Special Education

Special Education Applied Behavior Analysis Board Certified Behavior Analyst Preparation Online Post-Master's Certificate

About Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

Prepare to become a board certified behavior analyst with this 100% online program.

Learn effective behavioral techniques to help others achieve their full potential at California University of Pennsylvania. Applied behavior analysis is widely recognized as a best practice for instruction and behavioral management for individuals with exceptionalities. It can also be applied at large corporations in "organizational behavior management" to improve worker productivity, and to address the behavioral and instructional needs of individuals in a wide variety of settings. 

Cal U's graduate certificate program is comprehensive and puts an emphasis on rigorous hands-on training in the use of evidence-based practices. Upon completion of this certificate program, you'll be exceptionally prepared for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam and highly qualified for a range of behaviorally based careers.

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BCBA Exam: Cal U is one of a few universities In Pennsylvania that is recognized to provide the course sequence required to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.

Top Accreditation: This graduate degree program is approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Cal U's education programs have also been accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) since 1954, and we are continuing with the successor organization, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). See CAEP reporting measures of program impact and outcomes.

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4 Semesters 
This 18- to 27-credit program can be completed in only four semesters.
Best Online 
U.S. News & World Report has listed Cal U's graduate education program as a Best Online Program three years in a row and counting.
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Program Benefits

As a Cal U graduate student studying applied behavior analysis you will:

  • Work with faculty who are at the top of their fields.
  • Learn how to supervise teachers who work with children on the autism spectrum.
  • Gain hands-on practice designing behavior plans, monitoring their execution and supervising people providing behavioral therapy services.
  • Benefit from top career support from program faculty and Cal U's Career and Professional Development Center.
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Graduate Outcomes

Cal U's applied behavior analysis certificate program will prepare you to become nationally certified as a behavior analyst - a role that is in high demand within both the educational and corporate spheres. BACB-certified professionals are able to provide private services and submit billing to a client's insurance coverage. Cal U program alumni are recruited for a variety of top careers throughout Pennsylvania and the United States, including:

  • Regular or special education teaching roles.
  • Foster care and eldercare services.
  • School counseling, psychology or behavior specialist consulting careers.
  • Mental health therapy positions.
  • Coaching or transition specialist jobs.


 Read more about gainful employment.


Applied Behavior Analysis Online Post-Master's Certificate
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Long-Standing Reputation

Cal U has a 160-year reputation for producing top-quality educators in Pennsylvania and beyond. Special education at Cal U has been rooted in applied behavior analysis for 50 years.

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Intensive Practicum

Cal U's intensive practicum for the applied behavior analysis program will give you the opportunity to study under board-certified behavior analysts while applying the content you have covered during your courses. Upon completion, you'll be job-ready for a wide range of careers. 

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Top Faculty

Each of Cal U's faculty members has unique qualities that they are able to highlight within the graduate courses they teach. Your professors will have expertise in applied behavior analysis, the use of technology to teach students communication and behavioral self-monitoring, interventional strategies, working with students diagnosed with emotional disabilities, and more.

Applied Behavior Analysis Online Certificate Courses

Cal U's applied behavior analysis certificate courses are delivered 100% online, and are designed for students who already have a master's degree in applied behavior analysis or a related academic area.



Course Credits
ESP 701  Introduction to Behavior Analysis 3
ESP 750  Concepts, Principles, Assessment ABA 3
ESP 751  Applied Behavior Analysis Intervention 1 3
ESP 752  Applied Behavior Analysis Intervention 2 3
ESP 753  Professional Ethical Practice Behavior Analyst 3
ESP 754  Intensive Practical Training in Applied Behavior Analysis 9
ESP 800  Seminar in Advanced Behavior Analysis and Research Design 3
Total 18 or 27

The minimum credit range (18) represents a certificate only and does not include ESP 754.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements (Regular) 

  • Bachelor's degree with a GPA of 2.80 or a 3.00 in last 48 credits earned (Students with a GPA below 2.80 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst Prep Certificate Only: Master's degree in an area approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) with a GPA of 3.30 or higher (Students with a GPA below 3.30 may apply for conditional admission)
  • Official transcripts from an accredited undergraduate institution
  • International Graduate Applicants


Conditional Admission Requirements
  • Conditional Admission may be granted with the following modifications of the Regular Admissions Requirements. Those admitted conditionally based on missing document/s have up to a maximum of two semesters to satisfy these requirements:
    • Bachelor's degree with a GPA under 2.80 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Behavior Analyst Prep Certificate Only: Master's degree with a GPA under 3.30 will be reviewed for a decision
    • Unofficial transcripts

How to Apply:

School of Graduate Studies and Research
California University of Pennsylvania
Box 91
250 University Ave. 
California, PA 15419

  • Submit unofficial transcripts and other documents by mail (using the address above), email (gradschool@calu.edu) or fax (724-938-5712)

For additional information:

Email gradschool@calu.edu
Phone: 1.866.595.6348

 Program Requirements

 Out of State Students:
All students who will be seeking certification outside of Pennsylvania are responsible for securing and following the certification requirements in the state in which they intend to apply for certification.

Special Education

Bachelor's Degrees
Master's Degrees

Special Education Faculty

Dr. James Burton
Associate Professor


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Dr. Peter Heh
Assistant Professor


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Dr. Jason Kight
Associate Professor and Chair


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Dr. Kalie Kossar
Associate Professor


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Dr. Megan Mealie
Adjunct Professor/Supervisor of Student Teaching


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Dr. Katherine Mitchem


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Dr. Mary Seman


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Please Note: All students who will be seeking licensure/certification outside of Pennsylvania should consult the State Authorization web page for more information.