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Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Chicago, IL
  • Full-Time, Part-Time
  • 2 Years Full-Time

Applied Behavior Analysis is the ethical design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental changes to produce socially significant improvements in behavior. Students that complete this Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program at our Chicago campus will have satisfied the academic coursework requirement to sit for the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA). Upon […]

Applied Behavior Analysis is the ethical design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental changes to produce socially significant improvements in behavior. Students that complete this Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program at our Chicago campus will have satisfied the academic coursework requirement to sit for the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA).

Upon completion of this certificate program students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the impact of diversity issues on individuals and society, and demonstrate sensitivity and competence, while working with diverse populations.
  • Evaluate and resolve ethical dilemmas in accordance with behavior-analytics and psychological ethical guidelines.
  • Establish rapport and communicate effectively with clients, stakeholders, and other professionals.
  • Analyze behaviors, design interventions, and evaluate interventions, by applying basic behavioral principles and assessment techniques to effect socially significant behavior change.
  • Conduct and evaluate behavior-analytics research and other psychological research effectively and ethically.

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis: Chicago Student Experience

The Chicago Campus provides students an opportunity to immerse themselves into a culturally diverse city with nearly unlimited academic resources as well as excellent networking opportunities. Chicago is also home to some of the nation’s finest dining, entertainment, museums, and other activities.

At our flagship campus, The Chicago School has demonstrated a continued commitment to a diverse student population and expanding mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities. Strategically located in the downtown area, students will experience real-world training in diverse facilities with experienced practitioners.

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Applied Behavior Analysis I

Applied behavior analysis is a discipline devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. This course teaches students how to produce socially significant behavioral changes in applied settings using basic concepts and principles from the experimental analysis of behavior.

Concepts and Principles in Behavior Analysis

This course instructs students in the basic principles of operant and respondent conditioning, selection by consequences, and the research literature from which the principles were derived. The course also addresses the philosophical assumptions of behavior analysis (i.e., radical behaviorism).

Assessment and Intervention

Students learn how to conduct assessments, review assessment data, develop function-based interventions, and to make data-based decisions.

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is aligned with coursework requirements for eligibility to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®). Applicants for BCBA® certification must meet additional requirements established by BACB® including completion of an approved master’s degree, supervised experience, application, examination, and background check.

BCBA Examination Pass Rates


*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.

There may also be state professional licensure requirements to practice applied behavior analysis. A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional licensure and those requirements are subject to change. The following is state professional licensure information as of the date of publication:

BCBA® certification aligns with certification requirements for professional licensure in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

Graduates who have obtained BCBA® certification may be eligible for licensure in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and North Dakota if their master’s degree program aligns with state degree requirements. Note that candidates for professional licensure may be required to meet additional state requirements such as application, examination, and background check.

A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures.

It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any state not listed above. The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis may meet some or all of the requirements of states not listed, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the program’s graduation requirements. Some state licensing requirements include the following: completion of a master’s degree, post-graduate field work, certification as a board certified behavior analyst, examination, and application for license.

Due to recent and ongoing changes in state professional licensure of applied behavior analysis practitioners, students should contact the state board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure. To assist with this research, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) publishes information regarding state licensure.

Licensure and Certification FAQ

The seven required courses comprise a course sequence that is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)®. Students are not required to complete their supervision with The Chicago School to receive their certificate; however, the BACB® requires that students complete the BCBA® Supervised Experience requirement prior to sitting for the BCBA® certification exam.

Applicants in the Online and on-ground programs are encouraged to gain experience in multiple sites and with multiple supervisors. See for appropriate experience activities and for more information about practicum requirements.

Send materials to:

Admissions Operations
c/o The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
203 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1900
Chicago, IL 60601

Students applying to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Applicants to this program should ensure their resume illustrates relevant work experience.
  • Essay
    • Please write a two page essay stating why you are interested in becoming Board Certified in Applied Behavior Analysis, and your experience in Applied Behavior Analysis.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • One Letter of Recommendation
    • Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.

Applicants to the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must possess a Master’s degree from an accredited institution, that was conferred in behavior analysis or other natural science, education, human services, engineering, medicine, or related behavior analysis field approved by the BCBA®. It is recommended that students contact the BCBA® to confirm acceptance of their degree prior to beginning coursework. A practicum site approval form is also required from students seeking to complete Practicum supervision requirements through the program’s BCBA® approved Practicum Experience.

In addition to the admission criteria, applicants to the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must also have access to a computer that is less than three years old, a broadband internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A comfort with basic Internet technology
  • The ability to open and attach files from and to emails
  • The ability to send and receive email
  • The ability to save documents


International Application Requirements

The Chicago School is dedicated to keep our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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