» Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) Certificate Program

Begin Your Journey to Become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Demand continues to surge for practitioners with specialized behavioral training to support children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Expand your career through Chapman University's highly specialized behavioral analysis program designed for professionals in the fields of education, psychology, and behavior analysis. Chapman’s program is Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB) approved and meets the BACB Fourth Edition Task List coursework requirements. The coursework prepares students to begin their independent fieldwork and take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA) Examination.

Program Highlights
  • Our one-year cohort program consists of six 3-unit courses completed in consecutive 6-8 week terms.
  • Classes are designed for working professionals and graduate students and are taught on Friday evenings and alternating Saturdays.
  • We are an in-person, face-to-face program in Orange County, CA.
  • All courses are taught on Chapman University's beautiful Orange, CA campus.
  • Our instructors are highly experienced BCBAs working in educational, clinical, and medical settings.
  •  Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
  •  Ethics and Professional Conduct
  •  Research Methods in Behavior Analysis
  •  Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change
  •  Behavior Change Considerations: Problem Identification and Assessment
  •  Systems, Supervision, and Special Topics

See Fall 2018 Course Schedule for more details.

Applications for Fall 2018 are accepted through August 15, 2018.
Course sequences begin in September with sufficient enrollment.

+ - Behavior Analyst Certification Board® BCBA Requirements

To meet BCBA certification through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) you must meet four requirements:

  1. Degree: Possession of a graduate degree (master's or doctorate) that was conferred in psychology, education, or a field related to behavior analysis and approved by the BACB®. You must have completed your degree or be in your final year of study to apply for Chapman University's BCBA certificate program. The BACB® offers a preliminary review of your degree to ensure it meets their requirements. Each applicant is responsible for verifying their graduate degree meets (BACB®) requirements.
  2. Coursework: The applicant must complete 270 classroom hours of graduate-level instruction. We are a BACB® approved program. Our course work meets the BACB® Fourth Edition Task List BCBA Course Content requirements.
  3. Experience: Supervised Experience: Students must complete up to 1,500 hours of supervised experience following the BACB® Categories of Supervised Experience.
  4. Exam: Pass the BACB® Fourth Edition Board Certified Behavior Analyst® Examination.

Chapman University's BCBA certificate program meets the BACB® Fourth Edition Task List coursework requirements. The coursework prepares you to begin independent fieldwork and take the BACB® Board Certified Behavior Analyst® Examination.

+ - Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must meet BACB® Degree requirements and have a master's degree or be in your final year of a master's degree program from an accredited college or university, in behavior analysis, education or clinical, counseling, or school psychology.  The BACB® offers a preliminary review of your degree to ensure it meets their requirements. Please conduct this free preliminary degree review before you apply to the program.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA from graduate coursework is preferred. 
  • Submit an online application available on this webpage.
  • Submit a resume or vita including documentation of experience in the field (volunteer or paid). This may be submitted through the online application.
  • Submit a 1,500-word Statement of Intent that describes your interest in becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). This may be submitted through the online application.
  • Submit recommendation forms (two preferred).
  • Note that certain admissions requirements may be waived or reduced for applicants that exhibit a strong background of professional and academic experience. Please reach out to the program if you are interested in applying and have any concerns about meeting the minimum stated requirements.
  • Submit official transcripts from all accredited institutions attended (undergraduate and graduate). Please mail transcripts to this address:
    Chapman University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    Attn: Shannon McCance
    One University Drive
    Orange, CA 92866

+ - Course Sequence and Descriptions

Course 1: BCBX 9301: Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis

This graduate-level 45 hour course covers concepts, principles, and process derived from the experimental analysis of behavior, how they relate to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and definitions and characteristics of ABA. It will focus on basic characteristics, processes, concepts and terminology in applied behavior analysis (ABA) and the learning principles on which ABA is based. Topics include philosophy and assumptions of ABA, choosing and defining target behaviors, positive and negative reinforcement, schedules of reinforcement, extinction, positive and negative punishment, imitation, motivating operations, functional relations, stimulus control, discrimination and generalization, and verbal behavior. Students also learn to interpret and discuss articles from the behavior analytic literature as well as use self-management techniques.

Course 2: BCBX 9302: Ethics and Professional Conduct

This graduate-level 45 hour course is based on the BACB Professional Disciplinary and Ethical Standards and the BACB Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysis. It will focus on the Ethical Considerations of Behavior Analysts, including ensuring professional competence, understanding the importance of ethics, reporting requirements, reviewing the Professional Disciplinary Standards © and the role of Behavior Analysts in the workplace, in research and in the field.

