Applied Behavioral Analysis

Francis Marion University is proud to offer a Master of Science in Applied Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis (MSAP/ABA). The Francis Marion University MSAP/ABA Masters of Science includes an Applied Behavior Analysis 7-course sequence that has been verified by The Association for Behavior Analysis International as meeting the 5th Edition coursework requirement for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) examination.  The 7-course sequence is also offered to individuals that already have a Master’s degree and would like to meet the coursework requirement for BCBA certification.

FMU Masters in Applied Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis option

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an option in the Master of Science in Applied Psychology program. The option is designed to provide training in Applied Behavior Analysis leading to employment in human service agencies, school districts, and private industry.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a field of study that uses a systematic approach to influence socially significant behaviors through the identification of reliably related environmental variables. Behavior change techniques are employed using these findings to effect meaningful changes in clients’ lives (

Behavior analysts and behavior therapists provide services consistent with the dimensions of ABA. Common services may include, but are not limited to, conducting behavioral assessments, analyzing data, writing and revising behavior-analytic treatment plans, training others to implement components of treatment plans, and overseeing the implementation of treatment plans.

Behavior analysts are qualified to provide services to clients with a variety of needs, including improvements in organizational functioning (e.g., staff performance, management and pay structure interventions), skill deficits (e.g., communication, adaptive behavior), and problem behavior (e.g., aggression, self-injurious behavior), among others (

Behavior professionals work in homes and hospitals, clinics, classrooms, corporations and any other setting where reducing problem behavior and improving human performance is important. They typically work as part of a team of professionals and provide expertise in the analysis of behavior problems; this analysis helps determine why behaviors occur so effective treatments can be developed and implemented (

Behavior analysts often work as consultants to agencies such as child welfare organizations and residential treatment programs where their goal is to optimize the potential of the children or adults who receive their services. This may involve carefully analyzing the living environment to determine skills that the person can acquire to increase their independence and improve their access to the community. Then, the behavior analyst will develop a task analysis and effective training program to assist the person in acquiring the skill (

Students must apply to be admitted to the program. Most courses and practicum experiences will occur during the day, although a select few courses will be offered in the evenings. Courses offer a blend of classroom activities and experiential training designed to acquaint students with both theory and practical applications of psychological knowledge.

Graduates will have completed the coursework necessary to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA). It is important to note that there are experiential requirements, and an exam that are not included as part of this Master’s degree program.  Every effort will be made to help students arrange the necessary experience during their training.

Mission Statement FMU Behavior Analyst Program

The mission of the FMU ABA training program is to provide the knowledge and skills necessary to produce highly skilled behavior professionals able to serve clients residing in the Pee Dee region and state of SC. These professionals will employ data-based problem solving and empirically-based treatment to effect meaningful change in the lives of the individuals they serve.


– Download the program models and course descriptions for fall entering classes here.– For more detailed information about required coursework, course offerings, program sequencing, practica, and internship, applicants are encouraged to view the appropriate section of the FMU Catalog.

Current Students

All documents and forms for the MSAP ABA option have been posted to  They are located in the Perpetual Course entitled “Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Program”.  If you are currently enrolled in the Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Program and do not have access to this course, please contact Brian Smith at 843-661-1640 or Charlotte Stephens at 843-661-1641.



Behavior Analysis Certification Board

Training and Careers in ABA Information



South Carolina Association for Behavior Analysis

Association for Behavior Analysis International