Applied Behavior Analysis track

As a Psychology student in the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) track, you’ll investigate how people think, feel, and grow. You’ll learn to apply psychological principles to help children and adults develop positive behaviors and improve their lives. You’ll learn how to evaluate behavior, how to plan and implement effective interventions, and how to apply behavior change procedures to a variety of situations. The ABA track prepares you to pursue an advanced degree or enter the workforce assisting children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injury, dementia, behavior disorders, school/workplace challenges or other issues. You’ll also develop your own critical thinking and analytical skills as you find ways solve problems in your daily and professional life.

Curriculum

ABAI verified sequence logo

 In the ABA track you will complete a set of core courses that cover research skills and the classic areas of psychology. You will also complete a set of courses that target the core principles and applications of behavior analysis. In addition to your coursework,  you will have opportunities to apply what you have learned to real-world settings like an internship and working on research projects with faculty members. 

 The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

PSY 331 - Experimental Analysis of Behavior

An introduction to core concepts and principles of behavior analysis. Overarching themes include philosophical assumptions of behavior analysis, operant and respondent conditioning, and verbal behavior. 3 credit hours.

  • Content hours
    • Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles: 36 hours
    • Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions: 9 hours

PSY 332 - Behavioral Measurement and Assessment

An introduction to behavioral measurement, behavioral assessment, and single case experimental designs. Overarching themes include designing, implementing, and evaluating various behavioral measurement systems, with particular attention placed on functional behavioral assessment. 3 credit hours.

  • Content hours
    • Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles: 4 hours
    • Measurements, Data Display and Interpretation; Experimental Design: 25 hours
    • Behavior Assessment: 12 hours
    • Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions: 4 hours

PSY 333 - Applied Behavior Analysis

An introduction to fundamental elements of behavior change and specific behavior change procedures. Emphasis will be placed on designing, implementing, and evaluating the effectiveness of various behavior change procedures. 3 credit hours.

  • Content hours
    • Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles: 3 hours
    • Measurements, Data Display and Interpretation; Experimental Design: 2 hours
    • Behavior Assessment: 13 hours
    • Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions: 27 hours

PSY 334 - Behavioral Approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorder

An overview of behavioral treatments of autism spectrum disorder. An emphasis will be placed on applied behavior analytic assessments and interventions that target behavioral deficits and excesses common in this population. 3 credit hours.

  • Content hours
    • Philosophical Underpinnings; Concepts & Principles: 2 hours
    • Measurements, Data Display and Interpretation; Experimental Design: 3 hours
    • Behavior Assessment: 20 hours
    • Behavior-Change Procedures; Selecting and Implementing Interventions: 20 hours

PSY 335 - Seminar in Ethics and Supervision in Behavior Analysis

A survey and discussion of the professional conduct of behavior analysts and the ethical standards of the field. Emphasis is placed on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts and personnel supervision and management. 3 credit hours.

  • Content hours
    • BACB Compliance Code and Disciplinary Systems; Professionalism: 30 hours
    • Personnel Supervision and Management: 15 hours

The psychology major with the ABA track is designed to be completed in 4 years for incoming new freshmen and 2 years for transfer students with an Associate degree without having to go to summer school or take overloads.  Check out our suggested curriculum plans:  Year-by-Year Curriculum Plans for Psychology Majors

Full Curriculum for the Psychology/Applied Behavior Analysis Track

CIP 42.2799

Total Curriculum Requirements: 120 credit hours

The requirements listed below are an example of what is applicable to most students entering Murray State University at the present time. Criteria as they may relate to individual students may vary. The primary source is the University Bulletin applicable at the time of the student enrollment.

Course Credit Hours
University Studies Requirements 38-43 total hrs
Must include BIO 101 General Biology or BIO 221 Zoology 4
Required Courses 31 total hrs
PSY 100T Transitions 1
PSY 180 General Psychology 3
PSY 260 Lifespan Development 3
PSY 300 Principles and Methods of Statistical Analysis 3
PSY 301 Principles and Methods of Psychological Research I 3
PSY 303 Social Psychology 3
PSY 307 Abnormal Psychology 3
PSY 315 Principles and Methods of Psychological Research II 3
PSY 414 Psychology of Learning and Memory 3
PSY 415 Physiological Psychology 3

PSY Capstone course chosen from: PSY 402 Senior Seminar; PSY 403 History & Systems of Psychology; PSY 408 Applied Research Design and Analysis; PSY 460 Directed Individual Study II; PSY 487 Internship; PSY 499 Senior Thesis

3
Applied Behavior Analysis Track 15  total hrs
PSY 331 Experimental Analysis of Behavior 3
PSY 332 Behavioral Measurement and Assessment 3
PSY 333  Applied Behavior Analysis 3
PSY 334 Behavioral Approaches to Autism Spectrum Disorder 3
PSY 335 Seminar in Ethics and Supervision in Behavior Analysis 3
Required Minor 21-24 hrs
Unrestricted Electives 7-15 hrs

Career Opportunities

Students who pursue the ABA track in psychology have a wide choice of careers. Whether you want to pursue advanced education or training after graduation or directly enter the workforce, the psychology major at Murray State is designed to prepare you to achieve your goals.

Examples of career options for graduates of the Psychology/ABA track include (some of which may require additional postgraduate training):

  • Behavior Analyst
  • Behavior Support Specialist
  • Behavioral Health Technician
  • Equine-Assisted Therapy Technician
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Behavioral Gerontologist
  • Special Education Assistant
  • Organizational Behavior Analyst
  • Corporate Behavior Analyst
  • Clinical or Counseling Psychologist
  • School Psychologist

Check out our careers page to find out more about career opportunities and see some of the careers and graduate programs that our psychology graduates have pursued.