Accredited Popular BCBA Programs in Michigan [2024 Online & Campus ABA Master’s]

Last Updated: June 29, 2024

Got dreams of exploring the world of behavioral analysis? You are in luck! Michigan offers some top-notch in-person and online BCBA programs that are tailor-made for curious minds like yours.

In a BCBA program, you will unravel the mysteries of human behavior, guided by some of the best teachers around. And the best part? By the end of it, you will be geared up for an exciting career path. Designed to empower and educate, these programs are producing the next generation of certified Behavior Analysts.

So, if you are ready to turn your dreams into reality, Michigan’s BCBA programs are your golden ticket!

Best Accredited BCBA and ABA Masters Programs in Michigan Online

BCBA Programs in Michigan

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering BCBA programs in Michigan:

  • Michigan State University
  • University of Dayton
  • University of Michigan – Dearborn
  • Western Michigan University
  • Wayne State University
  • Northern Michigan University
  • Arizona State University
  • Simmons University
  • Pepperdine University

Michigan State University

Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Michigan State University’s 37-credit Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis (MA-ABA) program is designed to shape students into proficient behavior analysts, especially focused on children with autism, intellectual, and neurodevelopmental challenges.

By enrolling in this program, you will dive deep into understanding and proficiently delivering behavior analysis to enhance the lives of individuals in diverse work settings. Successful completion of this program paves the way for you to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination.

This is a hybrid program, offering the convenience of online coursework combined with on-campus instruction. While certain courses are offered on-campus once a week in the evening, catering to your intensive fieldwork schedules, others are 100% online, letting you tackle assignments remotely.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders: Assessment and Intervention
  • Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Change
  • Ethics in Behavior Analysis
  • Verbal Behavior in Education

In this program, you will combine supervised practical experience with classroom learning. This will help you understand everything better. Plus, you will have a group of fellow students to work with and learn from. Practicum fieldwork is supervised directly by MSU faculty.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) offer two options for fulfilling fieldwork requisites: a) 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork, or b) a more concentrated 1,500-hour version. The MA-ABA program at MSU supports the concentrated approach.

In addition to completing 1,500 hours of concentrated supervised fieldwork, you must also fulfill following conditions:

  • You must complete a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 130 hours of experience for each supervisory period.
  • You must engage in at least six supervisor-trainee interactions within the designated supervisory period, with each interaction lasting no less than 15 minutes.
  • It is compulsory for the supervisor to observe you interacting with a client at least once per supervisory period.
  • A minimum of 10% of your hours during the supervisory period should be directly supervised.
  • At least 50% of these supervised hours should be individualized, ensuring that group supervision sessions are limited.

Students usually accumulate 20-30 hours weekly at their practicum venues. Some sites might demand extra hours weekly, mainly comprising tasks meeting the fieldwork criteria.

As part of this program, you will also participate in a research practicum. This practicum includes routine meetings with faculty members and fellow students to explore research topics. The aim of this is to guide you in key professional behaviors necessary for both understanding and carrying out research in ABA.

A master’s thesis is the final component of this program. You will propose, conduct, write up and orally defend your master’s thesis. It is recommended to start your thesis early on, ideally by the end of the first academic year.

University of Michigan – Dearborn

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Michigan – Dearborn offers a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. This program educates students about the science behind human behavior and equips them to become a BCBA. Essentially, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) offers a scientific method for examining behavior.

As a behavior analyst, you will work directly with individuals to enhance their social, educational, health, and other essential skills. You will use the principles of ABA to boost positive outcomes by designing programs tailored to individual needs. The goal is not only to understand and describe behavior but also to predict, analyze, and modify it using ABA methods.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the BCBA examination. Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Applied Behavior Analysis I and II
  • Science and Human Behavior
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Ethics in ABA
  • Research Methods in Behavioral Analysis
  • Program Development, Supervision & Management

The curriculum is rooted deeply in theory but doesn’t ignore the importance of practical application. This ensures you are well-equipped to meet the standards set by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. By the end of the program, you will be ready to undergo the required fieldwork supervision and take the BCBA examination.

