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Teacher Education, Master of Science, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The Master of Science in Teacher Education, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Concentration is designed to prepare professionals to use core behavior analytic skills to improve the lives of children, adolescents, and adults with unique learning and behavior challenges. Grounded in principles of applied behavior analysis, ABA treatment approaches aim to prevent and reduce problem behaviors and to increase appropriate behaviors and skills.

The University of Tennessee’s ABA Concentration* provides courses in Special Education and School Psychology programs primarily focused on treatment approaches for children and adults with learning or behavioral difficulties and their teachers and caregivers. Completion of the Teacher Education, MS; ABA Concentration requires a total of 30 graduate hours*.

Through the ABA Concentration, students will take the Association of Behavior Analysts International® Verified Course Sequence* (VCS) necessary to pursue certification as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®). UT’s ABA Concentration meets the coursework requirements to qualify applicants to sit for the board examination.

*The ABA Concentration does not lead to initial teacher licensure. Learn more about programs that lead to initial teacher licensure.

How to Apply
For information about Teacher Education and Professional Licensure, visit the TPTE Licensure page.

  • Visit the TPTE Admissions page for information about how to apply to the Master’s Degree: Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration.
  • Applicants to the graduate program must use the University of Tennessee Graduate Admissions Application.
    • For further information, please contact Lori Daniels, 865-974-2321.

Criteria for Admission

Admission to the Teacher Education, MS; Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration will be based on these criteria*:

  • Applicant GRE Scores
  • Grade Point Average at All Collegiate Levels
  • Written Goal Statement
  • Example of Professional Writing
  • Background Check Clearance
  • Professional References
  • Admission Board Interview

*For a complete description of Graduate admission and application information, please visit the Graduate Admissions Office

For complete program details, follow this link to the UT Catalog.

Completion of the Teacher Education, MS; ABA Concentration requires a total of 30 graduate hours.

Required Coursework (21 credits)
Must complete the following courses:
EDPY 636: Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychology and Behavior Analysis (3)*
EDPY 515: Educational Applications of Behavioral Theories of Learning (3)*
EDPY 517: Direct Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skills Deficits(3)*
SPED 530: Applied Behavior Analysis in School Settings (3) *
SPED 555: Methods of Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders(3) *
SPED 501: Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3)*
In consultation with an advisor, select one of the following courses:
EDPY 505: Quasi-Experimental and Single-Subject Design Research (3)*
SPED 603: Reading and Applying Research for Diverse Learners: Single-Subject Approaches (3) *
Electives (9 credits)

In consultation with an advisor, select from the following courses and/or another relevant graduate-level course(s) approved by advisor:
EDPY 510: Psychological Theories of Human Development (3)
EDPY 516: Educational Applications of Cognitive Learning Theories (3)
SCHP 690: Psychopathology of Childhood (3)
SPED 553: Assessment of Exceptional Students (3)
SPED 542: Methods of Teaching Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (3)
SPED 552: Classroom Management (3)

Total       30 Hours Coursework

*Note: To complete the coursework required for board certification in behavior analysis (BCBA), students must complete EDPY 515, EDPY 517, EDPY 636, SPED 555, SPED 530, SPED 501, and either EDPY 505 or SPED 603. An international certifying board specifies and updates additional requirements (e.g., completing supervised fieldwork experience, passing exam) for board certification which are outside of coursework included in the Teacher Education, MS; ABA Concentration.

15-Month Program Option (Full-Time Student)

This program takes place over 15 months and is ideal for full-time students. Coursework begins in the summer term, runs continuously through the fall and spring terms, and is completed at the end of the following summer. See the example course sequence below.  

15-Month Program

Example Course Sequence

Summer (1)

SPED 555 (3): Methods of Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (offered summer even year only)
SPED 530 (3): Applied Behavior Analysis in School Settings (offered every summer)

Fall

EDPY 517 (3): Direct Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skills Deficits
EDPY 505 (3): Quasi-Experimental and Single-Case Design Research
Elective (3)

Spring

EDPY 636 (3): Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychology and Behavior Analysis
Elective (3)
Elective (3)

Summer (2)

EDPY 515 (3): Educational Applications of Behavioral Theories of Learning (offered summer odd years only)
SPED 501 (3): Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (offered summer odd years only)
Total 30 Hours Coursework

2-Year Program (Part-Time Student)

This program is ideal for part-time students. Coursework involves 1-2 classes per term and is completed over 2 years. See the example course sequence below.  

2-Year Program Example Course Sequence
Year 1
Fall EDPY 505 (3): Quasi-Experimental and Single-Case Design Research
Spring EDPY 636 (3): Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Psychology and Behavior Analysis
Elective (3)
Summer SPED 530 (3): Applied Behavior Analysis in School Settings (offered every summer)
SPED 555 (3): Methods of Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders (offered summer even years only)
Year 2
Fall EDPY 517 (3): Direct Assessment and Intervention for Academic Skills Deficits
Elective (3) 
Spring Elective (3)
Summer EDPY 515 (3): Educational Applications of Behavioral Theories of Learning (offered summer odd years only)
SPED 501 (3): Advanced Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (offered summer odd years only)
Total 30 Hours Coursework

Through the ABA Concentration, students will take the Association of Behavior Analysts International® BCBA Coursework which is the Verified Course Sequence* (VCS) necessary to pursue certification as a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®). UT’s ABA Concentration meets the coursework requirements to qualify applicants to sit for the board examination. The VCS is available as an option for students enrolled in graduate, degree-seeking programs in Applied Behavior Analysis, Special Education, and School Psychology.

BACB Verified Course Sequence logo

Tara C. Moore, PhD, BCBA-D
Associate Professor, Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education
tara.moore@utk.edu
865-974-6459