Best Online Bachelor’s in Applied Behavior Analysis Degree Programs
A bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) focuses on the scientific study of behaviors and their practical applications. An ABA provides the foundation for evidence-based evaluation of behavioral changes in individuals who experience mental health challenges, emotional health challenges, developmental disabilities, or other behavioral issues.
With an ABA bachelor's, you'll be prepared to work with individuals across all age groups. You may take on the role of behavioral therapist, case manager, program coordinator, or something similar. Schools, healthcare facilities, and social service agencies all hire behavioral therapists. Moreover, this is a field you can begin working in with just a bachelor's degree.
Some degree programs are specifically in applied behavior analysis, while others are in psychology with an applied behavior analysis track. Of the programs that are specific to ABA, several offer concentrations for working with a specific demographic (e.g. Autism). Both online and campus-based programs are available, though online programs offer the most convenience.
Whatever type of degree program you choose, make sure it qualifies you to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) with the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. This certification will be needed for many jobs in the field.
A bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis is a four-year program that typically requires 120-130 credit hours. The program provides students with an extensive education in the principles and practices of behavior modification, as well as the theories and techniques used to improve behavior and development in individuals with behavioral disorders.
Most bachelor's programs include a combination of classwork and hands-on experience with individuals. This portion of the degree program may be referred to as a practicum or internship. Any experience component is completed in a highly supervised setting. Keep in mind that as an online student, you will need to complete any hands-on requirements in-person, though these can often be arranged in your local area.
Some examples of courses that students might take in an ABA bachelor’s degree program include:
- Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis
- Principles of Learning and Behavior
- Behavior Assessment and Diagnosis
- Design and Implementation of Behavior Interventions
- Ethics and Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis
- Developmental Disabilities and Autism
- Verbal Behavior and Language Development
- Single-Subject Research Design
- Organizational Behavior Management
Note that course offerings and program requirements can vary by institution and program. You can find a full list of online courses available on the website of your school of interest.
The admissions requirements for a bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis are determined by colleges and institutions, so they can vary somewhat. In general, you must graduate from high school or have a GED. You'll need to provide an acceptable transcript, and most schools still require that you sit for a standardized test. Entry into most online programs will require the following:
- A high school diploma or equivalent ACT or SAT scores
- Letters of recommendation
- A personal statement or essay
- A minimum GPA requirement (e.g. 2.5-3.0)
- An in-person or virtual interview
In some cases, colleges and universities may also require that you take the National Behavioral Analyst Examination (BACB) or a similar exam. If your high school curriculum didn't include standard science courses, you might have to take those at the college before beginning your actual major in applied behavior analysis.
Find an online or campus-based bachelor’s program in Applied Behavior Analysis today – our state-by-state listings make it easy to find a great program near you.
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