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Behavior Analysis Studies, MS

Office of Student Admissions
Weiskotten Hall
Rm. 1212
766 Irving Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13210
Google Maps & Directions
Phone: 315 464-4570
Email: [email protected]

VCS program logoThe Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination (via Pathway 2). Applicants will need to meet additional BACB® eligibility requirements, including evidence of residency in an authorized country, before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

"To improve the health of the communities we serve through education, biomedical research, and healthcare.”

Why study Behavior Analysis?

The demand for Behavior Analysts continues to grow at an ever-increasing pace across the United States and in the state of New York. Behavior Analysts are licensed healthcare professionals who typically provide therapeutic services for individuals with autism or other developmental disabilities. Some examples of the work Behavior Analysts might do include assessing challenging behavior or language deficits, developing treatments to decrease challenging behavior and increase pro-social behavior, caregiver training, and working with clients to develop life skills. Behavior Analysts may work in clinical settings, schools, or the community (e.g., in an individual’s home or workplace). However, there are many other areas of specialization someone can focus on with this degree given the proper training (see FAQ section for more information).

Our Academic Strengths…

The Behavior Analysis Studies Program offers students the opportunity to complete all the didactic instruction needed for working toward licensure and/or certification as a Behavior Analyst. The program begins in the fall of each year. Courses offered within the program are taught by highly skilled faculty members who have years of clinical experience and experience with conducting basic and clinical research in the field of behavior analysis. The program offers students the opportunity to conduct meaningful research as a thesis project or to complete a capstone project in place of a thesis to demonstrate the student’s knowledge and application of the science of behavior analysis.

Student Success Story:

The aspect of the program that has stood out to me the most is the willingness and support from the faculty. Their level of professionalism and their dedication to their students’ success is unmatched. I have had many opportunities to become involved in research, present findings at professional conferences, develop [assessment and treatment] protocols, and have gained valuable experience on the clinical side working with individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders.

I am forever grateful to the faculty who demonstrated nothing but enthusiasm and support when it came to my professional goals. I can easily say that the Master in Behavior Analysis Studies program at SUNY Upstate has well-prepared me for a professional career in Behavior Analysis and for my next steps: to continue my education at the doctorate level. Although I am ecstatic to say that once I am finished with this program, I will be moving on to obtain my Ph.D., I am sad to leave a program that has played such an integral role in my development. However, I know that the relationships that I have made will exceed far beyond the walls of the Golisano Center for Special Needs.
~ Keelie Hotchkiss


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What kind of career opportunities might I have as a behavior analyst?

With the proper specialized training, Behavior Analysts can work in a wide variety of settings and contexts. Some examples include:

  • Autism therapy
  • Working with athletes by teaching the skills, techniques, and routines used in training and competition in sports such as football, basketball, baseball, and swimming
  • Schools or classrooms
  • Special education
  • Working with children with feeding disorders or concerns
  • Alcohol and drug abuse treatment
  • Animal trainer or behavioral consultant
  • Market research analyst
  • Criminal justice and corrections
  • Forensic behavior analysis
  • Individuals with traumatic brain injuries
  • Supervising early intensive behavioral intervention programs
  • Training parents of children with autism or other disabilities on how to help enhance their children’s lives and how to manage challenging behavior
  • Basic research working to understand behavior at a basic level using human analogs (e.g., rats or monkeys)
  • Research in Applied Behavior Analysis in many different medical or educational settings
  • Focusing on the improvement of an individual’s or group’s performance within an organization (corporate office, service-oriented or manufacturing businesses); otherwise known as Organizational Behavior Management
  • Working with individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care teams
  • Social work
  • Life, wellness, or fitness coaching

What are the requirements for licensure or certification?

Broadly speaking, licensure in New York or certification in the United States consists of a) taking classes that include instruction in several domains associated with Behavior Analysis, b) completing up to 2000 hours of applied fieldwork, and c) passing an examination.

For the latest requirements for licensure in the state of New York, please see New York’s Office of Professions webpage (https://www.op.nysed.gov/licensed-behavior-analysts).

For the most up-to-date requirements for certification with the Behavior-Analyst Certification Board, a national certifying body, please see their webpage.

Do I need to be both licensed and certified to practice behavior analysis?

Behavior-analytic skills are highly sought after in many different domains and settings throughout the United States and across the world.

Board-Certified Behavior Analyst credentials are recognized in most other states within the United States to practice Applied Behavior Analysis. However, Behavior Analysts in New York State must hold a license as a Licensed Behavior Analyst to be able to practice Applied Behavior Analysis within the state. Recently, the law in New York State was modified to allow behavior analysts to provide treatment to individuals with behavioral health conditions that appear in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. See the U.S. Licensure of Behavior Analysts page maintained by the Behavior-Analyst Certification Board’s website for more information regarding state licensure across the United States.

Clinical Education and Research:

Behavior Analysis Murine (BAM) Lab

Contact Information:

Specific Program Information
Dr. Andrew R. Craig
[email protected]

Admissions Questions
Margaret Moore, Graduate Admissions Advisor
[email protected]