|ABA Therapist and Autism
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Autism Therapist
Applied behavior analysis professionals provide behavior modification and autism therapy services. They will have bachelor's or master's degrees in applied behavior analysis or related fields such as child development, occupational therapy, psychology, etc. In addition to licensing and other required credentials for their specific field, therapists should earn a certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). The BACB's certifications include Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). Along with education, training, and experience, employers and clients will usually require the BCBA or BCaBA certifications.
The need for qualified ABA professionals remains strong. In a 2012 report, the CDC announced that Autism prevalence continues to grow with 1 in 88 children in the U.S. being diagnosed with Autism. Based on a "comparison of 2008 findings with those for earlier surveillance years indicated an increase in estimated ASD prevalence of 23% when the 2008 data were compared with the data for 2006." It is now the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the country.
The current and foreseeable need for behavior analysis professionals is so strong that the BACB announced in early 2012 that it is development a new credential called the "Registered Behavior Technician" or "RBT". These will be qualified front-line staffers who assist BCBAs and BCaBAs. The BACB is currently in the process of developing this credential.
Applied Behavior Analysis Overview
Applied Behavior Analysis Applications
What Applied Behavior Analysts Do
Preparing for A Career in Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis Salary
Applied Behavior Analysis and Professional Certification
|Note on National and State Certifications:
BACB accredited programs prepare professionals for the nationally and internationally recognized BCBA or BCaBA certifications. Every State recognizes these certifications for ABA professionals. Candidates for these certifications MUST complete BACB approved coursework and field experience to sit for certifications exams.
|Featured Applied Behavior Analysis Online Schools
(U.S. & Canadian Applicants)
UMass Online offers online programs from the prestigious and top ranking University of Massachusetts. UMass Lowell’s Online Graduate Behavioral Intervention in Autism Program was Awarded Most Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program by the Sloan Consortium.
Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Program
Focus on Autism
Choose from Two Tracks
Developed in collaboration with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, this award-winning BACB approved program is one of the very few in the country available entirely online for individuals interested in expanding their knowledge of behavioral intervention for autism. With a critical shortage of skilled early intervention professionals in the United States, UMass Lowell's autism program is meeting the growing demand for specialists is this field.
BCBA Certification Preparation Track
The BCBA Certification Track is designed for professionals pursuing the BCBA credential. The six online courses have been approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) as meeting the BCBA graduate level coursework requirement.
Applied Behavior Analysis with Autism Focus
For Master's Degree Holders Pursuing BCBA Certification
- 6-course Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA) preparation program
- Sequence of online autism courses approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB)
- Meet coursework requirements towards national certification as a Behavior Analyst
- Applicants for this track must have a master's degree
Behavioral Intervention in Autism (BIA)
Graduate Certificate Track
This program is an excellent option for professionals and parents who want to better understand and serve autistic individuals.
- 4-course BIA graduate certificate program
- Designed for professionals working in education, child care, speech and language disorders, and mental health and human services
- Provides understanding of autism and related development disorders, as well as an introduction to behavioral methods and how and where such methods can be used
- Ideal for parents of autistic children
- Requires bachelor's degree for admission
The courses for the BIA certificate program can be applied toward UMass' Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction / Autism Studies. UMass Online also offers:
| Saint Joseph's University Online
The "America's Best Colleges" 2012 edition of U.S. News & World Report has ranked Saint Joseph's University among the top 15 master's universities in the north and #8 in top regional universities in the north.
Qualify Toward BCaBA Certification
If you have already earned a bachelor's degree and want to pursue a BCaBA certification, you can obtain the BACB approved Online Post-Bachelor's Certificate in Autism Studies. This is an 8-course post baccalaureate certificate, which consists of 5 theoretical courses and 3 Practicum (field experience) courses. The Kinney Center at Saint Joseph's University offers students, who have completed the approved course sequence, 3 practicum courses where they can accrue roughly 225 hours of experience in each one. Students who complete 670 hours of Practicum in behavior analysis within a university experience program approved by the BACB will meet the Experience Requirements. Therefore, an SJU student who takes and passes all 3 Practicum courses will meet the experience requirements.
