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Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

Offered Online


ABAI logo

Earn your Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification with CSUSM's fully online programs that can be completed in as little as 14 months (BCaBA) and 16 months (BCBA).  

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New cohorts begin every fall and spring semester.

Application and document deadlines:

  • Spring 2021: Jan. 13, 2021
  • Fall 2021: July 7, 2021

View application instructions.

Spring 2021 Application 

Fall 2021 Application

  • Advance in this high-demand industry

    Demand for credentialed behavior analysts has increased significantly in the last several years as these certificates become industry standard and a requirement in an increasing number of states

  • Approved coursework

    Coursework is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as meeting coursework eligibility requirements for certification under the BACB’s 5th Edition Task List

  • Cohort program

    Benefit from immediate peer support, individualized attention, guaranteed placement in courses, guaranteed time to completion, small classes and more

  • Prepare for variety

    This program prepares you to provide services to individuals, families, group homes and schools

Program Details


    How to Apply

    Admission Requirements

    BCBA requirements outlined by the BACB

    • Minimum of a master’s degree from an accredited university in any field of study. 

    BCaBA requirements outlined by the BACB

    • Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in any field of study from an accredited institution in the US or an undergraduate degree from a qualifying institution outside the US that would qualify someone for a graduate program in that country. 

    Please note: To be considered for admission you must reside in an approved state.  To comply with BACB regulations you must reside in the US or Canada.  For more information, please visit the BACB website

    View Catalog Page

  • COST

    Semester Units* Subtotal**
    BCaBA 18 $6,282
    BCBA 21 $7,329

    *Unit rate for this program is $349

    **University semester fees not included. View complete breakdown of Extended Learning fees. Semester tuition subtotals based on sample program sequence. All quoted tuition rates are based on previous academic years and are subject to change without notice.

    Funding and Financial Aid


    View course descriptions and specific program requirements on the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate page.

    Please note: This program has a set schedule of courses that you are expected to follow as part of your cohort.

    The BCBA and BCaBA programs will be offered in 8-week sessions, one course at a time. Two classes will be taken each semester and 1 course will be taken in the summer. Courses must be taken in sequential order. You must receive a minimum grade of “C” in each course in order to move forward.

    Course sequence for 5th Edition Task List

    Track Course (units) Semester


    (21 total units)

    ABA 607 (3)

    ABA 608 (3)

    ABA 609 (3)

    ABA 610 (3)

    ABA 611 (3)

    ABA 612 (3)

    ABA 613 (3)

    Fall - 1st block

    Fall - 2nd block

    Spring - 1st block

    Spring - 2nd block

    Summer - Full block

    Fall - 1st block

    Fall - 2nd block


    (18 total units)

    ABA 607 (3)

    ABA 608 (3)

    ABA 609 (3)

    ABA 610 (3)

    ABA 611 (3)

    ABA 612 (3)

    Fall - 1st block

    Fall - 2nd block

    Spring - 1st block

    Spring - 2nd block

    Summer - Full block

    Fall - 1st block

  • FAQ

    What do behavior analysts do?

    Behavior analysts provide services to individuals, families, group homes, schools, mental health agencies, hospitals, industrial and business settings, and other agencies working with individuals who require intensive behavioral training and/or consultation. Special populations such as individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities have been shown to benefit greatly from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services. ABA is also frequently used in the field of education for both neurotypical students and students with disabilities. Behavior analyst professionals are strongly encouraged by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) to pursue Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) certification. BCBA and BCaBA certifications are considered the industry standard in this field and are nationally and internationally recognized.

    What is a cohort?

    A cohort is a group of students who work through a curriculum together to achieve the same academic degree. Because they are accepted into the same program, take their classes together and graduate together, students in cohorts tend to form a strong support system and professional network that benefit them during their degree program and beyond.

    What are the certification requirements outlined by BACB?

    BCBA track requirements

    BCaBA track requirements

    More information regarding certification can be found at

    How do I get supervision hours? 

    The ABA program at CSUSM does not provide supervisor hours or placements for those hours. CSUSM staff and faculty are not authorized to explain BACB policies and procedures. All questions about the experience/fieldwork hours should be directed to the BACB:​. The BACB has resources that cover the experience/fieldwork requirements, some recommendations:

    • Download, read, and study the Experience Standards​
    • Read the Pre-Checklist and Tips so you know what you should cover with your supervising BCBAs​
    • Watch the video on the homepage that gives an overview of the BACB​

    What are the recent VCS pass rates?

    What are the career opportunities?

    • Demand for certified behavior analysts is increasing, with the largest demand being for the BCBA certification
    • California has the majority of job opportunities along with Massachusetts and New Jersey
    • There are currently 24 states that have passed laws to regulate behavior analysts through licensure or certification (19 of those since 2012)
    • While demand for the BCBA and BCBA-D certificates are increasing overall, the relative growth of the BCBA certificate as a requirement for a job, rather than a preference, is increasing more quickly

    What are the expectations of an online program?

    Learning through online courses is different than taking traditional courses. Most dramatically, it places more responsibility on the student to progress through assignments as described in the course schedule and stay in touch with peers and professors. You will need the basic technology skills listed below to participate in the online components of your classes.

    • Basic typing proficiency in order to communicate with others (e.g. in online discussion forums, sharing of work online using a variety of text-based tools) and for submission of typed writing assignments
    • Email proficiency (using CSUSM email account) to communicate with other students, faculty and staff, including sending and receiving email attachments
    • Internet proficiency to access online course materials and CSUSM online resources

    What services do you offer to active military, veterans and dependents?

    Please visit our military and veteran services page to learn how we can help.


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