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University of Missouri-Columbia

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ABA Programs at the University of Missouri-Columbia

The University of Missouri-Columbia appears in our ranking of the Top 30 Online Master’s in School Counseling.

The University of Missouri-Columbia offers a Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior. This program is available from the Department of Education and has an emphasis on ABA therapy and techniques. Students work with the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders to do their clinical work. The university expects them to do several practicums that involve working directly with clients, which is why the program is only available on-campus.

Students who complete the 39 minimum credits needed to graduate will also meet the requirements that the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) has in place. That board offers an exam that helps students get certified to work with clients on the autism spectrum. The program includes supervised fieldwork of 1,500 hours, a 1,000-hour practicum and an intensive practicum that includes 750 hours of fieldwork. Students have the choice of doing only one of these components or doing all three. It can take as little as 25 weeks up to 150 weeks for students to complete one of these sessions. When they reach the end of the ABA program, students will also take a comprehensive exam.

Through the ABA graduate certificate program, students can earn certificates while they work on psychology or special education degrees. This is also available as a standalone program. Students only need to take 18 credits or six courses. Though the university does not require that ABA certificate students do fieldwork, they have the option of doing an internship or practicum. Most of these opportunities are available from the on-campus Thompson Center.

A Master of Education with an emphasis on autism is also available from the University of Missouri-Columbia. This online program requires no campus visits and features 30 credits of classes. Though all classes are available online, the university will change the courses that it offers each semester. They’ll take Introduction to Special Education in the first semester and core courses, including Technology to Enhance Learning, Developmental Aspects of Human Learning and Research with Exceptional Children. Other courses in the autism program include Advanced Behavior Management: Applied Behavior Analysis, Methods of Instruction for Students with Autism, Introduction to Autism and Assessment in Autism and Special Education. The university offers a Master of Arts with an emphasis on autism that includes similar courses.

About the University of Missouri-Columbia

The University of Missouri-Columbia is a public university named after both the city and the state of the same names. It is the flagship campus in the University of Missouri System and the largest campus in the state. Established in 1839, it opened after locals in two neighboring counties raised the funds needed to build the campus and hire faculty members and employees. To separate itself from other campuses in the school system, the university uses the nicknames Mizzou and Missouri, though some refer to the main campus as MU. Mizzou frequently appears within the top schools in the nation and the world released by publications and organizations that include U.S. News and World Report, ARWU and Washington Monthly.

University of Missouri-Columbia Accreditation Details

In addition to having approval from the BACB for its ABA programs, Mizzou also has regional accreditation. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) awarded the main campus accreditation through the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). This is important because only students attending regionally accredited schools can use the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some of the graduate programs in autism and special education also have accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

University of Missouri-Columbia Application Requirements

The main requirements for students applying to the ABA degree program include a completed application and personal datasheet. Mizzou asks students to use the personal data sheet to write about any of the professional, personal or volunteer experiences they have working with people who have autism or are on the spectrum. In a 500-word personal statement, students can write about their career and academic goals, their reasons for going to graduate school and whether they have an interest in any specific research area. Students will also submit an unofficial transcript, resume and letter of recommendation. Mizzou prefers that letters come from students’ current or former professors and that they submit the letters through the application portal.

Students currently enrolled in a graduate program at Mizzou can fill out a Change of Program form and immediately apply to the ABA program. The university will transfer any credits that apply to the program. New students must complete the Mizzou Graduate School Application form instead. Those applying to the ABA certificate program must meet all the same requirements as students seeking a degree do. If they decide to enroll in a full degree program, Mizzou asks that they submit the program change form and meet with a faculty member from the College of Education.

The deadline for both autism programs is May first for the fall semester and October first for the winter semester. Mizzou requires that incoming students have a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all their classes or the last two years in an undergraduate program. They also need a minimum score of 291 on the reasoning portion of the GRE and 3.5 on the writing section. This program requires an application, personal data sheet, statement of purpose, GRE score and unofficial transcript.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Mizzou graduate students in an online program face a total cost of attendance of $13,590 to earn a degree. This breaks down to $453.03 per credit hour, which includes the College of Education and technology fees. Mizzou offers in-state tuition for all online students. On-campus programs charge full-time students who take at least nine credits $8,078 per year as a Missouri resident and $20,152 each year as a nonresident. Students enrolled in the ABA certificate program pay annual rates of $7,702 to $19,136 based on their residency status.

More than 70 percent of the graduate students at Mizzou qualify for financial aid when they submit the FAFSA. The university offers an average aid package for those students of $20,307 per year. It includes federal student loans, university scholarships and grants from the state government. The University of Missouri-Columbia encourages prospective students to contact the office of financial aid for help before they apply to any of the ABA programs.