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Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

                             Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

The CU Denver School of Education and Human Development is now offering two course sequences in behavior analysis to prepare students to become effective Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA). These course sequences meet criteria established by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) for approved coursework. Students who complete our program will not have to provide further coursework documentation when applying for the BCBA or BCaBA examinations.

Certificate Structure

The Applied Behavior Analysis, ABA, Certificate course sequence is taught fully online by our CU Denver ABA instructors. ABA certificate seekers can use CU Denvers coursework to meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Boards, BACB, coursework requirements towards becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, BCBA, or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst, BCaBA.

The BCBA® courses are part of a six 3-credit course sequence taught fully online by our CU Denver BCBA instructors. BCBA students will complete a total of 270 required class hours distributed among the BACB®‘s 4th Edition Task List areas. BCaBA​ students will complete 225 required class hours over a five 3-credit course sequence. Each course will be taught over a 10-week period of time. The five core courses (SPED 5450, SPED 5460, SPED 5470, and SPED 5480) will be offered in sequence. Cohorts that begin with the first course, SPED 5450 start in January and July. SPED 5490, which is required for both BCaBA and BCBA, and the sixth course (SPED 5440), which is required for BCBA® students only, will be offered at multiple times. 

The Behavior Analysis Certification Board has approved our 4th tasklist course sequence above as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination and the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

All students who plan on taking the BACB Examination after December 2014 must have completed coursework under the BACB's 4th Edition Task List.

Certificate Format


Application Information

Click here for specific processes and requirements around Registration, Supervised Experience, and Instructors for the ABA certificate.  For information on curriculum, supervised experience requirements, or careers in ABA please contact us.


All courses are three graduate credit hours. Tuition is $373/credit, plus student fees.​

Related Degree Programs

MA Special Education

The first three courses of the certificate (9 credits) may be applied toward an ABA concentration area of the MA Special Education degree. 

Courses Required Sequence & Term Offered
SPED 5450: Introduction to ABA and Terminology
This course will introduce the history and basics of ABA with a focus on its related terminology. In addition, ABA benefits will be discussed, and emphasis placed on ethical considerations required for practicing ABA as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

First: summer July-September or spring January-April


SPED 5460: ABA Practical Applications
This course will provide a framework for the natural science of behavior. It will provide students with a systematic approach to understanding and precisely describing the behavior of individuals, and its relationship to environmental determinants.

Second: fall October - December or spring April-July 

SPED 5470: ABA Data
This course will introduce how to collect and interpret different types of data, and the importance of making data-driven decisions for behavior change procedures based on functional relationships.
Third: spring January-April or summer July-September
SPED 5480: ABA Advanced Data and Behavioral Plans and Applications
Students will learn to use standard celeration charts and make data-driven decisions to write appropriate behavioral plans. They will also learn to use ABA strategies to enhance communication, to support individuals with ASD, and to benefit from systems supports.​
Fourth: spring April-July or fall October-December
SPED 5490: Autism in Early Intervention
This course will provide students with the knowledge necessary to implement recommended, evidence-based practices with young children with autism. The course will provide information on the etiology of autism, diagnostic procedures, evidence-based practices, and how to support families who have a young child diagnosed on the spectrum.  This course can be taken at any time after completion of the first course, SPED 5450. 

After completing SPED 5450, 5460, and 5470.  Offered spring April-June and fall October-December.

​​SPED 5440: Ethics and Implementation in ABA
This course is designed to teach you ethical and professional conduct considerations in applied behavior analysis.  We will review behavior change systems and implementation issues in the conduct of applied behavior analysis.
After completing SPED 5450, 5460, 5470, and 5480.  Offered spring​ January-April, and summer July-September. 

CU Denver School of Education &
Human Development

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