Key facts about the M.S. in ABA program:

  • It’s a 30-credit hour program.
  • You must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Typically, the program can be completed in 1.5 to 2.5 years.
  • Both full-time and part-time enrollments are possible, and evening classes are available.
  • Earning the degree doesn’t automatically grant BCBA certification. After finishing the necessary courses, you need to obtain supervision in an ABA setting, and successfully pass the BCBA exam.
  • All compulsory courses must be passed with at least a C grade to be eligible for the BCBA exam and practicum (supervision) hours.

After graduating from the program, you will be able to:

  • Apply ABA principles across various settings.
  • Conduct behavioral assessments, develop hypotheses, and use functional analysis techniques.
  • Understand and utilize single-subject research methods.
  • Gain skills specific to helping those with intellectual, developmental, or other mental health challenges.
  • Understand and address the needs of individuals with traumatic childhood experiences.

While the GRE isn’t mandatory for this program, you must provide:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 from submitted transcripts.
  • Two professional reference letters.
  • A personal statement.

Western Michigan University

Master of Arts (MA) in Behavior Analysis

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University offers a 36-credit Master of Arts in Behavior Analysis. This program is tailored for students looking to either pursue doctoral studies or to secure M.A. level roles in fields like developmental disabilities, mental health, substance misuse, education, government, and the corporate sector.

The program provides intensive training on both foundational and advanced concepts of behavior analysis. While offering in-depth training in specialized areas such as autism, health and safety, behavioral pharmacology, and more, you will also get a holistic understanding of various experimental and applied areas via coursework and practical experiences.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the BCBA examination. Some of the courses that you will take include:

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Conditioning and Learning
  • Skinner’s Behaviorism
  • Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • Supervision and ABA
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Practicum in Psychology

Key outcomes of this program are:

  • Mastery over core theoretical and applied topics in behavior analysis.
  • Insight into evidence-based behavioral techniques for diverse applications.
  • Proficiency in research methodologies, including high-level statistical analysis.
  • Adherence to the ethical codes set by APA, ABAI, and BACB.
  • Demonstrated professionalism, integrity, and ethical behavior across different professional settings.
  • Active engagement in professional development through memberships in relevant organizations.
  • Commitment to continued learning via conferences, seminars, and specialized trainings.
  • Appreciation for individual differences and cultural diversity.
  • Proficient research skills, including the ability to critically evaluate scientific literature and design research to address specific queries.
  • Preparedness for BACB certification, especially for roles in specialized service environments.
  • Ability to present case studies and research findings clearly and comprehensively.
  • Opportunity for ambitious students to lead a course, showcasing their teaching potential in psychology.

Western Michigan University’s behavior analysis program ensures you get hands-on experience. If you are aiming for BCBA certification, you can accumulate the necessary fieldwork hours, putting theory into practice.

As a prospective student, ideally you should have an undergraduate major in psychology. At least 18 hours in psychology courses are mandatory for admission. If you lack certain foundational courses, you will need to undertake extra coursework, decided in consultation with your advisor.

To apply, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree.
  • CGPA of 3.0 in your bachelor’s degree.
  • Official transcripts from colleges/universities attended.
  • While taking the GRE is suggested, it’s not compulsory.
  • Personal statement.
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae.
  • Three recommendation letters.

Wayne State University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Wayne State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program is designed for intensive training in applied behavior analysis, with a distinct emphasis on autism intervention. This aligns with Michigan’s recent legislation, requiring insurance firms to facilitate coverage for therapeutic services rendered by BCBA-certified providers for autism.

You will embark on your academic journey as a part of a cohort, following a block-scheduled, sequential curriculum that does not allow any deviations. This unique cohort model is designed to foster both supported and autonomous learning, achieved through classroom teachings and practical, on-ground training. Collaborative learning is central to the program, which is why all BCBA sequence courses are live and held in classrooms.

Cohorts initiate their programs every fall, with classes typically scheduled during the day. The majority of courses are hosted at the Oakland Community College Orchard Ridge Campus, located in Farmington Hills.

There is no provision for online or hybrid courses at Wayne State University. Though many find such formats convenient, Wayne State University’s in-person BCBA courses emphasize an immersive learning environment. This ensures you can effortlessly transition from academic learnings to field applications, fostering a cohesive professional community both during and post the program.

