Online ABA Master’s & Certification Programs in Florida (2024 BCBA Programs in Florida)

Aspiring behavior analysts often face a daunting challenge when it comes to choosing the right master’s program. With traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, factors like location, time, and personal commitments can often be significant barriers.

Imagine having to relocate to another city, adjust your work hours, or even pause your career just to pursue your master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). These obstacles might make your dream seem unreachable and could lead to missed opportunities in advancing your career.

But worry not! We have just the answer for you. Florida, renowned for its quality educational institutions, offers an array of online master’s programs in ABA. These Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification programs provide the flexibility to learn at your own pace, from the comfort of your home.

Best Accredited ABA Master’s and BCBA Programs in Florida Online

Online ABA Master’s Programs in Florida

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering online ABA master’s programs in Florida:

  • University of South Florida
  • Florida Tech
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Florida International University
  • Purdue Global
  • Simmons University

University of South Florida

Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

If you are interested in studying behavior analysis and using your knowledge to improve lives, consider enrolling in the online Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis program at the University of South Florida (USF). This flexible program lets you balance your studies with other responsibilities, and sets you up to become a board certified behavior analyst after you graduate.

ABA is a practice used to understand and enhance life quality. It’s been proven effective in many fields, but is most recognized for its work with individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism.

At USF, you will be part of a group of students, or cohort, going through the program at the same pace. The program takes 1.5 years to complete, spanning five semesters including the summer.

Here’s what you can expect from the program:

  • You will take a sequence of verified courses, all online, over the span of 5 semesters.
  • Experienced behavior analysts, holding doctoral degrees, have designed the classes.
  • Seven of your classes will prepare you specifically for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.
  • You will participate in Practicum Seminars that guide your fieldwork activities. During these, you will gain 1,500 hours of experience under supervision, as required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  • You will also have courses that guide you in conducting literature reviews and writing research proposals.
  • Even if you are from out-of-state, you will pay the in-state tuition rate.

You will need to gain experience under the supervision of a BCBA. The program follows the BACB’s requirements for Supervised Fieldwork. You will need to complete 1,500 hours of fieldwork experience. If you want to finish in five semesters, you should plan to get about 20 hours of supervised experience per week, involving both restricted and unrestricted activities.

Before applying, you will need to secure a place and supervisor for your practicum. Once you are admitted, USF’s ABA faculty will need to approve your supervisor.

During the program, you will take various core courses, including:

  • ABA Basic Principles
  • Single Case Experimental Design
  • Ethics in ABA
  • Observational Methods and Functional Assessment
  • Supervision in ABA
  • Behavior Theory
  • ABA in Complex Communities

Florida Tech

Online Master of Arts (MA) in Behavior Analysis

If you are looking to study behavior analysis and want a flexible, high-quality educational experience with field experts, Florida Tech’s online Master’s in Behavior Analysis Practice might be perfect for you.

This master’s program requires you to complete 33 credit hours of coursework. Of these, 21 credits are in courses verified as fulfilling the requirements for board certification as a behavior analyst. The additional credits focus on helping you develop and enhance your practical skills in applying behavior analysis.

Some of the core courses that you will take include:

  • Introduction to Concepts & Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts
  • Introduction to Assessment and Intervention
  • Applied Experience in Behavior Analysis
  • Supervision & Management Fundamentals
  • Ethics for Behavior Analysts
  • Advanced Personnel Supervision & Management

The online program has been designed to help you better understand your studies, while also providing you with a deep understanding of applied behavior analysis concepts, principles, and procedures. Each course prepares you with the knowledge and skills you need for the BCBA and BCaBA exams.

The goal of the online Master’s in Behavior Analysis at Florida Tech is to train you to become a competent and science-informed practitioner. During the program, you will learn how to apply the basic principles from experimental behavior analysis in a systematic way to solve problems.

