Western Education's  EdD | Field of Applied Behaviour Analysis

You’re a catalyst for change. You make a real impact. Now, elevate your expertise with Western University’s Doctor of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).

This unique EdD program, the first of its kind in Ontario, seamlessly integrates your professional experience as an ABA practitioner with a robust academic curriculum, allowing you to address complex, real-world problems in behaviour analysis. Over three years, through 11 sequential, fully online half courses, and a final Dissertation-in-Practice, you will hone your skills to lead and innovate in the field.

What sets this program apart is its cohort model. You will embark on this journey alongside a select group of approximately 20 students, fostering a community of practice that enriches learning and broadens your professional network. This format ensures deep collaboration and sustained support throughout your studies and beyond.

Prepare to advance as a leader in academia, consultation, program direction, or as a private practitioner. With this degree, students can apply for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst – Doctoral (r) (BCBA-D (r)); some students might be eligible with a qualifying Dissertation in Practice.

Join us at Western University and transform your professional path in Applied Behaviour Analysis, where your leadership and influence will shape the future of this dynamic field.

Western Education’s EdD program prepares students for leadership roles in the field of applied behaviour analysis. Our course programming emphasizes practices that empower students with behaviour-analytic leadership across different domains and populations.  

Behaviour-Analytic Approach to Leadership

Real-world application

Study online

Finish in three years

Carlyn Tancioco

What I like about my EdD program is the diversity of my cohort. I love engaging in rich and fulsome dialogue with my classmates from different professions and industries.

Carlyn Tancioco, Graduate 2021

Beyond the program details


See the How to Apply application information pages for updates about admission requirements and space availability. 

Applicants are required to submit a Statement of Intent, 3 letters of recommendation (from academic and/or professional supervisors, or equivalent), transcripts, a Writing Sample, and a current resume or CV. Please review the links to additional information about the Statement of Intent and the Writing Sample before submitting an application to the EdD Program.  

For admission to the EdD in Applied Behaviour Analysis Program, successful applicants typically have

  • Master's degree in applied behaviour analysis, psychology, education, and/or related fields* 
  • Candidates must be Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) or eligible to sit for the BCBA exam, or have a record of coursework and research experience in behaviour analysis.
  • Minimum GPA of 3.5. Typically, an "A" standing (80%) or equivalent in previous graduate work.
  • Minimum three years of work experience in Applied Behaviour Analysis, such as in schools, private practice, or clinical programs in agencies.  
  • A commitment to advancing the scholarship and practice of ABA is demonstrated in the Statement of Intent. 
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must furnish evidence of their proficiency in the use of the English language. For more information go to the requirements and deadlines section of the How to Apply  

*Please note: If your Master’s Degree was your Program of Initial Teacher Education which certified you to teach in the K-12 system, it is considered equivalent to a Bachelor of Education, rather than a graduate degree. This type of Master’s is not eligible for admission to the EdD Program.


Program information is subject to change. Full-time tuition amounts are set each year by Senate and then published on the Office of the Registrar's Fees Schedules web page. Full-time fees are paid per term (Fall, Winter, Summer) not by course.

For questions about fees, including how to pay fees and the methods of payment that are accepted, students should go to the Student Financial Services pages of the Office of the Registrar's web site or contact Student Financial Services (Office of the Registrar) at 519-661-2100.


The Faculty of Education recognizes the financial commitment required to pursue professional graduate studies.

Since the majority of our programs are fully online, we offer students flexible learning that allows them to fund their education by remaining in their current employment. Some employers offer subsidization or time release opportunities for the professional learning of their employees. As a result, internal funding is not available for these programs.

There are also many external funding opportunities for competitive candidates in our professional programs. For an additional list of other external awards, see more information below. Also, visit online sites that contain numerous award opportunities.

Please note that students must apply for these awards individually. Read the qualifications carefully, and contact the award provider for more criteria and award information.

