Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis

Learn about the Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis offered by the Department of Special Education.


SDSU's Department of Special Education offers a verified course sequence (VCS) from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® towards the BCBA, as well as the Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis. For information on SDSU's program check out the program brochure

  • Note: If you want to enroll at SDSU only to take the courses toward the BCBA, you must enroll in the Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis. (If you want a certificate from SDSU, you must take at least 12 units.) Therefore, all candidates should enroll in the Advanced Certificate program.

BCBA: Board Certified Behavior Analyst

  • Coursework consists of 19 credit hours (7 classes)
  • Classes can be completed in a 1-year period, but most students require 2 years
  • Those interested in completing BCBA coursework should already hold an M.A./ Ph.D. or should be concurrently enrolled in a graduate program at SDSU or elsewhere
  • Fieldwork: 1,500 hours (Not offered through SDSU; see Required Fieldwork)

Required Coursework

  • View matrix for course content hours for the BACB (PDF).
  • 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.
    • Examination pass rate: Behavior Analyst Certification Board®, Inc. publishes pass rates for those taking the exam for the first time who have taken 100% of the courses as part of the course sequence offered by SDSU #4222. Pass rates for others, including retakes are not included in this percentage. The pass rate information can be found at BCBA Examination Pass Rates.
  • The course sequence (#51284) that embeds the 5th edition task below is required for ALL individuals taking the exam after January 1 2022. Students MUST have been OR be enrolled in a Master's or Doctoral program to complete this sequence. These courses that also comprise the SDSU Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis are listed below:
BCBA ® Board Certified coursework sequence Semester 
# of BCBA 
Coursework hours
1. SPED 553: Behavioral Strategies & Supports Fall 3 45
2. CSP 733: Ethics Fall 3 45
3. SPED 530: Issues in Autism Fall/Spring 3 27
4. SPED 676: Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis (pre-requisite: SPED 553) Spring 3 45
5. SPED 771A: Directed Internship Spring 3 45
6. SPED 685: Single-Subject Research Design Fall 3 45
7. SPED 605: Advanced Behavioral & Health Supports Spring 1 18
8. SPED 655: Leadership, Supervision & Management Spring 3 45
  TOTAL 22 315

The SDSU courses are only one of the criteria for obtaining certification for the Behavior Analysis Certification Board. Applicants must also have supervised Required Fieldwork experience (see below) and pass an exam.

Required Fieldwork

Note that these SDSU programs provide only the coursework for the BCBA. In order to be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam and become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, you must also complete fieldwork. Students must make their own arrangements for fieldwork and supervision. See the BACB website for a registry of certified supervisors in your area.


See Frequently Asked Questions about this certificate program (which is embedded within the M.A. Autism Specialization program).


For more information about the program and questions regarding the BACB, contact Dr. Ana Dueñas, BCBA-D, [email protected].

Verified Course Sequence

Gainful Employment: Federal Disclosure Requirements

Federal disclosure requirements regarding gainful employment require that the following information be disclosed for the following program: Advanced Certificate in Behavior Analysis. (Revised: 10/23/2021)

  • Program Level - Graduate certificate
  • Program Length - 10 Months

Q: How much will this program cost me?
A: Visit the estimated cost of attendance for more information.

Q: What financing options are available to help me pay for this program?

A: Financing for this program may be available through grants, scholarships, loans (federal and private) and institutional financing plans. The median amount of debt for program graduates is shown below:

  • Federal loans: *
  • Private education loans: *
  • Institutional financing plan: *

* Less than 10 graduates received loans. Median amounts are withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the loan recipients.

Q: How long will it take me to complete this program?
The program is designed to take 10 months to complete. Of those that completed the program in 2016-2017, *% finished in 10 months.

*Less than 10 students completed this program in 2016-17. The number who finished within the normal time has been withheld to preserve the confidentiality of the students.

Q: What are my chances of getting a job when I graduate?
A: The job placement rate for students who completed this program is **%.

**This institution is not currently required to calculate a job placement rate for program completers.