Educational Psychology

MS in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis is offered in fully online or on-site formats. The program includes twelve courses (36 credits) approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to address the skills and knowledge required for competent, ethical practice as a behavior analyst.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board credentials professionals as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). To qualify for BCBA certification, individuals must obtain an approved graduate degree, complete an approved course sequence, engage in supervised practice, and pass a national examination. USM’s Educational Psychology program leads to an approved graduate degree that incorporates the required course sequence in applied behavior analysis. Completion of supervised practice experiences and the national examination must be arranged by students independently of the USM program. Supervised experiences may occur concurrent with or upon completion of the coursework.

The Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology is awarded upon completion of the following courses (36 credits total):  

EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
SED 540 Learners Who are Exceptional in General Education
SED 682 Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and IEP Team
SPY 601 Behavioral Principles of Learning
SPY 602 Clinical Research Methods
SPY 604 Functional Behavioral Assessment
SPY 605 Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
SPY 606 Behavior Therapy
SPY 607 Consultation in School Psychology
SPY 608 Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis
SPY 671 Physical Bases of Behavior 
SPY 673 Social Foundations of Behavior

To be considered for admission to the master’s degree program, applicants must meet one set of criteria below:

  • An earned bachelor's degree from an institution of higher learning accredited (at the time the credits were earned) by a regional and/or national accrediting body and recognized as accredited by the United States Department of Education.
  • A cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program.
    • Note:  Applicants who do not have a 2.5 overall GPA may enclose a letter requesting special consideration and providing evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet grade point average eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.  Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are up to the discretion of the admitting program.
  • Qualifying Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores (See "Testing Requirements" below for details)

OR

  • An earned graduate degree from an institution of higher learning accredited (at the time the credits were earned) by a regional and/or national accrediting body and recognized as accredited by the United States Department of Education
  • An earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a graduate degree program OR qualifying Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.

Successful candidates will be selected on the basis of overall quality of all required application components (grade point average, test scores, recommendations, and essay).

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round; however, the following deadlines apply:

  • Applications must be submitted by May 1st for consideration for fall matriculation.
  • Applications must be submitted by December 1st for spring matriculation.

*Up to 6 credits may be completed prior to matriculation in the program.

Application Requirements

A complete application packet includes:

  • A submitted online graduate certificate admission application.
  • A $65 non-refundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system.
    • A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's ability to study at the graduate level.
    • Recommendations are easily submitted using our online application form. You will need to provide the name and email address for each of your recommenders during the application process. Once you submit your application, an email will be automatically generated to your recommenders directing them to fill out the electronic letter of recommendation.
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae.
  • An essay response to the following question: "Why do you seek training in applied behavior analysis?"
  • Certification of finances (international students only).
  • Official GRE score (see below).
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (if English is not first language).

 

Testing Requirements

Applicants to the Educational Psychology program must submit scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within five years of application. The minimum combined score for the Verbal and Quantitative tests is 290. Applicants with a prior graduate degree do not have to submit GRE scores.

For applicants who are English language learners, official scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) are required. The minimum TOEFL score is 79, and the minimum IELTS score is 6.5.

Applicants who do not meet the above minimum score requirements may enclose a letter requesting special consideration and providing evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who fail to meet minimum test score eligibility requirements may be automatically denied.

Transfer Credit

Students may request permission to transfer up to six (6) graduate credits toward the Master of Science degree in Educational Psychology. In order for credits to be eligible for transfer, they must meet the following criteria:

  • The credits must have been earned as part of a graduate course (e.g., 500 level or higher) offered at a United States institution of higher learning accredited (at the time the credits were earned) by a regional and/or national accrediting body and recognized as accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The credits must have been earned for a course that is equivalent, in terms of content knowledge and skill requirements, to one required within USM’s program.
  • The earned grade for the course and associated credits must be a B or higher (GPA equivalent of 3.0).
  • The credits must have been earned within 3 years from the date when transfer credit is requested.
  • Credits for courses that comprise part of the approved course sequence for BCBA certification must be transferred from a program that is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

To request transfer credit, students must submit the course syllabi and official transcripts to the Educational Psychology program coordinator. The coordinator will consult with program faculty to determine whether or not to approve the request.

If transfer credits are approved, the program will notify the USM Registrar to enter the official transfer onto the student's record. Transferred credits will be noted on the student's USM transcript and counted toward the student's degree program of study.