Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science

Applied behavioral scientists and researchers impact our society and culture in a variety of areas, including social work, public health, law enforcement, special and regular education, medicine, and psychology. Practitioners in this field improve how people learn, work and live.

As a pioneering institution in behavioral research and practice, the University of Kansas is an ideal place to further your studies in this field and prepare you for a career of helping others. The KU Department of Applied Behavioral Science offers a Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science, with all-online courses designed for busy professionals and students. You’ll receive high-quality education and training on a schedule that fits your needs, and are thoroughly committed to training the next generation of behavior analysts. 

Program Requirements

We seek students who have backgrounds in psychology or education, with some clinical experience, who are interested in learning about the science of behavior and the field of behavior analysis. The online master’s program will include educational preparation required by the BACB for BCBA certification. An empirical master’s thesis is required with a defense scheduled on campus in Lawrence.

For more information, visit our Online Master's profile.

Program Format

Three faculty comprise the online program and serve as faculty advisors. This program consists of online classes that incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous delivery. Complete coursework at your own pace and discuss content with fellow students whenever and wherever you want. Campus faculty will also sit on thesis committees for online students.

Unique Practicum Opportunities

KU offers unique practicums in collaboration with a prominent behavioral health service provider. Behavioral Health Holdings, a leader in serving children with autism spectrum disorder, and KU recently joined forces to provide an exciting opportunity for online students to gain experience in the field. This new collaboration may save you time and money as it helps you streamline your required field experience for the BACB.

Certification and Licensure Information

Universities are required by the federal government to identify whether programs at their institutions lead to licensure or certification and to provide information about licensure requirements.

KU’s Online Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science program provides the educational requirements to meet the Behavior Analysis Certification Board® (BACB) requirements for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) Examination. Furthermore, the program helps meet the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Kansas.


Students who plan to practice their profession outside Kansas need to familiarize themselves with licensure requirements in the state in which they would like to practice. Some states currently do not require licensure, but most do and may have additional licensure laws or requirements. Note also that licensure rules and regulations may change at any time. The process for obtaining a license in the state or states in which an individual may wish to work can be found through the state licensure board. It is important that you be aware of all such requirements BEFORE beginning the academic program to ensure you can obtain a license in the state or states for which you wish to work. For states in which you seek licensure, we highly recommend that you contact the individual state licensure board.

Provided below is a resource from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB), which provides state-specific information about licensure for Applied Behavior Analysts in the states that require it:

BACB Licensure of Behavior Analysts

More Information

For more information on this degree program, please visit the details page and complete the form in the top right corner of that page. Select “MA in Applied Behavioral Science” as your academic interest.