Applied behavior analysts focus on observing behavior and how it affects the interaction between individuals and their environments. They look to help individuals by discovering small changes that will make big improvements in these people’s lives. This field is often applied to help people with autism, though other patients can benefit as well.

The type of treatment provided by these professionals is known as ABA therapy. Its intent is to get patients to act more “normal” through the use of cues and rewards. Currently, it is the most common type of therapy used with autistic children, though it is very likely that the present methods will be further refined as time goes on.

Choosing the Right Online Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Program

As with most psychological specialties, education typically is set up in the traditional style. A bachelor’s degree starts you off, and upgrades include master’s and doctorate degrees. Typically, a bachelor’s opens the door to assistant positions, while higher degrees make it possible to get positions with more responsibilities. While many students will choose the traditional on-campus program route, an online program can prove to be more flexible for those students with busier lives and schedules.

No matter what degree level you’re going for, it’s essential that the program be accredited. This ensures that the degree will be honored by employers, future degree programs, and your state’s licensing board. At the master’s level, which is the one required for certification, look for accreditation by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. This organization also administers one of the major certification tests for this profession.

Bachelor’s Degree

There are online options abound for the Bachelor of Science in applied behavior analysis. The curriculum is heavy on psychology and developmental courses, though it is typical for schools to also insist that you take subjects like math, history, and English along with them.

Master’s Degree

Unlike in most psychological professions, you can become an independent practitioner with a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis. Coursework is focused on psychology, child development, and related topics. There is also a requirement for in-person experience hours, during which you interact directly with patients as well as certified practitioners, so it’s important to consider this when searching for online programs.

Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis can be a good option for a student who already holds a related psychology degree and wants to enter this niche specialty. A graduate certificate is a shorter program (usually taking around a year to complete) that does not result in a degree, but the credits can generally be applied to a higher degree if the student wishes to continue their education. This is an excellent choice for those who don’t want the time commitment or expense of a full degree program but still want to explore the specialty. You can find many applied behavior analysis graduate programs available through a search online.

Doctorate Degree

A doctorate in applied behavior analysis is not required to become certified, but you may want to get one in order to further expand your eligibility for high-salary positions (or your ability to get higher rates as an independent practitioner). It requires even more psychology courses, but much of your grade will come from your dissertation. Some schools may require even more practice hours as well, so it’s important to make sure you’re able to complete these hours locally as an online student.

Board Certification

This profession requires certification rather than licensure. You’ll need to pass the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam or an equivalent in order to get the required credential. More information on this, and several lower certifications, can be found here.

Which Applied Behavior Analysis Degree is Right for You?

Bachelor’s DegreeMaster’s DegreeGraduate CertificatePh.D. or PsyD
I am interested in gaining entry-level experience in applied behavior analysisx
I want to get started in my applied behavior analysis career before I pursue more educationx
I want to pursue a non-patient-facing role in the fieldxx
I want to switch to an applied behavior analysis specialtyxx
I already have an applied behavior analysis degree and want to gain specialized knowledgexx
I want to conduct research in applied behavior analysisxx
I want to become a licensed psychologist and treat patientsx
I want to work in academiax

Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Program Curriculum

Since most behavior analysts work with children, subjects studied for these degrees are heavy in child development as well as psychology. The latest methods and research in applied behavior analysis should be included. For the bachelor’s, you’ll also have to take a number of courses in basic subjects like math, English, and history. A full list of online classes can usually be found in the program’s curriculum section on the school’s website.

  • Bachelor’s Degree – A standard bachelor’s degree program is 120 hours, and is set up with the expectation that you’ll take 30 credits worth of classes every year. This makes it fit the “four-year degree” paradigm. However, you can take more or fewer credit hours each year, with the timeframe adjusted accordingly.
  • Master’s Degree – It can take as few as 30 credit hours to get a master’s, but the requirements of the degree don’t stop there. You’ll also need to get a minimum number of practicum hours. The specific number varies by school.
  • Doctorate Degree – Eighty-five to 95 credit hours are involved, but as with the master’s, you’ll also need to do a dissertation. You may also have to complete more practicum hours.

Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Program Clinical Requirements

In this field, the practicum hour requirement kicks in early – at the master’s level – so that you can apply for board certification upon receiving the degree. Practicum hours vary depending on the school, with some providing 1,500 or more, others giving half that, and some not including any at all.

Make sure to check your state’s current legal requirements prior to enrolling so that you can be sure that your prospective master’s degree program offers enough. Otherwise, you may have to enroll in another school or program in order to get the practice time that certification requires. Those enrolled in online programs will still need to complete any clinical requirements in-person.

