Deadlines and Important Dates

This program accepts applications at any time during the year, but students must start the program in the fall semester with SPLED 503A. We strongly recommend that you begin the application process no later than mid August of the year you wish to start the program so that you have time to submit an application, register for SPLED 503A, set up your access account, and order your textbook before the start date of the course.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.


For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

Please note that while Penn State's program requires a bachelor's degree for admission, the BACB requires a master's degree in an approved field in order to become certified as a BCBA. If board certification is your ultimate goal, we advise you to verify that your degree will satisfy the BACB requirement before you begin your coursework with Penn State. Please visit the BACB's website for more information

What You Need

For admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program, the online certificate application and the application fee are all that is required. You do not have to provide transcripts, a cover letter, letters of recommendation, test scores, nor any other documentation with your application.

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

How to Apply

Begin the Graduate School application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Certificate Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus
  • Choose "Applied Behavior Analysis" as the certificate

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.