Becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®
What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)®?
The BCBA® is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. This certification is received through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Professionals with BCBA certification provide behavior-analytic services and may supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), and other professionals who implement behavior-analytic services.
How does MSU’s M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism Spectrum Disorders prepare students to become BCBAs?
There is a series of requirements to become a BCBA:
- Complete a graduate degree in a relevant field. MSU’s ABA & ASD program is a Verified Course Sequence. It is fully online and designed to be completed in less than two years.
- Complete supervised fieldwork. While our program does not provide supervised fieldwork, the online format allows students to obtain their required hours while they complete their degree. Our faculty and academic advisor can help answer any questions you have about the process.
- Pass the BCBA Exam. Once you meet the requirements listed above, you will be eligible to apply to take the BCBA certification exam. MSU’s hybrid ABA master’s program had a first-time exam pass rate of 87% in 2021, and the first cohort of online ABA ASD master’s students is in the midst of taking their exams.
How and when do I complete my fieldwork hours?
There are two ways for students to satisfy their fieldwork requirements:
- supervised fieldwork experience (2,000 hours)
- concentrated supervised fieldwork experience (1,500 hours)
While our program does not provide supervised fieldwork, you are able (and encouraged) to complete your hours while you work on your degree. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board has some great online resources for planning your fieldwork experience. This checklist and tip sheet is a good place to start and you’ll find detailed requirements in the BCBA Handbook. Have questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is the degree name?
The degree title is Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders. The program is listed as Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorder (Online Program) (Masters) in the MSU application portal.
When is the application deadline?
The deadline to apply is Jan. 15.
When are admissions decisions made?
Typically, you will hear from us 4-6 weeks after the application deadline.
Do you require the GRE test?
No, the GRE is not required for admission into the Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Spectrum Disorders program.
How long is the program?
The Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism Spectrum Disorders is designed to be completed within two years of matriculation.
What is the average course load per semester?
Typically students take two courses (six credits). A helpful rule of thumb is to devote at least two hours per credit outside of class, in addition to the online contact hours for the course. This means a minimum of nine hours per week per three-credit course.
Tuition & Financial Aid
What are the tuition rates for this program?
Tuition for ABA & ASD students is the same for all students regardless of residency. Find the most up-to-date information on tuition on Michigan State University’s official Tuition and Fees page. The ABA & ASD program is included under “Online Education Masters.”
The current cost per credit hour is $933. The M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis & Autism Spectrum Disorders is a 30-credit program.
How do I know when to pay my tuition?
Students and guests can make payments on balances via the Student Information System (SIS) at student.msu.edu. After logging in, students and guests should navigate to the Student Accounts tile to access their student account. Once inside the payment portal, students and guests can make payments on current and prior semester balances, view account details and bills, enroll in a payment plan or sign up for direct deposit refunds.
For more information about billing and payments, visit the Student Accounts information on the MSU Office of the Controller website.
Where can I find more information on financial aid?
To be eligible to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and qualify for federal grants and loans, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen. For complete information on eligibility, please visit the Aid Eligibility page of the Financial Aid website. More information on financial aid at MSU can be found on the MSU Office of Financial Aid website. The Process (of filing financial aid) page and FAFSA Filing Tips page on the Office of Financial Aid website may help orient (or perhaps reorient) you to this process.
Also, financial aid advisors can be reached at (517) 353-5940 and through MSU’s Office of Financial Aid website. (Please note: This office is typically quite busy at the beginning of a semester.)
Additionally, the following resources may be helpful:
- College of Education Graduate Student Scholarships
- MSU’s Grants and Related Resources page
- MSU’s Office of Financial Aid has a helpful document (PDF) about Internet searches for scholarships
- MSU’s Office of Financial Aid Scholarship Searches
- The Office of Financial Aid’s Graduate Students page
- College of Education Graduate Assistantships
How do I set up a MSU email account?
- Once you have accepted your Offer of Admission in the MSU admissions portal, you can find your MSU Student ID at the top of the Application Status page within the portal.
- You will receive an email notification to log into their Admissions portal to retrieve your PAN. Students will need to click on “Show Personal Access Number (PAN)” button to display the 4-digit PAN.
- Within the portal, you will need to click on the link “Activate your MSU NetID and email,” which will take you to the Admissions website to activate your NetID.
- Use your MSU e-mail address to access the online course web systems Desire2Learn. You will also use your e-mail address to access Campus Solutions, where you can see your course schedules and grades, view and pay bills, and track your financial aid.
How do I enroll for classes?
Find more information about class enrollment and registration on MSU’s Office to the Registrar’s website.
Where can I get my grades, class schedule, billing information, account detail, etc.?
You can visit student.msu.edu.
Do I need to use my MSU email account?
Your MSU email address is the only email address that the university will use to send official communication to students. However you may auto forward all incoming email to another service or account. Click on “MSU Prefs” in the sidebar menu to access this setting.
Do I need to apply to graduate?
Yes. The first week of the semester you expect to graduate, submit the graduation application. If you expect to graduate in the summer, submit this application in the first week of spring. The Graduation Application is now available at student.msu.edu. After clicking on the Academic Progress tile, you will see a link to Apply for Graduation in the left-hand navigation under the Graduation heading.
When will I receive my diploma?
Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application approximately four weeks after the end of the semester that you graduate.
Where do I find information about commencement?
Go to the MSU Commencement website.