Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

Graduate Certificate

Offers an opportunity to become ABA certified to those who are passionate about identifying and championing the strengths and assets of children with differing abilities.

The Program at a Glance

School: School of Education & Human Development Campus: CU Denver Online Classroom: Fully Online Credits required for completion: 18

The Details

What you'll learn

The demand for special education professionals who are certified in Applied Behavior Analysis is growing. Children with special needs require specific and optimized learning environments created by qualified professionals to aid in their growth and skill development. Our strengths-based/assets-based approach to teaching focuses on preparing you to understand the strengths of every child in every family.

Enhance your ability to work with individuals with special learning and behavior needs by earning your post baccalaureate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Colorado Denver. This certificate program prepares professionals to follow best practices for ABA in a variety of settings.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, earning this certificate will help you to advance or diversify in your field. You’ll build your competencies in psychology and advance your skills in working with individuals with special needs.

CU Denver’s Applied Behavior Analysis certificate will prepare you with knowledge of:

  • Ethical and professional conduct considerations required for practicing ABA.
  • How to understand and accurately describe the behavior of individuals.
  • How to collect and interpret data as well as the importance of making data-driven decisions specifically for ABA.
  • How to implement recommended, evidence-based practices with young children with autism.

This program meets the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®’s coursework requirements toward becoming a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst or Board-Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst. However, this program does not provide the supervisory aspects as required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. For more information on these requirements, please visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®’s website.

Mode of study: This course is designed to fit your busy lifestyle and is offered completely online. All you’ll need is reliable high speed internet access from home. Faculty and students use web-based applications like Instructure Canvas to complete coursework. Visit CU Online’s technical requirements page for details.

Cost: All courses are three graduate credit hours. Tuition is $373/credit, plus course and student fees. This program is not eligible for financial aid.

Faculty: Faculty at CU Denver match your passion for education and believe in giving all students equal access to an excellent education. Our published scholars and community-based advocates in Special Education are engaged in education at the local, state, national and international levels, these professionals bring with them a wide breadth of experience. Additionally, our faculty network and collaborate with local district leaders to ensure you are prepared for the current challenges that schools and districts face.

Choose CU Denver’s School of Education & Human Development

You can trust CU Denver to provide an education that will prepare you to be the professional schools seek and children deserve. Inclusive classrooms require teachers who are well-prepared and ready to work with children of all abilities in general classrooms including students with serious emotional disability and specific learning disabilities. We take our leadership role seriously and are committed to graduating the most qualified ABA certified professionals. Additionally, CU Denver’s School of Education and Human Development is counted among U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” making us one of the top education schools in the country.


The BCBA® and BCaBA courses are part of a seven-course sequence (3 credits/course), taught fully online by our CU Denver BCBA instructors. Students will complete a total of 270 required class hours distributed among the BACB®‘s 5th edition task list areas.

The seven courses (SPED 5450, SPED 5460, SPED 5470, SPED 5480, SPED 5490, SPED 5440, and SPED 5495) will be offered in sequence.

Cohorts that begin with the first course, SPED 5450 start in January and July.


SPED 5450: Introduction to ABA and Terminology 

SPED 5460: ABA Practical Applications 

SPED 5470: ABA Data 

SPED 5480: ABA Advanced Data and Behavioral Plans and Applications 

SPED 5490: Autism in Early Intervention 

SPED 5440: Ethics and Implementation in ABA **Only for Students Pursuing their BCBA**

Admissions Requirements

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

The BCBA®’s courses are part of a six course sequence of 3-credit hour courses taught fully online by experienced CU Denver BCBA instructors. BCBA students will complete a total of 270 required class hours distributed among the BACB®’s 4th Edition Task List areas.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

BCaBA students will complete 225 required class hours over a five course sequence of 3-credit hour courses. Each course will be taught over a 10 to 12 week period of time depending on the course.

Application Deadline

Please note, space is limited and our program works on rolling admission. Registration will be completed on a first come, first served basis for students who meet the registration criteria for their respective programs.

Spring cohort application information:

  • Applications accepted until October 15 as long as space is still available.
    • Applicants will be notified of admission decision by November 1.

Summer cohort application information:

  • Applications accepted until April 15 as long as space is still available.

Please contact the Continuing and Professional Education department to learn more about the program or for assistance with your application.