Master's of Education degree in APPLIED BEHAVIORAL STUDIES


The 1-year, 33-hour fast-track Master's in Applied Behavioral Studies (ABS) has a two-fold purpose: The program uniquely prepares professionals for careers in community and social services to support and improve the lives of people in business and the community in settings such as mental health facilities, government, business & industry, and organizational contexts. This program has been approved by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to meet educational requirements to become a Certified Behavioral Health Case Manager. In addition, the master’s serves as a prerequisite for those interested in pursuing a clinical career in the allied health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). See Professional Counseling (i.e., this 33-credit hour program, plus five more courses) for this credential. 

Examples of those who might be interested in this degree would include workers in mental health, human development, consulting, teaching, adult learning, human resources, training & development, human services, and student personnel and as preparation for becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

The program is designed for fall admission and is "fast-track" in that most of the courses are offered in a once-per-week, 8-week session. Each 3 credit hour course requires a one-weekend seminar while the 4 credit hour courses will require more. This allows full-time students beginning in the fall to finish in one year and part-time students beginning in the fall to finish in two years. Some summer course work is required. The full-time student will take two courses at a time, and the part-time student takes one course at a time. Because of this unique structure, students may have to attend some classes on days when the university is otherwise closed. Special fees apply to a few classes. 

Curriculum will address a practitioner-wellness and human services model. Because the program is two-fold for preparing careers in social services and for professional counseling, the program adopts an experiential philosophy to develop personal awareness and creativity from a bio-psycho-social perspective across the lifespan. As such, a student’s effectiveness becomes a product, in part, of his/her creativity, personal, and cultural awareness. It is expected that students not only desire, but intend to pursue the inspection of their own personal identity, growth, and development--both inside and outside the classroom--as an integral part of their graduate studies at OCU. 

[OCU is the state's only top 25 Western Master's Level Institution. (see U.S. News & World Report). The program is offered by the Petree College of Arts and Sciences]

Fall-1st 8 weeks
ABS 5713   Counseling Theories
ABS 6813   Human Development

Fall-2nd 8 weeks
ABS 6903   Research Methods
ABS 5314   Assessment I

Spring-1st 8 weeks
ABS 5703   Behavior Pathology
ABS 5503   Addictions

Spring-2nd 8 weeks

ABS 5363   Counseling Children & Adolescents
ABS 6975   Professional Orientation/Ethics

ABS 6743   Group Process
ABS 5813   Career Development

[* curriculum/sequence subject to change; part-time plan of study also available]


Near completion of the 33 hour M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies, students will be evaluated and must "advance to candidacy" in order to continue study toward the Professional Counseling concentration (for those seeking the LPC). This requires grades of at least 3.0 in each course as well as demonstrating a high degree of professionalism, writing ability, ethical behavior, a non-combative, non-abrasive attitude on campus with faculty and students, and a disposition deemed suitable by the faculty. An oral candidacy interview may also be requested.

If a student's grade point average (GPA) falls below a 3.0 before or after candidacy, he/she will be placed on academic probation with one semester to raise the GPA to 3.0 or higher. Students entering on probation must raise their ABS GPA to at least a 3.0 within the next 9 semester hours taken. A student placed on probation twice may disqualify him/her from continuation. Only one course grade in the C range is acceptable. Under no circumstances is a grade below the C range acceptable.

 QUALIFICATIONS & ADMISSIONS  (see Graduate Catalog for any other requirements)

  • An earned bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education (or its foreign equivalent recognized by the country in which its degree is granted).
  • Minimum undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Students may be admitted on probation, at the discretion of the program director, with a cumulative GPA of 2.750-2.990.
  • Official transcripts from all academic institutions attended.
  • Submission of an official record of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) taken within the past five years and received directly from the Educational Testing Service (ETS).
    • [This requirement is waived for applicants possessing a graduate degree or having a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.25 or higher]
    • (General test only--Subject test not needed. No minimum cut-off score required--used as one of many evaluative criteria). 
    • [GRE website works best in Internet Explorer]
  • Ability to communicate (both written and oral) proficiently in the English language.
  • 2 satisfactory recommendation letters (from faculty)--sent to Admissions. If the bachelor's degree is more than 5 years old, a significant sample of former scholarship can be submitted in lieu of an instructor's letter. In this case, the other letter can be from a supervisory person of employment.
  • Submission of transcripts from all institutions, reflecting all course work taken.
  • A personality/disposition deemed suitable for the helping and crisis intervention disciplines.
  • An interview may be requested.
  • Deadline for completed applications is exactly two weeks prior to the beginning of the semester (please inquire if the deadline has been extended).

    [Students whose native language is other than English must demonstrate proof of English language proficiency. Applicants must achieve a score of at least 80 on the internet-based TOEFL, 550 on the international paper-based TOEFL, or an overall IELTS score of 6.0 with at least 5.5 on each band score. The requirements may also be met by completing level 112 of the intensive program at an ELS language center]

    Email Dr. Bryan Farha (Director)

    Telephone: (405) 208-5387 (Dr. Farha)
    Toll-free: (800) 633-7242 (Admissions)


  • Job Outlook: Mental Health Counseling to Grow "much faster than average"
  • The Need for Mental Health Workers (CDC Fact Sheet)
  • Education Pays in Higher Earnings and Lower Unemployment Rates
  • Differences in Women's Earnings by Educational Level