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.
San Diego, California
The 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 BCaBA credentialing purposes. Courses are each five weeks and students complete one course at a time. This top 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.
For more information: Ashford University
#19 -University of Nevada-BCaBA Approved Course Sequence
The University of Nevada-Reno delivers an online BCaBA course sequence through their satellite program. The program is comprised of nine credits in behavior analysis completed over a nine month period. By taking these courses covering ethics, behavior, assessment, and intervention, students meet the coursework requirement to sit for the BCaBA credential exam. Students must be involved with a sponsoring agency to receive this training and they move through the program together as a cohort, within their agency or sponsoring organization.
#18 -St. Cloud State University-Applied Behavior Analysis-BCaBA Online Coursework
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud State University in Minnesota offers an online Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) program for students who want additional professional training in behavioral analysis. 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. Students planning on continuing their students in ABA can apply their approved BACB coursework to the online MS in Applied Behavior Analysis at St. Cloud State University, one of only 20 graduate programs in the country accredited by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.
For more information: St. Cloud State University
#17 -Mary Baldwin University-Bachelor’s in Autism Studies and ABA Online
Mary Baldwin University launches a brand new online bachelor’s in ABA focused on autism studies. This program is the first of it’s kind in Virginia, designed to fill the need of schools and service providers of children on the autism spectrum as well as those with other developmental disabilities. Students will complete 16-17 credits in ABA and 12 credits focused on autism. Students can also earn their Comprehensive Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders as part of this program.
For more info: Mary Baldwin University
#16 -University of Massachusetts-Lowell-Online Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Management in Autism
The four course online BCaBA Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Management in Autism from the University of Massachusetts is designed for students who want to use early behavioral intervention in the treatment of autism. This four course BCaBA program is taught by expert behavior analysts from around the country. 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.
For more information: UMass Lowell
#15 -Clemson University-Online Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysis (BCaBA) certification
Clemson, South Carolina
The Center for Behavior Analysis at Clemson University features the approved online course sequence for students interested in becoming a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). The program is designed to be convenient, accessible, and comprehensive for individuals whether they are currently in school or are working in the field. The six course sequence has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and participants are well prepared for their exam. The Center for Behavior Analysis is able to assist students with approved supervision placement options for those needing to fulfill the additional requirements to earn their credential.
For more information: Clemson University
#14 -University of West Florida-Applied Behavior Analysis Online-BCaBA Certificate Program
The online BCaBA course sequence from the University of West Florida features a cohort format with five start dates 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 an undergraduate degree program to gain certification. Students have the opportunity to apply their coursework and supervision hours toward the UWF MA degree in ECE and BCBA certification.
#13 -University of North Texas-BCaBA Online Course Sequence
The University of North Texas offers the online BCaBA course sequence through their Behavior Analysis Online area. Students can complete the course sequence and receive additional educational opportunities such as workshops, continuing education, and lectures in specific areas of ABA. The BCaBA course sequence is available 24/7 online, with enrollment offered every term. Students can transfer their coursework to complete their bachelor’s degree or pursue a master’s. Most students can complete the BCaBA sequence in about 12 months.
For more info: University of North Texas
#12 -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 BCaBA certificate online program offered by California State University San Marcos is a cohort program that can be completed in just 12-18 months. The course sequence has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board under the 4th Edition Task List. Students complete 11-week courses in a prescribed order, making it simple to select courses and move through the program. Coursework covers foundations and concepts in behavior analysis, processes for behavior change, and classroom management. The program prepares students to work with individuals, families, group homes, and schools.
For more information: California State University- San Marcos
#11 -Central Methodist University-BS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online
Central Methodist University features an online bachelor’s in ABA with no on-campus residency requirements. Students will learn to work successfully with individuals on the autism spectrum, those with developmental delays, and those with challenging behaviors. Faculty are professionals in the field of ABA and teach a relevant, cutting-edge curriculum. Students learn to administer behavioral assessments and supervise interventions. Coursework includes the approved BCaBA course sequence, two electives in ABA, and ABA practicum experiences.
