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Behavior Analysis

Mission Statement/Training Philosophy

The Behavior Analysis training area uses a scientist-practitioner model to inform its educational goals. Our curriculum cuts across basic and applied research, and considers principles that influence the behavior of humans and non-humans in laboratory and applied settings.

Through lectures and laboratory courses, students develop an understanding of behavior theory and competence in the methodological and technical issues of experimental research. Advanced seminars, informal student-faculty discussions, individual research projects, and field placements provide further training in theory and experimental design. Requirements include courses in learning processes, research design, statistics, ethics and five additional areas of psychology. Students must also satisfy an experience requirement.

The current research interests of the faculty include topics such as training of children with autism and other developmental disabilities, categorization and concept formation, language acquisition, affective behavior, behavioral assessment, human and animal timing, pattern recognition, stimulus control, behavioral community psychology, education and, organizational behavior management, behavior-based safety, impulsivity, drug addiction and neural mechanisms of learning and motivation, and college level equivalence based instruction. Students have the opportunity to work with faculty in their research laboratories on topics such as these.

Basic research training is conducted in departmental facilities that include modern research equipment and laboratories for studying human and animal behavior. For students who pursue applied interests, the subprogram arranges field placements for research and training purposes. Placements are available in areas that specialize in the treatment and habilitation of individuals with learning disabilities and autism, as well as in business/industrial settings. At some of these sites, stipends are available to support some of our students.

The depth and breadth of training provided by our program ensures competence in research methodology and the principles of behavior analysis in the field and in the basic research laboratory, regardless of a students’ primary interest. Indeed, this is a unique aspect of the BA training area that differentiates it from other doctoral programs in behavior analysis. Thus, our program is widely known and respected as a top-tier training venue in the field of behavior analysis. Owing to its reputation among professionals in the field, it attracts students nationally and internationally, and has been used as a model for other recently developed doctoral programs in behavior analysis here and abroad.

Our program uses a mentorship model in which a student is accepted into a particular research laboratory, but may work in many laboratories during his or her tenure in the program, Given a students’ active research involvement, faculty and students publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals, and are strongly represented at major national and international conferences and organizations. Faculty members also serve on the editorial boards of major behavioral journals.

At present, the Behavior Analysis program is accredited in behavior analysis by the Association for Behavior Analysis and is license-eligible for New York State. Its curriculum is recognized as licensure-qualifying by New York State, and is pre-approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. Owing to the currently ongoing restructuring of the Psychology Doctoral Program at CUNY, the BA Training area is taking steps to determine how to maintain these professional credentials within the new program structure.

Notice to Applicants & Candidates. Services restricted to New York State licensed professionals, including licensed psychologists, cannot be rendered by program students or graduates unless: (a) they are licensed in New York State to provide such services, or (b) they provide those services in an exempt setting as salaried employees.