The Masters of Science in Psychology, MFT concentration in the Behavior Analysis track adheres to the Scientist-Practitioner Model. Our graduate program reflects the balanced integration of theory, research, and practice inherent to the behavior analytic approach. We train our students to:

  • Apply critical thought to practice
  • To ensure that their clinical work is informed by the research base of empirically-validated treatments
  • To evaluate client progress frequently

More specifically, the mission of our Masters in Psychology in the Behavior Analysis track is to provide students with a solid grounding in the theoretical underpinnings of Behavior Analysis. This theoretical understanding is closely correlated with supervised experiences using applied and experimental techniques. Our overall purpose is to train individuals with a high skill level who will, in turn, work to benefit the larger community.

Unique features

The California State University, Stanislaus M.S. in Psychology, MFT concentration, Behavior Analysis track:

  • The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
    • PSYC 5025 - Research Methods in Behavior Analysis 3 units
    • PSYC 5055 - Foundations of Behavior Analysis 3 units
    • PSYC 5090 - Behavioral Assessment 3 units
    • PSYC 5750 - Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis 4 units
    • PSYC 5870 - Behavior Analysis of Personnel Supervision 3 units
    • PSYC 5640 - Conceptual Issues Behavior Analysis 3 units
    • PSYC 5080 - Legal and Ethical Issues 3 units
  • Provides an unusual balance of knowledge in theoretical, applied, and experimental domains
  • Arranges for close mentoring by Faculty who represent the spectrum of Behavior Analysis

Goals for our students

  • Be well-versed in the theoretical and philosophical aspects of the analysis of behavior
  • Have a variety of hands-on experience applying the principles, techniques, and methodologies of behavior analysis
  • Have a well-developed understanding of legal and ethical concerns regarding the application of behavioral principles and clinical intervention
  • Be prepared for professional careers in Behavior Analysis as Certified Behavior Analysts and Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)

Training model & mentoring practices

The M.S. in Psychology degree in the Behavior Analysis track at California State University, Stanislaus is structured to provide a continuum of learning experiences to ensure that students acquire beginning professional competencies.

We practice what we preach. Student mastery is enhanced by the systematic use of study guides, frequent assessment and feedback, behavioral rehearsals, etc.

As students master content, they are then provided with opportunities to demonstrate these competencies in closely supervised settings and other practicum classes.

More Information

Minimum Prerequisites for Admission to the MS in Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis:

A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and completion of the concentration prerequisites, with a grade of B- or better or completion of a course in Introductory Psychology, completion of the concentration prerequisites with a minimum of 16 upper-division semester units in Psychology with a grade of B- or better with course content acceptable to the Psychology Graduate Committee.

  • Behavior Analysis concentration prerequisites:
  • One upper-division course in Experimental Psychology (PSYC 3000)
  • One upper-division introductory course on Learning Theory (PSYC 3700 or 4720)
  • One upper-division introductory course in Abnormal Psychology (PSYC 3350)
  • One upper-division introductory course in Counseling Theory (PSYC 3790)
  • One upper-division introductory course in Counseling Techniques (PSYC 4770)

MS:BA Requirements (61 units minimum)

  1. Complete the appropriate 61 or more units or their equivalent.
  2. Complete the 36 core units listed in the Basic Requirements Section as well as the 25 units listed for the concentration to which they have been admitted.

Note: Some modification to the following stated requirements may be made to accommodate California educational requirements for the Marriage and Family Therapist License, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, and other program changes.

Basic Requirements

(36 units)

  • PSYC 5080 - Legal and Ethical Issues in Psychology and Counseling
  • PSYC 5140 - Applied Psychopharmacology
  • PSYC 5160 - Multicultural and Developmental Perspectives in Counseling
  • PSYC 5360 - Seminar in Clinical Psychopathology
  • PSYC 5650 - Child Clinical Interventions
  • PSYC 5690 - Counseling Sexual Problems
  • PSYC 5740 - Community Counseling Interventions
  • PSYC 5770 - Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency Counseling
  • PSYC 5780 - Advanced Counseling
  • PSYC 5860 - Trauma and Domestic Violence Interventions
  • PSYC 5905 - Client Advocacy Practicum
  • PSYC 5990 - Master's Thesis
  • Note: Once students complete all other coursework, they must be continually enrolled in at least one thesis unit (either PSYC 5990 or PSYC 7005).

Concentration in Behavior Analysis

(25 units)

  • PSYC 5025 - Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 5055 - Foundations of Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 5090 - Behavioral Assessment
  • PSYC 5150 - Clinical Interventions with Families and Individuals
  • PSYC 5640 - Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 5750 - Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PSYC 5930 - Practicum in Behavior Analysis (Must be repeated for a total of 6 units. Students may take PSYC 5910 in place of PSYC 5930 for one of the two required semesters.)

Prerequisites for the M.S. Psychology Degree with a Concentration in Behavior Analysis*

  1. Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minimum 3.0 GPA
  2. Undergraduate coursework (each with a grade of B or better) in:
    • Learning or Behavior Analysis
    • Research Methods
    • Abnormal Psychology
    • Counseling Theory
    • Counseling Techniques
    • Human Development
  3. Satisfactory writing performance. (The Graduate Record Exam is no longer required.)
  4. Prior knowledge or training in behavior analysis

*These are suggested minimum requirements, but admittance in the program is decided on a combination of these factors in addition to experience, personal statements, reference letters and interviews.

Application is now fully online handled through CalStateApply. Click here for more information.

Our graduates are highly sought after by employers because of their unique backgrounds, skill levels, and eligibility for licensure and certification. While some graduates go on to complete Ph.D. programs, many are practicing Marriage & Family Therapists (MFTs) and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Students find employment in a wide variety of applied settings, under diverse titles:

  • private practice
  • animal research
  • foster care agencies
  • juvenile halls
  • therapeutic group homes
  • school sites
  • behavior specialists
  • junior college-level faculty
  • community mental health agencies
  • corporate program managers and consultants

Local and state-wide agencies which have employed our graduates include:

  • Applied Behavior Consultants
  • Behavior Analysts, Inc.
  • Center for Human Services
  • Central Valley Autism Project (CVAP)
  • Creative Alternatives
  • Howard Training Center
  • Sierra Vista Children's Center
  • The Bridge (Multi-Cultural)
  • Stanislaus County Department of Education
  • Stanislaus County Department of Mental Health
  • Therapeutic Pathways
  • Turlock Unified School District
  • Valley Mountain Regional Center


Practicum guidelines follow those of the State of California for a MFT certified program. Graduate students receive weekly supervision both at their practicum site and on campus. Students must complete 225 hours of direct client contact over two semesters. In addition, some students are able to complete some or all of the supervised hours during practica and other applied experiences that are also required for BCBA certification.

Some selected practicum sites:

Behavioral Intervention Services (BIS) Sierra Vista Children's Center Stanislaus County Department of Mental Health Center for Human Services Delta Project (Services for DD children & adults)


Course content of the M.S. Psychology Program in Behavior Analysis meets the educational requirements portion of the process to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.


The M.S. Psychology Program in Behavior Analysis is meets the educational reuirements for the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Successful graduates are qualified to pursue licensure for the California Marriage and Family Therapist license (MFT).

Updated: October 13, 2023