BACB-verified Course Sequence in Behavior Analysis

The Department offers six 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 45 contact hours established by the BACB. The six courses are:

ABSC 770. Within Subjects Research Methodology and Direct Observation

ABSC 771. Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science

ABSC 850. Principles of Behavior Analysis

ABSC 851. Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Applied Behavioral Science

ABSC 852. Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities

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 one calendar year, 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 the 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 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. During the program, KU faculty will intermittently meet with the students to review their supervision progress.

Program Eligibility

The online BACB-verifiedcourse 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 these 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.


The graduate school tuition rate for this coming academic year is $667 per credit hour; thus, $2001 per 3-credit course.

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 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    

  • ABSC 770

Within Subjects Research Methodology and Direct Observation

  • ABSC 771

Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science

  • ABSC 852

Behavior Analysis in Developmental

  • ABSC 853

Functional Behavioral Assessment


Gainful Employment Disclosure

Disclosure information about the U.S. Department of Education Gainful Employment Program can be seen here.

More Information

For more Information about online behavior analysis programs at the University of Kansas, contact: Thomas Zane, Ph.D., BCBA, Director of Online Behavior Analysis Programs, email:



Questions about the Graduate Program?

If you have questions about our graduate program, please contact Dr. Derek Reed, Director of Graduate Studies, at

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