Main Content

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

Behavior Analysis and Therapy Specialization

New concentration available Fall 2024 - Apply now

The Behavior Analysis and Therapy concentration focuses on using proven learning principles to help people with various needs related to development, psychology, social issues, or medical conditions. Graduates are equipped to assess individual needs, help them develop skills, evaluate interventions, and teach other service providers assessment, training, and evaluation techniques.

The Ph.D. program follows a mentorship model, preparing students for careers in academia and research. To enter the Ph.D. program, students should have sufficient graduate training for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam, or they may need to complete additional coursework in the program.

Features of the BAT Ph.D.

  • Basic and Applied Research: We have both a fully equipped basic laboratory and an on-campus autism clinic that provide excellent research opportunities for students in basic and applied realms. We are one of the few programs to offer basic research opportunities with non-humans.

  • Research Training: We operate on a junior colleague mentor system; students may choose to work primarily with one faculty member. Students are expected to present research at conferences and to become involved in the publication process.

  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts: Students will have opportunities to complete their BCBA hours during the program. After that students will be expected to supervise other BCBA students.

  • Scientist-Practitioner Model: We adhere to the Boulder scientist-practitioner model that equally emphasizes clinical and research training.

  • Teaching: Advanced students (those who have completed an M.S.) will become instructors of record under the supervision of a faculty member.

  • Financial Assistance: We offer substantial support, guaranteed to all first-year students and historically available throughout a student’s four years on campus. Students in good standing can anticipate receiving a stipend and a tuition waiver, and all students complete training assignments as teaching or research assistants or in an externship.

  • Beautiful Environment: This is our state’s best kept secret. Southern Illinois is a lovely and affordable area surrounded by forests, lakes, and canyons. There are many options for boating, camping, hiking, and biking, and there are a growing number of breweries and wineries scattered throughout the region. Students from all over the country report having a high quality of life and a low cost of living in Carbondale with convenient access to St. Louis, MO and Nashville, TN, each just 2 and 3 hours away, respectively.

Application Process

Successful applicants to the BAT PhD program typically have an undergraduate GPA of 3.25. GRE scores are required for consideration. Beyond grades, a well-rounded application emphasizes proficiency in relevant courses, such as research methods, statistics, and science-oriented subjects. Demonstrating prior experience in experimental laboratories further strengthens the case for readiness for graduate-level research.

A strong application will include hands-on involvement with experimental methods, be it basic or applied behavior analysis, and working with diverse populations like rats, children, or adults aligned with the applicant's area of interest. Letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with the applicant's work play a crucial role in evaluating skills, experience, and preparedness for advanced graduate studies.

Application Deadlines

Priority Deadline: 12/1/2023

  • Interviews will be conducted in January 2024, with a decision by the end of January 2024.

Final Deadline: 2/1/2024

  • Interviews will be conducted in February/March 2024, with a decision by the end of March 2024.
School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences | College of Health and Human Sciences | 618-536-2301 |