If you want to become a BCBA, there are various online courses you can take to learn ABA therapy. Online courses offer you the benefit of learning from home or any location, and they tend to be cheaper than in-person courses.
Online courses are a good option, particularly if your local university or college does not offer ABA training. Perhaps you want to work on a certification on your own time while you work in a different field or take care of your family. There are many reasons to pursue an online certification or degree program, and fortunately, there are several good options available.
Some of the Best Online Courses for Learning ABA Therapy
Many of the online programs offered by universities and colleges focus on certificates, typically graduate certificates that are continued education and professional development options that enhance your standard undergraduate degree. Graduate certificates help you specialize in a field you are already working in once you find a particular passion or new career track.
1. Online Psychology Master’s With ABA Focus at Walden University
Although Walden University is located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, it is an online, for-profit university. Since each degree program is online-only, the professors have experience working with students at a distance, especially in areas like psychology, nursing, and business.
The school’s online psychology MS program encourages students to find a specialization before they complete their program, offering three different ABA classes to help you learn the fundamentals.
- Principles of Behavior Analysis
- Introduction to Behavior Assessment and Intervention
- Research Methods for Behavior Analysis
There are more courses in the ABA-focused course sequence that align with the BACB’s requirements for taking the board certification. This training track can be an excellent addition for those interested in getting a master’s degree in psychology.
2. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate at Brandman University
Brandman University is a private, four-year liberal arts college located in Irvine, California. The school has rolling admissions and a small student body, so you can apply almost any time of year and get personal attention from your professors. This is true for their online offerings as well, including their eight-week BCBA program. This program qualifies you to take the examination to become a certified specialist in this field. You will take seven courses, priced at $900 each.
In addition to having at least a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) in a bachelor’s or post-baccalaureate program, or a master’s or higher from an accredited institution, you must submit a resume showing current employment in a field that uses ABA treatment approaches, like education, social work, or medicine.
3. Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at PennState World Campus
PennState is one of the leading research universities in the United States. The school now offers online-only programs through World Campus, one of the few public colleges that are entirely online. Popular online majors include nursing, information science, and business. With fewer than 3,000 students, admissions to World Campus are competitive.
The graduate certificate in ABA therapy requires 21 credits at $924 per credit, over seven classes. The curriculum is based on the BACB’s standards, so you are eligible to take the board certification once you complete this graduate degree.
If you are already a professional educator using ABA tools and want further development in this field, Penn State, including World Campus, is approved under Pennsylvania’s Act 48, which allows this program to count toward professional development hours. While anyone with interest in ABA therapy can apply, Penn State recommends that those with a degree and some professional experience in a relevant field acquire this certificate.
4. Online MA in Special Education (Applied Behavior Analysis) at ASU Online
Arizona State University (ASU) is a well-rated public university in Tempe, Arizona. Like many public colleges and universities, ASU now offers an online campus that is focused on professional development courses and graduate certificates.
This special education master’s degree focuses on teaching. However, since the graduate degree is built on ABA teaching, you can continue with only a few more additional requirements before you qualify for the board certification exam.
Further Considerations When Looking for Online ABA Therapy Courses
There are many more potential ABA therapy certification options online, but it is important to remember a few things. Many programs claim to follow the BACB guidelines, but they do not follow up-to-date guidance, provide an accredited program, or offer appropriate supervision from a trained professional psychologist or therapist.
Here are some things to look out for when finding an online ABA therapy program:
- Make sure the school is accredited. There are many accredited, small colleges that are either private or public institutions, but a degree will not meet standards in other cities, states, or schools if the certifying institution is not accredited.
- Confirm the professors are specialists. You should be supervised by professionals who are trained in ABA practices themselves. The program or school should provide bios or other information on staff and faculty, so you can read more about their areas of expertise before applying.
- Verify the program meets your needs. Whether you want an affordable accredited professional certificate or a full postgraduate education, each program takes a different amount of time to complete due to different amounts of required credits. Some certificates can be completed in less than a year, while others take about two years, on average. You might be able to complete the program at your own pace, at specific times with virtually live seminars, or a combination of these options.
- No program suits every student, so read more about the application requirements, time commitment, and cost before applying to the first program in your area.
Fortunately, many private and public universities and colleges now offer online degree programs for BCBAs with several options for graduate certificates, postgraduate studies, and extended or professional education options. If you need further help finding an ABA therapy program, consider contacting the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) for recommendations.
About Behavior Analysis. Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
Walden University. Niche.
Three Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Courses You Might Take. Walden University.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate. Brandman University.
Brandman University. Niche.
Penn State. PSU.
Penn State World Campus. Niche.
Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). PennState World Campus.
Arizona State University. Niche.
Online Master of Arts in Special Education (Applied Behavior Analysis). Arizona State University Online.