ABAI Verified Course Sequence

ABAI-verified Course Sequence in Behavior Analysis

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following 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.

ABAI-verified Course Sequence in Behavior Analysis

The KU Department of Applied Behavioral Science is one of the top 10 behavior analytic graduate programs based on research rankings (see Dixon, Reed, Smith, Belisle, & Jackson, 2015) and second-most research-productive in applied behavior analysis (see Wilder, Lipschultz, Kelley, Rey, & Enderli, 2015). KU ABS pioneered translating basic behavioral research into evidence-based practices and, in the process, founded the field’s leading journal, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.

The Department offers eight graduate-level courses that, when successfully passed by the student, will fulfill the educational requirement to sit for the BACB certification. Each course earns three (3) graduate credits and meets the required contact hours established by the BACB. The eight courses are:

  1. ABSC 770. Within Subjects Research Methodology and Direct Observation
  2. ABSC 771. Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science
  3. ABSC 772. Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis
  4. ABSC 773. Applied Behavior Analysis in Complex Organizations
  5. ABSC 850. Principles of Behavior Analysis
  6. ABSC 851. Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Applied Behavioral Science
  7. ABSC 852. Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities
  8. ABSC 853. Functional Behavioral Assessment

(Course descriptions can be found below, as well as an example of a program schedule.)

The courses involve the philosophy, science, and practice of behavior analysis. Students will have in-depth study of the principles of behavior and how those principles relate to the analysis of human behavior in different contexts, such as health, education, developmental disabilities, business, and all areas of human endeavors.

How the Online Program Is Offered

The program can be completed in four consecutive semesters, taking two courses per semester.

The courses are all online. They will incorporate both synchronous and asynchronous in delivery. Students can complete much of the coursework at their own pace – quizzes, readings, viewing recorded lectures, and discussing course content with fellow students whenever and wherever they want. Students will also be required to be in a virtual classroom (logging in from their homes or other locations) for each course once weekly. These weekly meetings provide lively and real-time discussions of course material and develop important teacher-student connections throughout the program. Generally, each semester is broken into 16 or 8 weeks or "units" of study. The professors have “live” classroom discussions with the students during the weekly class meetings. For each unit of material, students read the readings, watch the vodcasts, participate in the online forums; participate in the weekly class meeting with the professor; and take online tests. There are some variations across the classes, but these components are fundamental to all. 


To sit for the BACB certification examination, applicants must fulfill specific educational and supervisory requirements. The KU online program fulfills the educational requirements. Students will be responsible for arranging their supervision, with advice and support from KU faculty.

Program Eligibility

The online ABAI-verified course sequence is open to individuals who meet one of these two requirements:

  1. Have a Master’s degree (or higher) in an area of psychology (such as applied behavior analysis, child development, school psychology, etc.) or education (such as regular or special education); or
  2. Are enrolled in a Master’s or doctoral degree program in any of the above areas. A GPA of 3.0 or higher in the graduate program is preferred. Current KU graduate students will need instructor permission to enroll in courses.

Applicants not currently enrolled in a KU degree program must submit the following:

  1. an official transcript from both the undergraduate and graduate institutions attended;
  2. personal statement describing their interest in the program; and
  3. two letters of reference.

Applicants must submit their materials through our online application. Once at that page, applicants should select “Certificate Seeking” on page 1. Under Program Selection, choose "Applied Behavioral Science" followed by "Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavioral Science" and select the term to which you wish to apply.


Please visit the KU Edwards Campus site for current tuition rates.

Course Descriptions:

ABSC 770. Within Subjects Research Methodology and Direct Observation. 3 Hours. A graduate level introduction to the logic of experimentation, direct observation strategies, and research conducted using individual (e.g., single subject) and time series experimental designs.

ABSC 850. Principles of Behavior Analysis. 3 Hours. An advanced graduate course on the basic principles of behavior, and related procedures for producing behavioral change, with both human and nonhuman subjects. The principles and procedures are presented as fundamental elements of behavior change.

