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Behavior Analysis Specialization Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology

Harold Abel School of Psychology

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Residency Requirement(s):

Three ten-week courses with a four-day embedded residency experience (PSY-R8925, PSY-R8926, PSY-R8927). See university policy 3.04.05 Attendance at Residencies and the Residencies page on Campus for more information. Also see each graduate school’s residency courses.

 

 

Twenty-one Required Courses 

 

 

At least 89 quarter credits

Core courses:

PSY8002
Foundations of Theory and Practice for Doctoral Psychology Learners

In this course, learners improve their ability to navigate the virtual campus and become familiar with library, career center, and writing center resources. Learners identify the educational steps and requirements necessary for successfully completing the doctoral degree program in their chosen specialization; review their specialization’s requirements, associated professional roles and organizations, and ethics and professional standards; and articulate a professional identity based on doctoral-level psychology training. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Must be taken during the learner’s first quarter. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7115
Research Foundations of History and Systems in Psychology

Learners in this course explore historical and contemporary schools of thought such as behavioral, humanistic, and psychodynamic psychology. In particular, learners begin the process of becoming independent researchers by developing a dissertation topic that is appropriate for their specialization and aligned with foundational theories within their chosen school of thought. For PhD learners in Psychology only. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY7868
Qualitative Design and Analysis

Learners in this course assess the fundamental concepts needed to conduct qualitative research. Learners practice qualitative research techniques; appropriate applications of qualitative research; the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research design, sampling, and analysis and their associated interdependencies; and leverage technology when applicable. Learners also determine the steps necessary to ensure human subjects protection, and consider methodological adaptations when conducting research with vulnerable and diverse populations. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8625 *
Advanced Inferential Statistics

Learners in this advanced course examine a variety of statistical analyses, including statistical power and effect size in research design, factorial and repeated measures of analysis of variance (ANOVA), analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), selected nonparametric analyses, and bivariate and multiple regression. Learners are expected to have proficiency in the use of statistical software appropriate to dissertation-level research. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits
PSY8658 *
Quantitative Research Methods in Psychology

In this course, learners synthesize knowledge of quantitative research methodology and use it to develop a quantitative research design that may form the basis of their dissertation research project. Learners compare their quantitative research design to a previously developed qualitative design on a similar topic and identify and justify the methodology most appropriate for investigating their research topic. For PsyD and PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY7860, PSY7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

5 quarter credits

PSY-R8925
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 1 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to initiate the development of a dissertation research plan. Throughout the course, learners focus on identifying a theory, topic, and research problem appropriate for their specialization. Track 1 learners must also complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 1 (Research Ethics Education). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 1 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Should be taken concurrently with PSY7115. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8926 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 2 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to develop a research question and to select an appropriate dissertation topic. In Track 2, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 2 (Topic Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 2 learning outcomes. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY-R8925. Should be taken concurrently with PSY7868. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits
PSY-R8927 *
PhD Dissertation Research Seminar Track 3

The intensive, ten-week PhD Dissertation Seminar Track 3 includes both an online courseroom and a face-to-face weekend residency experience. Learners interact with peers and faculty as they participate in online courseroom and weekend residency activities that emphasize applying the research skills necessary to detail a methodological design, sampling plan, and strategy for data analysis. In Track 3, learners complete PhD Dissertation Milestone 5 (Research Plan Approval). Following the weekend residency experience, learners complete a final assessment that demonstrates Track 3 learning outcomes. Learners must complete Track 3 prior to beginning the comprehensive examination phase of the program. For PhD in Psychology learners only. Prerequisite(s): PSY-R8926. Should be taken concurrently with PSY8658. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Choose one from the following courses:

PSY7210
Lifespan Development

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of lifespan development from infancy through adulthood, including human development processes and milestones. Learners evaluate theories and approaches for examining human development and analyze human development processes related to their specialization.

5 quarter credits
PSY7411
Learning Theories in Psychology

This course focuses on the concepts and principles of learning theory and its sub-processes, especially those associated with cognition. Learners evaluate and articulate major learning theories, practice applying these learning theories and their associated processes to teaching, and analyze the effects of various behavioral and cognitive sub-processes on learning.

5 quarter credits
PSY7543 *
Ethics and Multicultural Issues in Psychology

In this course, learners analyze multicultural perspectives and factors such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and gender, and their influences on the ethical behavior of psychology professionals. Learners evaluate and articulate multicultural issues within the context of different settings and practice applying ethical reasoning principles and standards within their profession. Prerequisite(s): PSY5002 or PSY5005 or PSY8002.

