What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the systematic application of principles of behavior to improve socially significant behavior. We encourage prospective students to visit the BACB website to learn more about becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Will I be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) when I complete the program?

No. It is important to understand that this program does not provide you with BCBA certification. You must sit for and pass the BCBA exam in order to obtain BCBA certification. This program only provides the necessary BCBA Verified Course Sequence (VCS) and practicum supervision necessary to sit for the exam. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved the UW ABA course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

How long will it take to complete the required coursework and practicum?

The ABA On Campus Program is a one-year, full-time program. Students should expect to be enrolled in full-time coursework during Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer quarters. Students can expect to be taking classes up to four evenings a week.

I’ve already taken some of the approved courses elsewhere. Can I get credit for them?

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, the BACB has verified our specific courses as meeting their requirements as a whole and we are not authorized to make substitutions to meet BACB requirements to sit for the BCBA exam.  You will need to petition the BACB directly if you believe a course should be an adequate substitute.   

Do I have to find my own practicum site?

Yes, the student is ultimately responsible for finding his or her own practicum site. However, program staff can help students in this process. The program provides incoming students with an extensive list of appropriate placements in the Seattle area that accept practicum students. Practicum opportunities also include the internationally recognized Project Data at the University of Washington Haring Center.

Do I get paid for my practicum?

This depends on where you do your practicum. Most practicum sites pay their practicum students for most if not all of their practicum hours.

Is financial aid available?

Yes, students can apply for a limited number of fellowships available through the University of Washington College of Education and the Experimental Education Unit. Financial aid is also available for students who are pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education.

Is there an option to complete my coursework remotely if I can not come to the University of Washington Campus?

Yes, our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Distance Program uses state of the art distance education technology to offer interactive, real time, coursework to working professionals and remote students. Click here for more information.

Does my bachelor’s degree need to be in a specific field?

No, we do not have any requirements about undergraduate areas of study.  We do, however, value and expect some work experience in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Can I begin coursework in any quarter?

No, students can only begin coursework in Fall quarter. Our classes are sequential and are usually only offered once per program sequence so students must begin coursework Fall quarter. Additionally, our program is designed to foster supportive cohorts of students and we have found that this is best achieved by students starting and ending the program together.

I have a Master’s Degree, but not in Education, Psychology, or Behavior Analysis. Do I need a new Master’s Degree?

The BACB has three pre-approved disciplines for your master’s degree: Education, Psychology, and Applied Behavior Analysis. If you do not currently hold a degree in one of these fields, you must earn a Master's Degree as part of your course of study. If you have any questions regarding the sufficiency of your Master's degree, you should contact the BACB directly.

For more information about the ABA On Campus Program, please contact abainfo@uw.edu or call Ilene Schwartz at 206-616-3450.

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