The UW ABA Program provides a master’s degree in special education and the ABAI verified course sequence (VCS) necessary to apply 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 
  • 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. 

Content hours matrix

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 Assessment in ABA-A (3 credits)
EDSPE 537 Assessment in ABA-B (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)

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has conditionally verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Additional Coursework for M.Ed. in Special Education

EDSPE 500 Practicum Seminar (18 credits)
EDSPE 525 Autism (3 credits)
EDSPE 554 Behavior Analysts in Schools (3 credits)
EDSPE 563 Collaborating with Families and Educational Teams (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 can provide half of their required BACB supervision. You can find more information about the on-campus, shared practicum program here

Transferring From Other Universities

If you've already taken some of these courses at a different university, you may be able to substitute some courses to meet the requirements for the UW master's degree in special education; the University of Washington Graduate School allows you to transfer up to 6 credits, contingent on the approval of your advisor.

However, it is important to understand that the UW is not authorized to approve substitutions for courses when meeting the requirements of the BACB to sit for the BCBA exam. You will need to petition the certification board directly if you believe a course would be an adequate substitute for BACB content hour requirements.

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