PhD Program

The PhD program in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) provides doctoral students with opportunities to (a) learn advanced theory, application, and critical thinking relating to research and practice in behaviour analysis, (b) gain practical experiences in assessment and intervention planning, oversight, and supervision, and (c) undertake rigorous empirical research and scholarship. The program is offered full-time, primarily in person.   


ABA is a branch of the science of behaviour that involves a systematic approach to analyzing behaviour and solving practical problems to improve the human condition. ABA-based interventions have been empirically shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of problems related to ASD, DD, ABI, child problem behaviour, youth anti-social behaviour, parenting, substance abuse, mental health issues, dementia, occupational health and safety, organizational management, sport, among many other areas. Applied behaviour analysts have developed numerous techniques and treatment approaches for analyzing and changing behaviour, and ultimately, to improve lives. ABA is a rapidly growing field in Ontario as well as nationally and internationally. Increased training opportunities have not led to market saturation; instead, employment prospects and demand continue to increase. With the forthcoming regulation of behaviour analysts (ACT to be proclaimed July 1, 2024), there is an immediate need for doctoral-level Behaviour Analysts.

Program Features


  • Research work includes an empirical dissertation. Dissertations are supervised by a primary academic advisor, two faculty members associated with the program, an external examiner, and an internal examiner. Our small student-to-faculty ratio results in close mentorship.
  • Many PhD students collaborate with their primary academic advisor, other department faculty members, and other graduate students on additional research projects to enhance the breadth and depth of their research repertoires.
  • Our PhD students are actively involved in research and dissemination, including presentations at national and international academic conferences, and publications in top-tier peer-reviewed journals.


  • Students will complete 6 one-term seminar-based courses on: advanced research methods, verbal behavior, experimental analysis of behavior, advanced behavioral assessment and treatment, and two electives. Students will complete 4 two-term experiential learning practica. Finally, students will complete a two-term professional seminar each year of the program, two comprehensive examinations, and one dissertation.


  • Opportunities for teaching can include teaching assistantships (TA). TAs help plan and lead seminars, grade assignments and exams, and mentor undergraduate students in small-group and one-on-one settings. TAs may also provide support for graduate courses. Additional instructional opportunities may be available as students progress through the program.
  • Additional teaching opportunities may take the form of mentoring master’s and undergraduate student’s practical and research training.

Tuition & Funding

  • Tuition information can be found here.
  • Graduate fellowship funding information can be found here.
  • Opportunities for grants and scholarships within and outside of the University can be found here.

Completion and Careers

  • The PhD program is designed to be completed within 4 years
  • Students develop market-ready transferable skills in several areas, including research design and implementation, data analysis, teaching, communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.
  • PhD graduates have the potential to pursue academic careers as well as professional careers in public policy/administration, program evaluation, clinical supervision, behavioral consultation, and more!