Applied Behavior Analysis

Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis

Program Goals

Graduates of the BS in Applied Behavior Analysis program will be able to:

  1. Effectively communicate client information and needs verbally as well as through written reports.
  2. Communicate and collaborate with a team to meet client needs and goals.
  3. Utilize current research when developing plans for clients.
  4. Interpret and implement the Code of Ethics set forth by the Behavioral Analysis Coordinating Board.
  5. Demonstrate appropriate leadership skills in the practice setting.
  6. Conduct descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provide behavior analytic interpretations of the results.
  7. Administer and supervise behavior analytic interventions, including educational programs for a variety of students with and without disabilities.
  8. Analyze the effectiveness of educational and behavioral programs. 

Program Options

There are three options available at CMU for training in the field of ABA.

  1. The Bachelor of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis degree allows students to major in ABA.
  2. The minor in ABA allows students seeking another degree type (e.g., psychology, education, criminology, business) to gain training in the field of ABA and meet the educational criteria for the BACB* certification exam.
  3. The certification only option allows students who already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree to take the ABA courses that are required to gain training in the field of ABA and meet the educational criteria for the BACB* certification exam.

Course Information

The ABA program at CMU is entirely online.  Course requirements include online access to lectures, assignments, student forums, and tests.  Students are not required to log in at specific times for forums, lectures or tests, however, there are weekly due dates for all work that must be met.  In addition, if students do not attend the weekly online meetings they must plan for at least 3 live “check-in” sessions per course with their instructor.  It should be noted that the ABA courses are very challenging and require active participation on a regular basis.

BSBA Requirements for Admission

  1. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the University.
  2. Minimum GPA of 2.75 overall; An associate of arts degree in Psychology, Education, Social Work, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Pathology or closely related field from a regionally accredited institution OR a student may have completed 60 hours, including having met the 42 hour block, and have requisite coursework in Psychology, Education or a closely related field, and may be considered for admission.
  3. Students must have completed PY101, General Psychology prior to admission.
  4. Official transcripts from all regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities attended; and
  5. Non-native speakers of English must present evidence of proficiency in the English language by scoring a 550 or higher on the paper-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 213 or higher on the computer-based TOEFL or 77 or higher on the Internet-based TOEFL.
  6. A student may be admitted to the institution as a pre-BSBA degree-seeking student until completion of pre-requisite courses is completed.

BSBA Curriculum Requirements

  1. A cumulative 2.5 GPA must be maintained and a grade of "C" or above must be attained in all Applied Behavior Analysis courses.  Any student wishing to sit for certification must not have any grade lower than a "B" in those courses required for certification.
  2. The BSBA program should be completed within five (5) years of enrollment.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactory completion of the liberal arts and/or general education coursework as well as all courses in the major;
  2. Satisfactory completion of at least 124 credit hours;
  3. Satisfactory completion of at least 47 credit hours in the area of concentration;
  4. Satisfactory completion of at least 15 credit hours of upper-division coursework in the major;
  5. Satisfactory completion of at least 36 credit hours of upper-division coursework;
  6. Satisfaction of the 30-hour residency requirement;
  7. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 on coursework earned at CMU;
  8. Cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 on all upper-division major coursework;
  9. Payment of all tuition and fees; and
  10. Recommendation of the faculty.

Applied Behavior Analysis Minor - 18 Hours

Required courses:

BH321            Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (3)

BH325            Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis (2)

BH421            Behavior Assessment (3)

BH423            Behavior Change Procedures (4)

BH426            Research & Data Analysis Methods (2)     

BH427            Leadership & Management in Applied Behavior Analysis (1)

PY223             Developmental Psychology (3)

The course sequence in the Applied Behavior Analysis minor aligns with the fifth edition Task List content areas required to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is approved by the BCBA.

For more information on the Eligibility Standards, please visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board website.

Applied Behavior Analysis Courses

BH321 Introduction to ABA.  3 hours. This course covers the basic principles of applied behavior analysis and behavior modification procedures. Students learn the principals of positive and negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment, and stimulus control. Students will learn to identify verbal operants and how to implement them in a way to increase functional communication as well as decrease problem behaviors. Student will also begin to identify the core concepts of reinforcement, punishment, and extinction as they apply to modifying behaviors. This class also introduces students to functional behavior assessments.

