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.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

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 or spring
  • 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.

Licensure Disclosure

This program has been identified by George Mason University as one that may lead to a career requiring professional licensure/certification. Federal regulations require Mason to disclose information as to whether this program meets/does not meet the educational requirements for licensure/certification in your state, or whether such a determination has not been made. Please consult our Licensure Disclosure Tool for the disclosure statement specific to your desired state/program combination.

George Mason University will verify completion of the requirements of a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) state-approved preparation program at the graduate or undergraduate level. Such verification does not guarantee the issuance of a Virginia Collegiate Professional, Postgraduate Professional, or Pupil Personnel license from the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is solely the student's responsibility to comply with all requirements for licensure by the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, a social security number is required for licensure.

Global Certification

Students residing outside of the United States, Canada, and Australia are encouraged to visit for further information about whether they will be eligible for BACB certification after January 1, 2023. They are also encouraged to check with their local governing bodies to determine whether George Mason University’s coursework may satisfy requirements for credentialing in their country of residence. Completion of the requirements for Mason’s ABA Graduate Certificate does not guarantee an individual’s eligibility to obtain certification.

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!"