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Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate

Many school and healthcare professionals are seeking graduate-level programs that teach them to incorporate behavior analytic principles and practices into their work with individuals with learning, behavior, and performance challenges.

Visit the program website for more information.

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Program Overview

The GVSU psychology department offers an online graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that allows students to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Students will develop in-depth knowledge and applied competence in the delivery of behavior analysis to improve the quality of life of individuals in schools, community, and work settings. Graduates are equipped with the skills to bring about socially significant behavior change through data-based decision making and program development.


Admission to the school psychology program or a master's degree is required for acceptance to the program. To become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), students must meet the Behavior Analyst Certification Board course requirements and supervised experience requirements, and pass the BCBA exam.

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The GVSU ABA certificate program is a Verified Course Sequence by the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Location & Format

All classes for this program can be completed online.



Students will complete seven courses (21 credits total) that meet the 5th Edition Task List coursework requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. The GVSU ABA certificate program is a Verified Course Sequence by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).

  • PSY 522 - ABA I: Foundational Principles
  • PSY 523 - ABA II: Application to Behavior Change
  • PSY 525 - Behavior Analysis Applied to Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Disorders
  • PSY 527 - Ethics and Diversity in Professional Practice
  • PSY 550 - Research in Applied Settings
  • PSY 624 - Behavioral Assessment and Intervention
  • PSY 658 - Advanced ABA

All courses are offered online. The first course in the sequence, PSY 522, starts in the fall.

Application Deadline

The application deadline is June 1, though applications may be considered after that date. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to GVSU.

Admission Requirements

Students may enter the ABA graduate certificate program in two ways:

1. Applicants to the ABA graduate certificate program must demonstrate completion of a master's degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average. To be eligible for consideration, applications must include submission of the following materials:

  • All graduate admission materials required by the university, including an official transcript from your baccalaureate degree granting institution
  • A professional vita or resume
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement outlining interest in the field of applied behavior analysis and the program at Grand Valley State University, relevant experience, and educational and professional goals

2. Students in the GVSU school psychology graduate program are automatically admitted to the ABA graduate certificate program.

For More Information

Department of Psychology
1 Campus Drive
ASH 2224
(616) 331-3513

Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office

Program Director

Amanda Karsten, Ph.D.
(616) 331-2388



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