Behavior Analysis

The PhD program in Behavior Analysis is a 68-credit doctoral program designed to train and position qualified behavior analysts to make significant contributions to the science and to the community.

Students sitting in class

Candidates for the PhD program in Behavior Analysis should have the motivation and capacity to contribute to professional literature. They should also be interested in a fusion style of research wherein the findings from other disciplines are used to improve behavior analytic research.

Coursework includes topics such as behavioral assessment, descriptive analysis, demonstration of functional relations, measurement and intervention tactics, data display and interpretation, selection of target behaviors and goals, family issues, legal and ethical issues and crisis management.

While many students in our Applied Behavior Analysis programs are drawn from the fields of education and special education, the potential applications for this degree vary widely. Our alumni go on to satisfying careers in diverse fields such as behavioral medicine, organizational behavior management, instructional design and animal training.

Candidates must have a Master's degree or higher in Behavioral Education, Applied Behavior Analysis or a related field, including psychology, education, or special education. Additional requirements include official transcripts from all coursework completed since high school, three letters of recommendation, a résumé, a statement of purpose, an analytical writing sample, an interview, and official GRE general test scores.

This program requires 68 semester hours, the equivalent of 17 courses. Students may enroll on either a full- or part-time basis beginning in the fall, spring, or summer semesters.

Core Courses

  • DEDU 651 Applied Statistical Analysis I
  • DEDU 652 Applied Statistical Analysis II
  • DEDU 653 Qualitative Research
  • DEDU 654 Quantitative Research
  • DEDU 655 Diversity in Education
  • DEDU 670 Dissertation Seminar
  • DEDU 690 Dissertation
  • DEDU 699 Dissertation Extension

Cognate Courses

  • DABA 601 History of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • DABA 610 Verbal Behavior
  • DABA 615 Behavioral Research in Education
  • DABA 616 Behavioral Consultation in Schools
  • DABA 620 Organizational Behavior Management
  • DABA 625 Advanced Functional Assessment and Analysis
  • DABA 630 Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • DABA 635 Behavioral Medicine
  • DABA 640 Professional and Scholarly Activity

Students are actively engaged in professional research, teaming up with Simmons's nationally renowned faculty to implement, write, and publish research, and to present their work at national conferences and in peer-reviewed journals.

Recent research topics include:

  • Learning to Ride: Pedaling Made Possible Through Positive Behavioral Interventions
  • Constructed-Response Spelling and Literary Development: An Application in an Urban Classroom
  • Task Analysis, Correspondence Training, and General Case Instruction for Teaching Personal Hygiene Skills
  • The Effects of Word-Picture Associations on the Vocabulary Development of High School Students with Dyslexia

Admission options and prerequisites vary by program. Learn more about the requirements for the PhD in Behavior Analysis.

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  • Doctorate
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Behavior Analysis at Simmons University

Our Behavior Analysis program prepares students for leadership roles in the implementation, evaluation and administration of applied behavioral analytic principles and methods.

Graduate Program Videos

Our Faculty

Ronald Allen photo

Ronald Allen

  • Assoc. Professor of Practice & Doctoral Program Director
Gretchen Dittrich photo

Gretchen Dittrich

  • Associate Professor of Practice of Behavior Analysis and Director of Mentoring and Supervision