Online MA in ABA

Admission Requirements

Cohorts are admitted to the program each Fall and Spring semester as full-time students. Application deadlines for Fall admission is June 1st of each year.
Application deadline for Spring admission is October 15th of each year.


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  1. Have a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited university
    1. No specific undergraduate major is required. Most applicants enter the program with degrees in psychology, behavioral health, sociology, speech language pathology, business, criminology, behavior analysis, and other related health disciplines.
  2. At least a 3.0 GPA* on a 4.0 Scale reported on an official transcript
  3. Three letters of Recommendation
  4. Personal Statement
  5. BCBA supervisor support form**

*Applicants with less than a 3.0 GPA are encouraged to apply. A lower GPA may be waived for exceptional candidates with experience in behavior analysis, BCaBAs, and/or coursework in behavior analysis at the undergraduate or graduate level.

*A GRE score is not required for admission. GRE scores are not reliable predictors for student success in masters level behavior analysis programs and are disproportionately biased against historically underrepresented students.

** BCBA supervisors must have at least 1 year of experience to supervise BACB trainees. This form should be completed by the applicant not a BCBA.

Applicants will be selected for admission on a competitive basis based on the following:

  1. GPA on all work as an upper division student seeking a bachelor's degree.  
  2. Three letters of recommendation addressing applicant's ability to do graduate work and potential for clinical practice in the field of applied behavior analysis.
    1. Letters from professors and current BCBAs are preferred, but not required.
  3. A statement of purpose highlighting the applicant's credentials, relevant experiences, and indicating their (a) reasons for seeking a M.A. degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, acknowledging any deficits and/or strengths of their application.
  4. Quality and duration of experience in the field of applied behavior analysis (this experience may in research, practice, or a combination of settings).



1. Graduate Application
All graduate applications to USF must be submitted online (Application)
($30 application fee)
2. Transcripts (one transcript from every institution of higher learning attended)
3. Supporting Documents
You should upload the following documents through the online application site.

  • BCBA Supervisor Support Form (completed by applicant not BCBA)
  • Updated Professional Résumé or CV
  • Statement of Purpose (e.g., 1 to 2 pages on why you would like to earn your MA at USF, your prior experiences, and what your plans are after you earn the gree)
  • Unofficial Transcripts (official transcripts required within the first semester)
  • Three recommendation letters


International students should be aware that the Department of Child & Family Studies requires a course-by-course evaluation of all transcripts. Details can be found here.

International students from non-English speaking countries must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency. Click here for details.


Who should I ask for letters of recommendation?

Applicants should ask for letters of recommendation from individuals they trust can describe their ability to perform in graduate school and clinical fieldwork. Most commonly these include BCBA supervisors and past professors. 

When will I find out if I am admitted?

Admission deadlines are June 1st for Fall admission and October 15th for Spring admission. The admission committe typically completes admission decisions within 7 to 14 days following the deadline. Highly qualified applicants may recive an admission decision prior to the deadline.

If I am not admitted to the program can I apply again?

Yes, applicants may apply again for the next admission cycle. There is no limit to the number of times applicants may apply.

What are some reasons applicants are not admitted?

Applicants are most often denied because of our small cohort sizes and competitive applications. This is not an indication of the caliber of any individual applicant, it is simply an indication of the high caliber of applicants.

Next not submitting all documents prior to the deadline.

I don't think I meet one of the minimum requiremets, can I still apply?

Yes you are still encourgaed to apply! The admission committee reviews all completed applicants and no singular component constitutes an automtic rejection. We understand many applicants may have found ABA later in life, did not experience ABA during their undergraduate program, or have attained experiences that can't be quantified in a GPA. 

I've been admitted to the program! What can I do next?

Congratulations! You will recieve a series of emails from the program chair and practicum coordinator throughout the next several weeks to prepare you for your first semester. This will include course registration, orientation, fieldwork preparation, and more. Please be patient as admissions are still being finalized.

I've been admitted to the program but am no longer able to attend. What should I do?

Applicants may request to defer admission or move their application to a future admission cycle. Applicants must request defferal as early as possible in the admission cycle.

Please note that once the application deadline closes we are unable to offer your seat to another qualified applicant. Out of couresy to the high number of qualified applications we recieve; please inform us if you are requesting a defferal at your earliest convenience. 


Click below to initiate an application.

Apply Now! 

In addition to the required steps and deadlines to apply found at the USF 2023-2024 Academic Catalog, applicants will also need to fill out the BCBA Supervisor Support Form.