School of Education & Counseling

Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis  Master of Education

Improve your applied behavior analysis (ABA) career with a Master’s degree in Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis. Cambridge College's program is nationally ranked as the #2 program in the U.S. by ABA Degree Programs.*

Our proven formula combines expert-taught courses with the individual attention you need to prepare for the Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) exam. From 2017 - 2022, Cambridge College program graduates had an 83 percent pass rate on the BCBA exam on their first try, far exceeding the national average of 60 percent.**

38 Credits
Starts September 3, 2024


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MEd in Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis Program Overview

As an autism degree student at Cambridge College, you’ll learn about the history, prevalence and diagnosis of autism as well as assessment methods and clinical applications of ABA therapy for autism as well as the legal and ethical requirements for professional applied behavior analysts.

The renowned Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis degree program at Cambridge College prepares you to sit for the national BCBA exam, including completing the required Verified Course Sequence (VCS). The program also meets the academic requirements for licensure in Massachusetts.


ranking in U.S. by ABA Degree Programs in 2021*


BCBA exam average pass rate of Cambridge College applied behavior analysis graduates over the last five years**

*ABA Degree Programs, 10 Best ABA Master’s Programs 2023, (visited Nov. 17, 2023). 

**Behavior Analysis Certification Board, BCBA Examination Pass Rates for Verified Course Sequences (2021), (visited Nov. 17, 2023).

Autism/Applied Behavior Analyst Program Highlights

Cambridge College specializes in offering degree programs for adult students juggling work and family demands. This Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis MEd degree is designed to make academic progress and graduation as convenient and straightforward as possible.

  • Flexible format makes this program available across the US: Designed to meet the needs of working adults across the country, courses in this Boston-based program are taught in a mix of scheduled remote (Zoom) sessions and self-paced online (asynchronous) sessions. Remote classes are taught in the evenings (based on EST).
  • No GRE exam required: Thanks to a no-hassle admissions application process, you can begin your behavior analyst degree sooner. Apply without taking the GRE exam.
  • Efficient timeline: You can earn your behavior analyst degree in two years. The curriculum aligns with current certification standards and the corresponding edition of the BCBA exam.
  • Personalized attention: A small student-to-faculty ratio of 10:1 ensures students in the Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis degree program receive personalized attention.
  • Faculty with strong field experience: All applied behavior analysis faculty at Cambridge College are working in high level clinical positions and have significant research experience. They bring years of hands-on ABA experience, including the clinical application, leadership and ethical considerations that come up in using ABA for autism.
  • Connect with fellow students: Cambridge College requires all Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis MEd students to hold active employment in a relevant, related field with at least one year of experience in an ABA treatment setting. That means many of your coworkers will also be your classmates, which builds great connections, study partners and peer support.
  • Pay less tuition compared to similar programs: Cambridge College proudly offers lower tuition to graduate students than many other applied behavior analysis options. With BCBA certification guidelines dictating the content for ABA programs, value and affordability are a deciding factor in where to earn your master's degree in autism.

Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of your Master of Education in Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis degree from Cambridge College, you graduate with these important outcomes:

  • Prepare and be eligible to sit for the national Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam
  • Demonstrate knowledge of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and associated scientific principles that govern human behavior and the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders
  • Use applied behavior analysis strategies to meet the needs of individuals with autism
  • Create, implement and evaluate individualized plans for ABA therapy for autism in a variety of settings for individuals across the autism spectrum
  • Understand all clinical, educational and ethical issues related to the application of ABA strategies in a broad range of treatment contexts and behaviors
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with ABA clients, their families, and other educational and medical professionals

“The ABA program at Cambridge College prepared me to pass the exam and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The support Cambridge College offered definitely made it stand out from other ABA programs. The hybrid format of online lectures and live classes allowed me flexibility in managing my time.”

Wilmaris Fernandez, BCBA, LABA
Graduate, MEd Autism/Behavior Analyst

Autism/Applied Behavior Analyst Tuition Information

Cost Per Credit
Total Program Tuition
Cost Per Credit$639
Credits* 38 credits
Total Program Tuition $24,282

*See curriculum sheet for a breakdown of credits and credit ranges.

Prospective graduate degree students for programs in the School of Education & Counseling must satisfy the following requirements plus any program-specific requirements your program may have.

  1. Complete and sign the online application.
  2. Pay the application fee. Pay your $50 ($100 for international students) application fee by the term start date.
  3. Send official transcripts. Maildirectly to Cambridge College in a sealed, unopened envelope. Learn How to Send Transcripts. Required degrees must be from accredited colleges or universities.
    • Master's and most graduate certificate programs require an earned bachelor's degree.
    • Post-master's certificates and CAGS require an earned master's degree.
    • International transcripts must be translated and evaluated by an approved agency. See all international student requirements
  4. Send your résumé and work experience. Send your resume that details your education and work experience, including how they pertain to your career goals. If your SEC program has a work experience requirement, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  5. Submit your personal statement. Write a 500-word, typed, double-spaced essay describing your professional experience, goals and objectives for graduate study. How do you expect your graduate studies to enhance your future career?
  6. Include two professional recommendations (not required for fully online programs). These should address your professional character and ability to perform graduate work. Download Applicant Recommendation Form
  7. Interview (required for some programs). If your program requires an interview, it will be listed in the Program-Specific Requirements section below.
  8. Satisfy Health Insurance & Immunization requirements. (Massachusetts only). These are required only for graduate students taking six or more credits per term in Massachusetts through on-campus or hybrid classes. Health insurance may be waived.