BH325 Professionalism in ABA.  2 hour. In this stand-alone ethics course students will learn the importance of ethics. We will discuss, in depth, the code of ethics for behavior analysts. Students will also become proficient in The Professional and Ethical Compliance Code. In addition to ethics, students will also be instructed on HIPAA.

BH323 Behavioral Pharmacology.  3 hours.  Many ABA practitioners work with individuals who have been/will be prescribed psychotropic medications to manage behavior.  This course will provide a brief introduction to pharmacology and neuropharmacology, commonly used psychotropic medications, methods for assessing effects of psychotropic medications on behavior, and considerations for scope of practice and collaboration with non-ABA prescribers.  Prerequisite: BH321.

BH380 ABA Intensive Practicum I. 6 hours.  While in an applied setting, students will take principals learned in the BCaBA course sequence and apply them. Student will be supervised on site as well as remotely by the course BCBA. Students will be expected to record themselves working directly with clients, as well as attend weekly group meetings and individual meetings when necessary. An intensive practicum is meant to provide fluency of the task list. Students are expected to demonstrate skill and knowledge in behavior analytic, ethical and professional domains. Skills taught in BH321, BH325 and BH421

BH385 ABA Intensive Practicum II. 1 hour.  While in an applied setting, students will take principals learned in the BCaBA course sequence and apply them. Student will be supervised on site as well as remotely by the course BCBA. Students will be expected to record themselves working directly with clients, as well as attend weekly group meetings and individual meetings when necessary. An intensive practicum is meant to provide fluency of the task list. Students are expected to demonstrate skill and knowledge in behavior analytic, ethical and professional domains.  Skills taught in BH427 will be reinforced and expanded upon in this practicum

BH421 Behavioral Assessment.  3 hours.  This course covers selecting and defining target behaviors, behavior measurement, and assessment for program planning. Students will explore various assessment methods including Functional Behavior Assessments, Preference Assessments, and functional skill assessments. Prerequisite: BH321

BH422 Verbal Behavioral Analysis.  3 hours. This course introduces students to a behavior analytic approach to the behavior of speakers and listeners. Students first learn the 7 types of elementary verbal operants identified by B. F. Skinner and to recognize examples of the concepts as they can be seen in everyday life. Structural and developmental issues, as well as implications for language training and remediation are integrated throughout. Prerequisite: BH321.

BH423 Behavior Change Procedures. 4 hours.   In this course, students will build upon previously learned material (positive and negative reinforcement and punishment, stimulus control). Motivating operations will also be covered in this course. Students will also explore applications of these principles using various methods, including discrete trial teaching, naturalistic teaching, functional communication training, token economies, and others. Importance of planning for generalization and maintenance will be reviewed. Prerequisites: BH321, BH325, BH421.

BH424 ABA Methodologies.  3 hours. This course provides an in-depth review of applied behavior analytic techniques. Students will learn to apply behavior analytic principles toward the improvement of socially significant behaviors in a wide range of settings as well as to evaluate the effects of behavioral procedures.  Prerequisite: BH421.

BH425 Advanced Topics in ABA.  3 hours.  This course covers advanced topics important for applied work.  Students will review topics related to intervention development and evaluation, including issues impacting effective implementation such as caregiver training, program evaluation, treatment integrity, and social validity.  Prerequisite: BH423.

BH426 Research & Data Analysis Methods.  2 hours. The course will cover research methods including withdrawal, reversal, alternating treatment, changing criterion, and multiple-baseline deigns.  Students will learn how to collect, display, and interpret data.  Students will learn how to analyze data to make ethical and behaviorally sound decisions. Prerequisites: BH321, BH325, BH421, BH427

BH427 Leadership & Management in Applied Behavior Analysis.  1 hour.  In this course students will learn the supervision standards. Students will identify appropriate supervision activities. Students will also be educated on the role of a BCaBA when supervising an RBT (registered behavior technician). Student will learn the importance of contracts when supervising. Prerequisites: BH321, BH325, BH421

BH480 ABA Intensive Practicum III (Capstone).  6 hours.  While in an applied setting, students will take principals learned in the BCaBA course sequence and apply them. Student will be supervised on site as well as remotely by the course BCBA. Students will be expected to record themselves working directly with clients, as well as attend weekly group meetings and individual meetings when necessary. An intensive practicum is meant to provide fluency of the task list. Students are expected to demonstrate skill and knowledge in behavior analytic, ethical and professional domains. Skills taught in BH423, BH426 will be reinforced and expanded upon in this course