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Master of Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

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Masters in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis has been widely accepted as an effective intervention to improve the skills of children and youth with autism, other developmental disabilities, and students receiving special education services. The Behavior Analysts Certification Board ( has designated the Special Education Program at the University of Oklahoma as an Approved Training Site to offer ABA courses to prepare students for their fieldwork experiences and to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Future or current special educators, community agency staff, and interested students who wish to complete the academic requirements in preparation for supervised fieldwork and the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination may apply to this Masters Degree Emphasis area.

Masters Degree with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis Coursework
Special Education candidates complete a minimum of 33 degree-applicable hours core special education and ABA courses. Students in this concentration option who have never taken an introductory course in special education must successfully complete EDSP-5413 (which does not count towards the degree) prior to beginning Special Education coursework.

Courses in the Master Special Education Program are delivered via a blended or 100% distance learning format. Students within traveling distance of the Norman Campus can elect to complete coursework attending face-to-face class meetings; or they can attend 100% of the classes virtually, via distance learning technologies (subject to additional course fees).

Required Prerequisite Course
Students pursuing a M.Ed. who have never taken an introductory course in special education must successfully complete EDSP 5413: Understanding & Accommodating Students with Exceptionalities (offered each semester). Please note this course does not count toward the degree.

Required Core Courses (18 hours)

EDSP 5143: Applied Behavior Analysis in School
EDSP 5163: Collaboration, Accommodations and Modifications
EDSP 5183: Advanced Assessment
EDSP 6123: Contemporary Issues/Research
EIPT 5033: Introduction to Research and Evaluation in Education
EDSP-5013-Special Education Instructional Methods and Programs
If writing a Thesis, add EDSP 5980: Thesis Research (consult advisor) for at least 2 hours of credit.

Required ABA Courses (15 hours that count as electives)

EDSP-5243-Applied Behavior Analysis II
EDSP-5343-Applied Behavior Analysis III
EDSP-6023-Single Case Research Design
EDSP-5443-Ethics & Professional Conduct of Behavior Analysts

One additional elective course (subject to Advisor’s approval)


Important Notice: OU does not issue BCBA certification. Although the ABA coursework has been vetted and approved by the BACB, students must independently submit their credentials to the BACB and pass the BCBA exam.