The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program will train you to be an exceptional practitioner of ABA-based interventions to improve quality of life for people with behavioral challenges, including children and adults with developmental needs.

MU graduate students can complete the certificate program while pursuing a degree, and the certificate also complements the skills of recent graduates and experienced professionals who want to specialize in ABA.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. Currently the BACB requires master’s level BCBA applicants to have a minimum of a graduate degree (e.g., master’s or doctoral) in an acceptable field of study (behavior analysis, education or psychology). Click here for more information about acceptable fields.

(Please note: Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.)


Please note that we plan to update our coursework to meet the 5th Edition Task list requirements to be implemented in 2019. This would include 21 hours of coursework (315 classroom hrs).

The coursework will meet the requirements of the BACB’s Fourth Edition Task List and will require 18 credits (270 classroom hrs) of graduate-level instruction.

The course sequence can be completed in as short as one year although it can be completed over a longer period of time. Please note that we value face-to-face contact. Therefore, this is an on-campus program only.

In addition to the coursework requirement, you will need to meet experience standards. The BACB has three experience categories: (a) supervised independent fieldwork (1500 hrs), (b) practicum (1000 hrs), or (c) intensive practicum (750 hrs). Students in the graduate certificate program will be required to complete independent fieldwork, practicum, or intensive practicum for credit (6 credits) under the supervision of a BCBA. Depending on which university-based experience category the student chooses, the student will complete the experience requirement in 25 to 150 weeks (a portion of this may be concurrent with coursework).

Application Process

1. Complete the Graduate Studies application online.

  • If you’re a former MU degree-seeking student wishing to resume the same program/degree, use the Graduate Re-activation Form
  • Current MU graduate students changing or adding degrees should use the Change of Degree, Program Adviser Form.
  • Post-baccalaureate (non-degree seeking) graduate students who have applied in the past three semesters should contact Graduate Studies to request their application be made available to us.

2. Complete the Personal Data Sheet.

  • The Personal Data Sheet includes pertinent biographical information and professional experience.

3. Write a statement of purpose, usually around 500 words, in which you summarize your professional goals, including career objectives, research interests, your motivation for advanced graduate work and other pertinent information.

4. Submit at least one letter of recommendation.

  • The letter should attest to your professional competence, academic preparation and potential for graduate work.
  • Ideally, the letter should be from college or university professors who can discuss your academic abilities, or from an administrator or colleague who can describe authoritatively your professional experience and potential.
  • Letters are submitted through the online application system.

5. Resume/Curriculum Vitae: Please make sure to include the month/year for the start and end dates of all work experience (Upload to the Supplemental Information section of your application).

6. Unofficial transcript: Please upload all of your undergraduate and graduate unofficial transcripts.