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Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis: BCBA Coursework Preparation

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Your Future in Applied Behavior Analysis: BCBA Coursework Preparation Starts Here

Currently, there is a critical shortage of skilled early intervention professionals worldwide. To fill this need, and to assure that these professionals have acquired the most relevant skills, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board® (BACB) has carefully established rigorous guidelines for becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA). Having this credential has become the standard for early behavioral intervention specialists.

UMass Lowell's award-winning Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program has been fully approved by the BACB to fulfill the specific coursework requirements necessary to become eligible for taking the BCBA exam. In fact, based on recent data published by the BACB, UMass Lowell has one of the highest BCBA exam pass rates nationally for online graduate programs in behavior analysis.

Students are not only prepared to take the BACB certification exam - they also attain the knowledge necessary for practica and field experiences using behavior analysis. UMass Lowell's online courses are highly interactive with lots of exercises, assessments, discussions, and feedback with plenty of opportunities for in-depth interaction with the instructors. Since 2005, over 600 students have completed UMass Lowell's program, have successfully passed the exam, and have found meaningful employment in a variety of agencies all over the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about UMass Lowell's Graduate Programs in Autism

Note: You do not have to be accepted into the certificate program prior to registering for your first course. However, students pursuing BACB certification need to apply for the certificate before taking their 3rd course.

For information regarding additional graduate autism programs offered by UMass Lowell, please visit https://gps.uml.edu/online/autism_programs.cfm

UMass Lowell has one of the highest BCBA exam pass rates nationally among online graduate programs in behavior analysis.

Winner of the National Online Learning Consortium Excellence Award for Outstanding Online Teaching & Learning Program

BACB Approved Course Sequence

Board Certified Behavior Analyst Coursework Requirements

Students wishing to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst through the BACB, must apply for and be accepted into the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program and successfully complete the indicated coursework. In addition to the coursework requirements, BACB has other requirements to sit for their BCBA Certification Exam. Please check the BACB website regularly as their requirements change periodically.

Visit the BACB website for details regarding Verified Course Sequence exam pass rates.

For More Information

For more information on the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program with BCBA Coursework Preparation, call 978-934-2240 or email AutismCertificate@uml.edu.

Curriculum Outline

- Required Courses: 6

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Coursework Requirements

Students wishing to pursue certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) through the BACB must apply for and be accepted into the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate Program and successfully complete the indicated coursework.

Graduate Certificate Requirements

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs through UMass Lowell must complete all courses indicated in the curriculum outline. Students may complete the certificate program at their own pace by registering for and successfully completing one or more courses each semester, depending upon his/her personal time constraints. Students are required to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.0 with no more than one course grade below B to receive the certificate.

Online courses meet 10 to 14 weeks each semester during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see Academic Calendar for details). Online students generally log into their online course website one or more times per week to retrieve lectures and assignments or to participate in a chat session. Online students should expect to spend 6 to 10 hours per week engaged in course-related activities for each course. For more information on online courses, visit our online program home page .

Completing a Graduate Certificate Program

Graduate certificate courses must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and no more than one course with a grade below B. Once all courses for a graduate certificate have been completed, students must complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form. Please submit your completed form to: UMass Lowell Registrar's Office, 220 Pawtucket Street, Lowell, MA 01854-5129. Forms can also be scanned and emailed to thesolutioncenter@uml.edu.

The Benefits of Learning Online with UMass Lowell

UMass Lowell has built a solid reputation by offering one of the largest selections of online programs available through a traditional university. Courses are taught by full-time faculty who are experts in their fields, and by adjunct faculty who, as practicing professionals, bring real-world experience to online class discussions.

We are committed to providing you with high-quality, affordable online programs that make earning your degree or certificate more convenient than ever before. Our students have access to online course technical support 24x7, and our academic advisors are here to help every step of the way.

Gainful Employment Disclosure Information

Completion rates, median loan debts and program costs are outlined in the Graduate Certificate Gainful Employment Disclosure Information.
Please Note: While these programs are approved as coursework preparation by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), they do not confer BCaBA or BCBA certification; students will need to fulfill other BACB requirements and must apply separately to BACB for the BCaBA and BCBA certification exams. Also, completion of this program does not guarantee any form of licensure in any state. Students should review their state government website to see what additional requirements may have to be met for licensure.

Course Descriptions

This course provides an introduction to the causes and diagnosis of autism, scientific validation, applied behavior analysis, and ethical treatment. Students also learn to write functional objectives, plan positive reinforcement, and design an applied measurement system in the context of developing Individualized Family Service Plans and Individualized Education plans. The issue of culturally appropriate interventions is addressed Prerequisite: coursework in the psychology of child development, or permission. 3 credits.

Prerequisite: coursework in the psychology of child development, or permission. CSCE Graduate Restrictions.

This course covers the application of specific behavioral teaching procedures, including prompting, reinforcement, shaping, chaining, error correction and generalization methods, and the development of instructional plans. Emphasis is placed on procedures and plans to teach communication, social, self-help and per-academic skills. Application of such methods in inclusive classroom settings is also considered. 3 credits.

PSYC.5610 Pre or Co-req

This course provides advanced coverage of measurement methods used in behavioral intervention. It also offers in-depth coverage of the "within-subject" experimental designs commonly used in behavioral research and practice. Component analysis and parametric analysis methods, and ethical considerations in research, are also covered. 3 credits.

PSYC.5610 Pre or Co-req

This course covers the purpose, rationale and methods used in conducting and interpreting functional analyses of challenging, or "maladaptive", behaviors (self-injury, stereotypy, aggression). It also describes the full range of behavioral procedures used to decrease or eliminate these behaviors, with emphasis placed on ethical interventions and the desirability of least restrictive and non-aversive strategies. 3 credits. May be used towards UMass Lowell's Online Graduate Certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism.

