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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Aug 09, 2020
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer II Addendum 
2018-2019 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook with Summer II Addendum [Archived Catalog]

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

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Online - Chicago - Washington D.C. - Dallas

Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis develops mastery of the principles of behavior analysis and their application in clinical work and everyday life. Applied Behavior Analysis is the ethical design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental changes to produce socially significant improvements in behavior.

Learning Outcomes 

Upon completion of this certificate program students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate the impact of diversity issues on individuals and society and demonstrate sensitivity and competence while working with diverse populations.
  2. Evaluate and resolve ethical dilemmas in accordance with behavior-analytic and psychological ethical guidelines.
  3. Establish rapport and communicate effectively with clients, stakeholders, and other professionals.
  4. Analyze behavior, design interventions, and evaluate interventions, by applying basic behavioral principles and assessment techniques to effect socially significant behavior change.
  5. Conduct behavior-analytic research and evaluate behavior-analytic and other psychological research effectively and ethically.


The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is aligned with coursework requirements for eligibility to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®).  Applicants for BCBA® certification must meet additional requirements established by BACB® including completion of an approved master’s degree, supervised experience, application, examination, and background check.

There may also be state professional licensure requirements to practice applied behavior analysis.  A state’s licensure board determines the specific requirements for candidates seeking professional licensure and those requirements are subject to change.  The following is state professional licensure information as of the date of publication:

  • BCBA® certification aligns with certification requirements for professional licensure in Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  • Graduates who have obtained BCBA® certification may be eligible for licensure in Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New York, and North Dakota if their master’s degree program aligns with state degree requirements.  Note that candidates for professional licensure may be required to meet additional state requirements such as application, examination, and background check.
  • A professional license is not required to practice behavior analysis in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the District of Columbia. State laws on professional licensure are subject to change by their legislatures. 

It is the student’s responsibility to determine the licensure requirements for any state not listed above.  The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis may meet some or all of the requirements of states not listed, but additional state-specific approvals or coursework and/or practicum hours may be required beyond the program’s graduation requirements.  Some state licensing requirements include the following: completion of a master’s degree, post-graduate field work, certification as a board certified behavior analyst, examination, and application for license.

Due to recent and ongoing changes in state professional licensure of applied behavior analysis practitioners, students should contact the state board directly to verify information regarding professional licensure.  To assist with this research, the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA) publishes information regarding state licensure.

Admissions Requirements

*The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is not currently accepting applications for the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis program from individuals who live in these states: Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Washington.

Applicants to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must possess a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution that was conferred in behavior analysis, education, or psychology.  Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.   It is recommended that students contact the BACB ® to confirm acceptance of their degree prior to beginning coursework. Applicants to this program should ensure their resume illustrates relevant work experience. A letter of reference, preferably from a supervisor or manager, is required.

In addition to the admission criteria, applicants to the online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis must also have access to a computer that is less than three years old, a broadband internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A comfort with basic Internet technology
  • The ability to open and attach files from and to emails
  • The ability to send and receive email
  • The ability to save documents

Applicant Notification 

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.


The mission of the ABA Department at TCSPP is to provide state-of-the-art education and training in Applied Behavior Analysis that prepares graduates to be successful, committed, engaged scientist-practitioner colleagues who make a positive difference in our communities.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) procedures and principles can facilitate remarkable progress and have improved quality of life for many people. In addition to being the foundational procedures for early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) in autism, ABA has been used to teach typically developing children to read, to improve safety, productivity, and employee satisfaction in organizations, to decrease problem behaviors such as tantrums, aggression or self-injury in a range of populations, to increase communication between people, to decrease symptoms in individuals with brain injuries and has reduced human misery and improved functioning and quality of life in many other areas. Behavior-analytic principles and procedures now address many diagnoses and are applicable to virtually any behavior. Because all ABA work is validated with data about its effectiveness, each clinician generates a data set, and tests what they do. As clinicians review their outcomes, they modify and test procedures to get the maximum beneficial results for their clients. 

The goal of the ABA department is to facilitate this progress for many more people by training students to understand and implement behavior-analytic principles and procedures. This goal requires that the faculty measure students’ performance and ensure that students implement procedures correctly and ethically, and forward competent students to the next steps in the profession.

