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Behavior Analysis Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Harold Abel School of Psychology

Develop Advanced Skills in Behavior Analysis

As awareness of autism spectrum disorder grows, there is a need for leaders who can expand the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) through research and teaching. Capella’s PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis specialization can help you reach your goals in this field. Gain knowledge of the theoretical foundations of ABA to help you perform basic and applied research and address the practice of ABA in various settings. 

Completing this degree specialization can be an important step toward applying for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D) certification.

At a Glance

  • Online & In Person
  • 7 Core Courses
  • 6 Specialization Courses
  • 3 Elective Courses
  • 3 Dissertation Research Seminars
  • Comprehensive Exam
  • Dissertation

Classes Start April 8th

Ready to get started? We’re ready for you. Chat with an enrollment counselor or apply now to take the first step on the journey toward your future.

$50 Application Fee (waived w/promo WINTER)

What You’ll Learn

Gain Expertise in Behavior Analysis

Prepare for a career as a teacher, researcher, or clinical leader in behavior analysis.

Think Critically

Apply critical thinking in response to psychological challenges.

Adhere to Ethical Standards

Employ ethical principles and standards of psychology to academic and professional activities.

Present Professionally

Effectively communicate psychological concepts and information within the professional community and public.

Lead in Psychology

Enhance the benefits offered by the psychology profession, embracing research and best practices.

Embrace Diversity

Understand, respect, and respond to differences and diversity in the practice of psychology.

Our Unique Doctoral Structure

Our PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis program is designed to remove roadblocks for you and demystify the dissertation process. This unique approach centers on supporting you in three ways: through program structure, a dedicated faculty and support team, and online resources. To help generate momentum toward graduation, you’ll begin your dissertation early in the program. Our faculty, support team, and online resources will help guide you every step of the way.

PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis Program Features

Our program offers additional benefits you might be interested in.

Relevant, Real-World Learning

Get real-world skills. Our research in psychology course allows you to conduct research alongside Capella faculty.

Prepare to Teach

Our applied teaching track program helps you gain experience as a teaching assistant or tutor.

Scholar-Practitioner Faculty

Learn the latest in theory and practice from experienced doctoral faculty who are actively engaged in their professions.

Cost & Learning Format

Online education isn’t one-size-fits-all. We know you’re busy—you need a learning experience tailored to your life, not the other way around. Capella has learning and tuition formats to suit you, however you learn. 

Our original learning format offers extra structure for those who want it. We'll set the schedule, you meet the deadlines. 

  • Based on the quarter system; 1-3 courses per 10-week quarter
  • 1 semester credit = 1.5 quarter credits
  • Weekly assignments and courseroom discussions
  • Pay for what you take, price varies by courseload or term
$530 per credit, 104 total quarter credits, 25 max transfer credits

Get the Details

Speak with an enrollment counselor to get a personalized cost estimate for what you can expect to pay.

Ways to Save

At Capella, we believe your education is an investment in your future. It’s also an investment within your grasp. Your goals are achievable—there are more ways to save than you might think. 

Reduce Your Tuition with $5K

Enroll in your doctorate degree, apply for the scholarship, meet eligibility requirements, and receive up to $5K.

10% Military Discount

If you're an active-duty military service member, spouse, or veteran, discounts may be available.

Employer & Association Discounts

If your employer or organization is a partner with Capella, you may be eligible for a tuition discount.

Professionally Credible, Professionally Aligned
Capella’s PhD in psychology is competency-based, integrating common core psychology and research coursework with relevant and topical specialization content, providing alignment to the profession and an in-depth focus on your discipline.

Accredited & Recognized

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Accreditation and recognitions provide the assurance we meet standards for quality of faculty, curriculum, learner services, and fiscal stability. See all of our accreditations and recognitions

PhD in Psychology Sample Courses

In our PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis program, your applied behavior analysis coursework will help you gain real-world academic and research expertise in this field of psychologyThe program includes dissertation research seminars which allow you to get an early start on your dissertation.

Show course with description
PSY8301
Single-Subject Research Design Methods

In this course, learners expand their foundational knowledge about the basic methods of research used in single-subject research. Learners describe the different methodologies within, as well as the strengths and limitations of, single-subject research. Learners expand on their skills in visual analysis to determine research findings. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8302
Behaviorism

Learners in this course expand their knowledge on the basic theories of behavior analysis. Throughout the course, learners evaluate the basic principles described in the theories of behavior analysis science. Learners identify some of the common misconceptions in these basic theories. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8303
Experimental Analysis of Behavior

In this course, learners explore the history of, and synthesize the research in, the experimental analysis of behavior. Learners describe the importance of the link between experimental analysis of behavior and the application of the science. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8305
Organizational Behavior Management

In this course, learners describe the field of organizational behavior management and its relationship to the science of behavior analysis. Learners synthesize research in the field of organizational behavior management. Throughout the course, learners apply basic assessment techniques and develop interventions commonly used in the field of organizational behavior management. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8306
Education and Teaching in Applied Behavior Analysis

In this course, learners examine the theories of behavior analysis and how they influence teaching and educational programs. Learners synthesize research related to teaching skills in the field of behavior analysis, and explore how they will use principles from theory and research to inform their teaching. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

Behavior Analysis Career Insights

PhD in Psychology—Which Specialization Is Right for You?

Learn more about Capella's PhD in Psychology program and available specializations.

PhD in Behavior Analysis Professional Paths

Here are just some of the career options you could explore with our online PhD in Psychology, Behavior Analysis program.

Related Job Titles to Explore*

  • Board certified behavior analyst (BCBA)
  • Clinical director
  • Behavior analyst
  • Professor of psychology

Related Employment Settings to Explore

  • College or university
  • Community or technical college
  • Private practice
  • Individual and family services
  • Skilled nursing facility
  • Hospital
  • K-12 public or private school

*These are examples intended to serve as a general guide. Some positions may prefer or even require previous experience, licensure, certifications, and/or other designations along with a degree. Because many factors determine what position an individual may attain, Capella cannot guarantee that a graduate will secure any specific job title, a promotion, salary increase, or other career outcome. We encourage you to research requirements for your job target and career goals.

Other Programs to Explore

Is this program close to what you need, but maybe not a perfect fit? The programs below might be interesting. Check them out to find one that suits your academic and professional goals.

Ready for the Next Step?

Learning online doesn't mean going it alone. Help is here. From faculty, coaches, advisors, and more. Plus a supportive community of students who are as passionate about their careers as you are about yours.