47.562 pre-requisite

This course explores how educational environments can be designed to maximize learning. Different models of effective, evidence-based behavioral intervenions are analyzed. The use of teaching activity schedules and staff training to build supportive educational settings is also covered. 3 credits.

47.562 pre-requisite

This course will explore the legal and ethical issues facing professionals working with individuals diagnosed with disabilities, particularly those on the autism spectrum. The goal is to provide behavior analysts and other professionals the opportunity to develop skills in dealing with the complex legal and ethical issues that arise when working in human service fields. 3 credits.

ASPP 5650 or ASPP 5660 Pre-req

Tuition & Fees

At UMass Lowell, we believe that students should have as much information as possible up front so they can make informed decisions before enrolling in a degree program or signing up for a course.

Tuition for UMass Lowell Online & Continuing Education students is the same for both in-state and out-of-state students. Tuition is priced per credit. To calculate the tuition for a course, simply multiply the per-credit tuition by the total number of credits per course. Exception: If the total number of course contact hours is greater than the total number of credits, the per-credit tuition is instead multiplied by the total number of contact hours.

Spring 2020 Tuition

Per Credit / Contact Hour
Undergraduate Face-to-Face Courses and Audit $340.00
Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit) $380.00
Manning School of Business* Undergraduate Online Courses and Audit $385.00
Graduate Online and Audit (except Manning School of Business* Online, MBA in Haverhill, Master's in Information Technology, Master's in Engineering Management, and Education Courses) $575.00
Manning School of Business* Graduate Online Courses $655.00
MBA Graduate Courses in Haverhill $655.00
Master's in Information Technology and Master's in Engineering Management** Online Courses $590.00
Graduate Education Online Courses $470.00
Registration includes access to parking after 3 pm and access to Blackboard.

*Applies to courses with the following prefixes: ACCT, BUSI, ENTR, FINA, MGMT, MKTG, MIST, POMS offered through the Manning School of Business
**Applies to courses with the following prefixes: CHEN, CIVE, EECE, MECH, PLAS offered through the Francis College of Engineering

Additional Fees

Registration Fee per Term (nonrefundable) $30.00
Late Fee for Nonpayment $50.00
Fee for Undergraduate Degree Application $60.00
Fee for Graduate Degree Application $50.00

Costs for Textbooks and Additional Materials

The total cost for required textbooks for students accepted into this program will be $600–$800 (depending on whether you buy books new or used). In addition, students will need to purchase a license for access to a video library and a digital textbook for a one-time fee of $100–$200.

Please note: Most of these costs will be incurred up front, when students enroll in their first course. Students will, however, continue to use the basic textbook, the digital textbook and the modules in all subsequent courses as they progress through the program.

Looking for Financial Assistance?

UMass Lowell offers a variety of financial aid and scholarship options.
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Current students can register using SiS Self-Service. New students who have not already applied and been accepted to a program must use the Non-Degree Registration Form.

You can take courses without being officially enrolled in a certificate or degree program, but you must meet course prerequisites. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Class size is limited. We recommend that you register early to reserve your place in class.

For more information, please visit our Registration Page.

New Students

If you have not already applied and been accepted to a program.

Current Students

If you have applied, been accepted to and are currently enrolled in a program.


Program Support:
Email: AutismCertificate@uml.edu
Phone: (978) 934-2240
Email our Advising Center for assistance, or call 800-480-3190 to speak with an advisor.

Please Note: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information presented within this website, the Division of Graduate, Online & Professional Studies reserves the right to implement new rules and regulations and to make changes of any nature in its program, calendar, locations, tuition and fees. Whenever possible, appropriate notice of such changes will be given before they become effective. In applying for a degree program or registering for courses, each student assumes full responsibility for knowledge of and compliance with the definitions, regulations and procedures of UMass Lowell as set forth on our website. For additional information, please refer to the Graduate Program Policies found within the UMass Lowell Graduate Catalog.

Applying into an Online Graduate Certificate Program

UMass Lowell Graduate Certificate Programs provide knowledge and expertise that are vital in today's rapidly changing workplace. In many cases, graduate certificate courses may be applied toward a master's degree at UMass Lowell. Most graduate certificates consist of four courses, for a total of 12 graduate credits. This is a great way to earn a graduate-level credential on the way to earning your master's.


Holders of an appropriate bachelor's degree


Apply online or download an application at http://www.uml.edu/grad.

Application Fee is $50.00 for all applicants. NO Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required for graduate certificate programs. Credits earned from a graduate certificate may be used toward a related graduate degree with the approval of the graduate program coordinator. Students who complete a graduate certificate with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better in a UMass Lowell graduate certificate program may be able to waive the GRE when applying to a related master's degree. Graduate Certificate Programs must be completed within a five-year period with a minimum 3.0 grade point average and with not more than one course with a grade below B. Courses completed for one certificate may not be used for other certificates. Once you have completed all of the courses required for your certificate, please complete and submit the Graduate Certificate Clearance Form.

Graduate Program Admissions Requirements

Admission to all graduate programs at UMass Lowell is contingent upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, applicants may register for a course before they have formally applied into the program; however, students requiring financial aid may want to wait until they have been formally accepted into the program to ensure that their course(s) will be covered. Please see our How to Apply page for additional information. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Apply Online

Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email Graduate_Admissions@uml.edu or call 800-656-4723.

For General Assistance:

For general questions about registering for courses or to find out who the advisor is for your graduate program, call 800-480-3190. Our admissions and advising teams are here to help!

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