The field of Applied Behavior Analysis focuses on the interaction between learning and behavior. Professionals learn how to conduct assessments, analyze data, write behavior plans, and train and implement those plans. For individuals who have either earned or are pursuing their bachelor’s degree, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board has created a certification at the undergraduate level which validates the completion of an approved training and education program in ABA. The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst credential requires completion of the approved course sequence and practical experience, and is awarded after the candidate passes an examination.
We created a list of the top online programs offering the coursework and/or practical experience required to earn this bachelor’s degree level credential in Applied Behavior Analysis. Programs included in our list are accredited institutions offering their program or coursework primarily online. We developed a ranking system and included the top 20 online bachelor degree or certificate programs for future applied behavior analysts.
Ranking is as follows:
15:1 or less- 3 points
16:1 to 19:1- 2 points
20:1 and above- 1 point
Less than $13,000- 3 points
$13,000 to $20,000- 2 points
Greater than $20,000- 1 point
Online Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis- 2
Course Sequence for BCaBA- 1
Approved Course Sequence by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board
Where there are ties, schools are ranked according to net price per College Navigator.
#20 -Becker College-Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Certificate Program
The Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate program at Becker College is a 30-hour program which includes practicum experiences and coursework to prepare individuals to take the national BCaBA exam. The program is open to individuals who have already completed a bachelor’s degree program as well as those currently enrolled. The program is designed to provide the additional experience and education bachelor’s degree level professionals need to be successful working with individuals on the autism spectrum and those with other developmental disabilities. Coursework includes: Concepts and Principles in Applied Behavior Analysis; Assessment and Measurement in Behavior Analysis; and both Beginning and Advanced Strategies for Changing Behavior.
#19 -Oregon Tech-Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology with the BCaBA Course Sequence
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Oregon Tech Online offers an exciting online Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology that can include the BCaBA course sequence. Students can prepare for an exciting career in a number of applied psychology areas including special education, counseling, mental health, treatment, and behavior therapy. Coursework for this online program includes 67 credit hours in applied psychology, some of which count toward the BCaBA coursework requirements. The remaining requirements can be completed through elective coursework which may be offered online. Students can complete this BS program in four years which includes both applied and capstone experiences.
#18 -Florida Institute of Technology-ABA Online Program-BCaBA
Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but need to earn certification as an applied behavior analyst can pursue their BCaBA certificate through the Florida Institute of Technology ABA Online Program. With options at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, FIT is a one-stop shop for ABA professionals who need to earn their credential. Coursework is offered during all four terms, and students may begin their study in any term. There is no application process. Students can simply register for courses.
#17 -George Mason University-Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis-BCaBA
George Mason University offers an online graduate certificate program in applied behavior analysis for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree (or are in the process of earning one) and want to complete the coursework requirement to sit for their BCaBA exam. Students who have not yet earned their bachelor’s degree can complete a 21 credit minor in ABA which includes both a standard and intensive practicum experience. For those who have already completed their undergraduate degree, the six course Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis will fulfill the coursework requirement needed to earn the BCaBA credential.
#16 -University of Massachusetts-Lowell-Online Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Management in Autism
Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree but want additional coursework in applied behavioral analysis can earn their Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Management in Autism. This unique online ABA program is ideal for students who work with individuals who can benefit from behavior management intervention strategies. This four course program offers coursework approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board which allows those who finish to be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam. Courses include: an Introduction to Behavioral Intervention in Autism; Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism; Management Strategies in Applied Behavioral Intervention; and Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior.
#15 -Clemson University-Online Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysis (BCaBA) certification
Clemson, South Carolina
The Center for Behavior Analysis at Clemson University offers an online Applied Behavior Analysis program for bachelor’s degree level practitioners who want to become behavior analysts. The six course sequence has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and can be completed by individuals who have already earned their undergraduate degree or those currently pursuing their bachelor’s degree either online or on campus. There are several different start times throughout the year, allowing practitioners to get started in the program when it is most convenient. The Center for Behavior Analysis assists students with finding a site to complete a supervised placement in order to complete the requirements be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam.
#14 -Ashford University-Applied Behavioral Science Bachelor’s Degree Program Online
San Diego, California
An Applied Behavioral Science online bachelor’s degree from Ashford University teaches students how to effectively solve problems and understand behavior. All courses are offered online, and students can apply to have them considered for acceptance by the Center for Behavior Analysis for credentialing purposes. This online ABA degree program allows students to develop a broad foundation to continue on to a professional career in ABA. Coursework covers areas such as social problems, public policy, psychological assessment and research methods. A capstone project completes the degree program, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills.
#13 -Kaplan University-Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis
Kaplan University offers an online Applied Behavior Analysis bachelor’s degree program focused on learning, human behavior, and human development. The program offers the BCAB approved coursework sequence, allowing graduates to sit for their BCaBA exam upon completion of coursework, practicum, and field experience requirements. Diverse course offerings such as screening and assessment, neuroscience, and an introduction to autism spectrum disorders in young children, allow students to be exposed to a variety of ABA areas. There are multiple start dates, allowing students to begin the program when it is most convenient. Graduates have gone on to work in schools, social service organizations, child care facilities, and autism clinics.
#12 -St. Cloud State University-Applied Behavior Analysis-BCaBA Online Coursework
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud State University in Minnesota offers an online applied behavior analysis program with a course sequence approved by the BACB. Individuals currently pursuing their bachelor’s degree, or those who have already earned their degree can apply to complete the online course sequence. Instruction is provided by PhD level faculty. The program is ideal for those who want to earn their BCaBA and pursue a career helping individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, or self injurious behaviors.