Many private financial institutions offer financing options (with particular rates and payment plans) to full-time students. Please contact a representative of your preferred financial institution for more information.

Provincial governments offer a variety of loan programs to help students finance their studies. Ontario residents may be eligible to apply for OSAP.

The Government of Canada's CanLearn website provides a listing of contact information for the offices of all government student financial assistance programs. Please visit CanLearn to find your province or territory listing. The Government of Canada implemented the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) to encourage higher education and training. The LLP allows you to withdraw up to $10,000 a year from your registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance training or education for you or your spouse or common-law partner. For further information on this plan, visit the government's Lifelong Learning Plan.


Fully online professional programs provide students with synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities. 

Online courses are available via the OWL platform. Your Western University login and password are required to access the course (your Western email without the @uwo.ca and its accompanying password). Access to OWL can be found here: https://owl.uwo.ca/portal. Access to a course in OWL is typically opened the first business day of each term. Please note that although your own access may be granted prior to the first business day, course content may not be posted until closer to the scheduled course start.

For online courses, students are required to have access to the following:

  • High speed Internet access
  • Access to a computer that enables connection to outside websites (flexible firewall restrictions)
  • Multimedia playback capabilities (video/audio)
  • WebCam
  • Computer capable of running a recent version of Internet Explorer, Safari, or Firefox; and/or Cisco MOVI client for PC or Mac
  • Audio headset and microphone for computer

Program Information


The EdD in Applied Behaviour Analysis is designed to enhance both professional knowledge and expertise in the field of behaviour analysis. The program is structured to prepare students as scientist-practitioner leaders, including but not limited to roles such as educators, administrators, researchers, and experts in developing, implementing, analyzing, and evaluating programs from a behaviour-analytic perspective.   


The EdD program is composed of 33 credits of sequential, fully online courses and a final Dissertation in Practice secondary research project. Course and program work takes place year-round, typically allowing students to complete the program in three years. (Exceptions include parental leave, etc.)

This program values the knowledge and experience that students bring to this course-based program, and actively seeks to apply what students learn in coursework to their professional practice.

To promote effective adult and online learning, the EdD program prioritizes teamwork, collaboration, and networking within and beyond the program. Students in this program may expect regular group activities, peer-to-peer learning, and synchronous (live remote) instructional sessions.

This program of study is organized as a cohort model. Approximately 20 students will form each cohort. This cohort structure provides ongoing support within the course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.


The EdD in Applied Behaviour Analysis is well-suited for individuals who are interested in learning the knowledge and applications of behaviour analysis in leadership, collaboration, management, administration, supervision, program evaluation, community relations, and recruitment in organizations.   

Please note that the EdD degree alone does not qualify you to teach in the K-12 school system in Canada. 


The primary objective of the EdD in Applied Behaviour Analysis is to prepare thoughtful, reflective, and capable professionals. The program is committed to ensuring excellence in research, clinical, and leadership skills, to prepare students for leadership roles in the field.

The program's concentration on Applied Behaviour Analysis in education exposes students to emerging issues, philosophical foundations, organizational systems analysis, ethical practice in a social justice framework, teaching practices, research methods, and experiential learning via their coursework to cutting edge research and emphasizes the application of theory to practice. Students are encouraged to apply their research and theoretical knowledge in their professional roles.


The EdD is designated as a full-time program. Full-time status requires that students complete four half-courses in one year. Students complete the equivalent of 11 half courses during the program. This is a full time, three-year program of study, which requires significant demands on students’ time. It is common for students to spend 15-20 hours or more every week on their EdD studies, throughout the year. Applicants must be prepared to meet these demands should they be accepted into the EdD Program. Continuous enrollment is a requirement until all program requirements are met. Full-time students have access to all student services. See SGPS (Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies) for details.


Cohort Model

This program of study is unique due to its cohort model for course progression. Approximately 20 students are admitted to each cohort. This cohort structure provides ongoing support throughout course work, enabling students to develop a professional community of practice. To ensure the integrity of the cohort model, continuous enrollment is required, and will necessitate that students complete all the required courses within the timeframe stipulated.

