Studying Applied Behavior Analysis at Walden University
Walden University appears in our ranking of the Top 20 Online Master’s in Educational Psychology.
Walden University offers a Master of Science (MS) in Psychology with a concentration in Educational Psychology or Applied Behavior Analysis. Students who complete the ABA program can sit for the ABA national exam and become licensed to work with clients in the field. Though some associate ABA therapy with autism, it can help people suffering from a wide range of conditions, including attachment disorders and those who are on the spectrum. Walden University offers financial aid for ABA students including grants too.
The 63 credit hours of classes that ABA majors take include some general and advanced psychology courses that give them the strong backgrounds they’ll need later in the program. Some of the general psychology courses required include Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology, Themes and Theories of Psychology and Research Theory, Design and Methods. Lifespan Development is another required course that looks at the ways in which children and adults develop through their lives. The university requires a final capstone too, which allows students to do a final project on an ABA theme or issue such as how to work with the families or clients or new and emerging treatment theories.
At least six of the courses that graduate students take focus on applied behavior analysis. In Ethical, Legal and Professional Issues in Behavioral Analysis, students learn how to address the issues they might face, including problems related to their clients and employers. Introduction to Behavioral Assessment and Intervention is a course that teaches students how to do interventions to help struggling clients and how to assess their needs. Other classes in the ABA program include Research Methods for Behavioral Analysis, Advanced Behavioral Assessment and Intervention and Applications and Special Topics in Applied Behavioral Analysis.
About Walden University
Walden University is one of the only universities in the United States located entirely online. Though it has a head office in Minnesota, all the courses and programs are only available on the web. Founded in 1970 as a new college that offered doctoral degree programs for teachers, it featured a curriculum that included mainly summer classes. Teachers could take time off during the summer to attend classes and work with faculty members on their dissertations. They would then do dissertation work at home and present their work the following summer. Seventy different students received their degrees from the university two years later. Walden moved from Florida to Minnesota after receiving approval from the state. It continued offering distance education programs and summer classes until 1995, which was when it introduced online courses. Students no longer need to visit the university because they can do all their work online.
Each of the five colleges that are now part of the university offer degree and certificate programs, including the Barbara Solomon School of Social Work and Human Services and the College of School and Behavioral Sciences. Roughly 80% of Walden students finish their degrees at the university and within the two to three years it takes students to complete programs offered by other universities. It is now part of a large network that consists of multiple colleges and universities in more than 20 states. Walden saw its enrollment climb to more than 49,000 students in recent years.
Walden University Accreditation Details
The ABA program offered by Walden helps students meet the requirements necessary for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) license exam. Only those who pass this exam can work in certain fields. Walden also has institutional accreditation from the New England Association of Colleges and Schools (NEACS). Some of the other accreditations held by this university cover its programs in nursing and education.
Walden University Application Requirements
Students must have a completed resume and an unofficial transcript when they apply to one of the Walden University graduate programs. The accounts they create on the admissions site will ask them to list the colleges they attended and both some of the classes they took and the grades they earned. It doesn’t take long to fill out the application, but if students have any problems, they can contact an admissions rep for help. The application has a spot where students can upload their resumes and a second spot for their unofficial transcripts. Walden requires an official transcript before students enroll full-time in a graduate program.
Walden offers credit for students based on any experiences they have at the professional or volunteer level, especially those that relate to ABA or psychology. Students with military or professional experience can create portfolios, which the university will evaluate and award them credits for based on the information they share. Those who have professional certificates can send copies of those certificates to the university and get credit. Walden also offers a testing option for students. Those applying to the ABA program who do not have a strong academic background in psychology can take tests and place out of some of the introductory courses. Those tests can also help students skip some of the prerequisites that others take.
Tuition and Financial Aid
All graduate psychology students attending Walden University pay the same rate, which is $535 per quarter hour. They also pay $150 in fees every quarter. The total cost of finishing the general psychology requirements at the university is $26,430. Students in the ABA concentration will take 63 quarter hours of classes and pay tuition and fees of $34,755 to complete the program. Walden will accept 24 credits from other schools and for students’ past experiences. Those credits will help bring their costs down to $21,555 to complete the ABA program.
Students planning on applying to the university should check the website before they apply. Walden often offers a grant that gives students $3,000 towards their costs but only if they apply and start classes by a specific date. A 15% tuition discount goes to military students and veterans. Another program offers a 20% discount to law enforcement personnel and those who work in corrections. Walden also offers a discount for alumni going back to school and students referred by alumni. Students can get direct federal loans when they complete the FAFSA and alternative loans when they work with other types of lenders. The applied behavior analysis program at Walden University is part of the graduate psychology program, which makes it easy for students to get financial aid.