The UW ABA Program provides a Master’s degree in Special Education and the ABAI Verified Course Sequence necessary to apply to sit for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam.  In this two year program, you will:

  • Take classes three evenings a week in the late afternoon (Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter each year)
  • Participate in group practicum 
  • Complete a Capstone Project
  • Take and pass a Master's Exam

ABAI Verified Course Sequence 

Our program strives to prepare competent, inclusive, and professional behavior analysts who work with persons with developmental disabilities and their families. We encourage prospective students to read through the UW ABA Mission Statement for more information about our teaching approach to ABA. 

EDSPE 533 Concepts and Principles of ABA-A (3 credits)
EDSPE 534 Concepts and Principles of ABA-B (3 credits)
EDSPE 535 History and Philosophy of ABA (3 credits)
EDSPE 571 Measurement in ABA (3 credits)
EDSPE 536 Behavioral Assessment (3 credits)
EDSPE 537 Functional Behavior Assessment (3 credits)
EDSPE 552 Instructional Strategies in ABA (3 credits)
EDSPE 531 Designing Comprehensive Behavioral Interventions (3 credits)
EDSPE 511 Methods of ABA Research (3 credits)
EDSPE 539 Ethics and Professionalism in ABA-A (3 credits)
EDSPE 549 Ethics and Professionalism in ABA-B (3 credits)
EDSPE 553 Supervision in ABA (3 credits)

If you've already taken some of these courses at a different university, with faculty approval, you may be able to substitute some courses to meet the requirements for the UW Master's in Special Education degree.  However, ABAI has verified our specific courses as meeting their requirements as a whole and we are not authorized to make substitutions to meet the requirements to sit for the BCBA exam.  You will need to petition ABAI directly if you believe a course should be an adequate substitute.   

Additional Coursework for M.Ed. in Special Education

EDSPE 500 Practicum Seminar (15 credits)
EDSPE 525 Autism (3 credits)
EDSPE 554 Behavior Analysts in Schools (3 credits)
EDSPE 563 Families and Collaboration (4 credits)

Students who already have a Master's degree can apply to our program as a graduate non-matriculated (GNM) student. Students that are admitted as GNMs are not required to take the additional coursework required to obtain a Master's degree in Special Education. 


Over the course of this two-year program, students will engage in a group practicum that will provide half of their required BACB supervision. Complete supervision packages are available to a limited number of students through university-affiliated BCBAs for a fee. For more information on practicum, click here.

Capstone Project

The purpose of the Capstone project is to give you the opportunity to integrate many of the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis within the context of a planned intervention to change the behavior of a person with disabilities in a positive way.  You will complete a Capstone Project across the school year with support from a faculty advisor. You will present your completed Capstone projects alongside your fellow students at an annual Student Capstone Conference held at the end of Spring Quarter.

Master's Examination

As partial fulfillment of the requirements for a Master of Education (M.Ed) degree, each student in the ABA On Campus program must pass a Master's Examination. This exam is a comprehensive examination covering all Applied Behavior Analysis content in the program. You will take the Master’s Exam during your last quarter of the program.  This exam is not the same as the BACB exam – the Master’s exam is a University of Washington requirement fulfilling part of the requirements for your Master’s degree.

Featured Stories

Rebecca Zumeta Edmonds ’04 recently co-edited the book “Essentials of Intensive Intervention” as part of her broader work to improve the quality of special education service delivery.
Norris Haring, a distinguished researcher and advocate for children and adults with disabilities, served on the UW's faculty for nearly 40 years.