Student Engagement

Students engage in learning together through regular synchronous learning sessions over platforms such as zoom, and through peer discussions, presentations, and collaborative peer review opportunities. Additional asynchronous learning involves individual reflective practices, assignment completion, and scholarly reading and writing.

Course Progression 

Students progress through 11 half courses over 9 full terms, for 3 years.

Year 1 - Students complete one half course (0.5) in Fall term (12 weeks in length), one half Course (0.5) in Winter term (12 weeks), and 2 half courses (0.5) in the Summer term (eight weeks sequentially).  

Year 2 - Students complete one half course in Fall (12 weeks in length), one half course in Winter (12 weeks) and 2 half courses (0.5) in the Summer term (eight weeks sequentially).  

Year 3 - Students complete one course in Fall (12 weeks in length), one course in Winter (12 weeks). The Dissertation in Practice is submitted and evaluated in the final summer term. Continuous enrollment is required during all terms until completion. 


EdD Applied Behaviour Analysis Course Descriptions

Dissertation in Practice

The Dissertation in Practice (DiP) is the final milestone in the EdD program. In the EdD Applied Behaviour Analysis, the Dissertation in Practice is designed to enhance professional learning and to deepen understanding of practical issues in educational and professional settings. The DiP is a scholarly project that aims to identify and solve a practical problem the students encountered at work with the goal to change the practice.   

EdD students engage in evaluating and assessing the broad implications of understanding and applying educational knowledge to particular educational contexts, and they engage in and reflect on the scholarship of the production, legitimation, and mobilization of knowledge.

Students who complete this Dissertation in Practice will:

  • Engage in significant learning, which goes beyond simply incorporating new information into previously existing schemata (e.g., challenges students’ beliefs and assumptions to such an extent that they commit to arguments not previously considered);
  • Share in learning that can make a productive and positive impact on practice (i.e., driven by an authentic Problem of Practice and used by practicing professionals) through various forms of systematic review; and
  • Manage a variety of forms of information and diverse venues of communication (e.g., publications and other forums for communication).

Program Distinctiveness

There are many reasons why Western Education’s Doctor of Education in Applied Behaviour Analysis is distinctive among doctoral programs in Canada. Here are our top reasons!

  • Practice-focused for the good of society – At the highest level, our program focuses on areas of study that make positive change in education for the goal of achieving a more just and equitable society.
  • Work improvement and career advancement – Graduates will be qualified for a variety of formal and informal professional roles in various public or private contexts.
  • Best in value – Current fees make this program among the least expensive fully online EdD programs in Canada, especially among Tier I Canadian universities.
  • Personalized learning opportunities – Enjoy highly-tailored learning, researching, and problematizing that focuses on identifying a real-time concern or issue at work affecting your professional practice.
  • Fully online coursework, yet highly collaborative program – Our online delivery offers highly engaging distance learning opportunities, including regular synchronous meetings. Collaboration and networking are key to the success of students in our program, and our cohort model guarantees plenty of opportunities for interaction with peers. We use technology in thoughtful ways to improve student learning, while developing your technology skills as well! 
  • Engaged faculty – Learn from a diverse range of faculty members with considerable research and practice experience in many areas of equity, diversity, social justice, and human rights.
  • Comprehensive student support – Expert resources are available to support students with their academic writing and other learning needs, all at a distance.
  • High levels of student retention – Since 2013, our EdD programs have 90% student retention rate.
  • Opportunities through consortium membership with the Carnegie Project for the Education Doctorate, a knowledge forum on the EdD designed to increase rigorous as well as program applicability for working professionals. We are one of two Canadian members of CPED, and can guarantee a distinctive degree that is deeply influenced by evidence-based design principles.

Faculty Members

Program Manager

  • Phillipa Myers

Program Coordinator

Faculty Members