Academic Programs Catalog

College of Education

Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education

Graduate Study
Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education - Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education prepares special educators for roles as behavior analysts in educational settings. Students will prepare to take and pass the national behavior analyst certification examination developed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board in accordance with governing bodies in behavior analysis. The certificate is available only online.

In addition to meeting the requirements of the University and of the College of Education, students must meet the requirements specified below.


An applicant for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education must:

  1. submit both departmental and university application forms.
  2. have a master’s degree or be enrolled in a master’s degree program at Michigan State University.
  3. submit three letters of recommendation from persons knowledgeable about the applicant’s academic potential to pursue graduate study and competence or potential to deliver applied behavior analysis or related services.
  4. submit a statement of professional goals that clearly describe the applicant’s reasons for pursuing the certificate and the goals that the emphasis area will help them attain.
  5. have access to high-speed internet and the appropriate technologies.

Applications are reviewed by faculty who look for indications of a high probability of success. The following factors are significant in determining admission to the emphasis area:

  1. A grade-point average of 3.00 or higher in the last two years of undergraduate and all graduate courses.
  2. Experience working with children and youth with disabilities in a school or camp or other experience with behavior analysis that is acceptable to the faculty.
  3. Professional goals that are consistent with the objectives of the emphasis area.
  4. A test of English language proficiency for students for whom English is not a first language.

The certificate requires completion of a three- or six-course sequence, depending on an applicant’s prior course work in applied behavior analysis. All courses are offered online only. Students are required to have access to high-speed internet and the appropriate technologies. Students transcripts and previous course syllabi will be reviewed by the program coordinator to determine whether a student will follow the three- or six-course sequence. Course selections must be pre-approved by the program coordinator to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Behavior Analysts Certification Board. A student who, in the judgment of the faculty, has not completed appropriate courses in exceptional children or behavior management may be required to complete such courses in addition to the requirements below.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis in Special Education

Students must complete three to six courses from the following (9 to 19 credits):

CEP 844 Applied Behavior Analysis I 3
CEP 845 Autism Spectrum Disorder: Assessment and Intervention 3 or 4
CEP 846 Autism Spectrum Disorders: Advanced Topics 3
CEP 854 Applied Behavior Analysis II 3
CEP 855 Verbal Behavior in Education 3
CEP 942 Single-case Experimental Designs for Intervention Research 3
Students currently enrolled in the Master of Arts Degree in Special Education pursuing an Autism Spectrum Disorder Endorsement will complete CEP 844, 845, and 846 as part of these requirements.