List of Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Programs

Looking for an online or campus-based applied behavior analysis degree program near you? Browse our state-by-state school listings below.

Jump to Your State Listings


Master's Programs
7440 East Drive
Montgomery, AL 36117-3596
(334) 244-3000

Master's Programs
700 Pelham Road North
Jacksonville, AL 36265
(256) 782-5781


Bachelor's Programs
3211 Providence Drive
Anchorage, AK 99508
(907) 786-1800


1 W. Firestorm Way
Glendale, AZ 85306-3216
(602) 489-5300


Administration Bldg 425
Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 575-2000


5241 N Maple Ave
Fresno, CA 93740
(559) 278-4240

Master's Programs
18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91330
(818) 677-1200

Certificate ProgramsMaster's Programs
6000 J St
Sacramento, CA 95819-2694
(916) 278-6011


102 Administration Building
Fort Collins, CO 80523-0100
(970) 491-1101

1380 Lawrence Street, Lawrence Street Center, Suite 1400
Denver, CO 80217-3364
(303) 556-5600

Graduate Certificate Programs
Carter Hall - Rm 4000
Greeley, CO 80639
(970) 351-1890


Bachelor's Programs
83 Windham St
Willimantic, CT 06226
(860) 465-5000

800 Country Club Rd
Waterbury, CT 06723
(800) 345-2562

Master's Programs
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810-6826
(203) 837-8200


Master's ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
11200 S. W. 8 Street
Miami, FL 33199
(305) 348-2000

11000 University Parkway
Pensacola, FL 32514-5750
(850) 474-2000

Bachelor's Programs
Tigert Hall
Gainesville, FL 32611
(352) 392-3261

University of Miami
Coral Gables, FL 33146
(305) 284-2211


201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
(404) 727-6123

Master's Programs
1332 Southern Drive
Statesboro, GA 30460-8126
(912) 478-5391

Administration Building
Athens, GA 30602
(706) 542-3000



2000 University Ave
Muncie, IN 47306
(765) 289-1241

Certificate Programs
1700 Mishawaka Ave
South Bend, IN 46615-7111
(574) 520-4872

2101 E Coliseum Blvd
Fort Wayne, IN 46805-1499
(260) 481-4739


Certificate ProgramsMaster's Programs
1701 S Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
(620) 231-7000

Graduate Certificate Programs
1845 N. Fairmount
Wichita, KS 67260-0124
(316) 978-3456


521 Lancaster Ave
Richmond, KY 40475-3102
(859) 622-1000

218 Wells Hall
Murray, KY 42071-3318
(270) 809-3011

Master's ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0032
(859) 257-9000

2301 S 3rd St
Louisville, KY 40292-0001
(502) 852-5555


96 Falmouth St
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 780-4141


3400 N Charles St
Baltimore, MD 21218-2688
(410) 516-8000

1101 Camden Ave
Salisbury, MD 21801-6862
(410) 543-6000


588 Longmeadow Street
Longmeadow, MA 01106
(413) 565-1000

Certificate Programs
1071 Blue Hill Ave
Milton, MA 02186-2395
(617) 333-0500

352 Lafayette St
Salem, MA 01970
(978) 542-6000

285 Old Westport Rd
North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300
(508) 999-8000

1 University Ave
Lowell, MA 01854-5104
(978) 934-4000


Graduate Certificate Programs
1 Campus Dr
Allendale, MI 49401-9403
(616) 331-2020

Certificate Programs
26811 Orchard Lake Rd.
Farmington Hills, MI 48334-4512
(248) 476-1122 x100

2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48309-4401
(248) 370-2100

1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5200
(269) 387-1000


Bachelor's Programs
1500 Birchmont Dr
Bemidji, MN 56601
(800) 475-2001

Bachelor's Programs
South Rd and Ellis Ave
Mankato, MN 56001
(507) 389-1866

Master's ProgramsPsyD Programs
720 Fourth Ave. South
Saint Cloud, MN 56301-4498
(320) 308-0121

100 Washington Avenue South, Suite 900
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(866) 492-5336


901 S National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897
(417) 836-5000

One North Grand Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097
(314) 977-2222

Master's Programs
One University Plaza, MS2025
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701
(573) 651-2000

