Bachelor's in ABA

Perfect Timing for This Field

Costs and Financial Aid
How Online Learning Works
Request More Information
How to Apply

For anyone exploring the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), your timing couldn’t be better.

You might be a professional in another field and considering a career change. Or, you could already be working in ABA in an entry-level position. You may simply be fascinated with the scientific principles of learning and behavior. 

Whatever your situation, you are just in time to help fill a growing labor market need for professionals with ABA credentials by enrolling in Ball State bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The principles of ABA have many applications and have been shown to be effective for addressing the needs of individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities. ABA is about using proven techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in socially significant behavior for children and adults. You will learn to help children and adults alike to address behavior and solve social problems and relationships between individual, family members, or people in the community.


BACB Logo

BACB Approved

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc. has approved our program as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) examination. 


BCaBAs Wanted

After completing this bachelor’s degree, along with the necessary field hours, you’ll be eligible to take a national exam to earn the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential. BCaBAs are needed to fill positions in a range of settings—ABA clinics, autism centers, hospitals, mental health centers, schools, geriatric facilities, to name but a few. 

An abundance of job postings in Indiana—and across the country—means that this shortage could be an opportunity for you wherever you live. Since Ball State’s undergraduate degree comes to you 100 percent online, you can prepare for this favorable job market from your laptop—whether at home, at work, or your child’s soccer practice.

Online or On-Campus

You may study this program completely online or on campus. On-campus students can take their core and elective courses on-campus. All courses within the major are online only.

Admission Requirements and How to Apply

Why Ball State?

Opportunities from a Nationally Renowned Teachers College

Ranked for Online Learning

US News and World Report Badge
U.S. News & World Report has recognized Ball State for excellence in online education since it first started ranking programs in 2011.

Earning a bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism opens yourself up to boundless opportunities within a career that has a shortage of credentialed professionals.

First, you will earn a foundation in an important behavioral science and will learn from faculty who care about their students and who are actively engaged in research and their own communities. The program is housed within the Ball State Teachers College, which regularly ranks among the best in the nation.

Secondly, the ABA program is part of college's Department of Special Education. This academic department has been on the forefront of training professionals in best-practice methods to help special populations for decades. 

bachelor’s degree program could also help prepare you for continued graduate-level education in ABA, which could significantly broaden your career opportunities and earning potential. Ball State has one of the largest master's degree programs in ABA in the country.

A National Hub for ABA Studies

Ball State has several programs in ABA. Our undergraduate specialization in ABA, our graduate certificate in ABA, and the master's degree were the first such programs in the state of Indiana. This bachelor's degree in ABA is also the first in Indiana and one of only a few online undergraduate degrees in this field available in the nation.

Our online programs enroll students from around the globe, enabling graduates from around the world to obtain BACB credentials and enhance their communities. Our online bachelor's in ABA only reinforces Ball State as a national hub for ABA studies.

For example, our Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) was founded to produce meaningful answers to the questions that most challenge the ASD community. By using rigorous research methods and addressing crucial gaps in services, our team of faculty, staff, and students work to meet the growing needs of individuals with ASD, their families, and professionals who work with them.

Accreditation and Recognitions

  • Ball State has this highest form of accreditation: continuing institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. What this means to you is that we have met rigorous academic standards and professionalism that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and other institutions of higher learning.We have been accredited since 1925.
  • CAEPOur Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a specialized accrediting body for educator preparation that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • We are also accredited by the Indiana Indiana Teacher Training and Licensing Commission.
  • In addition, 23 programs within the college have received national recognition through their respective professional associations.
U.S. News ranking

Career Prospects

As new ABA facilities continue to grow, so will the need for bachelor-level behavior specialists. Because a bachelor’s in ABA, matched with study in ASD, raises your marketability, you will be prepared for many job possibilities, including:

  • Behavioral consultants working in school districts
  • Behavioral therapists working in autism centers
  • Behavioral therapists working in mental health centers
  • Behavior consultants with companies working with individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Behavior consultants working with physicians, nurses, and psychologists in hospitals

Broader Applications

Graduates of the program will also be well positioned to pursue advanced graduate degrees in ABA, school psychology, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, social work, criminal justice, special education, and education.

And, although this undergraduate program focuses on autism, you will learn ABA techniques and skills that you can use to address a wide array of needs such as organizational behavior management, health and wellness improvement, and substance abuse disorders.

Courses You Will Take

Ball State’s online bachelor of science (BS) in ABA requires 120 credit hours.

  • University Core Curriculum (36-39 credit hours)
  • General Electives (45-48 credit hours) — You will work with your advisor to select the elective courses to best fit your academic goals. You will have enough elective hours to fit in a minor, which can make you even more marketable. Minors available online include psychology of human development, sociology, and criminal justice.
  • ABA Courses (36 credit hours)

Courses in the ABA Major

All of these courses are required:

  • EDPS 270: Lifespan Development (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 200: Exceptional Children and Adults (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 280: Behavior Analysis Principles, Processes, and Philosophy (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 290: Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 292: Treatment and Interventions with Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 307: Ethical, Professional Practice in Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 310: Application of Consultation in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 315: Advanced Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 316: Single-Subject Research Design and Applications (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 320: Advanced Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 438: Advanced Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • SPCE 483: Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credit hours)

The degree is designed so that you can complete it in four years if you take classes full time. Completion time will vary if you attend part time. We encourage you to discuss with your advisor regarding your workload and your timeframe goals for completing your degree. 

On-Campus Students

If you are studying on campus, you can earn the BS or BA (bachelor of arts) in ABA. The BA degree includes some foreign language requirements.

On-campus students will have a wider array of elective courses, core courses, and optional minors in which to choose.Your advisor will help you create a plan of study to meet your goals.