Behavior Analysis - Legacy Program

This is a legacy training area and has been merged with Clinical Psychology at Queens College.  Prospective students interested in this area should go here.

Behavior Analysis is a training area for students who are interested in (a) the applications of behavior analysis to the solution of societal problems (for example, working in an agency serving children or adults with a developmental disability, in industrial settings that address issues of behavioral safety, or equivalence-based college level instruction); (b) basic research (for example, temporal control of behavior in pigeons and humans, equivalence class formation in humans, or the neuro-chemical substrates of addiction), or (c) both. Students are provided a firm foundation in the principles and practice of behavior analysis with courses that focus on the experimental and applied analysis of human and animal behavior, including behavioral neuroscience, and behavioral pharmacology.

Emily Jones, Associate Professor
Behavior Analysis Training Area Coordinator
Phone: 718-997-3206

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.

Sample Path to Degree
Year 1
Level 1
Select Advisory committee
Submit Predissertation research proposal to committee
ABA 1 theory/ABA 1 Practicum
ABA 2 theory/ABA 2 Practicum
Developmental Disabilities (72001 or72002)
Year 2
Complete predissertation project
Statistical Methods 1
Statistical Methods 2
Cognitive Psychology
Behavioral Neuroscience
Research Methods
Year 3
First doctoral exam
Advance to level 2
Defend predissertation project
Propose Major Area Paper
Practice requirement: Teaching or Practicum (73004)
Scientific Writing
Developmental Disabilities/Behavior Analysis (72001, 72002, 72003, or72004)
Social Psychology
Theories of Association
Year 4
Complete Major Area Paper
Propose Dissertation project
Begin dissertation project
Practice requirement: Teaching or Practicum (73004)
Second doctoral exam
File Topic Proposal
File Dissertation proposal
History of Psychology
Developmental Disabilities/Behavior Analysis (72001, 72002, 72003, or72004)
Stimulus Control
Year 5 Goals
Advance to level 3
Select outside readers
Complete dissertation project
Defend dissertation
Deposit dissertation
Year 6
Deadline for all program requirements

Required Courses*

Behavior Analysis (All required):

• 73000 Learning
• 73007 Theories of Association
• 73200 Motivation and Reinforcement
• Three additional research courses in Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis (e.g., 73001, 73002, 73100, 73703; 73900)
• 83100 Scientific Inference in Writing

Biological Basis of Behavior (Minimum of one):

• 70804 Proseminar in Physiological Psychology
• 71000 Advanced Physiological Psychology 1
• 70820 Neurophysiology

Cognitive-Affective Basis (Minimum of one):

• 73000 Learning
• 73200 Motivation and Reinforcement
• 73007 Theories of Association
• 73703 Categorization and Concept formation
• 73800 Cognitive Psychology
• 71100 Neural bases of cognition, affect, and emotion

Social Basis:

• 74600 Social psychology

Individual Differences (Minimum of one):

• 72000 Developmental Psychology
• 72001 Developmental Disabilities 1
• 72002 Developmental Disabilities 2
• 72004 Behavior Analysis of Child Development


• 76000 Psychometrics


• 70000 History of Psychology

Research Design, Methodology, and Statistics:

70310 and two statistics courses are required. The minimum acceptable grade for these courses is B-.

• 70310 Research Design
• 70500 Statistical Methods 1
• 70600 Statistical Methods 2
• 78000 Quantitative Methods


• 77100 Ethical and Legal Issues for Psychologists (3 credits required)

Child Abuse:

• All students are required to attend a 2-hour New York State approved seminar on Child Abuse Prevention and Reporting, and to present proof of attendance to the program secretary by the end of the first semester in residence. A copy of the certificate of completion of the seminar becomes a permanent part of the student's record in his/her file Students should retain the original certificate for presentation in the “Ethics” course, and for future application for licensure in New York State.

Elective Courses

Elective courses are selected by the student in consultation with his or her mentor or committee. Selection of courses should be guided by the student's specialized interests. Consideration should also be given to available specialized tracks including Board Certified Behavior Analysis Examination, and New York State Licensure.

Practice of Psychology Requirement

All students in the Learning Processes and Behavior Analysis Subprogram must meet a two-semester Practice of Psychology Requirement by taking one of the following supervised practica and/or other options:

• 73004 Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis
• 70330 Research Practicum
• College level teaching
• Subprogram-sponsored internships in Applied Behavior Analysis

*Note: This curriculum is currently under revision.

First Doctoral Examination

At the successful completion (i.e., passing) of the first doctoral exam, the student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate breadth of knowledge in at least three substantive content areas by taking three courses in areas other than behavior analysis
  2. demonstrate the ability to write a coherent scientific discourse in one or more areas of research related to the training area in a course in Scientific Writing and Inference
  3. produce at least one major written work relating to research in learning and behavior analysis.

Second Doctoral Examination

The primary goal of the Second Doctoral Examination is to determine whether the student has mastered the relevant research literature and acquired an understanding of the research skills needed for proceeding towards the dissertation research in an oral examination with the student’s three-person committee.
At the successful completion (i.e., passing) of the second doctoral exam the student will be able to:

  1. demonstrate their depth of knowledge of the core phenomena in learning and behavior analysis through oral discourse with an examination committee of experts
  2. demonstrate the ability to respond to critical questions regarding the relationship between behavioral phenomena and concepts in behavior analysis with in-depth conceptual analysis and critical thinking.

Doctoral Dissertation
In order to have successfully completed the dissertation the student will have

  1. demonstrated expertise in and knowledge of the area in a literature review pertaining to the dissertation topic.
  2. designed an experimental approach to a significant, unresolved research problem in learning and behavior analysis.
  3. identified and initiated a research design appropriate to that approach, including critical controls.
  4. mastered the methodologies required for data collection.
  5. organized and presented the research data effectively in both oral and written forms.
  6. effectively defended the dissertation and displayed an understanding of the current state of research in areas cognate to the dissertation topic.