ABSC 851. Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Applied Behavioral Science. 3 Hours. The course covers ethical and legal issues in (a) the responsible conduct of basic, applied, and intervention research (e.g., informed consent and assent with typical and atypical populations; inclusion of underrepresented groups; bias, fraud, and plagiarism in data collection and reporting; conflict of interest; reporting misconduct; authorship) and (b) professional issues in teaching, research, and service (e.g., written and presented scientific communication; grant preparation; the journal review process; cultural competence; teaching; vita preparation). The course will also include instruction in the preparation of editorial reviews for manuscripts submitted for publication to in peer-reviewed journals, in partial fulfillment of the department's doctoral requirement for preparing editorial reviews.

ABSC 771. Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science. 3 Hours. This introductory course promotes knowledge and skill in analyzing behavioral problems across a range of societal issues. Special consideration is given to designing interventions, implementing, managing, and supervising applied projects. Topics include the identification and selection of problems and target populations, analysis of problems and goals, designing measurement systems, developing interventions, and disseminating products from applied behavioral research.

ABSC 772. Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis. 3 Hours. An advanced Master's seminar on the theoretical, philosophical, and conceptual foundations of behavior analysis. It covers the field's history and purview (e.g., natural science, historical science, applied science); its philosophy of science (e.g., empiricism, pragmatism); the nature of its science (e.g., inductive, experimental, field-theoretic); the products of its science (e.g., principles, concepts, theories); its ethical systems (e.g., humanism, naturalized ethics, personal responsibility); its relations with other fields (e.g., biology, psychology, anthropology); its contrasts with folk philosophy and folk psychology (e.g., mentalism, free will); and its comparisons with like-minded philosophies, psychologies, and cultural practices (e.g., embodied cognition, secular humanism, communitarianism.)

ABSC 773. Applied Behavior Analysis in Complex Organizations. 3 Hours. An examination of the theory, principles, and methods of behavior analysis and their applications to problems of human behavior in complex organizations such as businesses, industries, human service organizations, and governments.

ABSC 852. Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities. 3 Hours. A graduate seminar that includes an overview of the behavioral characteristics of various developmental disabilities and examination of empirically-supported behavioral approaches to the study and treatment of developmental disabilities. Topics will include classification and etiology, motivation, methods for developing appropriate skills, assessment and treatment of behavior disorders, staff training, and legal and ethical issues related to treatment.

ABSC 853. Functional Behavioral Assessment. 3 Hours. The strategies, tactics, and ethics of functional assessment are presented in the larger context of behavioral assessment (e.g., nomothetic and idiographic approaches). Research articles relevant to indirect, descriptive, and experimental functional assessment approaches and assessment-based interventions are carefully reviewed to determine the appropriate conditions for each type of assessment and intervention.

Online BACB-verified course sequence program schedule – example:


  • ABSC 850: Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • ABSC 851: Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Applied Behavioral Science


  • ABSC 770: Within Subjects Research Methodology and Direct Observation
  • ABSC 771: Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science


  • ABSC 773: Behavior Analysis in Complex Organizations
  • ABSC 853: Functional Behavioral Assessment


  • ABSC 772: Conceptual Foundations in Behavior Analysis
  • ABSC 852: Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities


The ABAI-verified Course Sequence in Behavior Analysis helps students meet the educational requirements for licensure in the state of Kansas. If you plan to obtain a license or certification in a state other than Kansas or a US territory after completion of your program, it is highly recommended you first seek guidance from the appropriate licensing agency BEFORE beginning the academic program to ensure you can obtain a license or certification in your home state or territory. The Association of Professional Behavior Analysts provides resources for licensure and certification boards outside of Kansas.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Program.

More Information

For more Information about online behavior analysis programs at the University of Kansas, contact: Liz Barton, Academic Success Coach, at bartonliz@ku.edu.