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Grand Valley State University    
  Mar 20, 2018
2015-2016 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate

For additional information about opportunities your college offers, please refer to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences  section in this catalog.


The applied behavior analysis (ABA) graduate certificate is an online program that offers the coursework required to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Students interested in pursuing the BCBA will also need to meet experience and exam requirements specified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). Go to for more information.

Board Certified Behavior Analysts design and supervise behavior analytic interventions and conduct comprehensive behavioral assessments, including functional analyses. The BCBA teaches others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivers instruction in behavior analysis. A BCBA will supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.

Applied Behavior Analysis at Grand Valley

Upon completion, students will earn a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis that has been approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) to meet coursework requirement for the BCBA. Experience requirements for the BCBA, as defined by the BACB, must be fulfilled in addition to the graduate certificate program coursework. Upon meeting the coursework and experience requirements defined by the BACB, students may apply to take the BCBA exam.


Preference will be given to applications received by May 1 for fall admission. Applications need to be complete before they will be considered for admission. Students may enter the ABA graduate certificate program in two ways:

1. Applicants to the ABA graduate certificate program must demonstrate completion of a master’s degree in psychology or education with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. To be eligible for consideration, applications must include submission of the following materials:

  • All graduate admission materials required by the university
  • A professional vita or resume
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • A two page personal statement outlining interest in the field of applied behavior analysis and the program at Grand Valley State University, relevant experience, and educational and professional goals

2. Students in the school psychology graduate program are automatically admitted to the ABA graduate certificate program.

Requirements for the ABA Graduate Certificate

Students who are admitted into the certificate program must complete 18 semester credit hours with a B- or higher in each course and finish with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. The program accepts one cohort (beginning in the fall semester) each year. All courses are offered online. PSY 522 must be completed first. Students will typically take one course per semester including spring semester. The coursework for the program must be completed within four years. The required curriculum consists of the following courses: