Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis
The Caldwell University on-campus ABAI accredited Ph.D. in ABA program was designed to prepare students for high-level employment within areas where there are growing demands for competent professionals with expertise in applied behavior analysis: namely, developmental services, special education, mental health, and academia.
Ph.D. students are required to show proficiency in coursework, applied practicum, and dissertation research. The core curriculum for the Ph.D. in ABA program focuses on (a) the advanced principles and procedures of basic and applied behavior analysis practice and research, (b) the application of behavior analysis and behavioral support in complex environments (i.e., home, school, work, other community settings, and institutional settings), (c) supervision and training of others in behavior analysis, (d) conceptual and theoretical underpinnings of advanced topics in behavior analysis, and (e) development and completion of independent research in behavior analysis.
Note: The application deadline for the Ph.D. program is January 15 and applications are considered for the fall semester only.
- Bachelor’s degree or higher, preferably in a related field such as psychology, education, or special education
- A minimum GPA of 3.3
- Official undergraduate/graduate transcripts
- Satisfactory scores on the General Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or the Miller Analogies Test (MAT). Note: Because of COVID-19, conditional acceptance will be offered to qualified applicants who initially do not submit the GRE or MAT. Conditionally accepted students will be allowed to enroll in courses, are eligible to apply for Federal financial aid, and the GRE or MAT scores can be submitted after test centers fully reopen, most likely within the first two semesters of enrollment.
- Three letters of recommendation that specifically speak to the likelihood of the applicant’s success in a doctoral degree program
- A copy of a research-based paper (preferably at least 10 pages) in applied behavior analysis or a related area of psychology that was previously submitted as part of an undergraduate or graduate course. If applicable, the applicant’s master’s thesis is preferable.
- Two to three page personal statement describing the reasons for pursuing a Ph.D. in ABA at Caldwell University, current research interests, etc.
- Personal Interview (applicants who qualify for an interview will be contacted by the ABA Department).
REQUIRED COURSES (60 CREDITS)
ABA 510 Survey of Research Methods and Statistics (3)
ABA 526 Behavior Analysis and Learning (3)
ABA 534 Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
ABA 537 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
ABA 553 Assessing Autism Interventions* (3)
ABA 556 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
ABA 563 Ethics for Behavior Analysts (3)
ABA 572 Language and Social Skills for Individuals with Autism* (3)
ABA 573 Scientific Writing for Behavior Analysts (3)
ABA 574 Professionalism for Behavior Analysts (3)
ABA 650 Thesis in Applied Behavior Analysis I (3)
ABA 651 Thesis in Applied Behavior Analysis II (3)
ABA 800 Applied Practicum in ABA I (3)
ABA 801 Applied Practicum in ABA II* (1-3) OR
ABA 809 Research Practicum in ABA (3)
ABA 810 Advanced Research Methods and Statistics (3)
ABA 826 Advanced Behavior Analysis and Learning (3)
ABA 834 Advanced Research Methods in ABA (3)
ABA 890 Dissertation in Applied Behavior Analysis I (3)
ABA 891 Dissertation in Applied Behavior Analysis II (3)
ABA 892 Dissertation in Applied Behavior Analysis III (3)
ABA 896 Dissertation Continuation (0)
ELECTIVE COURSES (33 CREDITS: ANY 10 COURSES)
ABA 521 Cognitive Psychology (3)
ABA 535 Biopsychology OR
ABA 627 Psychopharmacology (3)
ABA 600 Behavior Analysis of Child Development* (3)
ABA 601 Behavioral Applications to Childhood Disorders (3)
ABA 603 Older Learners with Autism* (3)
ABA 604 Advanced Language and Social Skills for Individuals with Autism* (3)
ABA 615 Functional Behavior Assessment (3)
ABA 616 Assessment and Program Development for Individuals with Autism Part I* (3)
ABA 618 Assessment and Treatment of Stereotypy (3)
ABA 619 Pediatric Feeding Disorders (3)
ABA 620 Stimulus Control (3)
ABA 625 Motivational Systems and Reinforcement (3)
ABA 626 Assessment and Program Development for Individuals with Autism Part II* (3)
ABA 630 Choice and Preference (3)
ABA 635 Concept Formation (3)
ABA 640 Self-Management (3)
ABA 645 Developmental Disabilities* (3)
ABA 646 Analysis of Verbal Behavior (3)
ABA 655 Philosophy of Behaviorism (3)
ABA 648 Standardized Testing for Developmental Disabilities* (3)
ABA 802 Applied Practicum in ABA III* (1-3)
*Specialization Track in Developmental Disabilities
Specialization Track in Developmental Disabilities
In their elective coursework, students may choose to focus on more basic research courses or more applied/clinical courses. Due to the nature of the applied/clinical coursework, an option for a Specialization Track in Developmental Disabilities was developed. Elective courses required for this specialization cover a broad range of diagnostic, assessment, treatment, and clinical aspects related to various developmental disabilities are denoted with an asterisk (*) above.
