4 Autism Studies Programs at MSIs

by Aisha Bowen

April is known as National Autism Awareness Month. Thus, today’s Monday Morning MSI Line Up highlights 4 MSIs with dynamic Applied Behavior Analysis studies programs.

Autism is a developmental disability that, depending on the severity, can cause

  • “delayed learning of language;
  • “difficulty making eye contact or holding a conversation;
  • “difficulty with executive functioning, which relates to reasoning and planning;
  • “narrow, intense interests; and poor motor skills and sensory sensitivities” (SOURCE).

While 1 in 68 children live with autism in the U.S., there are significant disparities in diagnosis and treatment of children of color who have autism. In fact, new research has shown that regressive autism—which affects a child’s language and social skills—is twice as common for Black children versus their white counterparts (SOURCE). Applied Behavior Analysis is the field of study that those interested in finding solutions for these children go into.

1) California State University, Sacramento (AANAPISI)—Sacramento, CA


California State University, Sacramento offers a M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis that focuses on teaching students how to think deeply about a person’s behavioral processes and how these processes are affected by certain disorders. The program prepares for the BACB (Behavior Analysis Certification Board) exams through its rigorous coursework. Faculty of this program specialize in field such as Autism treatment, Pediatric Behavioral Problems, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and even Parent and Teacher training.


2) Savannah State University (HBCU)—Savannah, GA



Savannah State University is one of the few HBCUs in the country that offers a B.S. in Behavior Analysis to its undergraduate students. The career centered program has four main career concentration tracks for students: 1) Developmental Disabilities and Autism, 2) Education and Special Education, 3) Clinical and Counseling  and 4) Business and Industry. Read more about what these concentrations entail, HERE!


3) CUNY Queens College (AANAPISI)—Queens, NY

Queens College

Queens College currently offers an M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis. This program’s mission is to provide students with the proper training needed to become certified behavior analysis in the State of New York. As such, the program “meets the educational competence requirements” needed for students to pursue that certification. The new scheme for this program includes classes centered on “Psychology of Learning,” and “Autism Treatment”.



4) California State University, Northridge (AANAPISI)—Northridge, CA

Cal State Northridge


Cal State University—Northridge’s M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis program is within the University’s Department of Psychology. This two year program provides the proper training necessary for students to earn their degree, sit for the “Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)” exams,and pursue doctoral studies in ABA. This program is unique because it teaches students essential skills when working in the field with children on the Autism spectrum such as “how to conduct thorough behavioral assessments, implement and monitor evidence-based interventions, and consult with parents, caregivers and school personnel while adhering to the profession’s ethical guidelines.”



Do you know of any other MSIs studying autism? Share in the comments below!

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