California State University-San Marcos

Four CSUSM Programs for Behavior Analysis Careers

California State University San Marcos is also featured in our ranking Top 20 Online Applied Behavior Analysis Bachelor’s Degree and BCaBA Coursework Programs.

Since January 2015, the College of Education, Health & Human Services has offered a 120-unit B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development directed by Dr. Sara Bufferd for California State University-San Marcos Cougars to learn basic behavioral theories from age 0-18 with 10-week field practicum placements. Chaired by Dr. Elisa Grant-Vallone, the B.A. in Psychological Science builds a 120-unit, four-year curriculum where undergrads can engage in the Center for Children & Families, pursue BCaBA certification, join Psi Chi, and intern with Temecula Autism Therapy. Online on Canvas, the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Study follows an 18-unit, post-bachelor’s sequence of eight-week courses like Behavioral Change and Classroom Management with 67 percent first-time BCBA certification success. The M.A. in Special Education also provides a 59-unit, CAEP-accredited Autism Spectrum Disorder Option headed by Dr. Jodi Robledo for the K-12 Mild/Moderate Education Specialist credential.

About California State University-San Marcos

California State University-San Marcos originated in 1969 when Chancellor Glenn S. Dumke started planning a new CSU branch for the underserved North County area. In 1978, Senator William A. Craven allocated $250,000 to develop a San Diego State University location in Vista for an inaugural class of 148. In 1989, Governor George Deukmejian signed Senate Bill 365 to make it California State University-San Marcos. In 1990, temporary buildings on Los Vallecitos Boulevard enrolled the first 448 junior and senior undergrads. Regionally accredited in 1993, CSUSM was donated $1 million from Jean and W. Keith Kellogg in 1996. The next year, President Alexander Gonzalez conferred CSUSM’s first graduate degree. In 2007, the Center for Children & Families was launched for daycare. In 2013, CSU-San Marcos unveiled the new 20,000-square-foot Student Health and Counseling Services Building.

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Endowed for $24.9 million, California State University-San Marcos now employs 840 faculty teaching 7,704 female and 4,853 male Cougars from 35 countries online or on its 340-acre “Valley of Discovery” campus near Encinitas with 100+ clubs like Active Minds. In 2018, CSUSM accepted its fifth Insight Into Diversity Higher Education Excellence Award. In 2019, San Marcos won a CASE District VII Bronze Award of Excellence. California State University-San Marcos earned the ACUI Facility Design Award for its Student Union too. The U.S. News & World Report ranked CSU-San Marcos the 58th best West college with the 26th best social mobility. On Niche, CSUSM boasts America’s 274th top public education and 442nd most diversity. Money magazine declared California State University-San Marcos the 243rd top value. The National Council for Home Safety and Security placed CSUSM 13th.

California State University-San Marcos Accreditation Details

On June 24, 2016, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Senior College and University Commission voted favorably to extend the Level V accreditation at California State University-San Marcos through the next Spring 2026 visit under President Ellen J. Neufeldt, Ed.D., who received the John Jones Award for Outstanding Performance. Located 476 miles north via Interstate 5 in Alameda, this esteemed eight-territory Pacific Coast Region accreditor is authorized by the U.S. Education to Department to review CSUSM’s 43 baccalaureate, 24 graduate, and 13 certificate programs. Further, the College of Education, Health & Human Services was reaffirmed by the Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) in October 2015. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) approved the M.A. in Special Education in June 2015. The Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Study is also recognized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

California State University-San Marcos Application Requirements

Enrollment at California State University-San Marcos is classified as “moderately difficult” by Peterson’s since 10,311 of the 17,648 Fall 2018 applicants were chosen for 58 percent acceptance. First-year Cougars seeking the Psychology Department’s B.A. options must be high school or GED program graduates. College-prep courses, including four years of English, must be graded C or higher. The Class of 2022 had an average cumulative GPA of 3.27. The middle 50th percentile had ACT composite scores of 18-23. Mid-range admitted SAT scores were 870-1050. Transfers must hold 60+ semester units and the Golden Four courses with college GPAs above 2.0. B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development majors must pass a criminal background check before practicum. International students need a minimum 61 TOEFL iBT or 5.5 IELTS score. The College of Education, Health & Human Services seeks M.A.Ed. cohorts with 2.5 and higher GPAs during four-year bachelor’s preparation. Passing the California Basic Educational Skills Test for CCTC K-12 teacher credentials is necessary.

California State University-San Marcos has an undergrad admission period of October 1st to November 30th. Bachelor of Arts majors must file all required documents by February 15th. The M.A. in Special Education admits Fall cohorts from January 15th to May 31st each year. Spring cohorts apply between August 1st and October 31st. The Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Study has rolling admission until the current start dates of July 3rd and January 2nd. Accordingly, log into the Cal State Apply portal for the $65 ($70 if graduate) CSU Application online. Forward institutional transcripts to 333 South Twin Oaks Valley Road in San Marcos, CA 92096. Send test results via SAT/GRE code 5677 or ACT code 0272. Fulfill checklist items, such as the writing exercise, resume, teacher certificate, and 2-3 recommendations. Contact (760) 750-4000 or with questions.

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Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2019-20, California State University-San Marcos is charging in-state undergrads $5,742 annually. Non-resident B.A. in Psychological Science tuition is $15,246 each year. The Western Undergraduate Exchange reduces costs to $8,208 yearly. Mandatory local fees are $1,906. Room and board for the Quad Village Apartments are $13,000 extra. CSUSM budgets $2,000 for books, $1,568 for transport, and $1,480 for personal expenses. Annual undergrad attendance equals about $25,338 in-state, $34,266 out-of-state, and $27,804 from the West. The Office of Graduate Studies bills Californians $6,738 and non-residents $15,666 every year full-time. Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate of Advanced Study courses are priced $383 per unit. Earning the BCBA certification costs as little as $6,894 in total.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Office of Financial Aid on Craven Hall’s 3rd Floor links 82 percent of beginning full-time CSUSM Cougars to tuition assistance averaging $9,154 each for $15.99 million combined. University funds include Alliance Ambassadors Scholarship, Robert & Joni Alter Scholarship, Bright Mothers Scholarship, Adelaide Czarnecki Scholarship, Bree Tinney Re-Entry Scholarship, Carol Cox Scholarship, Clifford Northway Memorial Scholarship, Margaret Toppel Memorial Scholarship, Major General Anthony Jackson Scholarship, Deanna DeLaney Memorial Scholarship, and Hein Family Scholarship. The Middle-Class Scholarship covers tuition for Californians, including AB540 students, with an annual family income of $177,000 or less. The $2,235 Bridget Bailey-Meier Scholarship has a March 4th deadline for African-American undergrads with GPAs above 3.0. Federal resources, such as the Teach Grant or Work-Study Program, require FAFSA applications coded 030113. Golden State residents also receive up to $5,742 each year from the Cal Grant.

Keep learning about California State University-San Marcos at the College of Education, Health & Human Services website.