School of Education - George Mason University

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to the study of behavior. It is concerned with describing, explaining, predicting, and changing behavior.

Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate with MEd Option

The ABA graduate certificate is designed to increase the professional training of individuals responsible for designing, implementing, and monitoring behavioral treatment and verbal behavior training programs in schools, private practices, and agencies such as psychiatric hospitals and training centers. The applied behavior analysis certificate is based on the standards of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.

Fully Online Program

  • Not eligible for VA Educator Tuition Discount
  • 8 week modules
  • 100% online
  • Not eligible for in-state tuition pricing
  • Start in spring, summer or fall

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Campus/Blended Program

  • Eligible for VA Educator Tuition Discount
  • Traditional Semester
  • Face-to-face interaction with faculty
  • Eligible for in-state tuition pricing
  • Certificate-only students start in fall
  • MEd/ABA students start in spring, summer or fall

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Master's Option

Students who are completing the Master's in Special Education in conjunction with their ABA certificate program will need to complete the following courses to meet the MEd course requirements. Click here for a chart showing overlap in coursework of the certificate and MEd. Students wishing to take this option should select the Master’s in Special Education on their application, and should contact their advisor to add the certificate once enrolled.

Optional Practicum

Note: These recommendations are based upon current BACB standards and are subject to change without prior notice. Students are encouraged to keep apprised of changes by visiting the Behavior Analyst Certification Board website and signing up for their newsletter.

Eligibility to sit for the BACB certification examination requires completion of coursework and experience requirements. There is a verified course sequence to obtain the Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate (ABAC). Once enrolled into the ABAC program, individuals who intend to sit for the national certification exam can opt for the following: (a) standard practicum, (b) intensive practicum track, or (c) track supervised independent fieldwork*. Students may complete these practicum either in conjunction with the ABA certificate coursework at George Mason, or after completing the George Mason ABA certificate coursework. Practicum experiences offered by George Mason University have been granted Approved Experience status by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Students must apply for ABA practicum each semester they are interested. Please note that applying for ABA practicum does not guarantee placement.

EDSE 795 - Standard Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum and EDSE 799 - Intensive Applied Behavior Analysis Practicum may be taken to meet the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) supervised practicum requirements. Students may complete all of the hours needed to satisfy the BACB supervised experience requirement through 15 credits of EDSE 795/EDSE 799.

BCBA Examination Pass Rates

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Undergraduate Studies

Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. Undergraduates can start their graduate ABA coursework as a student in the Accelerated Master’s program.

Accelerated Masters

Qualified undergraduates may be admitted to a Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's program and obtain either a BA or BS in any degree area and an MEd in Special Education within an accelerated time frame. The Accelerated Master’s program allows students to apply six credits, taken while an undergraduate, toward both their Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Additionally, students can take an additional six credits as reserve graduate credit in order to start their MEd program with twelve graduate credits already completed.

 Caroline Foster Student
Student Insights

Caroline Foster, Student, MEd in Special Education & ABA Certificate

"I was drawn to pursuing my Master's degree at GMU because of the assistantship with the Mason LIFE Program. There have been many aspects of my time in the program that I have thoroughly enjoyed. My assistantship has allowed me to apply what I am learning in my courses, every single day. The experience and knowledge you will gain in this program is truly one of a kind, I highly suggest you look no further!"