Javascript is currently not supported, or is disabled by this browser. Please enable Javascript for full functionality.

Skip to Main Content
Skip to main content
Grand Valley State University    
2018-2019 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog 
  Aug 24, 2019
2018-2019 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 GVSU psychology department is offering an online graduate level certificate program in applied behavioral analysis (ABA) that will allow students to pursue certification as a board certified behavior Analyst (BCBA). Students complete six courses (18 credits) that meet the 4th Edition Task List coursework requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Go to for more information.

Board certified behavior analysts design and implement behavior analytic interventions and conduct comprehensive behavioral assessments. A BCBA will train and supervise the work of board certified assistant behavior analysts, registered behavior technicians, and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.

Applied Behavior Analysis at Grand Valley

Students enrolled in the online program will earn a graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis that has been approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to meet coursework requirements 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. A master’s degree in psychology, education, or behavior analysis is required for admission to the program.


The applied behavior analysis certificate may be obtained while pursuing a master or specialist degree in school psychology (degree-seeking students), or without pursuing a degree and only pursuing the certificate (non-degree seeking students).

Students wishing to pursue the applied behavior analysis certificate alongside a master or specialist degree in school psychology should contact the program coordinator in school psychology.

Students wishing to pursue the applied behavior analysis certificate without admittance into the master or specialist degree programs must submit an official GVSU application.  

Applications are accepted at any time but preference will be given to applications received by May 1st 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, education, or behavior analysis 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 GVSU 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. All courses are offered online. The first course in the program sequence starts in the fall, and students may take up to two courses per semester. PSY 522 must be completed during the first semester of the program. The coursework for the program must be completed within four years. The required curriculum consists of the following courses: