The University of Scranton to Offer New Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Scranton will offer a new Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, which will provide students with the educational and supervised fieldwork experiences necessary to achieve national board certification in the much-in-demand profession. Applications are currently being accepted for the graduate program that begins in the fall 2021 semester.

Annual demand for board certified behavior analysts “has increased each year since 2010, with a 1,942 percent increase from 2010 to 2018 and a 127 percent increase from 2017 to 2018,” according to a 2019 Behavior Analyst Certification Board report on U.S. Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts: 2010-2018 (Littleton, CO. author). In addition, the report noted that demand has also increased in all 50 states during this period.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects above-average job growth of 22 percent for behavior analysts between 2018 and 2028. According to, the average salary for Board Certified Behavior Analysists is $62,472.

“There is a critical shortage of skilled professionals who can offer behavioral intervention. Board Certified Behavior Analysts are required to demonstrate a high level of understanding and application of behavioral principles and concepts that are scientific and evidence-based,” said Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, program director.

The 42-credit master’s degree program will be housed in the Counseling and Human Services Department of the University’s Panuska College of Professional Studies. The course content is consistent with certification rules for individuals and accreditation standards for programs that meet the eligibility requirements for graduates to sit for the national certification exam for Behavior Analysis, as specified by Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

“Board certification is required for working with individuals living with autism in behavior analysis in most states in the United States of America,” said Dr. Kelley. “Highly-educated and skilled providers of autism services are needed in our region to help our children and family members who are waiting – often desperately – for services.”

Students in this graduate program will complete: 30 credit hours of classroom-based didactic courses; six credit hours of thesis or capstone; and six credit hours of a supervised fieldwork experience. The supervised fieldwork experience will provide students with real-world experience in the application of Behavior Analytic principles, clinical services and research. The clinical site selection will be based on the student’s career goals.

The University currently offers an 21-credit post-graduate Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study. The University also serves as the Executive Hub of five Autism Collaborative Centers of Excellence, which are part of a multi-year, multi-million regional initiative supported by the AllOne Foundation to enhance the service delivery system for individuals with autism and their families living in 13 counties in Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania. The University’s executive hub, located on Mulberry Street, has state-of-the-art assessment labs to aide in education and training of graduate students. The center is also used for evaluation purposes and research.

Applicants to the graduate program must meet admission requirements. For additional information, visit the applied behavior analysis master’s degree program webpage or contact Dr. Kelley at or Caitlyn Hollingshead, director of graduate, transfer and international admissions, at or 570-941-6202.