Behavior Analysis

Program Coordinator: Sherry Serdikoff, Ph.D., BCBA-D, CP

Faculty: Dorothy Gardner-Martin, Ph.D.

               Katherine Stewart, Ph.D, BCBA

               Kimberly Frame, Ed.D., BCBA


Program Description

What is Behavior Analysis

Careers in Behavior Analysis

Behavior Analysis Coursework

Get More Involved

Frequently Asked Questions

Additional Information & Related Organizations


Program Description

The behavior analysis program offers training to undergraduate students in the scientific study of human and animal behavior. It takes an interdisciplinary approach to teach the basic concepts and principles of behavior analysis. Students will learn to analyze the way in which behavior changes as a function of its interaction with the surrounding environment.

One aim of the program is train undergraduate students to think as a behavior analyst. They will learn to differentiate between environmental and behavioral events. The program places particular interest in teaching functional analysis. Accordingly, students will learn how behavior functions to produce or remove environmental consequences. Similarly, students will learn how the environment functions to guide and maintain behavior in different settings.

Defining, recording, analyzing, and representing behavioral data are some of the skills that student will learn in the behavior analysis program. Students will also receive training in writing research protocols, scientific papers, and articles according the guidelines of the American Psychological Association.   


What is Behavior Analysis?

Behavior analysis is the scientific study of the relationship between the environment and human and animal behavior. Behavior analysts operate from the assumption that behavior is a function of environmental variables and typically research the rules governing this relationship (i.e., principles of behavior) and apply what they have learned to address behavioral issues (i.e., applied behavior analysis). Behavior analysts work to address a variety of social issues, including working with academic behavior, individuals with autism or developmental disabilities, health behavior, organizational and business issues, psychopharmacology, etc.


Careers in Behavior Analysis

Behavior analysis offers a number of different opportunities and careers. Behavior analysts generally work in basic research, applied research, or in the field addressing social issues. Basic research typically involves animals or humans and is done in a university or college environment. Applied research typically involves addressing socially important issues in a controlled environment. Applied work is usually done in people's homes, schools, community organizations, or businesses. Many behavior analysts become board certified in order to practice in the community, and the behavior analysis program at Savannah State University offers all of the courses needed to meet the requirements to sit for the Associates level (BCaBA) certification exam. For more information please see

Many behavior analysts will do a combination of research and applied work. Some behavior analysts become academic faculty at colleges and universities where they teach behavior analysis in addition to research and work in the community. Whether doing research or working in the community, individuals in behavior analysis may work in any (or a combination) of the following areas:

Behavior Analysis Coursework

To complete the Bachelor's of Science degree in behavior analysis, students are required to complete 120 hours of general core courses, major core courses, and major electives. The Behavior Analysis Grid provides an outline of all requirements for the degree and should be completed by students each semester to ensure students are on track for graduation. The Major Coursework Requirements and Plan of Study outlines the specific requirements for the major and provides a sample plan of study for students planning to complete the degree within four years. Finally, the Minor Coursework Requirements (i.e. 15 credit hours) are also included for students that wish to minor in behavior analysis.

Get More Involved In Behavior Analysis

There are many ways to get more involved in behavior analysis as a student at Savannah State University. Many of the faculty offer opportunities to assist with research projects or provide opportunities to do applied work as an intern in the community. In addition, there is also a Behavior Analysis Student Association (BASA) that offers students the chance to get to know other students in the major, do projects in the community, network with professionals in the field through invited speakers and attending conferences, and participate in behavior analytic events.


Frequently Asked Questions

How is behavior analysis related to psychology?

Will I still be able to be a counselor or therapist with a degree in behavior analysis instead of psychology?

What degree do I need to have a career in behavior analysis?

What kind of job can I get with a degree in behavior analysis?


Additional Information and Related Organizations