Ethics and Professional Behavior 

Students are expected to learn and to follow the ethical guidelines of the American Psychological Association and the Behavior Analysis Certification Board during and after their work at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. A class in ethics is required, and student adherence to ethical codes is evaluated both formally and informally.

Practicum Criteria

Students may complete the BCBA® Supervised Fieldwork Experience required by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® through TCSPP’s BACB® verified University Practicum option. This option requires fewer field experience hours than the Supervised Independent Fieldwork option, which students complete independent of TCSPP. Graduate Certificate students must meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®.

Applicants in the Online and on-ground programs are encouraged to gain experience in multiple sites and with multiple supervisors. See for appropriate experience activities and for more information about requirements.

Technical Requirements for Online Supervised Practicum Students

Students completing virtual supervision through The Chicago School of Professional Psychology will enroll in individual supervision courses. To successfully participate, students must have these technical capabilities:  

  • A computer made in the last three years
  • Broadband Internet connection
  • A webcam, digital camera, or digital recorder capable of:
    • Recording 24 frames per second (fps)
    • Recording for 60 consecutive minutes
    • Recording sound
    • Focusing appropriate to collect student-client interaction
  • A cable that connects the camera to the computer
  • Software that converts the raw footage to a smaller file - Windows MovieMaker (PC) or iMovie (Mac)

Online Practicum 

Online practicum courses are not required to earn the Certificate, so students can choose to either complete their experience independently, or to enroll in the university practicum courses to meet the experience requirements to sit for the certification exam. An applicant may start accumulating Supervised Independent Fieldwork hours after they have begun the coursework required to meet the BACB® requirements, but students of ABA Online at The Chicago School must have completed AB540 and have either completed or be concurrently enrolled in AB565 in order to enroll in the Practicum courses. Students wishing to complete the University Practicum option in the Online program must secure a practicum position at an approved site. Students must submit an application for site approval to the department for review and approval. Sites must meet BACB® criteria for approved activities and hours (see They then have two options. If the student has a supervisor holding the BCBA® credential on-site, and that supervisor is willing to provide individual BCBA® supervision to the student, the student must obtain and document that individual supervision and must also  If the student does not have a supervisor on-site holding the BCBA® credential, the student must enroll in one additional 0.5-credit online courses per term for eight terms (Individual Supervision). All students must complete a minimum of 10 hours per week (hours in excess of 30 hours per week will not count toward the practicum requirement) of documented work with clients plus individual and group supervision to meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. 

On-ground Practicum 

Students in the on-ground program who wish to complete the Approved University Practicum option apply for a practicum position at an approved practicum site through the department’s Applied Professional Practice (APP) office, following procedures detailed in a Practicum Manual. Students complete up to four semesters (three 2-credit courses and one 1-credit course) of Practicum Seminar while accruing hours of Supervised Experience at their site. Similar to the requirement for the online students, an applicant may not start accumulating Supervised Experience hours until they have begun the coursework required to meet the BACB® coursework requirements. All students must complete a minimum of 10 and maximum of 30 hours per week of documented work with clients plus individual and group supervision to meet the requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®. Hours in excess of 30 hours per week will not count toward the practicum requirement per BACB® regulations.

The Curriculum

Total Program Credits

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis: 21 credits

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis with Field Supervision (Online -  Individual Supervision): 29 credits

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis with Field Supervision (On-ground):  25 credits

*Students will see a location code suffix affixed to courses on their transcripts (TX-Dallas, CH-Chicago, ON-Online, DC-Washington, D.C.)

Optional Supervised Practicum - Online

Students wishing to participate in supervised field experience at an approved site declare their preference upon enrollment in the program and register for online practicum after successful completion of AB 540 . Students must be concurrently enrolled in or have completed AB 565   to begin field work (practicum).  Depending on the availability of an on-side BCBA credentialed supervisor, students will enroll either in online practicum only, or online practicum and individual supervision. 

Field Supervision Option

 5 eight week terms (approximately 30 hours per week of field supervised work)

  • 4 credit hours (Online Practicum) or 8 credit hours (Online Practicum and Individual Supervision)

Field Supervision Option

Optional Supervised Practicum - On-Ground

Extension Courses

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