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Program Overview

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis (GC-ABA) at Michigan State University prepares students to be highly competent behavior analysts in educational and clinical settings, and to develop and deliver educational and behavioral programming to children with autism, intellectual, and neurodevelopmental disabilities. 

Students will develop in depth knowledge and applied competence in the delivery of behavior analysis to improve the quality of life of consumers in various service settings. Students who complete the -ABA program at MSU will be eligible to take the examination to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst®.

Program Highlights 

#13 in Special Education in U.S. News Ranking for 2020

Program Outcomes

Over the course of the Applied Behavior Analysis graduate certificate, students will build the foundation to: 

  • Conduct descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provide behavior analytic interpretations of the results across a range of situations and cases. 
  • Design and supervise behavior analytic interventions across a range of situations and cases. 
  • Teach others to implement ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions. 
  • Develop the communication, collaboration and consultation skills that will enable you to work with youth, families, related service personnel, general educators, and community agencies to create, implement, and evaluate the highest quality programs possible.

Career Outlook

  • Most common career is overseeing ABA therapy for individuals with ASD in common settings: 
  • ABA clinics, in homes, schools, residential treatment facilities 
  • Average starting salary of $60,000 
  • Often includes benefits, mileage, and professional development opportunities 
  • Currently a huge need for BCBA's due to a recent nationwide shift requiring insurances to provide ABA therapy to children with autism; BCBAs are among the few qualified to provide this service 



  • CEP 844 Applied Behavior Analysis I 3 Credits
  • CEP 845Autism Spectrum Disorder: Assessment and Intervention 3 Credits
  • CEP 846 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Advanced Topics 3 Credits
  • CEP 848 Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis 3 Credits
  • CEP 851 Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis 3 Credits
  • CEP 854 Applied Behavior Analysis II 3 Credits
  • CEP 855 Verbal Behavior in Education 3 Credits
  • CEP 942 Single-case Experimental Designs for Intervention Research 3 Credits

Admissions and Requirements

To be accepted to this program, you must have:

  1. A bachelor's degree

    Students who are applying to the graduate certificate program and are not completing a concurrent master's or doctoral program must already have a master's degree from an accredited university.

  2. Previous work experience


  3. A written personal statement

  4. 3 letters of recommendation

  5. Official transcripts from all previous schools

To apply to this program:

  1. Complete a university graduate certificate application (Program code: 6761)
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Key Dates

Fall 2021

Application Deadline

April 1, 2021

Tuition & Fees

In State Tuition

  • $15,866
  • Total


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MSU pushes the boundaries of discovery and forges enduring partnerships to solve the most pressing global challenges while providing life-changing opportunities to a diverse and inclusive academic community.