MA/ABA Program Curriculum

2019-2020 Academic Year

The MA curriculum encompasses coursework, and clinical training. MA students enroll as a cohort. Courses are scheduled sequentially, and the following is a list of program courses by number reflecting the 54.34 credits required to achieve the degree.

Click on a title below to read the course description.

This course explores philosophical and theoretical foundations of humanistic and clinical psychology. In examining humanistic psychology as a “third force,” historical perspectives are considered in relation to behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Basic theories and concepts that are investigated include the holistic and unique nature of the person, the significance of emotions, self-actualization, creativity, personal growth, and the individual as an experiencing being. Core theories, concepts and relevant readings are integrated with personal experiences.

This course will explore mental health and illness within historical, social, and cultural contexts, through a review of predominating paradigm such as (but not limited to) the DSM 5. Major disorders and their etiology, symptoms, and preferred treatment strategies will be examined. Multicultural and historical influences on the definition of psychopathology and theories of personality change will also be reviewed.

This course emphasizes the application of psychological assessment to specific clinical settings. Students will obtain proficiency in the administration and scoring of instruments such as the WAIS-IV, MMPI-2-RF, and other tests, completing competency evaluations in a clinical assessment lab. Emphasis will be placed on the administration and scoring of these evaluations, along with beginning introductions to understanding interpretation, integration of test findings, treatment planning, and viewing the results in the context of the DSM-V. This course primarily focuses on assessment with adults, whereas child and adolescent assessment will be covered in the second assessment course. 

This course emphasizes the application of intelligence and achievement tests to specific clinical settings. Students will obtain proficiency in the administration, scoring and interpretation of instruments such as the WAIS-IV, WISC-V, WRAT-4 and other tests, by completing one cohesive battery with a volunteer. Visual-motor testing will also be introduced. Emphasis is placed upon interviewing, integration of test findings, report writing, treatment planning, and viewing the results in the context of the DSM-V.

This 5-hour mini-course focuses on behavior change systems. Specifically, it addresses the behavior change systems listed on the BACB’s 4th edition task list, section I, Area F. These behavior change systems are as follows: self-management strategies, token economies and other conditioned reinforcement systems, Direct Instruction, personalized systems of instruction (PSI), incidental teaching, functional communication training, and augmentative communication systems. Some of these behavior change systems are included in section 2, area G of the BACB’s 5th edition task list.

Prerequisite: successful completion of 553.

This course focuses on measurement, data display, interpretation, and experimental design (primarily single-case studies), and formation and testing of research hypotheses. Students are expected to read professional literature, participate in discussions, conduct literature research, and begin to develop and implement behavioral intervention techniques.

This course focuses on concepts and principles that serve as foundational elements of applied behavior analysis (ABA). It also includes philosophical underpinnings and historical perspectives of ABA and the methodology of the science of behavior management. Fundamental behavior analytic terms and vocabulary are presented. Students are expected to read professional literature, participate in discussions, conduct literature research, and begin to learn the application of behavior analysis.

Prerequisite: successful completion of 553.

This course focuses on assessment techniques used for the purpose of behavioral intervention planning. Topics include evaluating existing data and records, determining the need for behavior-analytic services, and identifying and prioritizing intervention goals. Various assessment methods will be reviewed including skill acquisition/deficit measures, preference assessments, and measurements of behavior problems. Students will learn the common functions of problem behavior and understand how to conduct both a descriptive assessment and functional analysis of problem behavior and interpret resulting data. Students are expected to read professional literature, participate in discussions, conduct literature research, and begin to implement behavioral assessment techniques.

Prerequisites: successful completion of 553 & 554.

This course focuses on intervention techniques used in applied behavior analysis (ABA). It covers the fundamental elements of behavior change and addresses specific intervention procedures. Students learn to use behavioral assessment data to select, develop and implement efficacious treatment plans that utilize principles of ABA. Students are expected to read professional literature, participate in discussions, conduct literature research, and begin to develop and implement behavioral intervention techniques.

This course focuses on ethical and professional conduct for behavior analysts and psychologists as delineated in (1) The APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct and (2) The BACB Professional Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. The primary objective of this course is to prepare students to be ethical providers of psychological and behavior analytic services.

Prerequisite: successful completion of 553.

This course focuses on advanced concepts and practices of applied behavior analysis (ABA) including complex theoretical principles and skills essential for personnel supervision and management in the field of behavior analysis. Students are expected to read professional literature, participate in discussions, conduct literature research, and begin to learn the application of behavior analysis.

This seminar supports a student’s master’s level practicum experience. The 500-hour practicum centers on clinical competency building. Practicum students have both an on-site and a faculty supervisor. The first half of the seminar will be focused on training and experiential exercises and the second half of the seminar time will be spent in group supervision with your assigned faculty supervisor.  The on-site and faculty supervisor collaborate in the supervisory process, which includes regular communication about student performance, sharing in the process of evaluating and providing feedback, and participation in scheduled supervisory training activities.

Course offerings and sequence are subject to change. Updated 9/26/19

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