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Top 15 Online Applied Behavior Analysis Bachelor’s Degree and BCaBA Coursework Programs 2021

Applied Behavior Analysis uses psychological principles to address complex behavior, promote socially acceptable behavior, and improve relationships. Applied Behavior Analysis is commonly used when working with adults and children with developmental disabilities or autism. Professionally trained ABA practitioners can:

  • conduct comprehensive assessments
  • collect and analyze data
  • write effective behavior plans
  • implement those plans

Students can become certified ABA practitioners by completing a verified course sequence as part of a bachelor’s degree program or separately for students who have already earned their degree. ABA practitioners at the bachelor’s degree level are considered Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts once they complete the coursework, experience certification requirements and pass an examination.


We created a list of the top online programs offering the coursework and/or practical experience required to earn the BCaBA certification. We considered accredited programs offering their courses primarily online. We developed a ranking system and included the top 15 online bachelor’s degree or BCaBA certificate programs for future applied behavior analysts.

Ranking is as follows:
Student/Faculty ratio:

  • 15:1 or less- 3 points
  • 16:1 to 19:1- 2 points
  • 20:1 and above- 1 point

Tuition rate:

  • Less than $13,000- 3 points
  • $13,000 to $20,000- 2 points
  • Greater than $20,000- 1 point

BCaBA Exam Pass Rate:

  • Over 50%- 2 points

Programs with fewer than six students or programs created in the last four years do not have a published exam pass rate. Where there are ties, schools are ranked according to their net price per College Navigator.

#15 -Purdue University Global – Indianapolis, Indiana

Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology—Applied Behavior Analysis

Purdue Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology—Applied Behavior Analysis


School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Net Price: N/A
Pass Rate:50%
Total Points: 3
The online bachelor’s in psychology in ABA from Purdue Global is a comprehensive program for students who want to others reach their full potential. Students develop a specialized degree plan to help align their education with their career goals. Courses include:

  • Program Design and Evaluation
  • Personality Development
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders in Young Children

Courses are delivered in 10-week terms and students can expect to spend between 15 and 18 hours a week on their coursework. Purdue Global offers monthly start dates so students can begin the program when it is most convenient.

#14 -Saint Joseph’s University – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

General Studies Bachelor’s: Autism Studies Concentration Online

SJU General Studies Bachelor's: Autism Studies Concentration Online

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Net Price: $35,242
Pass Rate: 38%
Total Points: 4
Saint Joseph’s University offers an innovative Bachelor’s in Autism Studies that includes the verified course sequence for the BCaBA exam. As an autism specialist, students will learn how to help individuals in their classroom and at work. The program also meets the fieldwork requirement for the BCaBA exam. Through these hands-on courses, students will learn to select appropriate learning objectives and collect data in the field of autism treatment. Online students have access to a full team of counselors and advisors who provide one-on-one support.

#13 -Central Methodist University – Fayette, Missouri

BS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

CMU BS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Net Price: $21,215
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 4
Central Methodist University offers an online bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis as well as the verified course sequence for students who have already obtained their bachelor’s degree. Courses include:

  • Behavior Assessment
  • Behavior Change Procedures
  • Leadership and Management in ABA

Students will learn to conduct behavioral assessments and evaluate behavior analytic interventions. Once students have completed their supervision hours (not obtained at CMU) they will be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam.

#12 -Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Clarion, Pennsylvania

Assistant Applied Behavior Analysis and Competent Learner Model Certificate

Clarion University Assistant Applied Behavior Analysis and Competent Learner Model Certificate


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Net Price: $19,769
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 4
The top online BCaBA program at Clarion University is a unique program that includes certification as a Competent Learner Model Implementer. This five-course program focuses on areas like curriculum design and applied behavior analysis. Courses include:

  • ABA/CLM Program Curricula Design and Monitoring
  • Contingencies to Engineer Learning
  • ABA/CLM Instructional Methods Procedures and Tools

Students will learn effective practices for children and adult learners with special needs. Students will need to complete their field experience independently from the program.

#11 -University of California Santa Barbara – Santa Barbara, California

Assistant Behavior Analyst Professional Certificate


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Net Price: $16,767
Pass Rate: 24%
Total Points: 4
The University of California Santa Barbara PaCE offers a BCaBA online professional certificate program. Students will develop a strong foundation of concepts and principles related to ABA. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited university. Courses include:

  • Behavior Assessment and Intervention
  • Ethics and Supervision
  • Behavior-Change Procedures

Courses are offered during all four academic quarters in an online asynchronous format. Most students can earn their certificate in about 18 months.

#10 -California State University Monterey Bay – Seaside, California

Certificate Program in Behavior Analysis Online

CSU Monterey Bay Certificate Program in Behavior Analysis Online

Program Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Net Price: $12,468
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 4
The Behavior Analysis Program at California State University Monterey Bay is an online and hybrid program offering the verified course sequence for students who want to earn their BCaBA certification. Courses include:

  • Advanced Behavior Supports
  • Behavior Intervention and Support
  • Teaching and Assessing Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Class size is intentionally kept small to allow for individualized attention. Faculty are well-respected in the ABA community and share their experiences with their students.

