An Intervention Specialist Master's Degree with an ABAI®-Verified Course Sequence

The Special Education Master of Arts – Intervention Specialist: Applied Behavior Analysis Emphasis program prepares educators with knowledge and skills in the area of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and leadership, for preparation to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) exam.

This Special Education Program Blends in School Psychology Coursework

Learning outcomes include...

  • Concepts and foundations of applied behavior analysis
  • Measurement and experimental design
  • Identifying functions or problem behavior
  • Designing, implementing and evaluating interventions
  • Behavior change systems
  • Ethics
  • 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.

Includes an ABAI-Verified Course Sequence

This graduate program prepares educators to become leaders in schools and communities in the area of applied behavior analysis. Because the ABA coursework is an Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) verified course sequence, those who complete this emphasis will fulfill the coursework and graduate degree requirements to take the examination for certification as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA).

ABAI approved course sequence logo

Checkmark over books icon to highlight the program details tabs below

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.

Required Coursework (31 Credit Hours)

To see a typical list of courses by term, visit an example Current Students page for this program.

Core Intervention Specialist Courses (12 Credit Hours)

Applied Behavioral Analysis Emphasis Coursework (19 Credit Hours)

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.

The ABAI-verified content hours by category are listed after each course.


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 - UNC can provide some support for supervision hours for master's students to contribute to this requirement] 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.

More information about BCBA certification requirements.


For full details, see the official program listing in the UNC Graduate Catalog.

— Jump Back "Up" to the Program Information Tabs 

Get Started/Apply

Additional Resources