The Behavior Analysis specialization at Utah State University provides students the opportunity to earn a PhD in psychology with a focus on investigating variables that influence human and nonhuman behavior. The doctoral program with a specialization in Behavior Analysis provides students a solid understanding of conceptual, translational, basic and applied domains of behavior analysis. The specialization promotes an interdisciplinary and translational approach to behavior analysis. The PhD track prepares students to conduct laboratory and translational research, preparing them to pursue academic and research careers, whereas the PhD + Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) track prepares students to become scientist-practitioners who can work in research institutions and practice in a variety of clinical settings (e.g., hospitals, private practice).
Students receive hands-on training in laboratory research and/or clinical settings. They also receive instruction and mentorship from exemplary faculty with interests in decision making, impulsivity, resurgence, and treatment integrity and adherence.
Students accepted into either track of the Behavior Analysis specialization doctoral program receive tuition awards and assistantship stipends. Learn more about applying to this specialization and how students are funded.
Reasons to Choose Our Specialization
Acquire Grant-Writing Skills. You will learn to ask important questions and design studies to advance scientific knowledge. Importantly, you will acquire the skills needed to fund your research after you leave Utah State University. These grant-writing skills will allow you to sustain your own research line as you pursue your career.
Breadth of Coursework Opportunities. You will have a wide-variety of coursework options in modern theories of learning, statistical analyses, experimental design, translational research, and applied behavior analysis. Courses are taught by influential researchers who stay abreast of, and contribute to the cutting-edge advances in their respective fields. You will participate in weekly graduate seminar meetings at which students and specialization faculty discuss contemporary research articles. Resulting in new basic and translational research projects.
Contribution to the Literature. You will conduct experiments and/or interventions while in the graduate program that will contribute to the scientific literature of behavior analysis. Students frequently present posters and talks at conferences, as well as publish articles in peer-reviewed journals. Students often publish 10 or more articles during their time in our graduate program.
Interdisciplinary and Translational Research. You will have the opportunity to learn and conduct research in an environment that facilitates the translation of research to everyday problems. The translational implications of these research projects extend to areas like substance abuse, treatment relapse, behavior interventions, and healthy eating.
Benefits. Your tuition is fully covered* and you will be awarded an assistantship with a monthly stipend. Assistantships include research and teaching experiences, allowing you to expand your academic skillset. More information about student support including health insurance is available here. (*on an approved program of study)
- Practical and academic training in human and nonhuman experimental analysis of behavior
- Cirriculum tailored to student interests
- Dissertation project
- Graduates typically pursue academic and research appointments
PhD with BCBA
- Training in experimental and applied behavior analysis
- Completion of an ABAI verified course sequence (VCS)
- Thesis & dissertation projects
- Satisfies requirements for Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) licensure/certification
- Several years of a part-time clinical practicum
- Employed primarily as scientist-practitioners in research institutions and clinical settings
Behavior Analysis Faculty and Lab Pages
The Behavioral Economics Lab at Utah State University explores how human and nonhuman behavior may be positively influenced through curated environmental design.
The Shahan lab focuses on quantitative analyses of conditioning and learning.
The CB lab is engaged in collaborative and independent research projects that span across basic and applied domains of behavior analysis. We aim to improve outcomes for children and their families through research, teaching, and outreach.
- Dr. Paul Cunningham (class of 2019) is the 2021 recipient of the APA Division 3 Early Career Contribution Award.
- Dr. Paul Cunningham (class of 2019) is the 2021 recipient of the APA Division 25 SEAB Basic Dissertation Award.
- Dr. Meredith Berry (class of 2012) is the 2021 recipient of the APA Division 25 B.F. Skinner Foundation New Basic Researcher Award.
- Dr. Andrew Craig (class of 2017) was the 2020 recipient of the APA Division 25 B.F. Skinner Foundation New Basic Researcher Award.
- Dr. Jillian Rung (class of 2018) was the 2019 recipient of the APA Division 25 SEAB Basic Dissertation Award.
- Dr. Margaret Sweeney (class of 2016) was the 2019 recipient of the APA Division 25 B.F. Skinner Foundation New Basic Researcher Award.
- Dr. Margaret Sweeney (class of 2016) was the 2015 recipient of the APA Division 25 SEAB Basic Dissertation Award.
- Dr. Ryan Ward (class of 2008) was the 2012 receipient of the APA Division 25 B.F. Skinner Foundation New Basic Researcher Award.
- Dr. Christopher Polesnik (class of 2008) was the 2011 receipient of the APA Division 25 B.F. Skinner Foundation New Basic Researcher Award.
- Dr. Ryan Ward (class of 2008) was the 2009 receipient of the APA Division 25 SEAB Basic Dissertation Award.