Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis
The behavior analysis concentration is for students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in behavior analysis or related disciplines (e.g., behavioral pharmacology, behavioral neuroscience, exceptional education). It is also for students interested in pursuing course work and experience requirements to qualify for examination to become a master's-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA®). Most students choose this latter option and have had great success.
In 2014, this program converted from an experimental analysis of behavior program to an applied behavior analysis program. Since then, many recent graduates have passed the BCBA examination. In fact, the pass rate is 100% and has recognized JMU’s program as a top BCBA producing university. This exam is overseen by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). The pass rate data can be found in this link: https://www.bacb.com/university-pass-rates/
In this concentration, students will complete course work, conduct research and participate in practicums designed to facilitate mastery of major concepts, principles, practices, and theories in the experimental analysis of behavior, applied behavior analysis, and the philosophy of radical behaviorism. Students in this concentration are required to complete their research apprenticeship and thesis requirements through collaborative research activities with faculty who approach the scientific study of behavior from a behavior-analytic conceptual and theoretical framework.
A complete listing of all courses associated with this program is listed in JMU's official graduate catalog.
In addition to course work and other requirements of the psychological sciences program (e.g., Apprenticeship, Research Roundtable), students participate in a monthly concentration meeting where faculty and students discuss published research and professional issues related to behavior analysis. Additionally, students in the behavior analysis concentration may participate in the activities of various local, regional, national and international agencies, groups and professional organizations that advance the scientific study of behavior and its humane application to solve practical problems.
Practicum experiences may be completed in a variety of settings. Students have completed their practicum hours in the local public-school districts, JMU clinics, Virginia Institute of Autism, etc. Additional information regarding the JMU Clinics.
Past students have enjoyed the variety of experience opportunities as students are placed in a different setting each year. Placements are determined by the program advisor.