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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.

What to Expect

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

Classes Start April 9th

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.

Admission Requirements »  | $50 Application Fee

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.

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
$525 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. 

Scholarships for New Students

Capella scholarships, available for qualifying students, aren’t need-based and never have to be repaid. 

10% Military Discount

Military service members and their spouses could be eligible for a discount.

Employer & Association Discounts

Many employers and organizations partner with Capella to offer tuition discounts. Talk to an enrollment counselor to learn more. 

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 & Respected

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

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 psychology.

Dissertation Research Seminar

Allows you to work extensively on your dissertation topic, methodology, literature review, and research plan from the beginning of your program. 

Support to Reach the Finish Line

Our doctoral curriculum is designed to give you dedicated support early in your program—so you can be confident in the steps to completing your degree. 

Residency

Enhance the skills you develop in your program coursework through these intensive, onsite experiences with students and faculty.  

Some of the courses you will take:

Course Number Course Title
PSY8301 Single-Subject Research Design Methods
PSY8302 Behaviorism
PSY8303 Experimental Analysis of Behavior
PSY8305 Organizational Behavior Management
PSY8306 Education and Teaching in Applied Behavior Analysis

Faculty & Support

You’re never going it alone at Capella. Our dedicated faculty and support teams are waiting to guide, help, and advise you through every step of your educational journey.

Enrollment Counselors

These folks are superstars. We hear it from our students (and grads). They’re here to help find a program fit and set you up for success.  

Faculty

Our distinguished faculty members hold top credentials in their fields. They’re here to teach the knowledge and skills you’ll need, now.

Doctoral Advising

A doctoral degree takes special effort. It's why we offer expert support at every step to keep you moving forward toward your goal.

Dissertation Mentors

During your dissertation, you'll be matched with an experienced mentor who will help you to succeed.

Relevant Blog Posts

Whether you’re considering a return to school, exploring new career paths, or seeking ways to improve your job performance, the Capella Blog has relevant articles to support your goals.

PhD in Psychology—Which Specialization Is Right for You?

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

Move Forward in Your Career

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 examples are intended to serve as a general guide.  Many factors determine what position an individual may attain, and Capella can’t guarantee a graduate will secure any specific job title.

You May Also Be Interested In

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.