Program type:


On Campus
Est. time to complete:

4 years
Credit Hours:

Why do people behave as they do? Learn about the science of behavior and the technology of behavior change.
Behavior principles underlie learning in a large number of diverse areas. This degree teaches you how to describe and measure learning, how to study the diverse ways people and animals learn, and how to support learning and behavior change to improve the quality of individual's lives. Applied Behavior Analysts work with individuals with autism, with development delays or with other behavioral difficulties and in a variety of contexts such as clinics, hospitals and treatment centers. Behavior Analysts who study animal behavior also work in zoos and aquaria toward the enrichment and betterment of animal lives.

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Why Earn an Applied Behavior Analysis Degree?

Behavior Analysis is a natural science that studies the effects of the environment on the behavior of individuals. Its principles are universal. They can be applied with any population, including children with autism, people with developmental disabilities, parents and children, pet owners, college students, healthcare providers, athletes, employees and CEOs.

Our curriculum teaches you how behavior is affected by events in the social and physical environment, how to change behavior and how to improve lives. We combine theoretical and practical learning to provide an in-depth knowledge base and marketable skills.

You'll gain practical experience through required field work or by joining ongoing application and research projects. Some projects have involved working with:

  • Animals in homes and zoos
  • Area schools
  • Basic research in behavioral neuroscience
  • Children with autism
  • Rehabilitation clinics
  • Hospitals
  • The Denton State Supported Living Center
  • The UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center
Marketable Skills
  • Design data collection systems
  • Implement behavioral assessments
  • Implement procedures to change behavior
  • Case conceptualization
  • Oral and written communication

Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Highlights

UNT's Department of Behavior Analysis was the nation's first stand-alone department of behavior analysis and offered the first undergraduate degree in the field. It also serves as the headquarters for the Texas Association for Behavior Analysis.
Our degree program includes an Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) Verified Course Sequence (VCS), which provides the coursework required for certification (other requirements must be met to apply for the certification exam).
The department has been recognized for its tradition of leadership in teaching, service and scholarship by the Society for the Advancement of Behavior Analysis.
Coursework focuses on applied behavior analysis literature, behavior change techniques, behavior management, behavior principles, behavior technology and data collection and analysis.
Our full-time faculty consists of nationally recognized experts in the field. They've published extensively in refereed journals and presented research at national conferences.

Career Outlook

People with degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis are competitive for positions in a variety of fields. These jobs generally involve working directly with client populations or helping more experienced behavior analysts with projects and research. You can be credentialed as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, which qualifies you to work in:

  • ABA therapy for families who have children with autism
  • Residential and training facilities for people with disabilities
  • School settings
  • University research labs

Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Courses You Could Take

Behavior Principles I (3 hrs)
Behavior is examined as a part of the natural world, with primary focus on principles describing relations between operant behavior and its consequences. The principles of reinforcement, extinction, differential reinforcement and punishment are related to naturally occurring events and to experimental and intervention procedures. Basic measurement concepts introduced.
Behavior Principles II (3 hrs)
Behavioral principles describing relations between behavior and antecedents. Principles of operant stimulus control, discrimination and generalization, stimulus equivalence and establishing operations are related to laboratory procedures, to occurrence in everyday life and to intervention techniques. Principles of respondent (Pavlovian) conditioning related to laboratory procedures, everyday occurrence and their applications in behavioral interventions.
Behavior Change Techniques (4 hrs)
Designing and implementing behavior change techniques. Topics include shaping, discrimination training, instructional and imitation training, and differential reinforcement. Behavior change techniques will be applied in such settings as classrooms, institutions, workshops and group homes and their effectiveness evaluated.
Building Skills with Behavior Technology (4 hrs)
Acquisition of complex repertoires for persons with developmental disabilities. Topics include selection of target behaviors, planning intervention procedures, evaluating results and ensuring maintenance of skills. Ethical and aesthetic considerations.
Behavior Principles and Self-Management (3 hrs)
Uses behavior principles to understand and deal with problems in self-management. Self-assessment of goals, options and necessary trade-offs is followed by a behavior analysis of the nature of the self-management problem. Each student applies behavioral principles to develop and implement an individual self-management plan to reach a particular short-term goal.
Organizational Behavior Management (3 hrs)
Describes theory and techniques of applying behavior analysis principles to solve performance problems and design more effective workplaces. Focuses on pinpointing critical work behaviors, measuring work performance, analyzing the contingencies responsible for the performance, implementing and evaluating intervention programs involving stimulus control, feedback and reinforcement systems to improve employee performance.

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