Teacher Licensure Program Requirements

In addition to the requirements listed above, our Teacher Licensure Programs have these additional requirements:

  1. Earned bachelor's degree with 3.0 or higher GPA.
  2. MA Educator Documentation from the Massachusetts Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) website. Keep copies of all documents submitted and, upon admission, post in your electronic portfolio:
    1. Massachusetts Educator Personnel ID (MEPID number)
    2. MTEL Communication & Literacy Test, successfully completed.

Required if completed:

  • Massachusetts preliminary license, if held
  • Sheltered English Instruction requirement
  • Fingerprinting and Criminal Offender Record Information

Applicants who do not initially meet all requirements (e.g. GPA of 3.0 or MTEL) for admission into their chosen licensure program must enroll in the corresponding non-licensure degree option. Students who achieve a 3.0 GPA upon completion of the first three SEC courses, pass the MTELs, and now meet all requirements, may request a change of program.

Disclosures: For all Licensure Programs

  • Licensure requirements are subject to change per Massachusetts regulations. All Cambridge College licensure programs are based on current regulations.
  • All candidates admitted for licensure programs must successfully complete the program in its entirety.
  • All requirements at the time of program completion must be finalized prior to seeking Massachusetts endorsement for licensure purposes.
  • If you have any licensure questions, please speak to your program chair.

Program-Specific Requirements

An interview and approval by the SEC are required for admission.

Before beginning the ABA coursework, you must:

  • Have active employment in a relevant, related field with at least one year of experience in an ABA-based treatment setting.
  • Be working with or supervised by a certified BCBA personnel. (Supervisor name and contact information must be submitted and verified upon program entry.)

You must be prepared to pursue timely completion of the ABA course sequence, given that the sequence aligns with a particular edition of the exam approved by the national Behavior Analyst Certifying Board.

What is a Behavior Analyst?

Behavior analysts apply techniques and treatment approaches for analyzing and changing behavior to improve lives. A behavior analyst provides specific applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for autism in a variety of settings. ABA uses proven strategies to help people diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Applied Behavioral Analysis Salary Ranges and Careers

Nationally, the demand for behavior analysts with proper credentials and specialization in autism is increasing. Specifically, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board reports that demand for those with the BCBA designation increased 23 percent from 2021 to 2022. In fact, Massachusetts is one of the top five states with the highest and fastest-growing demand for applied behavior analysts.*

According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary for an applied behavioral analyst with BCBA credentials in the U.S. is $73,532. In the area of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the average annual salary is $80,369.**

Whether you are already working in autism or a related field or you’re looking for a new in-demand profession, this graduate degree program from Cambridge College prepares you for a variety of behavior analyst jobs and career paths.

Applied behavior analysis is a growing and versatile career field. In fact, there are so many other career types that now sometimes encompass ABA therapy for autism that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not yet track behavior analyst as a stand-alone professional designation, even though the national demand for people with BCBA certification continues to grow.


Increase in demand for those with the BCBA certification from 2021 to 2022*


Average annual salary for an applied behavioral analyst with BCBA credentials in the U.S.**

*US Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts: 2010–2022, Behavior Analysis Certification Board, (visited Nov. 17, 2023).

**Board Certified Behavioral Analyst Salary, ZipRecruiter, (visited Feb. 5, 2024).

Jobs for Behavior Analysts

Behavior analysts fill a variety of roles helping clients — often those on the autism spectrum — by creating individualized plans to help clients thrive. They do this through patient evaluation, applied behavior analysis strategies and progress evaluation.

The highest concentration of ABA for autism jobs come from the following types of employers:

  • Health care, including treatment planning, case management and treatment
  • Educational services, both within traditional school settings as well as with private providers of ABA services to individuals and families
  • Social assistance, including therapy-type skills, other educational settings such as workplace training and treatment planning in community service settings

Other options for applied behavioral analyst careers include working for:

  • Insurance carriers and related fields
  • Local government, including public administration
  • Research organizations, including data analysis

Faculty Spotlight

Daniel A. Almeida

Daniel A. Almeida


Program Director, Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis Programs

Daniel Almeida is the Program Director for the Ph.D. in ABA program at Cambridge College. Previously, he was the District Supervisor of ABA Services for a major public school district in Greater Boston and held a variety of director-level positions at private, ABA-based schools is Massachusetts. He received his Ph.D. in ABA from Simmons University. Dan has provided ABA services to students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities for over 35 years. He has published original...

Joseph Vedora

Joseph Vedora


Assistant Program Director and Program Chair, Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis Program

Joseph Vedora, Ed.D., BCBA-D, LABA is the Assistant Program Director and Program Chair for the Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis Program. Dr. Vedora also holds a clinical position at the Evergreen Center, where he is the Vice President of Behavioral Services and Professional Development. Dr. Vedora began teaching at Cambridge College in 2011 and currently teaches in the master's and Ph.D. programs. Dr. Vedora has served as the dissertation advisor for five students. He also served as a...