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Graduate Catalog 2016/2017

Applied Behavior Analysis (APB)

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
CIP Code: 42.2814
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences (BC)
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Bachelor's Degree): 95
Total Minimum Program Hours Required (Post Masters Degree): 54

Contact Information:
College of Behavioral and Community Sciences
Child and Family Studies Department (CFS)
13301 Bruce B. Downs Blvd MHC2113A
Tampa FL  33612

Program Director or Coordinator:
Raymond Miltenberger
Phone: 813-974-5079


Faculty Search: Behavioral and Community Sciences Faculty List

Program Information

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is widely regarded as the most research-based intervention for individuals with autism. ABA is an applied science and a profession that provides services to meet the diverse needs of individuals. The emphasis of the ABA doctoral program is on the development of behavior analysts who are scientist-practitioners. Students graduating from the program will receive training through coursework and research and practice activities with community partners.

Major Research Areas:ABA, Applied Behavior Analysis, autism, behavior, behavior analysis, behavior management, behavioral intervention, children, developmental disabilities, experimental analysis of behavior, functional assessment, positive behavior support.

Accreditation Information:

Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of College and Schools.


Admissions Information

Admission Deadlines

There is an established University deadline for the submission of admission application materials. Programs may have earlier deadlines than the University deadline. The deadlines reflected below are the earliest of the two deadlines. Graduate Programs may continue to accept and process applications after the published deadline if space exists within the program. Check with the Program for availability.

Application Deadline (domestic application)

Fall: December 5
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

International Students

Foreign applicants who are outside the U.S. are required to apply for a visa. Depending on the country of origin, this may take a few months. So the deadlines for these international applicants may be earlier than the Program deadline and these applicants must apply prior to both deadlines. They are strongly encouraged to apply as early as possible. Foreign applicants who are in the U.S. and are currently on a visa may use the domestic application deadline dates. In addition to meeting the published application deadline for the Program of interest, all immigration documents should be submitted as soon as possible, but must be on file at USF no later than the following processing deadlines:

Fall: December 5
Spring: ---
Summer: ---

Admission Requirements

You must comply with general University policies and meet general University Admission requirements in addition to those listed below.

Must meet University requirements (see Graduate Admissions) as well as requirements listed below.

Program Admission Requirements

  • Masters degree in behavior analysis or related field with strong behavior analysis content
  • Minimum 3.50 GPA in a masters program
  • GRE required, preferred scores of:
    • Verbal 40% or above
    • Quantitative 40% or above
    • Analytical 40% or above
  • Research experiences and expertise
  • Three strong letters of recommendation
  • Campus visit and interview with ABA faculty members
  • Personal statement describing experience and accomplishments in ABA, future goals, and reasons for applying
  • CV
Students entering the doctoral program with their master's degree are expected to have completed:
  • 18 credit hours of didactic coursework in behavior analysis in the following areas: Basic behavioral principles (3 credits), research methods (3 credits), conceptual foundation s(3 credits), applied behavior analysis (6 credits), and ethics (3 credits)
  • An accepted master's thesis, and
  • 10 hours of practicum seminar.
Students lacking in any of these prerequisites will be required to take classes in the doctoral program to cover the missing prerequisites.

Admissions Status: Apply


Program Degree Requirements

Total Minimum Hours54 (Post-Master's)




 Experimental Analysis of Behavior I3
 Experimental Analysis of Behavior II3
 Research Methods II3
 College Teaching Seminar3
Conceptual Foundations chose from:3
6xxx Behavior Theory 
7xxx Verbal Behavior 
7xxx Seminar on Skinner's Writings 
7xxx Relational Frame Theory 


Elective courses in two areas of applied behavior analysis or other areas that complement the student's interests
7xxx Applied behavior analysis
Unrestricted content
Independent Research15 hours
15 credit hours of independent research are required.
Qualifying Exam
  • Successful completion of two literature review papers (approved by the student's advisor and the program director)
  • Passing score on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board Certification Exam (Students who do not pass the exam may take the exam a second time)
Dissertation18 credit hours
MHS 798018
The dissertation will consist of original research designed and conducted by the student under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The student will assemble a dissertation committee consisting of the adviser and three other faculty members (see Graduate School policy on Doctoral Committees for more details)
  • Completion of a dissertation proposal accepted by the dissertation committee
  • Successful defense of the dissertation proposal before the committee
  • Successful completion of the research
  • Successful completion of a dissertation manuscript accepted by the dissertation committee
  • Successful defense of the dissertation research before the committee

College Degree Requirements

Refer to the College Section of theGraduate Catalog for College requirements and information.


USF Degree Requirements

See USF Degree Requirements —


Financial Assistance

Financial Aid

Fellowships & Scholarships

Graduate Assistantships


Registration Process

First, contact your graduate program advisor for guidance courses to register for. Obtain any electronic course permit if necessary. Register for the new student orientation online at Then go to the link to OASIS, USF's on-line registration system to register for your classes. Follow the directions given on-line.

To access online course materials, students must have a USF NetID (e-mail account). Please visit: to obtain your NetID.

New students, including those studying online, may obtain a USFCard. Please visit: to obtain your USFCard.

Tuition and fees: Fees are determined by the level of the course. Please visit Cash Accounting, Controller's Office, for information on tuition and fees.


Graduate Course Information

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