Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA)


Professionals in applied behavior analysis (ABA) engage in the specific and comprehensive use of principles of learning, including operant and respondent learning, in order to address behavioral needs of widely varying individuals in diverse settings.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) credentials practitioners who wish to become Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Specific additional information about the requirements for taking the BCBA may be found on the BACB website (

Why McDaniel

McDaniel College offers all five board-approved specific graduate-level course requirements necessary for candidates to complete 225 classroom hours of instruction. Students may combine some or all of these BCBA required courses with other graduate programs as approved by their academic advisor, or complete the five courses independent of a degree program.

Career Opportunities

Individuals with the BCBA certification may apply the knowledge and skills achieved in this program to building the skills and achievements of children in school settings; enhancing the development, abilities, and choices of children and adults with different kinds of disabilities; and augmenting the performance and satisfaction of employees in organizations and businesses.

Important Dates

Qualified candidates may apply to complete course work for this program at any time.

Required Courses

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved the following five course sequence at McDaniel College as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. In addition to the course requirements, applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify, including supervised fieldwork, before taking the BCBA examination. 

PSY 506: Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis I

Course Description:  This course provides an overview of the principles of applied behavior analysis with an emphasis on the fundamental behavior principles and the nature and philosophy of behavior analysis.  Topics include definition and characteristics of behavior analysis, principles, process and concepts, functional assessment procedures, experimental evaluation, measurement of behavior, display and interpretation of data and ethical considerations.  Candidates will apply a behavioral analytical approach through readings, lectures, vignettes, analysis of data and group discussions. 

PSY 531: Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis II

Course Description: This course, a continuation of Psychology 506, provides an overview of the principles and concepts of Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis on the development of behavior change strategies, support, systems, and design and measurement of behavior interventions.  Topics include functional assessment procedures, experimental designs, strategies for measuring behaviors, and graphic display and interpretation.  Candidates will apply and evaluate behavior analytic approaches through readings, lectures, vignettes, interpretation of data and group discussion. 

SED 504: Classroom Management

Course Description:  This course provides a comprehensive overview of classroom management techniques and is required for the Board Certified Behavior Analysis (BCBA) Certification. Topics include ethical considerations of behavior management, principles, experimental evaluation of interventions, selecting interventions outcomes and strategies, behavior change procedures, and systems supports. Candidates will have the knowledge and skills to manage the behavior of their classroom students and will develop a classroom management intervention plan.. This course will be beneficial to both general and special educators.

RSM 542:   Research Methods for Behavior Analysis

Course Description: This course addresses topics in behavioral assessment and strategies to evaluate intervention outcomes. Topics include behavioral assessment using data collection and observation, experimental evaluation methods such as single subject and group research designs, measureable dimensions of behavior (frequency, rate, duration, latency, etc.), methods to display data, and the interpretation of treatment outcomes through appropriate statistical analysis. Candidates will assess and evaluate student behavior and design intervention strategies. 

PSY 535:  Advance Topics in Behavior Analysis

Course Description:  This course will cover the fundamentals of verbal behavior and methods for teaching it. In addition it will cover complex behavior with the emphasis on complex verbal behavior and memory behaviors, and how those behaviors are developed. The course will include a review of behavior change procedures, an assessment of the role that physiological processes might play in verbal and other complex behaviors and methods for studying, and teaching them. Students will come to understand the behavior analytic view of verbal and complex behavior and how they are learned and taught through readings, lectures, vignettes, analysis of data, the development of individual teaching strategies and group discussion.

Admissions Requirements

• Completed application for graduate study

• Submit the non-refundable application fee

• Official transcripts verifying completion of an undergraduate and master's degree from an accredited college or university

Note: Current McDaniel graduate students are not required to submit graduate transcripts