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applied behavior student
Graduate Certificate in
Applied Behavior Analysis

Courses

Penn State’s seven-course sequence is based on the BACB’s 5th Edition Task List (PDF) and course work requirement (PDF), which went into effect in January 2022, and is intended to prepare you to sit for the 5th Edition BCBA certification examination. The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the seven courses specific to the ABA emphasis toward the course work requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination.

In addition to completing the specified course work, the BACB also requires a graduate degree (i.e., master’s or doctoral) and supervised fieldwork experience that meets the 2022 fieldwork requirements in order to qualify to take the BCBA certification exam.

Required Courses (21 credits)

  • 3
    credits

    Introduces students to single-case research design and methodology. This course is designed to provide the student with all the necessary tools needed to formulate questions that require repeated measures observation and analysis, including the use of visual and statistical analytic methods.

  • 3
    credits

    This course covers the foundational underpinnings of the field of applied behavior analysis, which uses principles of behavior to positively impact client outcomes. The field emphasizes an empirical base through the use of experimental analysis of key variables in order to develop evidence-based interventions.

  • 3
    credits

    This course teaches the basic principles of applied behavior analysis, the building blocks necessary for developing evidence-based behavioral interventions.

  • 3
    credits

    This course teaches students how to conduct and interpret various behavioral assessments. Students will explore various behavioral assessments including skills assessments, preference assessments, direct and indirect functional behavior assessments, and experimental functional analysis.

  • 3
    credits

    This course utilizes the concepts and foundations taught in the prerequisite courses in order to guide students towards developing the skills necessary in implementing evidence-based practices and selecting the appropriate procedures when targeting behaviors for change.

  • 3
    credits

    This course builds on the concepts taught in the prerequisite courses and will cover organizational behavior management, which can be defined as using a behavior analytic framework to teach students how to train, supervise, monitor, and provide feedback to personnel who are implementing academic and behavior change programs.

    • Note

      This is a 5-day, on-campus course held in early August that corresponds with Penn State’s National Autism Conference. TRAVEL IS REQUIRED.

  • 3
    credits

    In this class students will learn about the governmental and professional disciplinary standards that regulate the field of behavior analysis in special education. Beyond the letter of the law, students will work through case studies where ethical dilemmas are presented in an effort to tease out the underpinnings of ethical behavior.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

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