#11 -California State University San Marcos-Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Study-Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysis (BCaBA) certification
San Marcos, California
The Applied Behavior Analysis online program offered by California State University San Marcos is a cohort program with multiple start dates throughout the year. The course sequence has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The program can be completed in just 12 months and courses are each 11 weeks long. Students complete courses in a prescribed order, making it simple to select courses and move through the program. Coursework covers foundational concepts in applied behavioral analysis, processes for behavior change, and classroom management. Courses are taught be professional faculty with experience in the field.
#10 -University of West Florida-Applied Behavior Analysis Online-BCaBA Certificate Program
The University of West Florida features a quality online BCBA program with cohorts beginning five times each year. Faculty are actively working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and share their knowledge and expertise with students during weekly virtual class meetings. The four course BCaBA sequence can be included as part of the bachelor’s degree program to gain certification. Coursework can then be applied toward BCBA certification and an MA degree in ESE.
#9 -University of North Texas-BCaBA Online Course Sequence
The University of North Texas offers the online BCaBA course sequence through its continuing education and professional development area. Students can complete the course sequence and receive additional educational opportunities such as workshops and training in specific areas of ABA. Students who have not yet earned their undergraduate degree can earn their bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, taking additional coursework in psychology and ABA.
#8 -Saint Joseph’s University-Bachelor of Science in Professional and Liberal Studies: Concentration in Autism Studies
Saint Joseph’s University features a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis online which introduces students to autism theories, techniques, and therapies as part of the BS degree in Professional and Liberal Studies program. Students can earn their BS degree and complete the BCaBA approved coursework which will allow them to sit for their BCaBA examination. Online students at Saint Joseph’s University have access to a full team of counselors and advisors who offer support, financial aid to those who qualify, and 24/7 technical support to get students back up and running if they encounter any difficulty.
#7 -Northeastern University-Bachelor of Science in Psychology Online
Northeastern University was founded in 1898 and is proud to feature programs with a global approach to research and education. Northeastern University offers an online Bachelor’s in Psychology that explores key areas such as social and abnormal psychology, emotion, and motivation. Students can complete the four required courses to be eligible to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst exam. Graduates of the program are well prepared to work in human services, or continue on to graduate school to gain advanced training in applied behavior analysis.
#6 -Western Connecticut State University-Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate-BCaBA Certificate
Western Connecticut State University features an online applied behavior analysis program for students who already possess a bachelor’s degree but want additional training and certification in the field. This 16 credit hour, four course sequence prepares students for the BCaBA examination. Students complete one course at a time, in a specified sequence in order to complete the program. Courses can be applied toward the online Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis.
#5 -University of Colorado-Denver-Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online-BCaBA
Colorado University Online offers an online Bachelor of Arts in Psychology degree giving students a holistic view of psychology. Students study areas such as experimental psychology, social psychology, personality, and abnormal psychology. Upon completion of this online bachelor’s degree program in psychology, students can complete the online course sequence to earn their BCaBA certification. Online BCaBA students complete 135 class hours over five courses. Students can take up to two years to complete the course sequence, allowing them to work and gain experience in the field while pursuing their certification.
#4 -Central Methodist University-BS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online
Central Methodist University offers a bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis focused on treating individuals of all ages with or without a disability. Students learn to administer assessments, supervise interventions, and offer feedback and advice to caregivers. Coursework is offered entirely online, including lectures, assignments, forums, and tests. Graduates are prepared to take the Behavior Analyst Certification Board exam and go on to successful careers working in homes, schools, mental health facilities, and social service organizations.
#3 -Ball State University-Minor in Applied Behavior Analysis; Applied Behavior Analysis Specialization
Ball State University offers a Bachelor’s of General Studies (BGS) with a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis online. The BGS degree program requires students to select two different online minors. Students often select the autism spectrum disorder minor or the psychology of human development minor to pair with their ABA minor. Courses leading to the ABA minor cover areas such as ethical and professional practice, application and consultation in ABA, and principles and procedures of ABA. Graduates are prepared to sit for their BCaBA examination since this course sequence has been approved by the BACB.
#2 -Montana State University-Applied Behavior Analysis Program-BCaBA Online
Montana State University offers an online bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies that students can design in consultation with an advisor. Coursework can come from a variety of areas including social services so students get a comprehensive understanding of the theories and practices related to psychology, social services, and human development. Upon completion of this online degree program, students can complete the online course sequence to be eligible to sit for the BCaBA certification exam. The BCaBA plan of study includes three, 3-credit hour courses including Data Based Instruction, Assessment and Program Planning for Special Population, and Applied Behavior Analysis. Students also complete three one-credit courses to gain specific knowledge related to research methods, autism, and ethics in ABA. Two internship experiences are required to meet certification criteria.
#1 -Troy University-Online Applied Behavior Analysis Minor
Troy University features an online bachelor’s in psychology with significant coursework available in applied behavior analysis. Coursework gives students a comprehensive understanding of the area of ABA to prepare them to work in a professional setting after graduation. Students learn to complete behavioral assessments of individuals with disabilities and implement behavior changing procedures and therapies to aid families and caregivers of those with behavioral challenges.
Published June 2017
- Top 10 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Online Programs
- Top 20 Best Applied Behavior Analysis Programs
About the Author
Kelley Jacobs is a Midwest business consultant and former program evaluator. Past experience includes qualitative and quantitative research, survey development and statistical analysis. With 15 years in social service, Kelley is passionate about helping others and giving back to the community.