To graduate from the program, you will need to complete 40 credits. You will need to enroll full-time and follow the program’s sequential structure. Wayne State University does not allow transfer credits for this program.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Child Psychology: Exploring foundational concepts and research on child development, including exceptional children and cultural differences.
  • Evaluation and Measurement: Delving into evaluation techniques, especially concerning behavioral objectives.
  • Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis: An in-depth look at the history, philosophy, and methodology of behavior management.
  • Assessment Techniques in Applied Behavior Analysis: Emphasizing behavioral intervention strategies.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment Planning: Understanding and applying behavioral intervention tactics.
  • Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis: A comprehensive exploration of research methodologies, with a spotlight on single-case designs.
  • Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment Planning: Further delve into research methods, emphasizing single-case designs.
  • Ethical Practice in Applied Behavior Analysis: An exploration of the ethical dimensions of behavior analysis.

Incorporated within the program is a hands-on, supervised field experience where you will implement skills acquired from the BCBA course sequence. You will engage directly with multiple clients, employing diverse ABA techniques, with an emphasis on individualized behavioral interventions with children.

Admission prerequisites for this program include a minimum GPA of 2.75. You should apply both online through Graduate Admissions and directly to the program. Further requirements include three recommendation letters, a program application, a professional essay, and a personal interview.

Northern Michigan University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

Northern Michigan University’s Master’s of Science program in Applied Behavior Analysis meets all educational requirements for licensure and equips you with the necessary practicum hours that many states mandate for eligibility to sit for the BCBA certification exam.

Encompassing a two-year, full-time curriculum, this program provides the educational prerequisites for obtaining the BCBA credential. In the role of a BCBA, you will engage in the assessment of socially significant behaviors, including methods to increase, decrease, modify, or maintain them. This analysis involves understanding how behaviors interact with the environment and developing strategies to encourage successful behaviors while addressing those that may be less adaptive.

The skill set you acquire as a BCBA is applicable across various settings including mental health, schools, hospitals, residential facilities, and other human service environments.

Within this master’s program, you will follow the 5th edition Verified Course Sequence, aiding you in meeting part of the 2,000 supervised fieldwork hours required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Additional supervised fieldwork hours may be necessary after completing the degree to qualify for the certification exam.

The main objectives of this program include:

  • Training you to critically evaluate research, conduct applied research and quantitative analysis, and present findings to various audiences.
  • Preparing you to conduct behavioral assessments and design function-based interventions.
  • Equipping you to demonstrate proficiency in measuring and defining behavior and understanding the underlying concepts of interventions.
  • Educating you on personal and professional ethical standards, and their differences and effects in research and practice.
  • Assisting you in respecting cultural differences, understanding their impacts, and being conscious of potential power imbalances.
  • Providing foundational knowledge of behavior analysis, including its philosophical underpinnings and broad applications.
  • Familiarizing you with the full spectrum of autism presentations, including diagnosis, co-occurring disorders, and assessment methods.

The program also offers a comprehensive introduction to the ethical standards and practices of behavior scientists and applied behavior analysts. Topics covered include the history and purpose of ethical guidelines, principles of ethical practices, and the roles and responsibilities of professionals within society, with special attention to applied behavior analysis in the clinical setting.

With a maximum of 20 students per cohort, you will have the opportunity to work closely with your professors, ensuring a high-quality educational experience. This program stands as the first of its kind in the Upper Peninsula, where the demand for behavior analysts is particularly high.

Upon graduation, you will be prepared to work in applied settings such as schools, hospitals, and other organizations as Applied Behavior Analysts.

You will be required to complete 45 hours of designated course and practicum work, including 10 hours of intensive practicum experience and a 2-credit Thesis.

For admission to this program on a full-time basis, you must hold a BA or BS degree (a minimum 3.0 GPA). Your application must include an official transcript (with courses in Introductory Psychology and Statistics), a personal statement detailing your interest, expectations, and career goals, a curriculum vitae, and three reference letters from individuals who know you personally.

What is the Annual Salary for a BCBA in Michigan?

As of August 2023, according to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for a BCBA in Michigan is $74,119. More experienced and top earning BCBAs in Michigan make well over $130,000 per year.

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