Qualify Toward BCBA Certification
The BACB approved online post-master’s certificate in behavior analysis is a six-course program designed to serve those interested in advancing their careers in various behavior management services such as behavior specialists, mobile therapists, educational consultants, speech-language pathologists, school counselors, school workers, criminal justice professionals, and human services professionals. The curriculum allows students the flexibility to concentrate on the theoretical and methodological knowledge needed to focus on the management skills necessary to succeed as upper-level decision makers. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has approved the Saint Joseph's University coursework in behavior analysis as meeting the coursework requirement for taking the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Examination.
Teachers, Parents, and Support Professionals
100% Online Program
Just 6 Courses, Undergraduate Level
Can be Applied Toward Bachelor Degree
In response to the recent rise in ASD diagnoses, Saint Joseph’s now offers coursework in autism studies for occupational therapists, mobile therapists, speech pathologist, physical therapists, policy-makers, health care providers and even loved ones of those with ASD to help individuals on the spectrum succeed in their personal and professional lives. The six-course undergraduate certificate offers an introduction to the theories, techniques, treatment and therapies of autism.
In addition to being offered as a six course certificate, the Autism Studies courses may also be applied toward a concentration in the Bachelor of Science in Professional and Liberal Studies major. This bachelor would fulfill BACB's education requirements toward BCaBA eligibility.
Saint Joseph's University also offers:
| Capella University
Capella's online Master's program in Applied Behavior Analysis provides the skills to help you develop and achieve your goals. Courses are taught by faculty with top academic credentials, Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB) certifications, and deep practitioner experience, and combine advanced psychology coursework with foundational knowledge of the field's major competency areas.
Enrich your understanding of general psychological principles, theories, and research methodologies, then use electives to delve more deeply into specific topics that position you to make a greater difference in your work. Choose established areas of psychological study such as addiction or health psychology, select a family psychology concentration, or design an interdisciplinary program that blends psychology with education, business, or human services courses. People who choose this specialization are often pursuing specialist or supervisory positions in social or behavioral service organizations, or wish to explore a broad psychological curriculum in preparation for doctoral studies.
Concentrations: As part of this specialization, you can use your electives to earn a concentration in Family Psychology.
Develop an understanding of human learning, emotions, and behaviors with this BS in Psychology specialization, designed around the American Psychological Association (APA) Guidelines for the Undergraduate Psychology Major. You will also learn skills in research, writing, problem solving, and synthesizing and evaluating information, which are valued in a wide range of professions beyond psychology. Successful graduates of this program are prepared to continue their studies at the graduate level or pursue careers in a variety of fields that employ psychological knowledge and skills, including public service, law enforcement, business, sales, market research, health care, and social services. Capella offers concentrations in Marketing, Finance, and Project Management. >> Read about the BS/MS Option
Capella University also offers:
| The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
The nation's oldest and largest graduate school focused exclusively on psychology and related behavioral sciences.
Named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2009 (for the third consecutive year) and the only school of professional psychology to receive this award with distinction.
This BACB approved program is designed for experienced behavior professionals who want to advance their careers and pursue BCBA certification and educators wishing to improve instruction and behavior management in their classrooms.
Behavior Analysis Graduate Coursework
Includes Supervised Field Experience Options
Complete in Under a Year as a P/T Student*
Ideal For Autism, Behavior, & Education Professionals
- BACB approved sequence of coursework for BCBA certification eligibility
- Includes optional supervised practicum
- For behavior analysis and related professionals who want to update their licensure and/or develop mastery of behavior analytic theories and procedures
- For educators who want to improve instruction and behavior management in the classroom, especially special education and early childhood education professionals
- Can complete in one year as a part-time student*
- Applicants must hold a Master's degree from an accredited institution, that was conferred in behavior analysis or other natural science, education, human services, engineering, medicine, or related behavior analysis field approved by the BCBA
* Completion time is dependent on availability of field supervision. Students are not required to complete supervised field work with CSPP although the BACB requires supervised field work to be completed prior to sitting for the certification exam. CSPP offers options for for supervised fieldwork.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology also offers:
| Kaplan University
Fulfill BCBA Certification Education Requirement
Ideal For Autism & Behavior Professionals
The BACB approved program will focus on the processes that underlie the individual human experience and behavior, as well as core knowledge, theories, and research in the field. Students of the Applied Behavioral Analysis specialization will focus on the developmentally disabled, the autistic, and individuals with traumatic brain injuries. Students will utilize behavioral concepts and theories, and develop assessment and intervention skills.