5 quarter credits

Choose one from the following courses:

PSY8626 *
Multivariate Statistics: Theory and Application

This course focuses on the theory and application of multivariate statistics, including discriminant analysis, factor (components) analysis, multiple analysis of variance (MANOVA), and logistic regression. Using SPSS, learners perform and interpret the results of these analyses. Learners also apply multivariate analysis, read and understand research results in peer-reviewed psychology journals, and utilize SPSS to produce output consistent with the correct parameters and assumptions of specific multivariate procedures. In addition, learners have the option of exploring the mathematical aspects of multivariate and inferential statistics theory and application. Prerequisite(s): PSY8625.

5 quarter credits
PSY8635 *
Advanced Qualitative Analysis

This course extends the topics covered in PSY7868 by further exploring the philosophical underpinnings of qualitative research and inquiry and emphasizes effective execution of the six school-approved dissertation research methodologies: ethnography, case study, grounded-theory phenomenology, heuristics, and generic qualitative research. Learners examine primary source references, books, and journal articles written by the developers of the six methodologies and gain an understanding of their nuances and applications. This course is designed to prepare learners to develop and conduct their own qualitative study for a dissertation. Prerequisite(s): PSY7868.

5 quarter credits

Specialization courses:

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
PSY8304
Analysis of Verbal Behavior

Learners in this course expand their knowledge of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior, and examine the verbal operants involved. Learners explore the importance of the analysis of verbal behavior and the implications in the practice of behavior analysis. 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

Upon completion of all required coursework:

PSY9919 *
Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

This course includes an overview of the comprehensive examination process, the university’s expectations of academic honesty and integrity, the three core themes of the examination, and the evaluation criteria. The courseroom mentor provides three questions addressing the core themes and learners write answers to the comprehensive examination questions. Answers are evaluated by faculty readers using pointscale scoring rubrics. Upon passing the comprehensive examination, learners are eligible to register for the first dissertation course. Grading for this course is S/NS. Prerequisite(s): Completion of all required and elective coursework with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better. Completion of practicum courses, if applicable. Fulfillment of all residency requirements. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

Learners must register for PSY9960 a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements.

PSY9960 *
Dissertation Courseroom

This course provides learners with resources, guidance, and peer and mentor support during each dissertation course as they complete the required milestones. Grading for this course is S/NS. Learners must register for this course a minimum of four times to fulfill their specialization requirements. Prerequisite(s): PSY9919. Cannot be fulfilled by transfer.

3 quarter credits

 

 

Three Elective Courses

 

 

15 quarter credits

Choose three from the following courses:

PSY6010
Human Prenatal Development

This course provides learners with an overview of prenatal and postnatal development through the first three months of life. Learners analyze genetic and reproductive technology and articulate its impact on families and society. Learners review and demonstrate their knowledge of the stages of prenatal development (embryonic and fetal), focusing specifically on brain development and fetal life. In addition, learners examine various prenatal illnesses and physical problems resulting from birth complications. The course presents research, theory, and best practices related to promoting healthy newborn and infant development.

5 quarter credits
PSY6020 *
Topics in Child and Adolescent Development

Learners in this course critically evaluate and apply theory and research to child and adolescent development issues and current topics. Learners analyze the impact of policy and legislation in areas such as education, health, mental health, the military, media, and the economy on child and adolescent developmental outcomes and advocate for issues related to policy and legislation that improve the lives of children and adolescents. Prerequisite(s): PSY6010; PSY7220 or PSY7230.

5 quarter credits
PSY7220
Child Psychology

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of the developmental stages of children from the prenatal period to adolescence. Learners examine how children develop physically, emotionally, socially, and cognitively, and evaluate and articulate the influences of family, society, and culture on child and adolescent development. Learners also assess children’s evolving needs and apply theory and research to recommend appropriate responses to those needs.

5 quarter credits
PSY7230
Adolescent Psychology

In this course, learners gain and apply knowledge of the developmental stages from early adolescence to emerging adulthood. Learners evaluate and articulate the physical, psychosocial, emotional, sexual, moral, and cognitive changes associated with adolescent development and examine the ways in which adolescent development is influenced by family, society, and culture. Learners also assess the evolving needs of adolescents and apply theory and research in order to recommend appropriate responses to those needs.

5 quarter credits
PSY7422
Motivation

In this course, learners study major motivation theories, principles, and research findings in order to understand the complexities of motivational processes. Learners then use examples of motivational processes as applied in educational settings to propose ways of facilitating motivation within those settings. Learners also examine the role their beliefs, cognitions, emotions, and values play in achievement situations.