100 E Normal Avenue
Kirksville, MO 63501-4221
(660) 785-4000

Master's Programs
108 W South Street
Warrensburg, MO 64093
(660) 543-4111


1000 Galvin Rd S
Bellevue, NE 68005-3098
(402) 291-8100

Master's Programs
6001 Dodge St
Omaha, NE 68182-0225
(402) 554-2800


North Virginia Street
Reno, NV 89557
(775) 784-1110

New Hampshire

Associate Programs
25 Hall Street
Concord, NH 03301-3471
(603) 228-3000

New Jersey

900 Lakewood Ave
Lakewood, NJ 08701-2697
(732) 987-2200

Master's ProgramsCertificate Programs
2083 Lawrence Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648-3099
(609) 896-5000

Master's Programs
400 S Orange Ave
South Orange, NJ 07079-2697
(973) 761-9000

New Mexico

Graduate Certificate Programs
1700 Lomas Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87106
(505) 277-0111

New York

695 Park Ave
New York, NY 10065
(212) 772-4000

65-30 Kissena Blvd
Queens, NY 11367
(718) 997-5000

West 116 St and Broadway
New York, NY 10027
(212) 854-1754

Master's Programs
1300 Elmwood Ave
Buffalo, NY 14222
(716) 878-4000

Master's Programs
50 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10036
(646) 565-6000

Certificate Programs
12 Capen Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1660
(716) 645-2000

North Carolina

601 South College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403-5963
(910) 962-3000

North Dakota

608 6th St NE
Jamestown, ND 58405
(701) 252-3467

PhD ProgramsGraduate Certificate Programs
264 Centennial Drive, Stop 8193
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8193
(800) 225-5863


Graduate Certificate Programs
220 McFall Ctr
Bowling Green, OH 43403
(418) 372-5526


2800 West Gore Blvd
Lawton, OK 73505-6377
(580) 581-2200

3500 SW 119th St
Oklahoma City, OK 73170-9797
(405) 691-3800

100 N University Dr
Edmond, OK 73034
(405) 974-2000


Master's Programs
110 Johnson Hall
Eugene, OR 97403
(541) 346-1000


450 S Easton Rd
Glenside, PA 19038-3295
(215) 572-2900

250 University Ave
California, PA 15419-1394
(724) 938-4400

Certificate Programs
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301-2999
(570) 422-3117

Accelerated Masters Programs
5600 City Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19131-1395
(610) 660-1000

Master's ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsCertificate Programs
1801 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122-6096
(215) 204-7000

Rhode Island

Master's Programs
100 Ochre Point Avenue
Newport, RI 02840-4192
(401) 847-6650

Green Hall, 35 Campus Avenue
Kingston, RI 02881
(401) 874-1000

South Carolina

Master's Programs
4822 East Palmetto Street
Florence, SC 29506
(843) 661-1362

Columbia, SC 29208
(803) 777-7000


601 College St
Clarksville, TN 37044
(931) 221-7011

Bachelor's Programs
333 Murfreesboro Rd
Nashville, TN 37210
(615) 248-1200


Waco, TX 76798
(254) 710-1011

Graduate Certificate Programs
2008 Alumni Drive, Rusk 206
Nacogdoches, TX 75961
(936) 468-2011

Certificate Programs
JKW Administration Building, Suite 200
College Station, TX 77843-1248
(979) 845-3211

1201 W University Dr
Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
(956) 665-2011

110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 471-3434

Graduate Certificate Programs
One UTSA Circle
San Antonio, TX 78249-1644
(210) 458-4011

Master's Programs
2700 Bay Area Blvd
Houston, TX 77058-1002
(281) 283-7600

Bachelor's ProgramsMaster's Programs
1501 W.Chestnut Ave.
Denton, TX 76203-1277
(940) 565-2000


Graduate Certificate Programs
5115 Hampton Blvd
Norfolk, VA 23529
(757) 683-3000


526 5th Street
Cheney, WA 99004-2496
(509) 359-6200

Bachelor's Programs
516 High Street
Bellingham, WA 98225-9008
(360) 650-3000

300 W Hawthorne Rd
Spokane, WA 99251
(509) 777-1000

West Virginia

1201 Locust Ave
Fairmont, WV 26554-2470
(304) 367-4000

Graduate Certificate Programs
1 John Marshall Dr
Huntington, WV 25755
(304) 696-3170


100 N East Ave
Waukesha, WI 53186
(262) 547-1211

Accelerated Masters Programs
1250 W Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53233
(414) 288-7710

Bachelor's Programs
105 Garfield Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701
(715) 836-4636

Certificate Programs
800 Algoma Blvd
Oshkosh, WI 54901
(920) 424-1234

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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