The six-course sequence of the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate 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.

Program Overview

  • Options: Graduate certificate, master’s concentration
  • Location(s): On campus; limited online courses available
  • Credits: 18
  • Duration: Minimum nine months
  • Cost: $830 per credit; $10,800-15,500 total
  • Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Start term(s): Fall (preferred) and Spring semesters
  • Careers: Behavioral health, autism support, developmental disability services

Mercyhurst’s Special Education and Applied Disability Studies graduate program seeks to produce the most skilled special education and behavioral health professionals in the region. Small graduate classes allow students to actively engage with faculty and peers. In fact, regular lab meetings push students to share ideas, collaborate, and think critically about coursework and discussions. 

Learning Outcomes

Mercyhurst graduate programs are designed to give our students a competitive edge in the marketplace. Our curriculum will prepare you as an educator who is able to:

  • Analyze and critique educational research
  • Apply dimensions of applied behavior analysis
  • Utilize evidenced-based practices and assessments in clinical settings
  • Write measurable objectives such as those found in an Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • Write procedures for evidenced-based practices across disability groups and lifespans

Course Requirements

The six courses required for the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate are:

  • 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.

Career Paths

Depending on your background and/or choice to continue on for a master’s degree, our ABA graduate certificate program will prepare you for careers related to:

  • Behavioral health and analysis
  • Developmental disability services
  • Autism support
  • Postsecondary academic support and career services

Admissions Requirements

Prospective applicants for the graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must fulfill the following admission requirements. At the discretion of the program director, admission may be granted to applicants who have not fulfilled all the admission requirements provided they agree to the conditions of the acceptance prescribed by the director.

Admissions decisions are made by the program director on a rolling basis after a holistic review.

Applicants can choose to start in either the Fall (preferred) or Spring semesters.

  • Completed (free) online application 
  • A bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited school with a preferred overall minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions you’ve attended 
  • A current resume 
  • A 500- to 750-word personal statement outlining your reasons for enrolling and personal and professional goals

Cost and Financial Aid

Mercyhurst graduate programs are competitively priced. Our goals it to provide you with an education that earns you an excellent return on your investment.

Tuition for the ABA graduate certificate program is $804 per credit (2019/20 school year rates).

Estimated total program cost for the ABA graduate certificate is $15,000.

Students in the ABA graduate certificate program are eligible for several graduate assistant positions in educational settings throughout Erie County. Graduate assistantships help offset tuition charges and provide students with a stipend for their work. Contact the Office of Graduate Admissions for more information.

Learn more about available financial aid for graduate programs including:

  • Graduate Assistant (GA) positions
  • Graduate Employment (GE) positions
  • Educational Benefits Supplemental Grant
  • Veteran benefits
  • Employer reimbursement
  • Federal direct loans

Contact Us

Phillip Belfiore, Ph.D.
Program Director, Graduate Special Education
Office: Hirt 300B
Phone: 814-824-2267

Kseniya Kampova
Graduate Enrollment Coordinator
Phone: 814-824-3384