Behavior Analysis (PhD)

Please visit the program page to learn about curriculum, faculty, careers, and more! To request more information about this degree, please fill out our form. Questions? Contact admissions via email or at 617-521-2915.

How to Apply

Start your application
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Please allow at least three business days for received documents to be reflected on your application status page.

Application Requirements

Candidates eligible for admission should meet the following requirements:

  • A conferred master’s degree or higher in Behavior Analysis or a related field (i.e., Psychology, Health Science, and Special Education)
  • The candidate must meet one of the following criteria:
    • Must be licensed and/or certified (or eligible for licensure and/or certification, including experience hours and coursework requirements) in the country where they clinically practice 
    • 2 years of experience in the following practice areas:
      • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
      • Organizational Behavior Management
      • Animal training
      • Translational research
      • Behavioral Medicine
  • Research experience is preferred

Application Checklist

  1. Completed online application form
  2. Current résumé that outlines employment and volunteer experiences
  3. Statement of purpose: 2-3 pages
    Make sure to answer all of the following items in a cohesive essay:
    • Explain your reasons for pursuing your PhD at Simmons, including what professional goals you hope to achieve after earning the degree.
    • Discuss how your background has prepared you to succeed in rigorous coursework, conducting research, and writing a doctoral dissertation.
    • Discuss your specific research interests as well as publication and presentation goals. Please also discuss the faculty members with whom you are interested in working, and why.
  4. Analytical writing sample: 10 pages maximum
    Please provide an academic or professional writing sample that demonstrates your analytical, logical, and organizational abilities.
    • Examples include: a thesis chapter, literature review, journal publication, APA-style paper from a course, or clinical report like an FBA, preferably with a functional analysis.*
    • Non-examples include: a client behavior plan, a clinical meeting note, a writing sample in which most of the content was authored by a coauthor.*
  5. Three letters of recommendationOnly letters from supervisors or academic sources will be accepted. At least one letter should be from a professor from a graduate course who can attest to your ability to succeed in doctoral-level coursework** (Note: Mentors or experiential learning supervisors do not meet the requirements for an academic letter of recommendation).
  6. Official Transcripts
    Official transcripts are required from every college or university attended since the completion of high school, regardless of whether or not a degree was earned.

    Please note:
    The online PhD in Behavior Analysis program is only available to students residing in the United States at this time.

    Simmons alumni, please let the Admission team know if you would like us to request your Simmons transcript on your behalf by emailing [email protected].
  7. A non-refundable application fee of $80 (payable to Simmons University)
  8. Interview Candidates may be invited for an interview with admissions and the faculty in Behavior Analysis to address additional questions that both the committee and candidate may have.

As part of our holistic approach to reviewing applications, GRE scores are not required. The admission committee considers all aspects of a candidate's application, including the academic record, professional experience, recommendations, essay and analytical writing sample to evaluate preparedness and potential for success in the PhD program.

*For alternative formats to ensure access and to support varying learning profiles/styles, please consult with the Admission team at [email protected].

**If an applicant cannot obtain an academic reference, please consult with the Admission team at [email protected]. Applicants should include a supplemental statement providing additional information regarding the matter.

Application Deadlines

The following chart details the application deadlines for the Behavior Analysis Ph.D. Program

PhD in Behavior AnalysisFallPriority Deadline: May 1

Final Deadline: July 17
PhD in Behavior AnalysisSpringPriority Deadline: October 15

Final Deadline: November 17
PhD in Behavior AnalysisSummerPriority Deadline: February 15

Final Deadline: March 15

If you are interested in applying after the final deadline, please contact [email protected] to discuss options.

Priority Deadline applicants benefit from an earlier admission decision. Additionally, Priority Deadline applicants are eligible to receive an application fee waiver. Please contact [email protected] to receive the application fee waiver code.

Can I submit my online application before all of my required materials are received?

Yes, and we encourage it! Once you submit your application, you will be able to log in to the self-service center to check the status of your application and to see if your materials have been received. Prior to submitting your application, you will not be able to check your status online.

What should I do if my recommenders did not receive an email requesting a letter?

First, suggest your recommender check her/his spam folder. Since the notifications come from an automated system, the messages often end up in spam. Not there? Contact us and we can resend the notification. You can also resend invitations from your self-service center. And, finally, recommenders are always welcome to email a recommendation letter to us. We'll be glad to manually add it to your application.

How quickly are my application materials processed?

Once you submit your application, we will look for any previously received materials to attach to your application. It usually takes 1-5 business days for our office to process and attach materials. To ensure receipt of your materials in our office, please ensure that items sent by mail are issued to the following exact address:

Simmons University
Graduate Studies Admission
300 The Fenway
Boston, MA 02115

How long will a decision take after my application is complete?

Admission decisions on master's degree applications are generally available within 2 to 3 weeks of application completion. Doctoral candidates will be contacted with an update from the admission committee within 2 to 3 weeks of application completion, and admission decisions are generally available within 6 weeks of application completion.

Will my decision letter be emailed or mailed?

Decisions will be uploaded to the Simmons application portal. You will be able to see your admission decision by logging on to your Simmons application portal. You will receive an email notification when your admission decision is available.

Do I need to submit the FAFSA and Simmons University Student Information Form by the priority admission deadline?

No. Students interested in applying for federal financial aid, which is awarded in the form of loans, may do so at any point by submitting the FAFSA and the Simmons University Student Information Form to the Simmons University Office of Student Financial Services. Contact their office via email or at 617-521-2001.

Upon acceptance, eligible applicants receive automatic consideration for merit-based scholarships. Most merit-based scholarships are awarded based on the overall strength of an application for admission, and no separate application is required.


Tuition and fees

Tuition and fees at Simmons are updated annually each spring. They are assessed each semester based on the number of credits enrolled, the level of degree, and the particular program of study.

Health insurance

All students taking 9 or more credits are required by Massachusetts State law to enroll in the Student Health Insurance Plan or be covered by a health insurance plan with comparable coverage.

Contact us

Questions? Contact us via email or at 617-521-2915. We're happy to schedule visits and campus tours. 

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