Note: The University is no longer accepting applications to this program.

Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Behavior Analysis: BCaBA Coursework Preparation

BACB-Approved BCaBA® Coursework Program

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Meeting the Need for Behavioral Intervention Support

There has been a growing need, both nationally and internationally, for individuals trained in Applied Behavior Analysis to work with a wide population of individuals needing specialized educational instruction or behavior management interventions. For several years, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has been nationally recognized for its leadership in establishing multiple levels of certification, for which it has developed rigorous exams; exam eligibility depends on applicants' completion of specific educational and supervised experience requirements.

To help meet the growing need for qualified professionals, the BACB offers a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA®) credential for individuals who have earned their Bachelor's degrees. BCaBAs support BCBAs by collecting data, implementing skill acquisition procedures and/or behavior management interventions, graphing and analyzing data, as well as conducting assessments. BCaBAs play an important role in supporting the growing caseloads of BCBAs in school systems, special education programs, residential programs, and community and home therapy programs.

This four-course graduate certificate, available entirely online, is open to any student with a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution as well as to seniors at UML with permission from their department chair. This certificate fulfills the coursework requirements for certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and helps prepare students to take the BACB's BCaBA Certification Exam.

Three of the courses in this program can also be applied towards the BACB's BCBA coursework requirements, and they may be applied towards UMass Lowell's psychology Master's Degree in Autism Studies (on campus/online program) and the education Master's Degree in Curriculum and Instruction: Autism Studies Option (online program).

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

For information regarding additional graduate autism programs offered by UMass Lowell, please visit

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

BACB Approved Course Sequence

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst Coursework Requirements

Students wishing to pursue certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst through the BACB must apply for and be accepted into the Behavioral Management in Autism Certificate Program and successfully complete the four required courses. This program is approved by the BACB to fulfill their BCaBA coursework requirement, and it is designed to help prepare students for the BACB BCaBA Certification Exam.

Check the BACB website regularly as the 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 BCaBA Coursework Preparation, call 978-934-2240 or email


This graduate-level certificate could be of interest to recent college graduates interested in earning a valuable credential that may help them find work in a variety of educational and social service settings.

Note, this program does not confer BACB certification or licensure in any state. While this program is approved by BACB as a BCaBA coursework preparation program, students will need to apply separately to BACB for the BCaBA certification exam. Students should also review their state's government website to see if any additional licensure is required to serve as a BCaBA in their state.

Curriculum Outline

Required Courses (4 / 12cr)

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) Coursework Requirements

Students wishing to pursue certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA ®) through the BACB must apply for and be accepted into the Behavioral Management in Autism Certificate Program and successfully complete the four required courses. To apply for the BCaBA ® Certification Exam, please refer to the BACB website.

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 throughout the year during the Fall, Spring and Summer semesters (see 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

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.

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 instruction on areas of the 4th edition task list related to ethically providing behavior analytic services as established by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and codes of conduct for behavior analysts in the field of applied behavior analysis. Building on knowledge of applied behavior analysis and autism gained in the two prerequisite courses, students will enhance their understanding of best practices in the assessment and treatment of individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder and how ABA strategies are implemented and evaluated. 3 credits.

PSYC.5610/5620 Pre-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


Please refer to our tuition and fees page for up-to-date pricing information or refer to the current course listings.

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. We also encourage all students who plan to take the BCaBA exam to purchase a license for a set of learning modules that will help students not only do well in our courses but also prepare for the BCaBA exam. This license provides continued access to the modules until students pass the exam. The cost for this license is $300-$500, depending on the length of the license.

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.


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.


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

There is a $50 application fee for all programs except engineering, for which there is a $75 application fee. 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.

For specific information regarding any of the above application materials (which may vary for some programs), please see UMass Lowell's Graduate Application Requirements at

Applications can be completed and submitted at any time during the year. Each application is processed — and each applicant notified — as soon as all admissions materials have been received and reviewed. For additional details, please visit

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. Contact UMass Lowell's Office of Graduate Admissions if you have questions about the application process.

Note: The application code for this program is "BMAP"

Please Note: Test requirements for graduate applications have been temporarily waived. Learn more.
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Questions Regarding Your Graduate Application?

Email or call 800-656-4723 (for U.S. students) or 978-934-2390 (for international students).

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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