Throughout the program, you will also prepare for BCBA certification, practice the best data-based and evidence-based ABA techniques, and keep your practice up-to-date with the latest research.

The online format of this program offers flexibility, with improved instructional standards that include a mix of asynchronous and synchronous delivery methods. New groups of students, or cohorts, start the program three times a year – in January, May, and September – so you can start your journey whenever it suits you.

You could complete the entire master’s program in just six semesters. Plus, Florida Tech’s modern learning management systems let you access course lectures from your computer or mobile device and interact with your fellow students on the move. There’s even a dedicated Student Services and technical support team ready to help you via phone or email during the week.

Once you have your Master’s in Behavior Analysis Practice, you can pursue a doctorate in behavior analysis at Florida Tech. Their graduate program offers a Ph.D. for students looking to further deepen their knowledge in this field. As a Ph.D. graduate, you could become a researcher, instructor, or practitioner in behavior analysis.

Florida Atlantic University

Online Master’s in Special Education with Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Department of Special Education at Florida Atlantic University offers an online Master’s degree in Special Education, focusing on Applied Behavior Analysis (M.Ed.).

This focus area helps you specialize in special education and the development and use of strategies to encourage positive social behavior. What you learn in this focus area will set the groundwork and prepare you for the BCBA exam.

Some of the core courses that you will take include:

  • Advanced ABA
  • Behavior Analytic Supervision & Management
  • Behavior Assessment & Intervention
  • Behavior Analytic Teaching
  • Behavior Change & Management Strategies
  • Ethics in ABA

This online degree offers a blend of live (synchronous) and on-demand (asynchronous) classes, including both traditional semester-long courses and accelerated ones. You could potentially complete the whole program in just about two years.

The diverse curriculum offers you a solid grounding and application of Applied Behavior Analysis principles. It includes, among other things, the development and use of strategies to encourage positive social behavior with the goal to boost social involvement and enhance life quality.

To be considered for the Master’s program in Special Education, you have to submit a graduate application online through FAU’s Graduate College.

You can start the program either in Fall (August) or Spring (January). The application deadlines are July 1 for domestic students and February 15 for international students for Fall. For Spring, it’s November 1 for domestic and July 15 for international students.

You need to have a Bachelor’s Degree to apply. If you have a minimum undergraduate Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0, you are good to go. If your GPA is below 3.0, you can still apply by providing one letter of recommendation from an employer in an education-related field or a current or former university professor.

You will also need to submit a personal statement, no longer than three double-spaced pages, detailing your reasons for wanting a master’s degree and your career aspirations.

Florida International University

Master of Science (MS) in Psychology – Behavior Analysis

Florida International University offers a Master of Science (MS) degree in Psychology with a focus on Behavior Analysis. You can earn this 45-credit degree in 18 months. Courses are offered in both hybrid and fully online format, depending on when you join the program. The schedule of classes is designed to accommodate working professionals.

In the online format, half of the classes take place live over Zoom. These live sessions are usually conducted twice a week, starting at or after 5:00 PM EST. During the second, third, and final semesters, you are expected to find a suitable place in your local community to undertake a supervised practicum experience.

As a part of your coursework and practicum experience, you will complete a practicum and a capstone project. This practicum experience gives you the chance to complete 1,500 hours of concentrated, supervised fieldwork. By completing this, you will have met all prerequisites for the BCBA examination by the time of graduation.

The program is structured around core courses that provide foundational knowledge and a selection of seminars designed for specialization and hands-on experience. You are also urged to engage in individual or group research projects.

Participation in program events, regional and national conferences, presentations, as well as applied internships are highly encouraged. These activities offer you the chance to gain practical experience with organizations that specialize in applications and therapy.

