Behavioral psychology is one of the biggest specialties in terms of psychological research, applicable techniques and data, and real-life usability. The specialty of Behavioral Psychology emphasizes an experimental-clinical approach to the application of behavioral and cognitive sciences to understand human behavior and develop interventions that enhance the human condition. Behavioral psychologists engage in research, education, training, and clinical practice regarding a wide range of problems and populations. This branch of psychology that focuses on the study and alteration of people’s behaviors, including their actions, emotions and thoughts.
There are many types of behavioral psychology programs at universities around the U.S., both on-campus and online from accredited and reputable schools. One of the most widely available online behavioral psychology programs is the master’s or graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis. Ball State University does offer an online Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Their accredited 30-credit-hour program is offered completely online. Students can elect to pursue an accelerated track and complete their degree in 18 months.
Capella University’s online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis program prepares you to increase your impact with children and adults who have behavioral disorders. Courses are taught by faculty with top academic credentials, deep experience as practitioners, and Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) certifications. The program combines advanced psychology coursework with foundational knowledge of the field’s major competency areas. The specialization courses in Capella’s Master of Science in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis specialization are approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
Another consideration is Florida Institute of Technology located in Melbourne, Florida. The school offers a Master of Arts in Professional Behavior Analysis which combines 24 semester credit hours of coursework from Florida Tech’s Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) online program with 21 semester credit hours completed in residence at an approved behavior analytic agency. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has approved the Florida Tech BCBA course sequence as meeting all instructional requirements for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This is one example of the difference between an on-campus versus online master’s program. This program requires on-site supervision due to the practicum portion of the curriculum.
Common jobs with an online program in applied behavior analysis include applied behavior analysis instructor, applied behavior analysis therapist, behavior analyst or behavior specialist. Potential workplaces include hospital, clinic, medical center, residential programs (group home, foster home, institution) or organization behavior management (business and industry). In most cases, a doctoral degree is necessary to work as a behavioral psychologist. Although it may be possible to find work in the behavioral psychology field with only an undergraduate degree, for example, working as a research assistant, a doctorate is a must for those who want to independently treat patients or lead research.