Jul 12, 2024  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Applied Behavior Analysis (Doctor of Philosophy)

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The Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis is a research-based program of study designed to prepare students for teaching at the university level and/or for work as scientist-practitioners involving business and industry, developmental disabilities (including autism), education, and public policy.

The program requires a minimum of 60 semester hours and is designed to be completed in a minimum of three years. Applicants must have completed a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis or the equivalent. A minimum of 30 hours of coursework, as well as a minimum of 24 hours of research and dissertation credit hours (6 credits of Research Immersion, 3 credits of Research Project, 3 credits of Research Tools, and 12 credits of Dissertation), and 6 credits of other requirements (3 credits of Clinical Immersion, 3 credits for Qualifying Examination), are required for graduation. 

The Ph.D. program will be offered simultaneously in a synchronous online format, affording students living outside of the Greater Boston area the opportunity to complete the program. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Behavior Analysis (Ph.D.) Program Mission

The mission of the Ph.D. program in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College is to train researchers, scientist-practitioners, and university faculty in the discovery, translation, and application of newly acquired knowledge regarding the science of human behavior toward solving socially-significant problems of human behavior and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991).

Applied Behavior Analysis is a profession devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. What sets Applied Behavior Analysis apart from many other professions is a focus on objectively defining and measuring the behavior under question, while demonstrating a reliable relationship between the procedures employed and the behavioral improvements gained, utilizing methods of science, including description, quantification, and analysis. The “attitudes of science” upon which Applied Behavior Analysis is based include:
     • Determinism,
     • Empiricism,
     • Parsimony,
     • Scientific Manipulation, and
     • Philosophical Doubt

The course of study will focus on educating students as researchers, applying the Scientist-Practitioner Model, also called the Boulder Model (Davison, 1998), in the discovery, translation, and application of newly acquired knowledge toward solving socially significant problems of human behavior. The Scientist-Practitioner Model is a training model for graduate programs that aspires to prepare students within a foundation of research and scientific practice.

Following the lead of the mission of Endicott College, the Ph.D. program in Applied Behavior Analysis adopts the college’s philosophy of a “concept of applied learning, which has been the hallmark of Endicott. Linking classroom and off-campus work experience through required internships remains the most distinguishing feature of the College.” The Department of Applied Behavior Analysis has a vision for the total development of the individual within a community that fosters an appreciation of diversity, international awareness, community service, and moral and ethical values. Also, like Endicott, the department programs value the need for “common threads to run through the fabric of the Endicott experience: increased self-confidence, stronger professional skills and technological competencies, and perhaps the most valued of all, lives open to change.” The goal is for the departmental Doctoral students to serve as a resource to the individuals served in these settings by systematically identifying and solving the problems faced by their caregivers in an empirical/research based approach.

Program Format

The Ph.D. program integrates technology across the curriculum. The courses will be delivered through a synchronous online model. This model appeals to busy professionals and those living outside the Greater Boston area seeking a rigorous doctoral educational experience in a convenient and modern format.

Courses are offered during three semesters (fall, spring and summer). Students are required to enroll in two courses in fall, spring, and summer semesters for the first year, and for a combination of research credits and courses for year two, followed by dissertation and other degree requirements in year three. Students who have not completed the program by the end of their third year must register for dissertation credits in all subsequent semesters, up to seven-year maximum, until completion of all degree requirements. 

The Academic Program

Qualifying Examinations

Prior to the end of the student’s second year (or the completion of 36 credits), the student will complete three four-hour qualifying examinations prepared by his or her doctoral committee. The student, in consultation with his or her advisor and dissertation committee, will define the other two areas of study, as needed. As an alternative for one exam, the student can publish, in a peer-reviewed journal, a first-authored research article. Additional waivers are available for a second examination.

