Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

A Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program will train you to be an exceptional practitioner of ABA-based interventions to improve quality of life for people with behavioral challenges, including children and adults with developmental needs. MU graduate students can complete the certificate program while pursuing a degree, and the certificate also complements the skills of recent graduates and experienced professionals who want to specialize in ABA.

In this program, you will learn the conceptual foundations of ABA and methods to apply these behavioral principles to improve behavior. Central to this program is a collaboration with the MU College of Education and Human Development and the MU Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Partnerships with the College of Education incorporates interdisciplinary educational and training opportunities by professors from the School of Health Professions and the College of Education. The MU Thompson Center serves as the primary practicum site to prepare you for an exceptional experiential learning opportunity working with individuals with developmental needs.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. Currently the BACB requires master’s level BCBA applicants to have a minimum of a graduate degree (e.g., master’s or doctoral) in an acceptable field of study (behavior analysis, education or psychology).

(Please note: Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.)


The 5th Edition Task list requirements include 21 hours of coursework (315 classroom hrs). Please note that we value in person face-to-face contact. Therefore, this is an on-campus program only.

The BACB has two experience categories: (a) supervised fieldwork (2000 hrs) and (b) concentrated supervised fieldwork (1500 hrs).  Students in the graduate certificate program are not required but are encouraged to enroll in Practicum and complete their concentrated supervised fieldwork at the MU Thompson Center for a minimum of 6 credits. If they do not enroll in Practicum, the student is responsible for gaining the appropriate fieldwork experience if they wish to become a BCBA. 



  • First deadline: Due January 15th (For scholarships)
  • Second deadline: Due March 30th (For practicum placements)
  • Third deadline: June 30th (For admittance to the classes)

Required Application Materials

  • Unofficial transcripts of all prior coursework
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Letters of recommendation (minimum 1 letter; confidential and sent through the online application system)
  • Personal Data Sheet
  • Official TOEFL scores (if applicable)

Confirmation Materials (required to finalize admission upon acceptance, sent to the Graduate School):

  • Official transcripts
  • Any additional required documentation

The Special Education graduate program cannot assure admission to all applicants who meet minimum standards specified for the degree program. Resource constraints do not permit the admission of all qualified applicants. An interview may be required by the admissions committee. Please feel free to submit any other materials that you feel would give a clearer picture of your qualifications. A committee of faculty reviews the credentials of each applicant.  It is the responsibility of this committee to exercise professional judgment related to the criteria that applicants must meet in order to be considered for admission to the program.

Conditional acceptance

Conditional acceptance into the program is not provided for those students who wish to pursue English language training in the U.S. prior to starting their graduate studies. Applications submitted will be reviewed for admission into the program as per the criteria noted below.

Additional Information

For additional information about the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis including a program description go to:

Back to Top