Program Curriculum & Philosophy

The Applied Behavior Analysis program at Mercyhurst University is founded on the belief that a thorough understanding of the philosophy of behaviorism, applied behavior change technology, methodology, and experimental analysis are all requisite skills of the competent behavior analyst.

Requirements for an M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis include completion of a 38-credit course sequence, empirical thesis, and competency projects.

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Competency Projects

General Competencies: Candidates will complete selected sections of the Behavior Development Solutions BCBA Learning Module . The general competency project is intended to evaluate content mastery of ABA principles and technology. This activity will also serve as a requirement to enroll in the intensive practicum course. Finally, this is a great tool to facilitate generalization of class content to BACB exam questions.

Specific Competencies: Candidates will write a comprehensive literature review on an ABA-related topic. This project will be completed under the guidance of a faculty member and will serve as the foundation of the master’s thesis.

Empirical Research Thesis

The thesis represents the culmination of a student’s scholarly work. A successful thesis includes application, synthesis, and critical evaluation. This final project should establish a scholarly position that advances the discipline of Applied Behavior Analysis. Students will work with a faculty advisor when completing this degree requirement.


Civil War photo exhibit
Photographs of the American Civil War

Dates: Jun 12-Aug 1, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

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