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Top 15 Online Applied Behavior Analysis Bachelor’s Degree and BCaBA Coursework Programs 2020

Applied Behavior Analysis applies the psychological principles of learning theory in a systematic way to promote positive, socially acceptable behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis is a type of therapy that’s effective with individuals of all ages. It’s also believed to be effective in helping individuals diagnosed with autism or other developmental disabilities. ABA professionals are trained to

  • conduct assessments
  • analyze data
  • write behavior plans
  • implement those plans

Fortunately, this training is available to students as part of their undergraduate program or as a series of courses completed after students have earned their bachelor’s degree.
Online programs can provide students with the classroom requirements needed to be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam. Some programs offer the practicum experiences required for certification. The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst credential requires completion of the approved course sequence and practical experience. It’s 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:
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

Program Offering:

  • Online Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis- 2 points

Where there are ties, schools are ranked according to net price per College Navigator.

#15 -Purdue University Global – Davenport, Iowa

Online Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology—Applied Behavior Analysis


School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Net Price: N/A
Total Points: 3
Purdue University Global features a top online bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis that prepares students to work with both children and adults. Courses are offered in convenient 10 week terms. Students can expect to spend about 15-18 hours a week on coursework. Courses include:

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

Almost all courses are taught by faculty members with advanced degrees and almost half hold a doctorate in their area of expertise. This top online bachelor’s in ABA includes the ABAI course sequence needed to meet the coursework requirement to sit for the BCaBA exam.

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

Certificate Program in Behavior Analysis Online

Program Website
Student to Faculty Ratio: 24:1
Net Price: $13,155
Total Points: 3
The Department of Education and Leadership at California State University Monterey Bay offers a top online certificate program in ABA. This four course program meets the coursework requirement to sit for the BCaBA exam. Courses include:

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

Students who are not already enrolled in a special education program at CSUMB can enroll through Open University.

#13 -Florida Institute of Technology – Melbourne, Florida

ABA Online Program-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Net Price: $34,139
Total Points: 4
The top online BCaBA program at Florida Tech is a four term program with multiple start dates throughout the year. Students can complete the program quickly with no on-campus residency requirements. While coursework is offered online, students engage with co-faculty through face-to-face weekly interactions. This ABAI approved course sequence prepares students to sit for the BCaBA exam. The courses include the concepts, principles, and procedures specifically included in the BACB task list.

#12 -Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Clarion, Pennsylvania

Assistant Applied Behavior Analysis and Competent Learner Model Certificate


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Net Price: $19,297
Total Points: 4
Clarion University of Pennsylvania features a top online certificate in ABA and Competent Learner Model. Students will meet the coursework requirements needed to sit for the BCaBA exam and become a certified Competent Learner Model implementer. Courses include:

  • ABA/CLM Instructional Methods Procedures and Tools
  • Contingencies to Engineer Learning
  • Professional and Ethical Standards

The five course sequence prepares students to work with a variety of individuals with challenging behavioral support needs. Students will learn effective practices in ABA that align the the BACB task list.

#11 -University of Massachusetts Lowell – Lowell, Massachusetts

Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis: BCaBA Coursework Preparation


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Net Price: $18,257
Total Points: 4
The University of Massachusetts Lowell features a graduate certificate program in ABA that includes the BCaBA coursework series. This four course program is offered entirely online and is available to any student with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Courses include:

  • Teaching and Positive Behavioral Support in Autism
  • Management Strategies in Applied Behavioral Intervention
  • Functional Analysis and Treatment of Challenging Behavior

Students will learn how to collect and analyze data, conduct assessment, and implement behavior management interventions. Three of the courses can also be applied to the master’s in autism studies.

