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University of the Southwest

Logo for our profile of University of the SouthwestApplied Behavior Analysis Programs at the University of the Southwest

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

Students attending the University of the Southwest can choose from three degree programs if they want to study Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and learn about working with those on the spectrum and those with similar disorders. The first program is the university’s undergraduate major in psychology. It includes courses on sports and social psychology and similar subjects that prepare students for working as counselors. Psychology majors must take 13 courses shown in their outlines, including Theories of Psychology, Family Studies, Research Methods in Behavioral Sciences, General Psychology and Human Growth and Development. The university also requires that psychology majors do a final practicum.

At the graduate level, the university offers a Master of Special Education (MSE) program for those who want to work with students on the spectrum and those who have other unique needs. All students must take a course called Educational Research in their first semester, which looks at the basics of researching topics in education. They will then take nine other courses and have the freedom to take those classes in any order that they want. The program features Human Development Across the Lifespan, Special Education Law, Behavior Management, Adapting Curriculum for Exceptional Learners and Introduction to Mild, Moderate and Severe Disabilities.

Also available is a Master of Science in Education (MSE) in School Counseling. Designed for those who want to help students as counselors, it includes electives that teach students how to use other counseling methods, including play therapy, art therapy, and addiction counseling. Students must take four required courses: Educational Research and Academic Writing, Counseling Theories, Counseling Techniques and Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling. They also take Practicum Preparation and Internship Preparation, which are courses that help them get ready for their practicums and internships. Other courses include:

  • Program Development in Schools
  • Career Development and Life Planning
  • Group Counseling for Schools
  • Crisis and Trauma Intervention
  • Child and Adolescent Counseling

About the University of the Southwest

The University of the Southwest is a private university that offers a liberal arts curriculum. Though it originally had an affiliation with the Baptist Church, it is now an interdenominational university that welcomes students of all religious backgrounds. Established in 1956, it opened as Hobbs Baptist College due to the hard work of B. Clarence Evans. It functioned as a junior college with two-year degree programs that emphasized religious teachings. After earning the right to add four-year degree programs, the college became the New Mexico Baptist College. It kept this name from 1958 to 2008 when it became the University of the Southwest or USW. The university later moved to Hobbs, New Mexico and built the campus that students still use today.

USW now offers 15 degree programs for graduate students and more than 50 options for undergrads. Those programs are available from three schools: the School of Education, School of Business and Professional Studies and School of Arts and Sciences. Twelve on-campus organizations offer professional opportunities for students and also help them make friends and meet others with their shared interests. Despite growing in the years since moving to Hobbs, USW is still a small university with an enrollment of around 1,000 students.

University of the Southwest Accreditation Details

The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS) through the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) awarded regional accreditation to the University of the Southwest. This is why USW can grant financial aid packages to those who show need on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and why it can evaluate students’ transcripts to see if they deserve credit based on their past classes.

University of the Southwest Application Requirements

USW allows undergrads to apply via a web browser or on their phones and other mobile devices. The application asks for biographical information, including a full name, social security number, and date of birth. They also need to complete a contact information section with their names and phone numbers and a third section that lists the names and contact information for their parent(s). USW also asks whether the student finished high school or has a GED and if the student ever attended college before. The application has a submit button on the bottom of the page that allows the students to automatically apply. USW may ask for transcripts or a standardized test score later.

Prospective graduate students need to meet the requirements of each program. Those applying to the special education or the school counseling program need a grade point average of at least 3.0 and a bachelor’s degree from a university that has regional accreditation. If the student has a lower GPA, USW may still accept him or her if the program has space. These programs also ask for a 500-word essay that explains what the student wants to do in that industry and how the program will help him or her reach those goals. They will also need to submit a resume when they complete the online application.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost of attendance at USW is different for undergrads and graduate students. Undergrads pay $8,000 a semester for full-time enrollment, which lets them take 18 credits for one rate. If they want to take more classes, they’ll pay $575 per credit hour on top of that base rate. Full-time students also pay $2,350 per semester for a double room or $3,470 each semester for a single room. USW charges a student fee of $100 each semester and asks that on-campus undergrads purchase a meal plan, which costs around $2,000 a semester. Part-time undergrads pay $575 per credit hour for their classes, and online undergrads pay $470 per credit hour. Students in one of the university’s graduate programs will pay $625 per credit hour.

Students can get some of their costs paid for through the scholarships and grants offered by USW. Those who take a minimum of 14 credit hours can qualify for one or more grants. Many students also receive loans and can take advantage of the subsidized and unsubsidized loan programs available from the federal government. Students need to complete exit counseling before they graduate and sign a promissory note before the university will release those funds. The University of the Southwest offers financial aid packages for students in any ABA program who completes the FAFSA.