Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

School of Education & Human Development


Degree: Graduate Certificate

Classroom Type: Fully Online

Offers an opportunity to become a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) or board-certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA) to those who are passionate about identifying and championing the strengths and assets of children with differing abilities.

Application​ deadlines

Summer: April 1
Spring: November 1

Program Details

Interest Categories: Education & Counseling

Campus: CU Denver Online

What you'll learn

The demand for special education professionals with expertise 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 (for BCaBA students) or master’s (for BCBA students) degree, earning this certificate will help you to advance or diversify in your field. You’ll build competencies in the science of ABA 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.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified that our course sequence contributes to the requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. 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 available on the Student Finances website. This program is not eligible for financial aid.

Meet the 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 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.


CU Denver’s BCBA/BCaBA®’s courses comprise a seven-course sequence of 3-credit hour, fully-online courses, taught by experienced CU Denver BCBA instructors. ABA certificate students will complete a total of 315 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

SPED 5495: Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis

Required Credits for Completion:21 Credits

Admission Requirements


BACB Behavior-Analytic Coursework Pathway Eligibility:

  • BCBA applicants must hold a graduate degree from a qualifying institution
  • BCaBA applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a qualifying institution
  • ALL CU Denver ABA certificate students are responsible for finding and completing their own BACB supervised fieldwork experience.

How to apply

  1. Submit a Graduate CPE Non-degree application
    1. Confirm you are applying for a School of Education & Human Development certificate
    2. Select “Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis” from the list of certificates
    3. Select your admit term: Spring (January cohort) or Summer (July cohort)
    4. Upload Resume, Letter of Intent, and Graduate Degree-conferred transcripts (can be unofficial) in the “Upload Documents” tab
  2. Faculty will review complete applications, after the application deadline, in the order they were received
  3. Acceptance notifications will be sent to the email listed on the application
  4. Course registration information will be emailed once the student’s account is activated and they are eligible to register for courses

Application Deadlines

Please note, space is limited, and our program works on rolling admission. Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis for students who meet the eligibility criteria for their respective programs.

The BACB has announced their 6th Task List, the exam for which will go live on January 1, 2025.

As we have already started the final courses for our 5th list sequence, we will not be enrolling new students for a spring 2023 cohort.

The CU Denver ABA faculty is currently developing our 6th task list courses and will be implementing our 6th list courses soon (summer 2023).

Please check this page in January 2023 for updates and to apply.

Please contact Beth Eagen at or call 303-315-5000 for application assistance or to learn more about this program.