The Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism Studies adopts the scientist-practitioner model to prepare students with the knowledge and skills they need to enter both applied professional and research positions, and be well-prepared for future matriculation into doctoral programs.

Through required and elective coursework, fieldwork experience, and available research opportunities, students are exposed to a wide range of scientific perspectives within Psychology.

The ABA and Autism Studies Program at UMass Lowell welcome, value, and respect all persons regardless of race, ethnicity, belief system, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and (dis)ability. We are a community that thrives from our diversity. We encourage you to speak and listen in order to learn from other perspectives, as we believe this creates a more meaningful educational experience for students and faculty alike.


We offer two degree pathways: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism Studies (AS).

The ABA option is designed for students interested in the science of behavior analysis, sitting for the national Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification and obtaining licensure as an Applied Behavior Analyst (LABA) in the Commonwealth.

The AS option is designed for students interested in research careers in autism and related fields or preparing for doctoral-level study.

While most students in our program attend UMass Lowell for full-time study, part-time students are encouraged to apply. The program is a blend of online and campus courses, as well as concentrated supervised fieldwork to be completed at one of UMass Lowell's many affiliated fieldwork sites including but not limited to ABI New England, Melmark New England, TACT, and The May Institute. On-campus courses are offered in the late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate students who are employed. This is not a fully online program.

Gain mastery of skills in:

  • Principles, processes, and concepts of applied behavior analysis
  • Methods of behavioral assessment and selection of intervention strategies
  • Measurement of behavior and techniques for displaying and interpreting data
  • Experimental evaluation of interventions
  • Legal and ethical aspects of intervention
  • Training and supervision of direct service providers
  • Coordination of programs and services with families, schools, and the community
  • Definitions and characteristics of autism and other developmental psychopathologies

Master's students have access to UMass Lowell centers and labs. See a list of related resources.

    • A bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent, from an accredited college or university, with a GPA of at least 3.000.
    • Minimum of four courses in psychology and one course in statistics in your undergraduate coursework.
    • Some background in the psychology of child development. We are especially interested in coursework in some of the foundational areas of psychology (e.g., developmental, learning, behavior analysis, biological bases of behavior, research methods, cognitive psychology, etc.).
    • Two letters of recommendation with at least one from recent or current instructors.
    • A personal statement that describes your background, your interests in our program and how our program will help you meet your career goals.

    Applications for matriculation are accepted for fall and spring admission. 

    Apply to the Master of Science in ABA and Autism Studies.

    Learn more about the application process

  • A total of 39 academic credits is required for the completion of the degree. At least 30 of these credits must be taken at UMass Lowell. No more than two courses (6 credits) may have an earned grade of less than B (3.0).

    For the most up to date information please visit the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

  • UMass Lowell undergraduate students with a 3.000 GPA or better have the opportunity to save time and money by earning a bachelor's and a master's degree in a little as five years. Students can continue from bachelor’s to master’s level studies within their own department. Or students can apply to a program in a different department to create a set of skills to meet emerging needs in the workplace and their own academic interests.

    Learn more about the Bachelor's-to-Master's Programs

  • Financial Aid and Scholarships 

    As a graduate student, you may qualify for federal student aid and other need-based scholarships. Learn more at UMass Lowell’s Solution Center.

    Fully Funded Interdisciplinary Training Program 

    UMass Lowell and Lasell University have partnered to provide interdisciplinary training in Applied Behavior Analysis, Special Education, and Autism Studies. The goal of the partnership is to prepare practitioners to work collaboratively with other professionals to improve educational and behavioral services and outcomes for school-aged children with autism and related disabilities, including bilingual learners. 

    Learn more about the fully-funded MS in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Studies scholarship opportunity

Why UMass Lowell for ABA and Autism Studies?


Gain Hands-On Experience

UMass Lowell’s program in ABA and Autism Studies prepares students to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts® through board-approved coursework and field experience.

Make a Difference

Both the ABA and Autism Studies options address autism spectrum disorders within the context of developmental disabilities and psychopathology and provide an in-depth understanding of the major challenges facing families and communities, as well as what is required to practice as an ethical professional.

Expand Your Career Options

As a board certified behavior analyst, you can work with schools and other agencies to design and implement effective interventions for individuals with ASD as well as a variety of other populations. You can conduct research that could lead to new and effective interventions.
UML alumna Devon White profile photo

What Our Students Are Saying...

“The Autism Studies program has really allowed me to grow as a student, a clinician and a researcher. Even during my first year, I was conducting research in the department’s laboratory facilities on campus, as well as in local preschools. These experiences are really helping me prepare for a research career in the study of autism.”  -Devon White
Please consult any applicable licensure requirements for this program.