BCBA Degrees and Certificates Become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Certification is the internationally recognized certification for Applied Behavior Analysis professionals. The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a certified behavior analyst, who is concerned with understanding and improving behavior. The BCBA has a variety of professional options as behavior modication / intervention is a growing and widespread field.
BCBA Career Overview
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Certification is the internationally recognized certification for Applied Behavior Analysis professionals. The BCBA is an independent practitioner who also may work as employee or independent contractor for an organization. The BCBA conducts descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provides behavior analytic interpretations of the results. The BCBA designs and supervises behavior analytic interventions. The BCBA is able to effectively develop and implement appropriate assessment and intervention methods for use in unfamiliar situations and for a range of cases. The BCBA seeks the consultation of more experienced practitioners when necessary. The BCBA teaches others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivers instruction in behavior analysis. BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.
BCBA Certification Requirements
The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) awards this credential to individuals who have met coursework, degree, fieldwork and examination requirements. Requirements for the BCBA Certification include:
A bachelor's and a master's degree in behavior analysis or related fields and approved by the BACB from a fully accredited institution of higher learning.
270 classroom hours (online or campus) of graduate level instruction.
1500 hours of supervised independent fieldwork in behavior analysis. Some BCBA preparation programs include both the approved coursework and supervised practicum.
Passing score on the BCBA exam.
BCBA Career Options
Professionals with the BCBA Certification are needed in a variety of specialties, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disabilities, addiction rehabilitation, correctional/judicial system, social services, education, organizational behavior, basically any field that requires behavior modification. Aside from a Behavior Analyst, many different professionals benefit from earning a BCBA certification.
BCBA Certification Job Titles
Director of Education
BCBA Career Outlook
The demand for BCBAs specializing in Autism is particularly high and continues to grow, as diagnoses of ASD have increased significantly in recent years and there is still a lack of trained ASD-specific professionals. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control reported in early 2012 that the prevalence of Autism increased 23% from their previous study. 1 in 88 children were diagnosed with Autism, up from 1 in 110. BCBAs who specialize in ASD can work in many settings (homes, schools, hospitals, residential facilities, rehabilitation centers, and more). They can work with both children and adults. The typical work of a BCBA includes: 1) Interview and learn more about target behaviors of client(s); 2) Conduct direct and indirect assessments of behavior(s); 3) Propose strategies for behavior change based on assessment results and knowledge of effective treatment plans for similar issues; 4) Implement the intervention; 5) Collect data before and during the intervention; 6) Evaluate effectiveness of behavioral intervention; 7) Make modifications if necessary and plan for maintenance and generalization.
BCBA Certified Professional
Applied Behavior Analyst
Consultant, Education / Training
Director, Clinical Services
Special Ed Teacher, PK, K, Elementary
ABA Home Therapist
Figures provided by Payscale.com
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.
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.
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
This BACB approved BCBA Respecialization online certification program is designed to provide working professionals—including current behavior analysts or professionals in psychology, education, child care, speech and language pathology, and social services—a mastery of behavior analytic theories and procedures.
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.
Behavior Analysis Graduate Coursework
Includes Supervised Field Experience Options
Ideal For Autism, Behavior, & Education Professionals
The BACB approved M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis will develop and graduate professionals who can support individuals and organizations as well as select, implement and manage effective systems to improve outcomes across a variety of settings. The program provides students with a solid understanding of the Science and Philosophy of Behavior Analysis as the foundation that informs Applied Behavior Analysis, the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, and Service Delivery domains to produce graduates who rely on the science of behavior to contribute to the betterment of society.
The objective of the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis program is to provide students with a solid foundation in applied behavior analysis. Students are trained to understand the principles of Behavior Analysis and learn how they underlie applied practice. Students learn to implement ABA procedures correctly and ethically, and gain the skills to move forward to the next steps in their professional progression including eligibility for certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®.
Students enrolled in the M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis program take courses covering the content areas and practicum requirements for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification and also receive a solid foundation in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis. The aim is to prepare students to sit for the BCBA exam and for a rewarding career in the rapidly growing field of applied behavior analysis.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology also offers:
Designed for Professionals
In Justice System, Community Services, & Education
BACB approved coursework in Behavior Analysis is offered as a concentration in the M.S. in Criminal Justice or as a Post Master's. The application of behavior analysis is very broad, serving those who provide a variety of behavior management services, including individuals trained as behavior specialists, mobile therapists, educational consultants, speech-language pathologists, school counselors, social workers, criminal justice professionals, and human services professionals. Behavior Analysis is recognized as a "best practice" in the field of autism, behavioral health, addiction, and corrections. Throughout this program students will develop the skills to transfer basic principles of behavior analysis into effective comprehensive functional behavioral assessments, behavioral interventions, and program evaluation. This program 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.
Grand Canyon University Online
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Master of Arts
Ideal for Special Education Teachers
GCU's Autism Spectrum Disorder MA Degree program provides licensed special education teachers a deep understanding of an educator's responsibility to special needs students. The 32-credit online College of Education degree features eight heavily targeted courses on special education services for ASD students. It offers an orientation into the theoretical foundations of ASD's and the implications of an ASD student's exceptional needs in a school environment.
Through evidence-based practices and professional learning dispositions, the program focuses intensively on learner growth. It explores assistive technologies that enhance communication with ASD students. As the scope of the curriculum expands, it provides an in-depth study of legal policy and advocacy for ASD students within an ethical framework of their rights and responsibilities.
The program dissects a growing body of knowledge on the application of brain research in classroom practice that impacts curricular, instructional and assessment decisions of teachers each day. From neuroscience to the behavioral and cognitive sciences, it examines the intricacies of the mind as it relates to teaching and learning.
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.
Why Applied Behavior Analysis Is the Premium Intervention for Autism
Autism CEUs for Teachers
Continuing Education Courses For Educators
Online Autism Courses
Foundations in ASD
Diagnosis & Assessment of ASD
Speech & Language Dev in ASD
Communication & Socialization in ASD
ASD Curriculum & Instruction
ASD & Behavior Management
ASD: Collaboration & Consult
ASD: Legal & Ethical Issues
Be BCBA Eligible with Fewer Hours of Required Fieldwork
BACB Approved Program
Learn from the Nation's Oldest and Largest Graduate School for Psychology
Autism Is Still on the Rise
Since its first studies in 2000, the CDC has seen a steady and strong rise in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). In 2012, the CDC reported that (based on 2008 findings) 1 in 88 children have been diagnosed with Autism. That is a 23% increase from the previous 2006 data.
In the same report, the CDC noted that:
ASDs are reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.
ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than among girls (1 in 252).
About 1 in 6 children in the U.S. had a developmental disability in 2006-2008, ranging from mild disabilities such as speech and language impairments to serious developmental disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, and autism.
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.
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
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.
BACB Approved programs include the following content:
Definition & characteristics and principles, processes & concepts
Behavioral assessment and selecting intervention outcomes & strategies
Experimental evaluation of interventions
Measurement of behavior and displaying & interpreting behavioral data