For more info: Central Methodist University
#10 -Cairn University-Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Coursework
Cairn University features an innovative online BCaBA certificate program focused on autism. Courses are available to students in any undergraduate degree program at Cairn as well as students already holding a bachelor’s from an accredited university. This 15 credit hour program fulfills the coursework requirement to sit for the BCaBA exam, students will need to complete additional requirements per the BACB.
Purdue University Global features an online Applied Behavior Analysis bachelor’s degree program providing students with the skills needed to address complex behavioral issues and solve social problems. The program offers the BACB 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 personality development, exceptional needs children, clinical psychology, and program design and evaluation allow students to be exposed to a variety of ABA areas. Graduates have become successful in roles as Applied Behavior Support Specialists, Assistant Applied Behavior Analysts, and Behavioral ABA Technicians.
#8 -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.
#7 -University of Colorado-Denver-Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online-BCaBA
Colorado University Online offers an online BCaBA course sequence that aligns with the BACB’s 4th Edition Task List. This fully online BCaBA program prepares students to sit for the BCaBA exam and the first courses of the certificate can even be applied to the CU Denver Master’s in Special Education. Students complete coursework in data collection and analysis, practical applications, and the creation of behavior plans.
For more info: University of Colorado-Denver
#6 -University of Hawaii at Manoa-Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Program
The University of Hawaii at Manoa features the online course sequence for individuals who plan to earn their Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Certification. The course sequence consists of 12 credits and can be taken while pursuing a bachelor’s degree. Coursework covers principles of behavior, assessment, planning, and instruction for individuals with autism, and advanced behavior analysis. Students who live in Hawaii and need to complete the practicum requirement for the credential can enroll in practicum courses.
For more info: University of Hawaii at Manoa
#5 -Ball State University-Undergraduate Certificate in Behavioral Studies
Ball State University features an undergraduate certificate in behavioral studies designed for students who want to assist individuals with autism or other disabilities. The programs is offered through the Teachers College, well known for innovation and excellence. Students can earn the certificate in just three semesters of study. Coursework covers ethical and professional practice, application and consultation, and advanced behavior analysis.
#4 -Florida Institute of Technology-ABA Online Program-BCaBA
Florida Institute of Technology features a unique online ABA BCaBA program that features four terms per year of each course, allowing students to move through the program quickly and earn their certification. The program is available to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree but need to earn certification as an applied behavior analyst. Students who plan on pursuing a master’s in ABA can apply their credits toward the hybrid masters in Professional Behavior Analysis at Florida Tech. Unlike some other online programs, he online BCaBA program at Florida Tech includes weekly face to face online interaction with co-instructors. Most students can complete the course sequence in just 12 months!
For more information: Florida Institute of Technology
#3 -Saint Joseph’s University-Bachelor of Science: Concentration in Autism Studies
Saint Joseph’s University features a concentration in autism studies online which introduces students to autism theories, techniques, and therapies including applied behavior analysis. The autism studies curriculum is comprised of eight courses, including three practicum courses, that meet the coursework and field experience requirements to sit for the BCaBA exam. Already earned your bachelor’s degree? Students can complete the post-baccalaureate certificate in autism studies and be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam as well.
#2 -Oregon Institute of Technology-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. he program is designed to meet the standards set by the American Psychological Association and includes a variety of electives to create a personalized ABA degree program. Unique to Oregon Tech are the Capstone in Applied Psychology courses that allow seniors to apply their knowledge to a specific topic which varies by term. An Applied Experience is also a key feature of this program, providing students with the opportunity to engage in an externship, community work, or advanced research courses to better prepare themselves for graduate school or future work opportunities.
For more information: Oregon Tech
#1 -Montana State University-Applied Behavior Analysis Program-BCaBA Online
Montana State University offers an online course sequence for the BCaBA that includes an internship experience. The program is open to students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and now want to earn their BCaBA certification. Coursework covers assessment and program planning for special populations, data-based instruction, and applied behavioral analysis. Students can choose an additional one credit hour course in ethics, research methods, or autism intervention. Two internship experiences, totaling 500 hours, are required to meet certification criteria.
For more info: Montana State University
Published May 2018
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 helppassionate about helping others and giving back to the community.