- School of Interdisciplinary Health and Science
- Counseling & Applied Behavioral Studies Programs
- Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate
Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate
A specialized credential for Master’s level professionals seeking to enhance their career
The sequence consists of nine courses over 1.5 years that have been verified by ABAI to meet the coursework requirements needed to sit for the BCBA® exam.
Our distinct advantage is that we provide an on-campus and cohort-based educational model led by four, full-time Board Certified Behavior Analysts – Doctoral (BCBA-Ds). You will learn with a consistent group of faculty and peers throughout the entirety of your coursework.
- Improve your skills as an experienced human service professional from such disciplines as Education, Special Education, Psychology, and others
- Use pedagogical concepts, principles, and practices of Applied Behavior Analysis in a wide range of professional settings
- Develop strong collaboration and leadership skills for working across disciplines and on multi-disciplinary teams
Get answers to your questions about the certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis Program.
Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is the science and study of behavior. Its roots lie in behaviorism, the premise of which emphasizes a focus on behaviors themselves in order to understand, analyze, and modify them. For regulatory purposes, this practice is defined as the design, implementation, and evaluation of instructional and environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior. Read more from the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts.
ABA is largely based on the principles of learning and behavior; these principles explain how behavior is learned and how it changes (or can be modified) over time. ABA experts such as behavior analysts and behavior specialists have been using this knowledge to develop ways in which to analyze and change behavior — and to improve lives — since the early 20th century. Today, ABA is widely used across a variety of fields.
The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified our 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 before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. NOTE: You must have both your courses AND experience hours completed prior to taking the exam. Verified course sequences are located here.
USJ’s overall pass rate on the BACB examination is 80%. Individuals who also choose to complete the practicum at the Gengras Center on campus have a 100% pass rate! Pass rates for all ABAI-Verified Course Sequences can be found here.
Note: Pass rates are determined by the first attempt only.
- Complete online application
- $50 non-refundable application fee
- Official transcripts from a regionally accredited institution, sent from that institution to the USJ Office of Admissions
- Two professional letters of recommendation
- Two-Part Personal Entrance Essay
- Part 1: Please explain why you have chosen to enter the field of behavior analysis (300-word minimum).
- Part 2: Identify the elements that you feel are essential to becoming an effective, well-rounded behavior analyst (300-word minimum).
The certificate in ABA has a fall start only (i.e., we do not accept students to begin during the spring semester). To begin courses in the upcoming fall semester, we recommend that students submit their application by April 1. Even after the priority deadline, we continue to review applications when we receive them. Depending on availability and the quality of the application, students will be accepted for the upcoming fall. If there is no available space when an application is received, we will put the applicant on a waitlist in case any students fail to register. If that is not the case, the applicant will be guaranteed a spot with the following cohort of students.
For a complete list of graduate program rates or for financial aid questions, please visit our Tuition and Fees page.
Tuition waivers are available to students working at the Gengras Center. Students who obtain optional employment as Teacher’s Aides at the Gengras Center receive a six credit per semester tuition waiver.
The admissions criteria for our program include a minimum GPA of 3.0. That being said, we consider many variables when reviewing an application, and GPA is just one of those variables. Something that we value is experience in the field of ABA. If your GPA is below 3.0, but you have ABA experience and letters of recommendation from individuals in the field of behavior analysis this will help your application. You should also include a section in your personal entrance essay outline with an explanation of your GPA is below the required standard and how you plan to address those issues in your graduate studies.
Wondering what jobs and career options are available to BCBA’s in Applied Behavior Analysis degree holders? You may be surprised to find out that your possibilities reach far beyond the classroom.
According to the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts, 80% of Board Certified Behavior Analysts are employed full time in job settings that include:
- Educational assessment, planning, and program evaluation
- Therapy and mental health
- Developmental disabilities and behavioral disorders
- Staff and parent training
The list below highlights some of the more traditional applications of applied behavior analysis as well as some out-of-the-box and experimental career paths available to master’s degree holders.
Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
To become a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA), master’s students must complete their degree program and supervised clinical experience in addition to passing the certification exam.
BCBA career options are vast and varied. These professionals provide services for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or mental disorders. With the primary objective of improving their patients’ mental and physical health, independence, and social functioning, BCBAs analyze their behavior patterns; they then map out programs to modify existing behaviors, replace undesirable behaviors with new, more appropriate behaviors, and expand upon their behavioral repertoire. BCBAs find work in schools, homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and more. Learn more about the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.
Organizational Behavior Management
Organizational behavior management (OBM) aims to improve individual or group performance within an organizational setting, particularly in businesses. The goal of applied behavior analysts in organizational analysis is to create a balanced situation in which poor performance areas are improved, high-performance areas are maintained, and organizational goals are met. Applied behavior analysts focus on principles such as reinforcement, punishment, and stimulus control to hit these targets. The overarching hope of this process is to create happier employers and employees, leading to a more efficient and harmonious workplace. Read the BACB’s fact sheet on organizational behavior management.
Speech and Language Development and Therapy
Verbal Behavior Therapy builds upon motivation and uses positive reinforcement (in the form of rewards such as food or toys) to reinforce verbal communication in a child with developmental disabilities or impaired social or language skills. Applied behavior analysts working in speech and language therapy use ABA learning principles and techniques such as repetition, prompting, and shaping as motivation. The foundation of therapy is laid by teaching “mands” or requests so that the child learns that verbal communication (words) can produce desired results. Learn more about Verbal Behavior Therapy.
Pursue a rewarding, lucrative career and improve lives — earn your certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis.
With so many fields and industries requiring the expertise of educated behavior analysts, a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is a surefire way to open up a myriad of career opportunities. No matter which field you choose to utilize your expertise, applied behavior analysts improve lives and make the world a better place for all.
USJ’s ABA program prepares compassionate, driven individuals for a challenging and rewarding career in the unique field of behavior analysis.
All of our courses are offered on campus and either begin at 4 p.m. or 6:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday. You should expect to be on campus 1-2 nights per week. We do not offer any online courses.
The certificate in ABA program is a 1.5 year program that will prepare you to practice independently and competently. You will take 2-3 courses spread across 4 semesters.
Yes, USJ offers a small number of competitive assistantships each year. For additional questions and information, please contact the Office of Graduate Academic Services ([email protected]).
Laura B. Turner, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Director and VCS Coordinator, Applied Behavior Analysis Program
Email: [email protected]