Q and A Board Certification in Applied Behavior Analysis

Q: Do I need a master's degree to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?
A: Yes, you will need a master's degree to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Q: What type of master's degree is required to become a BCBA?
A: Individuals who wish to become a BCBA must possess, at minimum, a masters degree in a human service area.

Q: What qualifies as a human service area?
A: A master's degree in special education, education, psychology, educational psychology, counseling psychology, applied behavioral analysis are examples of human service areas.

Q: What courses do I need to complete at Ball State University to be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam?
A: *Students must complete the following courses at Ball State University to become eligible to take the BCBA exam:
SPCED 609: Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
SPCED 611: Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (3)
SPCED 610: Behavioral Consultation (3)
SPCED 619: Professional Issues in Applied Behavior Analysis (3)

SPCED 689:  Verbal Behavior (3)

SPCED 691: Supervising Human Staff in ABA (3)

SPCE 636, 680, 682 and one of the practicums (638 or 683) are also required to round out the 10 classes needed.

Q: How many practicum hours do I need to become a BCBA?

A: Applicants must complete 1500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork in behavior analysis. The distribution of Supervised Independent Fieldwork hours must be at least 10 hours per week, but not more than 30 hours per week, for a minimum of 3 weeks per month.

Q: Who needs to supervise me so I can become a BCBA?
A: During the practica experience, the supervisor must be a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in good standing or be approved by the BACB as a faculty member in a BACB approved course sequence. The supervisor may not be the applicant's relative, subordinate or employee during the experience period. The supervisor will not be considered an employee of the applicant if the only compensation received by the supervisor from the applicant consists of payment for supervision. Applicants must be supervised at least once every 2 weeks for 5% of the total hours they spend in Supervised Independent Fieldwork. Total supervision must be at least 75 hours. A supervisory period is two weeks.


Supervised Independent

Total hours required 


 Supervised hours:
% of total hours


 Total number of
supervised hours


 Frequency of
supervisor contacts

1 every 2 weeks

Q: Are all the courses available online for the BCBA at BSU, including the practicum courses? 

A: All course offered online, including the practicum.