5 quarter credits
PSY7610
Tests and Measurements

This course focuses on essential concepts, principles, applications, and social and theoretical issues of psychological testing. Learners gain understanding in the construction of tests; analyze the development and use of tests in measuring aptitudes, achievement, attitudes, interests, and personality; and identify underlying theories of various tests. Learners analyze the characteristics desired in psychological and educational tests, with particular emphasis on reliability and validity, and examine best practices and professional standards for educational and psychological testing, including test bias and fairness. In addition, learners study the role of technology in delivery, administration, scoring, and interpretation of tests.

5 quarter credits
PSY8150
Exceptional Children in the Classroom

In this course, learners examine different disabling conditions in children and adolescents and study their theoretical perspectives, characteristics, etiology, assessment, and remediation. Learners also explore recent trends in the field, research-based interventions, and the predominant special education law that impacts the practice of school psychology.

5 quarter credits
PSY8610
Principles of Health Psychology

Learners in this course examine behavioral and biomedical theory and research in order to gain an understanding of the contributions of psychological factors to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease and illness. Learners evaluate research design and the role of research in health psychology and consider the effect of the patient-physician relationship, the importance of interprofessional work, and theories that predict health behaviors. In particular, learners define and explore adherence and psychoneuroimmunology, examine behavior related to the diseases of cancer and hypertension, assess treatment recommendations, and identify coping strategies for the patient and family. In addition, learners investigate prevention and wellness in the contexts of intentional and unintentional injuries and discuss health, life expectancy, and quality of life.

5 quarter credits
PSY8711
Principles of Industrial/Organizational Psychology

In this course, learners identify and confirm theories and research of industrial/organizational psychology. Learners examine and explain the various psychological constructs affecting individuals, groups, teams, and organizations in the workplace and assess diversity and ethical principles as they relate to decisionmaking processes. Learners also evaluate the differences between industrial and organizational psychology and implement various assessment methods, models, and interventions applicable across workplace settings.

5 quarter credits
PSY8730
Consultation Psychology

Learners in this course evaluate current theories of psychological consultation and analyze the variety of roles and interventions that engage psychological consultants in an applied setting. Learners examine psychological consultants’ contributions to clinical, educational, industrial, and organizational settings and demonstrate the competencies required to evaluate and conduct psychological consultative services through applied case work, practice, and self-appraisal. Other course topics include consultation ethics, models of consultation research, and the dynamics of the consultant-client relationship.

5 quarter credits
PSY8763 *
Program Evaluation

This course provides an examination of the theories, techniques, methods, and processes of program evaluation. Learners synthesize knowledge and skills gained from prior course work to design a program evaluation, plan its implementation, and communicate the results in appropriate and effective formats. Prerequisite(s): PSY7864.

5 quarter credits
PSY8840 *
Principles of Sport Psychology

Learners in this course apply psychological theories to explain and improve sport performance. Learners evaluate the implications of new research for professional practice in sport psychology and explore the ways in which they can meet the unique needs of diverse participants through customized coaching strategies. In particular, learners examine personality, attention, anxiety, arousal and arousal adjustment strategies, cognitive-behavioral intervention, causal attribution, motivation, and self confidence. Prerequisite(s): PSY7411.

5 quarter credits

 

 

Total

 

 

At least 104 quarter credits

* Denotes courses that have prerequisite(s). Refer to the descriptions for further details.

Please note that some courses within this program have prerequisites that are not listed as required courses, which may increase the total number of courses needed to complete this program.

Residency Requirements

To support your academic and professional success, residencies provide learning and community-building experiences in a stimulating scholarly environment. For this specialization, you must complete three four-day residencies as part of the dissertation research seminars (PSY-R8925, PSY-R8926, PSY-R8927).

What can I expect?

Each unit consists of readings, discussions, and other activities you will be expected to complete throughout the week. Assignments are due on Sundays, though not every course requires an assignment each week.

In each course, you will receive a detailed scoring guide that describes expectations for every graded assignment.

Grades are based on your participation in weekly reading discussions and completion of assignments. You will also be assessed on your ability to demonstrate an understanding of expected outcomes for your program or specialization. These outcomes are based on the needs and performance standards of your field or discipline.

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Transfer Credits

There are many ways to reduce tuition costs, including transferring credits which can help save time and money. You can transfer up to 25 credits into this specialization.

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PhD in Behavior Analysis Online Degree Program | Courses - Capella University

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