfully complete effective Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA), function-based interventions, and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP).  Participants complete an FBA, develop an intervention based on the results, and design a BIP.

SERP 503 - Special Services in the Schools (3 units)
Information to aid teachers in dealing with responsibilities and concerns in school settings with regard to P.L. 94-142. Education for All Handicapped Children Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, and other legal issues.

SERP 504 - Cultural and Linguistic Diversity in Exceptional Learners (3 units)
Provides a theoretical base and practical approach to the study of special needs of students with language and cultural differences; basic premises of bilingual special education and the interface of the two fields.

SERP 529A - Advanced Positive Behavioral Support I (3 units)
Addresses environmental factors that affect student behavior and continues to develop competency in FBAs, function-based interventions, and effective BIPs.  Participants complete a second FBA, develop and test a function-based intervention, complete a BIP, implement and monitor the intervention, and make data-based decisions about whether to continue or revise the intervention based on their data.

SERP 529B - Advanced Positive Behavioral Support II (3 units)
Addresses other factors that can affect development and implementation of interventions such as legal issues, crisis intervention, and teaming and collaboration issues.  Participants complete two FBAs and develop and monitor two function-based interventions and BIPs.  A certificate identifying skills learned is awarded at the end of the three course sequence.

SERP 552 - Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 units)
Addresses advanced skills and knowledge in applied behavior analysis and the factors that affect the application of behavior principles within school settings. Topics examined include reinforcement, punishment, extinction, stimulus control, self-management, verbal behavior, and functional analysis.

SERP 553 - Ethical Issues in Behavior Analysis (3 units)
Enables students to explain the need for ethical guidelines, identify appropriate ethical standards and guidelines of behavior analysis and their own profession, if different, and apply the ethical guidelines to real-life situations.

SERP 556 - Research Methods in Education (3 units)
Basic concepts essential to the comprehension of research in education, including measurement principles and descriptive statistics.

SERP 590 - Single Subject Research Design (3 units)
Addresses the advantages and disadvantages of various research designs and how to select a research design appropriate to a given scenario. Participants learn to critically evaluate professional research that incorporates single subject research designs, create data graphs, and develop a comprehensive research proposal.

SERP 597E - Consultation and Collaboration for Special Needs Students (3 units)
Emphasizes the theoretical understanding and practical application of collaboration, consultation, and teamwork implemented in settings for individuals with special needs.  Develops skills and strategies needed to work with colleagues as co-educators.

SERP 909 - Master’s Project (3 units)
An original applied project in an area of behavior analysis. Projects are supervised by individual faculty and are conducted in lieu of a master’s thesis.

Recommended Course Sequence per Term

Spring    Summer     Fall


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