What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis is the systematic application of behavioral principles 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 Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) exam in order to obtain BCBA certification. This program provides the necessary BACB Verified Course Sequence (VCS) and practicum supervision necessary to apply to sit for the exam. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved the University of Washington ABA course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination. 

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

Students can choose to take the ABA coursework over one year or over two years.  To complete the VCS in one year, students will take two classes per quarter plus the intensive practicum. Each class meets once per week. Students wishing to complete the VCS and practicum in a less intensive manner can choose to do so over two years by taking one class per quarter. In either case, students needing a Master's Degree will continue for an additional year of coursework.

When are classes offered? Do I need to be there at a certain time?

The ABA Distance Education Program uses synchronous online learning through an interactive web-based platform. This means that all students join classes at the same time each week (late afternoons and evenings, typically 5-7:30 pm PST) and participate in lecture, discussion, small and large group activities—just as with traditional face-to-face learning.

What technology do I need to have to participate in coursework?

Students must have access to reliable Internet connection, a computer or laptop with a video camera for web conferencing, a high-quality headset, and a quiet location.

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

While we can accept substitutions to meet the requirements of the UW Master’s degree in Special Education, we are not allowed to approve substitutions to the VCS required to sit for the BACB exam.  The University of Washington has been approved by the BACB to offer a specific set of courses and applicants wishing to substitute different courses should petition the BACB directly if they want to pursue alternate courses to fulfill the requirements.

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 pre-approved Master’s Degrees in the following areas: Psychology, Education, and Behavior Analysis. You must have a Master's Degree in one of these fields in order to apply to sit for the BCBA Certification Exam.

How much does the University of Washington ABA Distance Education Program cost?

The fee for coursework in the 2016-17 school year was $589 per credit and we are anticipating similar fees for the 2017-18 school year. Fees are subject to change.

Is financial aid available?

There are limited scholarships available specifically for the ABA Distance Ed program; contact abainfo@uw.edu for details. In addition, Federal financial aid is available for students enrolled as Master’s Degree candidates who need assistance with tuition and fees.

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.

For more information about the University of Washington ABA Distance Education Program, please contact abainfo@uw.edu or contact Nancy Rosenberg by phone at (206) 543-5489.

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