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.

A minimum of 39 semester credit hours must be completed in fulfillment of degree requirements. Completion of this degree includes completion of a Thesis/Capstone. In addition to the coursework requirement, you will need to meet experience standards. The BACB has two experience categories: (a) supervised fieldwork (2000 hrs), or (b) Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork (1500 hrs).Students in the Master’s program will be required to complete Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork at the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders for credit (8 credits) under the supervision of a BCBA.

(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.)

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.