Program Overview

Program Coordinator Ellie Mellon, (845) 257-2867,
Program ID 075
Credits 41
Program Length 5 semesters, program must be completed in 5 years
Modality In-person
Full-time/Part-time Full-time for this program is 9 credits/term
Transfer Credits 0
Capstone Practicum
Licensure/Certification NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst & Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Program Description

Behavior Analysis and Interdisciplinary Autism Studies is a 41-credit, licensure-qualifying program leading to a Master of Science degree. This program offers students education and training in the field of behavior analysis, the history of autism spectrum disorders, characteristics of autism, family systems, educational strategies, and interdisciplinary approaches to providing services and supports. The program meets the educational content requirements for New York State Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) licensure as well as the coursework requirements for Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). As part of the coursework requirement, students will complete a supervised practicum to obtain the initial 150 hours of the required 1500 hours needed to qualify for the NY-LBA and the required 2000 hours needed to qualify for the BCBA. 

Behavior Analytic Coursework

Students learn the foundational concepts and principles of the science of human behavior and learning that are the basis of the field of behavior analysis. The mission of our program is to train practitioners who make ethical, collaborative, culturally responsive, and data-based decisions in their practice in order to support and improve the lives of their students and clients.

Interdisciplinary Autism Studies

The interdisciplinary component of the program provides candidates with a comprehensive perspective on autism spectrum disorders, by incorporating coursework from several disciplines, including special education, communication disorders, human services, music therapy, and psychology.

Apply to a SUNY New Paltz graduate programAdmission Requirements

  • One official transcript providing evidence of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale.
  • Contact information for three references capable of addressing your ability to successfully complete a rigorous graduate program in Behavior Analysis & Interdisciplinary Autism Studies.
  • A typed statement describing your interest in behavior analysis and working in this field, relevant experiences, and how the master’s program will help you achieve personal and professional goals. The response should be 300-400 words in length. The writing sample will be reviewed with respect to content, clarity and organization of ideas, grammar, and style.
  • An interview may be required 

Application Deadlines

Review begins Feb 1 and will continue until the class is filled Fall Admission

The MS in Behavior Analysis & Interdisciplinary Autism Studies consists of 41 credit hours and can be completed in two years.

Fall One (9 Credits)
SPE512Concepts and Principles of Behavior3
SPE513Single Subject Research Methodology3
PSY580Lifespan Development for Individuals with ASD3
Spring One (9 Credits)
SPE516Methods of Instruction in Behavior Analysis3
SPE517Methods of Assessment in Behavior Analysis3
CMD529Communication and Communication Disorders in Autism Spectrum Disorders3
Summer One (5 Credits)
SPE511Working and Collaborating with Families and Service Providers3
SPE520Maintenance of Client Records2
Fall Two (9 Credits)
SPE514Philosophical Underpinnings of the Science of Behavior3
SPE515Ethics and Professional Conduct in Applied Behavior Analysis3
MUS549Creative Arts Therapies with Autism Spectrum Disorder3
Spring Two (9 Credits)
SPE518Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis3
SPE519Implementation of Assessment and Measurement Tools3
SOC505Autism and Human Services3
Total Credits41

Graduate Checklist

  • Apply for graduation via under “Graduation” tab according to the schedule in the academic calendar.   

  • Resolve any pending admission conditions (outlined in your acceptance letter) and/or missing documents if applicable. 

  • Review your progress report via to ensure that you have completed all program requirements.  

  • Remember that only two grades below a B may be applied to your plan of study 

  • Contact your advisor if you need to amend your plan or process transfer credit. 

  • Ensure that you are in good academic standing with a GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.0 or higher. 

  • Pass your capstone or culminating assessment. 

  • Complete your degree within the specified time limit outlined in the Program Overview. 

Program Requirements

  • Review your plan of study with your advisor during your first semester of coursework.
  • Complete the prescribed course work and other requirements within five years after matriculation.
  • Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better, with no more than two grades below B.
  • To meet licensure requirements, students must earn a minimum grade of C or higher, or “pass” in a pass/fail graded course. 
  • Successful completion of practicum during the final semester of study. 

Additional Certification Requirements

  • Completion of this program provides the necessary coursework for credentials of Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and New York Licensed Behavior Analyst (NY-LBA). Candidates will need to meet additional requirements before they are eligible for the BCBA and NY-LBA credentials.

Graduation Requirements

  • Complete the Child Abuse Identification Workshop. 

Program Learning Outcomes

Behavior Analysis & Interdisciplinary Autism Studies (MS)

Students who successfully complete the Behavior Analysis & Interdisciplinary Autism Studies Master’s Degree program will develop the knowledge and professional skills needed to: 

Content Knowledge 

  • Use the vocabulary of applied behavior analysis and describe the applications of the principles of behavior.  

  • Describe the history and philosophical underpinnings of the science of behavior.  

  • Describe the characteristics of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and history of ASD.  

  • Gather knowledge about the legal and professional expectations regarding the collection and maintenance of client records.  


  • Conduct literature searches in peer-reviewed behavior analytic journals and relate the findings to course content in the practice of behavior analysis.  

  • Gather information about research methodologies and experimental design.  

Instructional Practice & Assessment 

  • Design and implement behavioral interventions that incorporate the role of the environment in behavior intervention, maintenance, and generalization.  

  • Apply methods of functional behavioral assessment, functional analysis, and direct observation.  

  • Understand and apply behavior analytic assessment and measurement tools.  

Collaboration and Critical Thinking 

  • Describe how having a child with ASD impacts the family structure.  

  • Describe how issues of cultural and ethnic diversity have an impact on your role as a behavior analyst across interactions with other professionals, families, and clients.  

  • Describe the approaches of other disciplines in providing services for individuals with autism, autism spectrum disorders, and related disorders in order to inform cross-disciplinary collaboration.   

Application of Content 

  • Apply content from courses in settings that provide behavior analytic services under the supervision of a licensed behavior analyst.  

  • Communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.  

  • Work cooperatively in an effort aimed at shared decision-making responsibility.  

  • Apply scientific and professional ethics, including professional standards of practice, in the field of behavior analysis.