Post-Master's Coursework in Behavior Analysis

The Department of Psychology at Shippensburg University is pleased to offer graduate level coursework in behavior analysis at the Dixon University Center in Harrisburg, PA beginning Summer 2018. All courses will be taught by board-certified behavior analysts with clinical experience, and this course sequence has been officially approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board.

Courses are designed for: 

  • Individuals who have earned Master’s degrees in Psychology or Special Education, leading to certification in behavior analysis*
  • Working professionals - All courses will be offered in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • You can complete all 6 courses within just 1 year.

Please note: Certification in behavior analysis requires a supervised field work component in addition to coursework. Shippensburg University does not provide the opportunity for supervised field work for Post-Master’s students. For additional information on these requirements, visit

Summer 2018

PSY 518: Introduction to Behavior Analysis | 5-Week Course: Tuesday, May 29 to Thursday, June 28
A study of the principles of respondent conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning, as well as the application of these principles as a means to modify behavior through the following techniques: Desensitization, counter-conditioning, extinction, stimulus control processes, reinforcement, punishment, modeling.

PSY 536: Behavioral Research and Ethics | 5-Week Course: Tuesday, July 24 to Thursday, August 23
A study of two related topics necessary for the development of competency in developing and implementing behavioral interventions. The first is single-case research design, which is the primary research design utilized for applied research in behavior analysis as well as implementation of interventions to treat behavioral deficits and excesses in the practice of applied behavior analysis. The second topic is the code of ethics developed by the field for research in and the practice of applied behavior analysis.

PSY 595: Ethics in Behavior Analysis | 8-Week Course: Tuesday, August 28 to Thursday, October 18
This course will focus on the ethical considerations necessary when undertaking behavioral assessment and treatment procedures in applied settings such as schools and group homes. The course will be a seminar, with discussion and role play of situations in which ethics must be evaluated and applied. Guidelines for conducting ethical behavioral research and the potential impact on treatment goals will also be discussed.

Fall 2018

PSY 535: Behavioral Assessment | 8-Week Course: Tuesday, October 23 to Thursday, December 13
A study of the conceptual background and practical application of behavioral assessment techniques. The focus will not be on the diagnosis of a particular form of psychopathology, but rather on the function a particular behavior or set of behaviors is serving. Methods ranging from interviews with parents and direct care staff to the experimental analysis of function will be discussed, with emphasis on the idea that once function has been identified, it will be possible to design a behavioral intervention to treat a behavioral excess based on its function(s), and thus, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of behavioral treatment.

Spring 2019

PSY 543: Behavioral Treatment & Systems Support | 8-Week Course: January 2019 Start
A study of the conceptual background and practical application of behavioral treatment techniques. With behavioral excesses, it is essential to determine the function that the behavior or set of behaviors is serving via behavioral assessment. Then, a functional treatment can be created to decrease excesses, which will be more effective and less restrictive than treatment that ignores function. Treatments to increase existing deficits in behavior will also be considered. Finally, considerations with regard to support of behavioral interventions within different settings (home, school, etc.) will be examined, including ethical considerations.

PSY 512: Theories of Learning | 8-Week Course: March 2019 Start
Examines the explanations of human learning processes offered by various behavioral and cognitive theorists. Classical and contemporary theories and applications are presented dealing with topics such as conditioning, motivation, memory, and problem solving.

Contacts & Program Support

For general information, assistance registering, payment, or course schedule, contact:

The Office of Professional, Continuing, and Distance Education Studies (PCDE)

Phone: (717) 477-1502 | Email:    

For questions about course content and workplace applicability, contact:

Dr. Kathryn Potoczak, BCBA-D, Associate Professor


Learn more about Ship's Dept. of Psychology