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:
• 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.
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
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.