A BCBA®-Related Graduate Certificate with a Course Sequence Verified by ABAI®
The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate Program (non-degree) is an online certificate designed to prepare special educators, professionals in psychology and behavior analysts with knowledge and skills in the area of ABA. Because this coursework is an Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) verified course sequence, those who complete this ABA certificate will fulfill the coursework requirements to take the examination for certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts® (BCBA).
This UNC certificate involves a blend of special education & school psychology coursework, including...
- Concepts and foundations of applied behavior analysis
- Measurement and experimental design
- Identifying functions or problem behavior
- Designing, implementing and evaluating interventions
- Behavior change systems
- Management and supervision
- Application of applied behavior analysis through the lifespan, including individuals with cultural and linguistic diversity, autism, traumatic brain injury and extremely challenging behaviors.
A Rewarding Career Path in an Area of Great Need
There are a number of children and youth with behavior challenges in today’s schools and communities, resulting in a significant need for professionals trained to address these challenges. Behavior Analysts, typically trained in psychology and/or education, work in schools, homes and the community to assess children’s behavior problems (often related to developmental disabilities), develop behavioral interventions and measure the outcomes of interventions. Despite the need for Behavior Analysts, related positions go unfilled due to the unavailability of qualified candidates.
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) has established international credentialing standards, such as the BCBA role, for professionals who work with individuals who present challenging behaviors. The credential allows for Autism-related applications as well as work with general school populations, employee and organizational behavior applications, and individual practice for needs in the home environment.
This Certificate Can Be Combined With a Degree Program
The BACB organization requires that BCBA applicants have earned at least a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education or psychology.
- If you have not earned a master's degree in those fields, you may be interested in our Special Education MA - Intervention Specialist: Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis which includes all of the ABA Certificate coursework and fulfills the requirement above.
- If you have already earned a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology, you may take this as a standalone certificate or combine it with an Educational Specialist degree, an additional Master of Arts degree, or a doctorate program. The UNC degrees listed below support the ABA coursework.
Master's Degrees with ABA Emphasis
- Special Education MA: Generalist Emphasis – delivered on-campus (Greeley) and online
- Special Education MA – Intervention Specialist: ABA Emphasis – Delivered online
EdS & PhD Degrees with ABA Emphasis
Time to Completion:
Delivery Option & Start Term:
Online program: start Fall or Spring term
The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate Program from UNC is an sequence of six courses. This online program has been designed to fit around your schedule, with an accelerated delivery that lets you focus on one course at a time. Each term you will take two courses back-to-back, with 8-week sessions in the Fall and Spring and 6-week sessions in the Summer.
An optional orientation will be offered on-campus in Greeley, Colorado.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements (see below) before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.
Required Courses (21 Credit Hours)
To see the upcoming courses, visit this program's Current Students page.
The ABAI-verified content hours by category are listed after each course.
- EDSE 630 Applied Behavior Analysis I (3) – 30 hours in Identification & Assessment; 10 hours in Intervention & Behavior Change Considerations
- EDSE 632 Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 45 hours in Ethical & Professional Conduct
- EDSE 633 Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 10 hours in Behavior Change Systems; 10 hours in Implementation, Management & Supervision; 30 hours Discretionary
- SPSY 627 Philosophical Underpinnings of Applied Behavior Analysis (2)
- SPSY 628 Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 45 hours in Concepts & Principles of Behavior Analysis
- SPSY 629 Measurement and Experimental Design in Applied Behavior Analysis (3) – 25 hours in Measurement (including Data Analysis); 20 hours in Experimental Design
- SPSY 631 Applied Behavior Analysis II (4) – 45 hours in Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change & Specific Behavior Change Procedures
Additional Requirements by the BACB® For Your BCBA Credential
The Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) is an organization that credentials behavior analysts who have...
- Completed an ABAI-verified course sequence such as this one;
- Accrued sufficient field experience hours [To qualify at the BCBA level, the BACB requires supervisees to complete 1,500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis] and;
- Demonstrated proficiency in the field via the BCBA examination. UNC will provide simulated exams and other student exam preparation tools for all students. Note: pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six 1st-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their 1st four years of operation.
- Please note: BCBA applicants must have completed a graduate degree in behavior analysis, education or psychology at the time they sit for the exam.
For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.