Educational Psychology

Overview

The Educational Psychology program at the University of Southern Maine (USM) is the only program in the state offering graduate-level training to prepare students for careers as Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBAs).

Our Master of Science and post-masters Certificate of Graduate Study programs are ideally suited for working professionals and can be completed while maintaining employment.

Program Benefits

  • Advance your career: There is a nationwide demand for behavior analysts.
  • Online program with personal contact: You can choose to attend class online or in person. Classes are held in real time, so whether you attend online or on campus, you’ll connect with your professors and classmates.
  • Reduced e-tuition: Out-of-state students benefit from a low e-tuition rate to that is 46% less than the standard out-of-state tuition. Maine residents benefit from the lower in-state tuition.
  • Flexible schedule: Courses are held in the late afternoon and early evening, 4-7 PM ET, to accommodate working professionals.
  • Streamlined admissions: We offer rolling admissions with program start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. There is no GRE requirement for the master’s program.
  • BACB-Verified Course Sequence: Our Verified Course Sequence aligns with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) Fourth and Fifth Edition Task Lists.
  • Above-average BACB exam pass rate: Our 2018 graduates have a 75% pass rate on the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®, compared to the national average of 65%.
  • Expert faculty: Our faculty are dually credentialed in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and school psychology, and they are also practitioners in their fields.

Program Timeline

Certificate of Graduate Study in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Program Completion: 2 years, on average.
  • Course Load: 1-2 courses each semester, in the fall, spring, and summer.

Master of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Program Completion: 2 years, on average.
  • Course Load: 2 courses each semester, in the fall, spring, and summer.

Convenient Online Education with Personal Connection

Our online courses are offered in a synchronous format, which means you’ll meet with your professor and classmates in real time each week.

Because our professors are teaching each class live, while streaming to online learners, students in the Southern Maine area can choose to attend class in person on our Gorham campus.

Curriculum Grounded in Educational Psychology

Our programs are fully aligned with the graduate preparation standards established by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB). Our Verified Course Sequence addresses the applications of evidence-based behavioral strategies to promote academic, social-emotional, and behavioral success for all school-aged children, pre-K through grade 12.

Our students learn to:

  • Conduct behavioral assessments.
  • Design interventions that facilitate the acquisition of prosocial skills and the reduction of behaviors that interfere with learning.
  • Implement and evaluate the effectiveness of interventions.
  • Provide behavior analytic consultation and supervision services.

Experienced and Accessible Faculty

Our faculty are experienced clinicians who hold professional credentials in both applied behavior analysis (ABA) and school psychology. As faculty advisors, they serve as professional mentors to students throughout the program of study.

Along with their extensive experience providing behavior-analytic services to school-aged children, our core faculty members are frequently published; they co-authored the 2019 Guilford Press publication Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessments.           

Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) Verification

Both our graduate certificate and master’s program include a BACB-Verified Course Sequence that aligns with the BACB Fourth and Fifth Edition Task Lists.

This coursework sequence has been verified to meet the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

About the BACB and Obtaining Certification

The BACB credentials professionals as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). The BACB is the only credentialing organization for professionals within the behavior analysis discipline, and the certification is internationally recognized.

To qualify as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, individuals must:

  • Obtain an approved graduate degree.
  • Complete a verified course sequence or the equivalent.
  • Engage in supervised practice. We provide guidance for our students to obtain supervised practice outside of the USM program.
  • Pass the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Our graduates have a 75% pass rate on the BCBA exam, compared to the national average of 65%.

Learn more about the BACB and certification.

School of Education and Human Development

The Department of Educational and School Psychology offers the Educational Psychology and School Psychology programs within the School of Education and Human Development.

The School is part of a rich history dating back to the University’s original predecessor institution, the Gorham Normal School, established by the state of Maine in 1878. Today, the School of Education and Human Development has a mission of preparing educators and human development professionals for responsible service that is as relevant to society today as it was more than a century ago.