Course 3: BCBX 9303: Research Methods in Behavior Analysis

This graduate-level 45 hour course covers the scientific method in evaluating assessment and intervention techniques in behavior analysis. Topics include measurement techniques, single-subject experimental design, selection of dependent and independent variables, graphical presentation and evaluation of results, and ethics pertaining to human subjects. Principles and procedures involved in the experimental analysis of reinforcement schedules, stimulus control, and stimulus equivalence are included.

Course 4: BCBX 9304: Fundamental Elements of Behavior Change & Specific Behavior Change Procedures

This graduate-level 45 hour course is based on the BACB Fourth Edition Task List. This course covers specifically the fundamental elements of behavior change and specific behavior change procedures. It will focus on the use of positive and negative reinforcement, positive and negative punishment, shaping and changing procedures, conducting task analysis, the use of verbal operants while reviewing other specific behavior change procedures.

Course 5: BCBX 9305: Behavior Change Considerations: Problem Identification and Assessment

This graduate-level 45 hour course is based on the BACB Fourth Edition Task List. This course covers specifically the topic of identification of the problem and assessment, intervention of behavior change considerations. It will focus on the specific task lists of reviewing assessment of a client, referrals, practicing in the competency level of the behavior analyst, assessing and using measurable terms. Topics will review identification of intervention strategies, and programming for ethical considerations, generalization and working collaboratively with others.  Additionally, the topic of autism, as it applies to diagnostic information, assessment, screening tool and other related topics will be discussed.

Course 6: BCBX 9306: Systems, Supervision, and Special Topics

This graduate-level 45 hour course covers a variety of advanced topics regarding the application of using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) technology at the systematic and individual level.  Topics will include the application of evidence-based instructional techniques, token economies and other reinforcement systems, as well as communication training. We will review the application of system-wide intervention, as well as strategies to identify and apply behavior-analytic procedures to both manage and supervise behavioral services. Finally, we will focus on two areas for our special topics including: (1) Performance Management and Staff training; (2) Developing Systems and Support for Persons with Autism.

+ - Instructors

Amy J. Griffiths

Amy-Jane Griffiths, PhD, NCSP, is a licensed clinical psychologist (PSY 24536), a Board Certified Behavior Analyst- Doctoral, and a Nationally Certified School Psychologist. She obtained her doctorate in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Dr. Griffiths currently serves as the Director of the Families and Schools Together (F.A.S.T) program, and an Assistant Clinical Professor at Chapman University and the University of California Irvine’s School of Medicine. Prior to her work with F.A.S.T, Dr. Griffiths served as a director for a behavior intervention program designed to support teens and young adults with disabilities as they transition into adulthood. She has worked as a consultant and trainer implementing data-driven practices in a number of settings, including residential treatment facilities, public schools, and alternative school settings. 

Kelly McKinnon

Kelly McKinnon, MA, BCBA is the Director of Behavior Intervention Services at The Center for Autism and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Kelly has her Master's Degree from Boston College, has a Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Education from Penn State, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) since 2003. Kelly has 20 years' experience working with adults and children with various developmental disabilities. Kelly got her start in 1994 working in Massachusetts overseeing group and independent living facilities with adults dually diagnosed (developmental disabilities and mentally ill), deaf and/or blind, and behaviorally challenged. Kelly worked to help several adults with disabilities buy their first homes, use public transportation and obtain jobs. Kelly moved to California in 2002 where she completed her first book, Social Skills Solutions, opened her own practice, and began consulting with local schools and organizations. 

Kristin Laurino

Kristin Laurino, MFT, BCBA currently serves as the Clinical Regional Manager for a non-public agency that provides inclusive, early-intervention services to individuals with special needs and their families. As a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Kristin has experience creating and supervising evidence-based intervention programs in home, school, residential, and community-based settings for individuals with a wide range of diagnoses and behavioral challenges. Kristin has a passion for training professionals, teachers, and parents on topics related to specific Applied Behavior Analysis principles, behavioral and social-emotional challenges, and mental health issues. In addition to her work as Clinical Regional Manager, Kristin has provided consultation and assessment services to schools throughout Southern California to address students with emotional and behavioral challenges that interfere with their ability to learn.

Tracey Silveira- Zaldivar

Tracey Silveira- Zaldivar, MA, Ed.S, BCBA currently serves as a Bilingual School Psychologist and BCBA on special assignment in the Mental Health and Autism Departments for the Orange Unified School District. She has been a school psychologist for nearly 20 years. Prior to changing careers to school psychology, she served as a Bilingual Senior Social Worker in Child Protective Services for Orange Unified for 10 years and as a mental health counselor for three years. At the district, she created and now supervises their RBT program, providing consultation and training, while also conducting high profile assessments.

Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston, MA, BCBA is currently the Director of ABA Subcontracting for Easterseals of Southern, CA. 

Gabriel Martinez

+ - Tuition and Fees


Tuition is $400 per credit. Each course is 3 credits, for a course cost of $1200.

The BCBA certificate program includes 6 courses, for a total tuition cost of $7,200. Courses are paid for one at a time.

Course Units Cost Per Unit Cost Per Class
BCBX 9301 3 $400 $1,200
BCBX 9302 3 $400


BCBX 9303 3 $400 $1,200
BCBX 9304 3 $400 $1,200
BCBX 9305 3 $400 $1,200
BCBX 9306 3 $400 $1,200
Total Units: 18
Parking: $193
Books: $335
Total Expected
Program Costs:

Parking for BCBA students is currently $193 for the 2018-2019 academic year and will be billed to your student account in two installments.  You must register your vehicle through Public Safety. When your payment has been received and your vehicle is registered, please pick up your parking permit from the Public Safety Office.
Note: Students who begin the cohort in the Fall will use the same parking permit throughout the program. Students who begin in the Spring (January) will pick up a parking permit in January and will need to pick up a permit in August, after the 2nd installment payment has been paid.

If you do not need parking, you must register for a Parking Waiver through Public Safety. Parking is billed to all students and may be reversed when a parking waiver is submitted and approved by the Public Safety office.

Books for this course sequence typically cost between $205 (used) and $335 (new).

Enrollment Deposit
A nonrefundable enrollment deposit is required to hold your position in the BCBA Certificate program. This amount will be credited toward your tuition.

+ - Financing My Education

Federal financial aid is not available for students enrolled in an Extended Education program, therefore a FAFSA application is not needed.

Private loans can be secured for this program. Below are private loans available for post-baccalaureate and post-masters study/continuing education. For more information regarding private/alternative loans please visit the financial aid website or you may click on the options below.  Please note the disbursement date is the date your disbursement check is mailed to Chapman University. Delivery times may take 7-10 business days. Disbursements are not directly deposited into your Chapman student account. Please allow ample time for delivery and to ensure payment is made on time.

Sallie Mae - Smart Option Student Loan

Please note the following when completing your Sallie Mae Smart Option Loan:
  • School: Chapman University
  • Academic Loan Period: Start/End dates of program
  • Anticipated Graduation/Completion: Last day of program
  • Grade Level: Certificate/Continuing Ed
  • Course of Study: Continuing Education
  • Major: Continuing Education
  • Enrollment Status: Full Time

Wells Fargo Bank - Wells Fargo Graduate Loan 

Please note the following when completing your Wells Fargo Graduate Loan application:

  • School: Chapman University Extended Education (Orange)
  • Program: Career/Technical/Continuing Ed
  • Check box: I am pursuing a degree, license, or multi-course certificate
  • Grade Level: Graduate
  • Field of Study: Other - Description: Board Certified assistant behavior Analyst Certificate
  • Enrollment Status: Full Time

+ - Drop and Withdrawal Policy

Drops & Withdrawals
The tuition refunding deadlines differ from the academic (Orange Campus) deadlines for dropping/adding classes and withdrawing from the University. Each student is responsible for knowing and understanding these deadlines. Petitioning to drop or withdraw after these deadlines does not affect the student’s financial obligations.  

The tuition refund policy is as follows: 100% refund prior to the start of the first class; 80% refund through the 10th calendar day of the term. No refund after that time. Drops and withdrawals are based term by term. 

Enrollment Deposit
Enrollment deposits are non-refundable and are credited toward tuition.

+ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is a BCBA?

A BCBA is a post-masters certification. The BCBA is an independent practitioner who also may work as employees or independent contractors for an organization. The BCBA conducts descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provides behavior analytic interpretations of the results. The BCBA designs and supervises behavior analytic interventions. The BCBA is able to effectively develop and implement appropriate assessment and intervention methods for use in unfamiliar situations and for a range of cases. The BCBA seeks the consultation of more experienced practitioners when necessary. The BCBA teaches others to carry out ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions based on published research and designs and delivers instruction in behavior analysis. BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts and others who implement behavior analytic interventions.

Who is the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®)?

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services. The BACB adheres to international standards for boards that grant professional credentials. The BACB certification procedures and content undergo regular psychometric review and validation, pursuant to a job analysis survey of the profession and standards established by content experts in the field.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board contracts with Pearson VUE for examination administration. The BACB administers the examinations several times per year in over 200 sites within the United States and over 150 sites outside the US. The BACB has approved course sequences at over 240 universities.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board's BCBA and BCaBA credentialing programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies in Washington, DC. NCCA is the accreditation body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence.