Behavior Analysis Certification and Certificate Program Overviews

Graduate certificate programs in behavior analysis are designed to provide social workers, behavior specialists, educational consultants and other human services professionals with a solid understanding of how to analyze and change human behavior.

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Essential Information

Students in behavior analysis graduate certificate programs explore the basic principles and methodologies of behavior analysis, then learn how to apply those principles to real cases in clinical settings. These programs can lead to certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Some programs require applicants to have a bachelor's degree, while others mandate a master's. Many schools prefer applicants who have professional experience in a field related to human behavior, like social work.

Program Coursework

Graduate-level certificate programs in behavior analysis begin by introducing students to the basic principles of the field. The programs then focus on specific applications of behavior analysis, including behavioral reinforcement, direct observation and classical conditioning. Some possible course topics include:

  • Behavior analysis theory
  • Applied behavior analysis
  • Behavioral development
  • Clinical behavioral analysis
  • Research in behavior analysis
  • Behavioral treatment of autism

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't provide information specific to behavior analysts, it does provide information on the closely related field of psychology, which includes assessing and diagnosing behavior problems. From 2018-2028, psychologists were projected to see a 14% increase in jobs, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The mean annual wage for clinical, school and counseling psychologists was $85,340 in 2018.


The Behavior Analyst Certification Board offers two different certifications, the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). Those interested must earn a master's degree before they are eligible to gain BCBA certification, and a bachelor's degree before they can become BCaBA certified. Those who have a master's degree in an unrelated field might consider enrolling in a behavior analysis certificate program to learn the skills needed to pass the BCBA examination.

Graduate-level certificate programs in behavior analysis discuss methodology and techniques in the field, such as behavioral reinforcement and classical conditioning. Students may be able to pursue professional certifications once they leave the program.

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