Here’s a look at some of the core courses you will be studying:

  • Applied Lifespan Development: This course familiarizes you with various areas of life-span developmental psychology and their specific applications.
  • Introduction to the Concepts and Principles of ABA: This course provides a deep study of learning principles, methods of behavior change, and complex learning processes.
  • Advanced Methods of Behavior Change: This course covers how to conduct a behavior analytic assessment, including identifying behavioral function and treatment goals.
  • Special Topics in Behavior Analysis: Here, you will broaden your understanding of the science of behavior analysis, learning how its applications can extend to clinical populations beyond autism.
  • Advanced Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis: This course critically examines the theory and principles of applied behavior analysis and the historical context that led to the development of the field.
  • Behavioral Technologies: This course focuses on the evaluation of interventions, staff training, management of treatment teams, and data-based evaluation of teaching procedures and performance outcomes.
  • Ethical Code in Behavior Analysis: This course examines ethical issues in clinical Behavior Analysis, including the selection of behavior targets and the monitoring of intervention success.

Are Online BCBA Programs in Florida Accredited?

Yes, many online BCBA programs in Florida are accredited, including the programs mentioned in this article.

For a program to meet the professional standards of the field, it needs to be accredited by an appropriate accrediting body. In the United States, BCBA programs are accredited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

The BACB sets the standards for certification of behavior analysts and approves the university programs that meet these standards.

How Long Does It Take to Become a BCBA in Florida?

Becoming a BCBA involves several steps and the duration can vary based on individual circumstances. Here is a general overview of the process to become a BCBA in Florida:

  1. Educational Requirements: You need a minimum of a master’s degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology from an accredited university. Some degree programs specifically include coursework required for BCBA certification.
  2. Required Coursework: The BACB requires specific coursework in behavior analysis. If your master’s program did not include these courses, you may need to complete additional coursework.
  3. Supervised Experience: Candidates must complete a certain number of hours of supervised experience, which can range from 1,500 to 2,000 hours depending on the type of supervision. This experience must meet specific standards set by the BACB.
  4. Examination: After completing the educational and experience requirements, candidates must pass the BCBA certification exam.

The time it takes to complete each of these steps can vary. For instance:

  • A master’s degree typically takes 2 years to complete.
  • The additional coursework (if needed) can take from a few months to over a year.
  • Supervised experience requirements can typically be completed in 1-2 years, depending on the number of hours you work per week.

In total, the process usually takes a minimum of 3-5 years after completing an undergraduate degree. However, this can be longer if you pursue your education or supervised experience on a part-time basis.

What is the Difference Between an MS and an MA in ABA?

The difference between an M.S. and an M.A. in ABA primarily revolves around the focus and the requirements of each program, though the specifics can vary depending on the university.

Typically, an M.S. in ABA focuses on the scientific and technical aspects of behavior analysis. This may mean that the coursework places greater emphasis on research methods, data interpretation, and the practical application of ABA principles. Whereas an M.A. in ABA focuses more on the theory and philosophy underlying behavior analysis, and also places a greater emphasis on the humanistic aspects, such as counseling and interpersonal skills.

Furthermore, some M.S. programs require a thesis or capstone project, reflecting their research and data analysis orientation. This project could involve the design and implementation of a research study, followed by data analysis and writing a research report. While some M.A. some programs may also require a thesis, majority include a comprehensive exam or a practical-oriented capstone project as a key requirement.

For those considering future doctoral studies, a thesis-based master’s degree, often found in M.S. programs, might offer a stronger foundation for conducting advanced research.

Whether you are looking for an M.A. or an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis, you will often find that the coursework is quite alike. The difference between an M.A. and an M.S. also often comes down to which department in a university is offering the program. For instance, you are more likely to find M.A. in ABA programs in the education department. On the other hand, if you are looking at the psychology department, you might come across M.S. in ABA programs more frequently.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Florida?

As of April 2024, the average salary for a BCBA in Florida is $94,191 per year. Top earning BCBAs in Florida earn over $110,000 per year, which suggests there could be numerous possibilities for career advancement and salary growth, based on expertise, geographical location, and years of experience.

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