#10 -University of Colorado – Denver, Colorado

Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Online-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Net Price: $14,477
Total Points: 4
The School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver features a top online ABA certificate for teachers to want to learn more about identifying student behaviors that can have a negative effect on learning. Students will complete 225 course hours over a five-course sequence. Courses are each 10-12 weeks long and new cohorts begin each January and July. Courses include:

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

For more info: University of Colorado-Denver

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

Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate-BCaBA

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Net Price: $12,614
Total Points: 4
California State University San Marcos features a top online applied behavior analysis certificate through their Extended Learning program. Students can complete their certificate in just 18 months. The program follows a cohort format that allows students to fully engage with peers and faculty. Courses include:

  • Classroom Management, Instructional Methods, and Ethical Consideration in Behavior Analysis
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Applications for Complex Procedures and Promoting Behavior Change
  • Behavior Analysis Processes for Behavior Change

This 12 credit hour program is open to students with a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution.
For more information: California State University- San Marcos

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

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Program

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Net Price: $15,712
Total Points: 5
The University of Hawaii at Manoa features a BCaBA online certificate program that can be completed in just one year. This 12 credit hour program is offered fully online and offers the ABAI verified course sequence needed to meet the coursework requirements for the BCaBA exam. Courses include:

  • Assessment, Planning, & Instruction – Severe/Autism
  • Introductory Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Principles of Behavior

Courses are delivered through synchronous online sessions offered during the early evening hours to accommodate working professionals.

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

General Studies Bachelor’s: Autism Studies Concentration Online

Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Net Price: $35,344
Total Points: 6
The top online bachelor’s in autism studies from Saint Joseph’s University is a comprehensive program that includes both the coursework and the required field experience needed to sit for the BCaBA exam. Courses include:

  • Assessment in ABA
  • Ethics and Professionalism in ABA
  • Consultation and Supervision in ABA

Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of settings, including special education classrooms and behavioral health programs.

#6 -Central Methodist University – Fayette, Missouri

BS in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Net Price: $15,975
Total Points: 6
The top online bachelor’s in ABA from Central Methodist University is a comprehensive online program that prepares students to work with children with behavioral challenges. The curriculum includes the ABAI verified course sequence needed to sit for the BCaBA. Courses include:

  • Behavior Change Procedures
  • Professionalism in ABA
  • Leadership & Management in ABA

Students are able to learn from faculty who are actively working in the field of ABA. Already have a bachelor’s degree? Students can still complete the verified course sequence (VCS)!

#5 -Ball State University – Muncie, Indiana

Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (Autism)

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Net Price: $13,642
Total Points: 6
Ball State University features a top online bachelor’s in ABA with a focus on autism studies. Full-time students can complete their degree in four years. Courses include:

  • Ethical, Professional Practice in Behavior Analysis
  • Treatment and Interventions with Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Application of Consultation in Applied Behavior Analysis

Courses are taught by faculty who are engaged in research and experienced in teaching best-practice methods in ABA. Ball State is a national hub for ABA studies, offering one of the few fully online bachelor’s in ABA programs in the country.

#4 -University of West Florida – Pensacola, Florida

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

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Net Price: $9,091
Total Points: 6
The University of West Florida features an undergraduate BCaBA course sequence that can be completed as a stand alone program or as an elective course sequence within the health sciences bachelor’s degree program. Courses include:

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

This ABAI verified BCaBA course sequence is taught by experienced ABA professionals. All courses offer weekly interactive online course meetings that students can view live or at their own convenience.

#3- Mary Baldwin University – Staunton, Virginia

Bachelor’s in Autism Studies and ABA Online

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Net Price: $18,339
Total Points: 7
The top online bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis from Mary Baldwin University is the first ABA program to be offered in Virginia. Students can pursue a bachelor’s in autism studies and ABA, meeting the coursework requirements needed to sit for the BCaBA. MBU also offers a BA/MS program that allows students to earn their master’s in ABA online with just one additional year of study. Students receive personalized attention from expert faculty and develop skills with practical application in the field.

#2 -Troy University – Troy, Alabama

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

School Profile

Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Net Price: $12,114
Total Points: 7
Troy University features a top online bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in ABA. This 18 credit hour minor includes the ABAI approved course sequence needed to sit for the BCaBA. The program emphasizes the use of ABA with individuals who have:

  • autism
  • developmental disabilities
  • academic/behavioral concerns

Students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by taking two practicum courses that can be completed in different settings in the community.

#1 -The Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Chicago, Illinois

B.A. in Psychology Applied Behavior Analysis Minor


Program Website

Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Net Price: $6,870
Total Points: 8
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology features our top choice for an online bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis with the verified course sequence needed to sit for the BCaBA exam. This 100% online program is offered to both full and part-time students. Courses include Measurement and Evaluation and Functional Assessment.

Graduates are prepared to help individuals:

  • learn and maintain positive behaviors
  • improve social interactions
  • learn new abilities.

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