     Baer, D.M., Montrose, M.W., & Risely, T.R. (1968). Some current dimensions of applied behavior analysis. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
     Davidson, G.C. (1998). Being Bolder with Boulder model. The challenge of education and training in empirically supported treatments. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66(1), 163-167.
     Sulzer, B. & Mayer, R.G. (1991). Behavior analysis for lasting change. New York; Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 

Application Requirements

Doctoral applicants are required to have earned a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. Candidates for the doctoral program must apply to Endicott College using the online application found at endicott.edu/admission/information-for-graduate-students/apply. General application requirements for all doctoral programs include submission of:

  • Official transcripts of all post-secondary academic work sent directly from the institution(s) including confirmation of undergraduate degree, date confirmed, and any other graduate work;
  • Non-refundable $50.00 application fee (check made payable to Endicott College, cash or online) Application fee waived for veteran and military students;
  • Current resume and/or curriculum vitae;
  • Official copy of scores from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE);OR Official copy of scores from the Miller Analogies Test (MAT);
  • Three letters of recommendations. Recommendations should address scholarly potential;
  • Personal Statement: An original 6-10 page (double-spaced, 12 pt. font) personal statement should address the following questions.
    • 1. What relevant knowledge, skills, and experiences will you contribute to your doctoral study?
    • 2. In what ways will doctoral study support your academic, professional and/or personal goals?
    • 3. What would be your ideal apprenticeship and why?
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for all students whose native language is not English; minimum score of 550 (pa- per-based) or 79 (iBT) is required. Endicott also accepts an IELTS score of 6.0 or better.
  • Writing Sample: In addition to the personal statement, doctoral applicants are asked to submit a short paper (limit 10 pages), double-spaced, in APA format, responding to the following question: What are the most critical challenges facing Behavior Analysts today?

    • The writing sample will be evaluated for evidence of: thoughtful analysis, ability to develop main points and support claims, focus and organization, academic style, use of sentence variety and vocabulary to convey meaning clearly, control of sentence structure, language, grammar and punctuation;

  • An admission interview is required of all candidates, which will be scheduled after application review

Conditional Admission to the ABA Doctoral Program
A student may be conditionally admitted to the ABA Doctoral Program at the Program Director’s discretion. A student is eligible for conditional admission for the following reasons:

  • A student needs additional time to complete admissions requirements. Students seeking conditional admission for this reason should have completed the online program application, paid the application fee and submitted a substantial majority of the required application documentation.
  • It is determined by the program director that a prospective student must demonstrate the ability to succeed in the program prior to full acceptance

Students requesting conditional admission are first required to speak with the ABA program director. The director’s written approval is required for conditional admission. Once approved by the ABA program director, a conditionally admitted student may take either one or two courses as determined by the Director during their first semester in the program. Conditional admission is offered to allow a conditionally admitted student to take courses only in the ABA doctoral program.

Conditional admission is valid for a student’s first semester only. If a student has taken one or two courses in the ABA doctoral program as a non-degree student as allowed by Endicott College policy he or she is not eligible for conditional admission.

A student who is conditionally admitted must complete all requirements of the ABA doctoral admission process. No admissions requirements for candidates for the ABA doctoral program may be waived for conditionally admitted students. If a conditionally admitted student does not complete the admissions requirements stipulated by the Van Loan School Academic Catalog within their first semester in the program, the student will not be allowed to register for future classes until such requirements are completed in full.

A student granted conditional admission is not guaranteed admission to the ABA Doctoral Program. In all other respects conditionally admitted ABA doctoral students are required to adhere to policies that are in effect for traditionally admitted ABA doctoral students.

International Applicants for Graduate Admission
Endicott College welcomes and encourages applicants from around the world. International applicants are required to hold a college or university degree equivalent to a four-year American baccalaureate degree. Educational documents in a foreign language are required to be translated into English. All transcripts and translations of transcripts must be official originals and must show courses completed, grades received, grading scale, duration of study, degree or diploma received, and the date conferred. Endicott College reserves the right to request verification of the credentials by an external agency.

International applicants must submit current TOEFL scores when their native language is not English or when their baccalaureate transcript is not from an institution where English is the language of instruction. Once students have been admitted as degree candidates, Endicott College will send detailed instructions about the process for acquiring an Endicott-sponsored student visa.

Program of Study

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will: 

  • Organizes the knowledge, principles, and skills of Applied Behavior Analysis in the conduct of problem-oriented research
  • Formulate research questions that are in keeping with a problem-oriented model
  • Design problem-oriented research projects to provide evidence-based solutions to socially significant problems
  • Demonstrate skill in planning curriculum and instruction, delivering effective instruction, managing classroom climate, promoting equality and meeting professional standards
  • Analyze and compare previous research solutions to topics within the scope of Applied Behavior Analysis

Required Curriculum

Total Degree Requirements - 60 credits

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