Program Description

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a discipline devoted to understanding human behavior and improving quality of life. ABA has applications in fields such as business and industry; autism and intellectual disabilities; education; treatment of psychiatric disorders and family relationships; geriatrics; and general or specialized medicine.

Coursework for the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate* is based upon national Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)™ guidelines, preparing students as competent practitioners and contributors to the discipline. Successful program completion meets course requirements to take the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination™.

This 21-credit certificate does not require any field experience (internship or practicum). Instead, the coursework has built-in simulations and application activities to aid in experiential learning. The program can be a stand-alone graduate certificate or a specialization of the Master’s program.

A prior degree in an education-related field or industry experience is not required for admission but is helpful.

Applied Behavior Analysis (Graduate Certificate)

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

*The Behavior Analyst Certification Board™ has specific degree requirements for eligibility to apply for the BCBA® or BCaBA® credential.

Check with your state for licensure regulations.

Professional 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.

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.

Application Deadline

The online Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate program accepts applications on a rolling basis. Applicants should apply here.

Virtual Open House

The George Mason University faculty dedicates time throughout the year to hold interactive sessions online for those who would like to learn more about the programs we offer. If you would like to find out more about what you can expect from an online Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate, visit our pre-recorded Virtual Open House and watch at your convenience. For information on upcoming sessions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Wiley University Services maintains this website in cooperation with George Mason University. Admissions standards and decisions, faculty and course instruction, tuition and fee rates, financial assistance, credit transferability, academic criteria for licensure, and the curriculum are the responsibility of the Institution and are subject to change. We aim to keep this site current and to correct errors brought to our attention. Education does not guarantee outcomes including but not limited to employment or future earnings potential. Learn more about Wiley University Services.

Learn more about how to file a complaint.

Request Info

Program Summary

100 Percent Online

Program: Applied Behavior Analysis

Degree: Graduate Certificate

College/School: College of Education and Human Development

Credits: 21 total

Who should apply?
This 21-credit certificate program is designed to augment the professional training of individuals who design, implement, and monitor behavioral interventions in schools, private practices, and agencies. Please note that this certificate does not lead to teacher licensure.

In order to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®, applicants must have a Master’s in Psychology, Education, or Applied Behavior Analysis. Those with other degrees should contact the Behavior Analyst Certification Board™ before applying to ensure that degree requirements are met to sit for the Board exam.

Why choose George Mason?

  • The graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is a Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)™ Verified Program of Study.
  • This online program is part-time, and can accommodate busy professional and family schedules while providing a high-quality, immersive student experience.
  • Course content is up-to-date and relevant to the field, derived directly from BACB’s™ Task List and Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts.
  • Successful completion of this program meets the coursework requirements to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®.
  • An experienced faculty of distinguished scholar-practitioners delivers an education informed by extensive academic and professional experience.

If you are interested in completing the MEd in Special Education in conjunction with this certificate program, please see the MEd program profile for a complete list of requirements.

Program requirements are subject to change; please refer to the University Catalog for the most up-to-date requirements.

Requirements: 21 total credit hours

Courses for Mason’s online ABA graduate certificate are offered in convenient, asynchronous formats.

Core Courses

EDSE 619: Applied Behavior Analysis: Principles, Procedures, and Philosophy
EDSE 621: Applied Behavior Analysis: Empirical Bases
EDSE 622: Philosophical and Conceptual Issues in Behavior Analysis
EDSE 623: Applied Behavior Analysis: Assessments and Interventions
EDSE 624: Applied Behavior Analysis: Applications
EDSE 625: Applied Behavior Analysis: Verbal Behavior
EDSE 664: Ethical and Professional Conduct for Behavior Analysis

Tuition & Fees (2023-2024):
Tuition is $805 per credit hour. An additional charge of $35 per credit hour applies for a Distance Learning fee.

Financial Aid:
For information on loans, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

A study by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)™ suggests a steep increase in the number of qualified behavior analysts needed internationally. According to a 2009 survey by the Association for Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), most individuals are working full-time.

Graduates are prepared for a broad range of special education and administrative positions in schools, private practice, social service agencies, and at-home learning environments.

Applied Behavior Analysts are devoted to understanding all human behavior and are trained to make behavioral improvements for a broad range of individuals, both with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) graduate certificate track is ideal for:

  • Registered Behavior Technicians
  • Teachers, Psychologists and Other Providers Who Work With:
    • Children and Adults with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities
    • Children in General and Special Education
    • People with Mental Health Concerns and Disabilities
    • Families
  • People who Work in the Following Settings:
    • Community Programs
    • Hospitals and Clinics
    • Schools

If you are unable to find the answers to your questions, submit a Request Information form or contact our admissions representative via the contact information below.

Phone: 703-348-5006

How do I apply?
All admission applications for the special education degree program are submitted electronically online. If you have more questions, please see FAQs below.

Admissions FAQs:

If you are unable to find the answers to your questions, submit a Request For Information form and an admissions representative will be in contact with you soon.

How much will the online Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate cost?
The online graduate certificate program is $805 per credit hour.

What is ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis)?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a discipline devoted to understanding all human behavior and making behavioral improvements through the application of empirically validated, scientific methodology to real-world problems and solutions. Mason’s Applied Behavior Analysis online graduate certificate is markedly different from the Autism Spectrum Disorders program; its application isn’t limited to special education or for people who have disabilities – though it often is.

What is the workload like?
The online Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate coursework involves video lectures and YouTube videos, guest speakers, discussion boards, attendance at workshops, and interactive educational games (e.g., Quizlet, Inter-teaching, Class Dojo for engagement). Extension resources are available and clarifying lectures help to answer questions from students.

What are the requirements for admission?
A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or equivalent is required and a GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended for admission. No testing is required for admission, but test score equivalencies from SAT, ACT, Praxis, etc. may be used to compensate for a slightly lower GPA. All prospective students must adhere to university standards for English proficiency and degree equivalency.

Field experience (internship or practicum) is not required; simulations and application activities are built into coursework.

What accreditation does George Mason have?
George Mason University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

How long does it take to complete the program?
The 21-credit ABA graduate certificate can be completed in 18 months.

Can I transfer credits from another University?
Transfer of similar courses from an accredited U.S. college or university may be possible on a case-by-case basis for the online Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate. Transfer credit policies are included in the University Catalog.

When are classes offered?
Classes are offered entirely online in an asynchronous format.

Where can I find course descriptions?
Course descriptions for the ABA certificate are available in the University Catalog.

What tuition assistance is available?
Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides information on aid packages for online programs.

How do I receive additional Information?
Prospective students can complete an online request for information form.

How much does it cost to apply?
While there is a $75 application fee, there are multiple times throughout the year that the fee may be waived.

How do I apply?
All admission applications are handled online.