#9- Mary Baldwin University – Staunton, Virginia

Bachelor’s in Autism Studies and ABA Online

Mary Baldwin University Bachelor's in Autism Studies and ABA Online

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Net Price: $17,879
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 5
Mary Baldwin University’s online ABA program features a BA in Autism Studies and ABA, the verified course sequence for BCaBA, and a Comprehensive Certificate in Autism Spectrum Disorders. Students receive personal attention from expert professors in a convenient online platform. Students coming from other universities may be able to transfer up to 84 credits of coursework, saving time and money. MBU has offered ABA coursework since 1993 and has continuously revised and updated their curriculum to reflect current best practices and industry trends.

#8 -University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Virginia

Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Net Price: $17,579
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 5
The University of Virginia’s applied behavior analysis certificate online program is for students with either a bachelor’s or master’s degree and want to better understand and address the behavioral needs of their students. Students will learn how to provide services to improve organizational functioning, skill deficits, and problem behavior. Courses include:

  • Ethics and Professional Conduct of Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Observation, Measurement and Analysis
  • Behavioral Intervention

New students are admitted to the program during the fall semester and part-time students can complete their certificate in about 18 months.

#7 -University of Hawaii at Manoa – Honolulu, Hawaii

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Program

University of Hawaii Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Program

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Net Price: $15,441
Pass Rate: N/A
Total Points: 5
The College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa offers an online BCaBA program that aligns with the BACB 5th Edition Task List requirements. Most students can complete the program online in about 18 months. This 15-credit hour program includes courses in:

  • Assessment, Planning, and Instruction-Severe/Autism
  • Language/Communication Intervention-Communication Disorders/Autism
  • Positive Behavioral Support-Severe Disabilities/Autism

Students complete their fieldwork separate from the university in their own communities or by enrolling in an additional specialized fieldwork course. Courses are delivered in a convenient online format with synchronous sessions taking place in the early evenings.

#6 -California State University San Marcos – San Marcos, California

Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate-BCaBA

CSU Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Net Price: $13,010
Pass Rate: 50%
Total Points: 5
California State University San Marcos features a top affordable applied behavior analysis certificate in a flexible online format. The certificate includes the verified course sequence for BCaBA certification and can be completed in just 14 months. New cohorts begin in the fall and spring semesters. Courses include:

  • Complex Processes for Behavior Change and Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysis
  • Characteristics and Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis

Online students benefit from peer support and individualized attention throughout the program.

#5 -Florida Institute of Technology – Melbourne, Florida

ABA Online Program-BCaBA

FIT ABA Online Program-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Net Price: $32,776
Pass Rate: 76%
Total Points: 6
The top ABA online program from Florida Tech is a 12-month program that meets the Fourth Edition Task List BACB coursework requirements. New students are admitted to the program four times each year. Students engage with co-instructors weekly through online meetings. Courses include:

  • Introduction to Ethical and Professional Conduct of Behavior Analysts
  • Developing, Strengthening and Maintaining Behavior
  • Basic Elements of Applied Behavior Analysis

Interested in earning a master’s from Florida Tech? Students can apply their courses to the Master’s in Professional Behavior Analysis program.

#4 -University of Colorado – Denver, Colorado

Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online-BCaBA

CU Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Net Price: $15,865
Pass Rate: 75%
Total Points: 6
The University of Colorado School of Education and Human Development features an online BCaBA program for educators and direct care workers. The program is offered in a fully online format. Students complete seven courses taught by highly experienced instructors. Courses include:

  • ABA Practical Applications
  • ABA Data
  • Introduction to ABA and Terminology

Courses are taken in order and new cohorts begin in January and July of each year.

#3 -Troy University – Troy, Alabama

Online Bachelor’s in Psychology with a Minor in Applied Behavior Analysis

Troy University Online Bachelor's in Psychology with a Minor in Applied Behavior Analysis

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Net Price: $12,951
Pass Rate: 27%
Total Points: 6
Troy University offers an online bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in applied behavior analysis. This minor prepares students to work with individuals with developmental disabilities including autism. The program meets the course requirements needed to sit for the BCaBA exam. Students can complete two optional practicum courses, gaining valuable hands-on training. Courses are taught by highly skilled faculty who deliver a rigorous curriculum.

#2 -University of West Florida – Pensacola, Florida

Online B.S. in Health Sciences-BCaBA Course Sequence Option

UWF Online B.S. in Health Sciences-BCaBA Course Sequence Option

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Net Price: $7,515
Pass Rate: 67%
Total Points: 6
The University of West Florida offers an exciting BCaBA program online that can be completed as a stand-alone program or as part of the BS in Health Sciences. Course offerings include:

  • Methodology in Behavior Analysis in Health Science
  • Functional Applications of Behavior Analysis in Health Science
  • Problem Identification and Functional Assessment in Health Science

Students take one course at a time and each course is eight weeks long. Online weekly course meetings allow students to interact with each other and their professors.

#1 -Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (Autism)

Ball State Bachelor's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (Autism)

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Net Price: $13,533
Pass Rate: 53%
Total Points: 7
Our top choice for an online BCaBA program is the bachelor’s degree in ABA (Autism) from Ball State University. This affordable BCaBA online has both full and part-time program options. Online courses are delivered in a flexible asynchronous format so students can work on their assignments and projects when it is most convenient. Courses include:

  • Advanced Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Behavior Analysis Principles, Processes, and Philosophy
  • Exceptional Children and Adults

Full-time students can complete their degree in four years. Graduates are prepared for graduate school or to work in areas like organizational behavior management and education.

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