Mercyhurst University

You are here

Applied Behavior Analysis

The graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed to meet the educational requirements for certification by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board*. This 6-course sequence and associated practicum focuses on integrating research, basic principles, and specialized coursework with fieldwork in the areas of intellectual and developmental disabilities, autism, and behavioral health. Prospective students will have a choice to complete either the certificate alone, or as a concentration while pursuing a graduate degree in Special Education.

*The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved this course sequence as meeting the coursework and supervision requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®.

*Prospective students who wish to pursue the graduate certificate in applied behavior analysis (ABA) must currently have a master's degree or be working toward a master's degree. The ABA certificate is often paired with the master's degree in special education; it is separate from the master's degree in applied behavior analysis (MABA).

Cost and Career Information

In compliance with the “gainful employment” regulations under Title IV of the Higher Education Act, as amended, Mercyhurst is disclosing certain cost and career information to prospective students. You can view this information by clicking here.

Course Requirements

The Mercyhurst University Applied Behavior Analysis Certification Program provides a coursework sequence and practical experience approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Upon completion of the program, participants may apply to the BACB to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)To achieve professional certification, a candidate must complete the six-course sequence, a 750-hour intensive practicum, and apply for and pass the BCBA exam (administered externally by BACB):
  • EDSP 501     Behavior Management: Intro to ABA and Behavior Change
  • EDSP 502     Educational Research: Single Subject
  • EDSP 536     Ethical, Professional, and Legal Issues
  • EDSP 640     Basic Principles of Behavior
  • EDSP 650     Functional Behavior Assessment and Intervention Development
  • EDSP 660     Advanced Seminar: Applied Behavior Analysis

A university certificate of completion will be awarded to students who complete the six-course sequence. Students are responsible for meeting the work experience and exam requirements listed below.

  • Complete 270 hours of graduate instruction in a Board approved program
  • Complete 750 hours of Mercyhurst's Board-approved intensive practicum experience
  • Apply for, be determined eligible for (by BACB), and pass the BCBA Examination


Admission requirements for those who wish to complete the course sequence without enrolling in the MSPED program have not been finalized. However, basic requirements will include a bachelor's degree in special education or closely related field, a 3.0, and relevant work experience.

Apply Now

Applicants should submit the graduate certificate application along with official undergraduate transcript, and a $35 application fee* to the admissions coordinator, Office of Graduate Studies, Mercyhurst University.

*You can also choose to apply online for free.



Kseniya Kampova, graduate enrollment coordinator
Phone: 814-824-3384