Press Releases Archived All Stories survey also rates Applied Behavior Analysis degree among most affordable: WCSU master’s program for Behavior Analysis ranks best in nation

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University master’s degree program in applied behavior analysis has received highest honors in a survey by the research group as the nation’s best master’s program for students seeking to pursue careers as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)., a Seattle-based organization that provides guides and rankings designed to inform student choices of degree programs at higher education institutions nationwide, also cited the online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program at WCSU as the fourth most affordable nationwide among 34 institutions evaluated in the 2020 survey.

“As mental health awareness increases and developmental disorders are diagnosed earlier, the demand is rising for Board Certified Behavior Analysts who use applied behavior analysis to help individuals and groups cope with a range of behavior-related issues,” the survey overview on the website observed. “Although many BCBAs work with individuals with autism spectrum disorder, ABA can be used in other areas such as organization behavioral management, traumatic brain injuries, special education and mental health.”

The survey’s overall program rankings were based on the strength and reputation of the university’s ABA curriculum, experience in online education, affordable cost for degree completion, student engagement and graduation rates, and projected return on investment through post-graduation employment. WCSU ranked as the No. 1 “Intelligent Pick” among all online ABA programs surveyed, achieving an elite 99.89 score on a 100-point scale.

“Our top picks for the best online BCBA program are respected, accredited and affordable,” the survey overview said. “Students who pursue any one of these programs can expect to gain employment much quicker in comparison to candidates without a degree.”

The survey marks the latest in a series of honors that have drawn national recognition to the excellence of the ABA master’s program at WCSU. The 2019 Applied Behavior Analysis Programs Guide  ranked WCSU at No. 2 among higher education institutions nationwide that offer an online master’s degree in applied behavior analysis. The ABA Programs Guide profile of WCSU noted that the university’s fully online instructional program prepares students “to effectively quantify and measure behavior in order to make effective changes that will improve overall behavior of an individual, group or organization.” The guide noted students in the WCSU program learn how to measure behavior, collect and analyze data, and make suitable modifications to increase appropriate behavior and decrease inappropriate behavior.

The autism advocacy and treatment organization Action Behavior Centers also cited WCSU in its “Top 50 Online ABA Master’s Programs and Certificates in 2018” survey of higher education institutions across the United States. The survey listing recognized the university as “an institution dedicated to higher standards of education and research. WCSU provides high-quality behavior analytic instruction to practitioners, earning its online ABA program a spot on this list.”

The WCSU ABA master’s degree, housed in the Education and Educational Psychology Department, is achieved through completion of a rigorous curriculum of nine courses for a total of 30 credit hours. The M.S. program includes 22 credits of core coursework designed to qualify graduates to sit for the BCBA examination sponsored by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). The WCSU program includes a required course in Assistive Technology for Applied Behavior Analysis, an area of study with important applications in the profession.



Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.