Educational Psychology

MS in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

The Master of Science (MS) in Educational Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis program is offered through the Department of Educational and School Psychology. The program of study comprises twelve courses (36 graduate credits). Eight courses (24 graduate credits) are verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to address the skills and knowledge required for competent, ethical practice as a behavior analyst. Four additional courses provide students with background knowledge about educational research, special education procedures, and the needs of school-aged children with exceptionalities. Courses are offered in fully online (blend of synchronous and asynchronous delivery) or on-campus formats.

The BACB credentials professionals as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). To qualify for BCBA certification, individuals must obtain an acceptable graduate degree, complete approved behavior analytic coursework, engage in supervised practice, and pass a national examination. USM’s MS in Educational Psychology program leads to an acceptable graduate degree that incorporates behavior analytic coursework verified by the BACB to meet training standards established by the BACB Fourth Edition Task List (2012). 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 (Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration) is awarded upon completion of the following courses (36 credits total):  

EDU 600 Research Methods and Techniques
SED 682 Special Education Regulations, Procedures, and IEP Team*
SPY 601 Behavioral Principles of Learning
SPY 602 Single Case Research Methods
SPY 604 Functional Behavioral Assessment
SPY 605 Principles and Procedures for Instructional Intervention
SPY 606 Principles and Procedures for Behavior Intervention
SPY 607 Consultation and Collaborative Problem Solving
SPY 608 Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis
SPY 640 Supervision and Performance Management in Behavior Analysis
SPY 671 Physical Bases of Behavior 
SPY 674 Psychopathology

*Prerequisite requirements for SED 682 include SED 335 or SED 540, or program permission

To be considered for admission to the MS in Educational Psychology (Applied Behavior Analysis Concentration) program, applicants must meet eligibility criteria for one of the following options:

Option 1

  • 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.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale) in a baccalaureate degree program.
    • Note:  Applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may submit a letter requesting special consideration and providing evidence of their ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may be denied automatically. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of program faculty.
  • A minimum combined Verbal and Quantitative test score of 290 on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) completed within five years of application.
    • Note: Applicants who do not meet minimum GRE eligibility requirements may submit a letter requesting special consideration and providing evidence of an ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who do not meet minimum GRE score eligibility requirements may be denied automatically. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of program faculty.

Option 2

  • 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.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in a graduate degree program.
    • Note:  Applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may submit a letter requesting special consideration and providing evidence of their ability to complete graduate studies successfully. Without such a letter, applicants who do not meet minimum GPA eligibility requirements may be denied automatically. Exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis and are at the discretion of program faculty.

Applicants who meet minimum eligibility requirements are not guaranteed admission to the MS in Educational Psychology program. Admissions decisions will be based on the overall quality of application materials, which include a resume, letters of recommendations, and an essay. See below for complete information about required application materials.

Application Procedures and Required Materials

Application Deadlines

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

  • Priority consideration for Spring 2019 matriculation: November 1, 2018
  • Priority consideration for Summer 2019 matriculation: March 15, 2019
  • Priority consideration for Fall 2019 matriculation:  May 1, 2019

Applicants are required to provide the following materials:

  • Application: Online Application
  • A $65 non-refundable application fee
  • Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine System (UMS transcripts are accessible to USM). A transcript is official when sent directly from the institution.
    • International College transcripts: In addition to an official copy of the transcript, an official evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency is required
  • Resume: Submit a resume or CV that outlines professional, volunteer, and community experience.
  • An essay response to the following question: "Why do you seek training in applied behavior analysis?"
  • Three letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant's ability to succeed in graduate school and a career in behavior analysis.
    • Only professional letters of recommendations will be accepted. Letters from professors, professionals in the field of behavior analysis, and/or supervisors from employment/internship settings are recommended. Letters from family members and friends will not be accepted.
  • Official GRE scores (requirement waived for applicants with an earned graduate degree), see below for details.
  • TOEFL or IELTS: Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. See additional information below regarding test scores.

International Applicants

In addition to the standard application materials, international students must also provide the following materials:

  • College transcript evaluation: official course-by-course evaluation of college-level transcripts from a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) approved transcript analysis agency
  • Declaration of Finances form accompanied by the appropriate financial documentation
  • International students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Applicants whose first language is not English

Students whose first language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and submit official scores as part of the application process. Only applicants with TOEFL scores of 79 or higher on the internet-based test, 550 or higher on the paper-based test, or 213 or higher on the computer-based test; or IELTS scores of 6.5 or higher will be considered for admission to a graduate program.

Where to send transcripts and application materials 

Official transcripts and other supporting documents can be sent to:

Application Processing Center
University of Maine System
P.O. Box 412
Bangor, ME 04402-0412

Colleges and universities that participate in electronic submission of transcripts can send official transcripts to edocs@maine.edu. Resumes, essays, and other documents can also be sent to edocs@maine.edu.

For a transcript or recommendation to be considered official, it must be sent by the institution or the person writing the recommendation.

GRE Testing Requirements

Baccalaureate-level applicants to the MS in 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 earned graduate degree are not required to submit GRE scores.

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

Transfer Credit

A maximum of two courses (6 graduate credits) comprising the program of study for the MS in Educational Psychology degree may be completed prior to matriculation.Students may request permission to transfer up to six (6) graduate credits toward the MS degree. 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.
  • 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 MS program.
  • The earned grade for the course must be a B or higher (GPA equivalent of 3.0).
  • The credits must have been earned within 5 years from the date when transfer credit is requested.
  • Credits for behavior analytic courses must be transferred from a program that is verified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to meet the Fourth Edition Task List standards.

To request transfer credit, students must submit the relevant course syllabi and official transcripts to the Chair of the Department of Educational and School Psychology. The Chair 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.

Professional Licensure and Certification Notice

Students should be aware that a criminal record may jeopardize certification/licensure by state and national credentialing bodies. Students may consult the credentialing body corresponding to their intended occupation for more details. Successful completion of a program of study at USM does not guarantee licensure, certification, or employment in the relevant occupation.