STATUS DURING DISSERTATION
Doctoral degree students who have completed all course requirements except for their dissertation may register in ABA 890 Dissertation in ABA I for three credits. Upon successful completion of ABA 890 Dissertation in ABA I, students will register for ABA 891 Dissertation in ABA II. Upon successful completion of ABA 891 Dissertation in ABA II, students will register for ABA 892 Dissertation in ABA III. Students who must continue beyond three semesters to complete their dissertation may register in ABA 893 Dissertation in ABA IV, ABA 894 Dissertation in ABA V and ABA 895 Dissertation in ABA VI. Students must seek permission of the department to continue thesis registrations beyond six semesters. Registration in any dissertation course with grant the student full-time status.
Transfer of Graduate Credit
For applicants who have earned their M.A. in ABA at Caldwell University, all credits will be accepted for transfer to the Ph.D. in ABA. For other applicants, Caldwell University will accept the transfer up to a maximum of 30 credits of graduate work in behavior analysis or a closely related field, provided that the courses taken are equivalent in content to those offered in the Caldwell University Ph.D. in ABA programs,the credits were completed within five years of the applicant’s admission to Caldwell University, and the grade earned in the courses submitted for transfer credit is a “B” or better. Official transcripts of previous graduate work as well as the catalog description and course syllabus of each course must be submitted for review at the time of application. Approval of transfer credit is based on course content and grade earned in the course. Each credit transfer request will be reviewed by the Program Coordinator on a case-by-case basis.
GRADUATE PROGRAM IN APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a well developed scientific discipline that entails the comprehensive use of empirically validated principles of learning to develop, implement, and evaluate practical strategies to enhance the abilities and self-direction skills of both children and adults in the context of community, home, and educational settings. Although the principles and procedures developed within ABA have been successfully applied in areas such as psychology, traditional and special education, business, industrial safety, addiction, self-management, and rehabilitation, ABA has been most publicly successful in its application to skill development and behavior change for people with developmental disabilities, such as those with autism-spectrum disorders and cognitive delays.
RETENTION FOR ALL PROGRAMS IN ABA DEPARTMENT
Students may only earn one grade below B for the graduate level courses. This course may be repeated to earn a higher letter grade. Any student who receives a grade below B in a second graduate level course will be dismissed from the program.
- Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis
- M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABAI Accredited)
- Combined B.A. in Psychology/M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis
- Post-Master Program in Applied Behavior Analysis
The core of each program is 24 credits which have been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst ® examination. These courses are:
- ABA 526 Behavior Analysis and Learning
- ABA 534 Research Methods in Applied Behavior Analysis
- ABA 537 Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
- ABA 556 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
- ABA 561 Ethics and Professionalism for Behavior Analysts
- ABA 615 Functional Behavior Analysis
- ABA 624 Organizational Behavior Management
- ABA 655 Philosophy of Behaviorism Those who wish to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst ® examination must meet additional requirements to qualify for certification. (See www.bacb.com for certification requirements.)
A Catholic Liberal Arts Education
At the core of a Caldwell education is our liberal arts curriculum, designed to guide students to critical thinking skills, appreciate diverse cultures, and acquire a moral and civic awareness.
Students develop the whole self as they absorb learning through our liberal arts core: the humanities; the physical and biological sciences, and mathematics; and the social sciences.