Department of Behavior Analysis

The Department of Behavior Analysis offers outstanding graduate training for students seeking to improve the lives of others through the science of behavior analysis.

Studying Behavior Analysis at Simmons University

We prepare students for a wide variety of professional paths, including service to individuals with autism and/or neurodevelopmental disabilities, and work in educational and/or clinical settings, industry, and private practice. Our faculty are skilled educators and leading researchers, with expertise ranging from experimental behavior analysis and verbal behavior to behavioral medicine and organizational behavior management.

Department strengths include a focus on the science of behavior and application across a variety of practice areas, and a robust experiential learning program, helping students achieve professional success and gain research experience. Students have access to excellent training opportunities in Boston’s world-renowned medical area and around New England. Within the College of Natural, Behavioral, and Health Sciences and Simmons University, we collaborate with colleagues and students in health, science, and the humanities, and we are proud to advance Simmons’ values of social justice, science, and practice for the social good.

Highlights of Behavior Analysis at Simmons

  • Our campus program was the first accredited master’s program in New England; the program is accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
  • Our programs are designed for working professionals, with evening classes and options for on-campus or online study.
  • We offer rigorous BCBA® exam preparation, in addition to preparing students for scientist-practitioner roles post graduation.
  • Masters students develop clinical and research skills during Practicum experiential learning courses
  • We seek to practice cultural humility and increase diversity in the field of behavior analysis.

Students come to Behavior Analysis at Simmons because of our reputation for focusing on the science of behavior, and consequently, the program opens their eyes to the full scope of the field, and all the ways they can apply behavior analysis.

- Russell Maguire, Adjunct Professor, Department of Behavior Analysis

Student-centered courses and practicum prepares our students for success

  • Small, interactive classes provide strong foundations in theory and practice, and cultivate faculty/student connections.
  • Emphasis on research literacy and the science of behavior, prepares students to develop innovative treatments and solutions based on the latest behavior analytic research.
  • Applied learning experiences prepare students for clinical practice within the field.
  • Students partner with Simmons’s nationally renowned faculty to conduct, publish, and present research at national conferences and in peer-reviewed journals. Their work helps advance the field and scope of behavior analytic research applications.


Our graduates are recognized leaders in the field, who have founded schools, established independent practices, completed doctoral degrees, and led institutions locally and nationally. Practice areas of Simmons graduates include education, behavioral medicine, organizational behavior management, instructional design, and animal training. Our graduates teach at prestigious institutions, such as the University of Rochester Medical Center, Northeastern University, and Regis College, and have founded many respected schools, including the Nashoba Learning Group and Realizing Children’s Strengths.

Faculty highlights

  • Seven full-time faculty members.
  • Faculty research topics include: management of negatively reinforced challenging behaviors; analysis of verbal behavior and motivating operations; stimulus control and stimulus equivalence; behavioral interventions for people within the autism community, service delivery models of applied behavior analysis in developing countries, traditionally under-served and rural areas; and behavioral medicine and health promotion.

Mission Statement

  1. To make the philosophy, theory, and science of behavior analysis  explicable and accessible to individuals in an optimal position to affect meaningful educational, social, and behavioral changes.
  2. To generate and publish innovative research by fusing behavior analysis with relevant findings from other scientific discipline.
  3. To include, whenever possible, students as authors on presentations and publications.
  4. To demonstrate how behavior analysis can influence the breadth and depth of issues centered on the human condition.
  5. To prepare students to pass the Behavior Analysis Certification Board’s® examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®.
Simmons University and ABAC logos

Contemporary Developments in Behavior Analysis (Virtual Conference)

Simmons University & ABAC Present: Contemporary Developments in Behavior Analysis Virtual Conference Live on Mar 22, 2024.

Learn More

Student sitting in classroom with laptop

Careers in Behavior Analysis

We take our commitment to students seriously, honoring the Simmons promise to put you first. The Career Education Center (CEC) helps graduate students assess your skills and interests and explore your professional options and provides a full range of services to assist you in doing so.

Learn More

Gretchen Dittrich photo

Gretchen Dittrich

Professor of Practice, Chair of the Behavior Analysis Department and Director of the Master's Program

Kylan Turner photo

Kylan Turner

Associate Professor of Practice and Director of the BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons Program

Ronald Allen photo

Ronald Allen

Professor of Practice and Director of the Doctoral Program for Behavior Analysis

Claudia Campos Fleitas profile photo

Claudia Campos Fleitas

Associate Teaching Professor and Experiential Learning Director for BA@Simmons

Photo of Emily Perry

Emily Perry

Assistant Professor of Practice/Mentoring and Supervision Faculty and Interim Director of Supervised Fieldwork

Headshot photo of Christina King

Christina King

Associate Professor of Practice

Elizabeth Atwood

Administrative Assistant

More in Department of Behavior Analysis