M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis

Program Overview

Applied Behavior Analysis is a scientific approach aimed at

  1. Understanding environmental variables that reliably influence socially significant behavior
  2. Developing behavior-change technologies based on this understanding.

The Behavior Analysis Program at Sacramento State has three goals:

  1. Teach students to think critically and scientifically about behavioral processes;
  2. Enable students to enter doctoral programs in behavior analysis;
  3. Prepare students for careers in applied behavior analysis by passing the national certification examination (BCABA and BCBA). The Behavior Analysis course sequence at Sacramento State has been approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB)

What to know more about Applied Behavior Analysis watch this You Tube Video: Behavior Analysis - an Overview

Current information on our BCBA pass rates from 2013 - 2016 can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2016-BCBA-pass-rates-alpha.pdf


Dr. Denys Brand (denys.brand@csus.edu) (Ph.D., Univ. of Auckland, New Zealand). Performance feedback, performance management, sequential analysis, procedural integrity, three-alternative choice. www.performanceimprovementlab.com

Dr. Megan Heinicke (megan.heinicke@csus.edu) (Ph.D., BCBA-D, Auburn, University).  Behavioral Intervention Within NeuroRehabilitation, Stimulus Preference Assessments, Language Acquisition, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Heinicke Research Lab

Dr. Caio Miguel (miguelc@csus.edu) (Ph.D., BCBA-D, Western Michigan University). Verbal Behavior, Stimulus Control, Equivalence Relations, Autism Treatment, Applied Animal Behavior. Verbal Behavior Lab

Dr. Becky Penrod (penrodb@csus.edu) (Ph.D., BCBA-D, University of Nevada, Reno). Pediatric Behavior Problems, Feeding Disorders, Functional Behavioral Assessments, Parent and Teacher Training. Pediatric Behavior Research Lab



The M.S. in ABA consists of a minimum of 42 units of specialized coursework taken concurrently with established degree requirements.  Students are required to write an experimental thesis.

Required Core (7 units)

PSYC 200-Methods in Empirical Psychology (3)
PSYC 202-Survey of Contemporary Statistical Methods in Psychological Research (3) 

Required Area Courses (21 units)

PSYC 271-Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (4)
PSYC 272–Research Methods in Behavior Analysis (3)
PSYC 274–Theoretical Foundations of Behavior Analysis (3)
PSYC 281–Advanced Experimental Analysis of Behavior (4)
PSYC 284–Assessment and Treatment of Behavior Problems (4)
PSYC 242-Seminar in Learning and Behavior
PSYC 275-Applied Behavior Analysis in the Workplace (3)

Required Experiential Learning (6 units)

PSYC 291–Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis (3)
PSYC 294-Cooperative Research (3)

Thesis (4-6 units)


BACB Approval Logo

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved the following course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.