This program is approved by BACB and fulfills BACB's graduate level degree and coursework requirements for BCBA candidates. Graduates of this program do not have to complete additional graduate level coursework to be eligible for BCBA certification.
Fulfill BCaBA Certification Education Requirement
Ideal For Autism & Behavior Professionals
The BACB approved Applied Behavioral Analysis specialization will explore behavioral development from birth to adolescence. Students will extensively examine design, analysis, and application of learning theories and behavioral principles to understand what motivates human behavior. They will learn the skills required for a myriad of jobs, including working with autistic children and adults with special needs and assisting certified behavioral analysts who conduct research or create behavior modification programs.
The BS in Psychology program offers an Advanced Start option. If you earned an associate's or bachelor's degree from a regionally or nationally accredited college, and you are interested in a career that focuses on human behavior and development, the Advanced Start Bachelor of Science in Psychology is for you. The degree is also designed to prepare you to pursue graduate studies in psychology. Full-time students can complete this program in as little as 2 years.
Video: Webinar on Applied Behavior Analysis
Kaplan University also offers:
|Why I Became a Behavior Analyst
Applied Behavior Analysis
A Growing Treatment of Choice
Over the past 60 years, applied behavior analysis has become recognized as the treatment of choice for behavior problems associated with mental retardation, autism spectrum disorders, brain injury, and other disorders. Many people also recognize that applied behavior analysis is capable of producing remarkable results in classroom learning. Behavior Analysis is also recognized as "best practices" in the field of autism, behavioral health, addiction, and corrections.
BCBA Graduate Programs
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Post-Graduate Program for
Behavior & Education Professionals
All Coursework 100% Online
Ideal for Autism, Behavior, and Education Professionals
Option to Fulfill Fieldwork Requirement with Fewer Hours
BACB Approved Program
Learn from the Nation's Oldest and Largest Graduate School for Psychology
Applied Behavior Analysis Degrees
|Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analyst
Brain Trauma Rehab Consultant
Business Intelligence Analyst
Director of Education
Performance Management Consultant
BCBA Graduate Programs
Update on BCBA Course Requirement
The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) has made changes to their requirements for candidates looking to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). The 4th Edition Task List will affect students taking the BACB exams starting in 2015.
- Beginning January 2015, the coursework eligibility requirements will increase 45 hours, from 225 hours to 270 hours, and there is now a requirement for a freestanding ethics course for BCBA.
- Beginning January 2015, a new exam will be administered to applicants that apply after September 2014.
- Students that qualify and apply for the BCBA exam under the 3rd Edition Task List can take the old exam through September 2014.
- Students that qualify and apply for the exam by September 2014 under the old requirements, but do not take or fail the old exam, can take the new exam in January 2015.
>> BACB Update: Course Requirements (pdf)
Degrees & Coursework
for BCBA and BCaBA Candidates
Aside from Applied Behavior Analysis degree holders, candidates with other degrees are also eligible for certification.
Effective January 2011, the following degrees were deemed acceptable by the BACB for BCBA and BCaBA candidates who wish to pursue certification.
- Clinical, counseling, or school psychology
- Clinical social work
- Occupational therapy
- Speech/language therapy
Candidates with degrees in other fields must contact BACB to request consideration for eligibility.
BCBA Candidates: If you hold a BACB approved master's degree in applied behavior analysis, your degree fulfills the graduate coursework requirement toward BCBA certification eligibility. If you hold a master's degree in a BACB approved related field, you will need to complete BACB approved graduate level ABA coursework.
BCaBA Candidates: If you hold a BACB approved bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis, your degree fulfills the coursework requirement toward BCaBA certification eligibility. However, you intend to advance to BCBA certification, you must earn (1) a BACB approved ABA master's degree or (2) a degree in an approved related field plus BACB approved graduate level ABA coursework.