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Can I Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis?

Image of ABA counselor for our FAQ on ABA bachelor degreesApplied behavior analysis is a popular field today, and many wonder if they can earn a bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis. The good news is that applied behavior analysis is a field that is offered at almost every degree level. While each degree level offers different career possibilities, the bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis offers many career opportunities. This undergraduate program offers candidates the chance to join the exciting field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) or branch out into similar careers.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Applied Behavior Analysis

The bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis is a four-year program that’s offered at several colleges and universities. If a candidate wishes to work in the ABA field, he or she should make sure that the curriculum is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Although approved ABA bachelor’s degree programs are not available in every state, there are more than 35 in the United States.

The bachelor’s degree in ABA program offers a curriculum that includes general education courses, core courses and many psychology courses. This program involves a lot of research, and many programs require students to complete a thesis using their own research. Additionally, the student is required to complete a supervised internship in an approved facility. Upon graduation, the student is prepared to take the BCaBA certification exam.

What ABA Positions are Available with a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavior Analysis?

According to Psychology Today, the BACB offers certification to individuals who meet the education requirements. Although a graduate of a bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis can work in the ABA field, the candidate cannot be certified as an ABA therapist. Below are the credentials a candidate may use with specific degree levels.

• Master’s degree – May earn the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential

• Doctoral degree – May use the BCBA-D credential

• Bachelor’s degree and relevant training – May work as part of the support team and be licensed as a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA).

• High school diploma and 40 hours of specialized training – May use Registered Behavior Technician title.

The BCaBA can work in a therapeutic setting alongside a BCBA or BCBA-D but may not work alone. In many states the BCaBA must not only be licensed but also obtain certification for licensure. This credential may be required as a condition for employment even in states that do not require licensure. It may also be required for a service to be eligible for insurance payments.

Careers with a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavior Analysis

Candidates who complete bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis programs typically find various career options. While some may be right within the ABA field, others may be in similar occupations. Here are a few of the careers available to those with a bachelor’s in applied behavior analysis.

• Psychological Assistant

• Social Work

• Counseling

• Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysis

• Special Education Assistant

• School Interventionist

• Behavior Technician

• Animal Training and Care

Related Resource: 10 Best ABA Master’s Degree Programs

Working in the field of ABA can be a rewarding career but may not be for everyone. Earning an undergraduate degree can be a win-win situation. The bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis can help an individual start their career in ABA settings where they can help patients or it can act as a stepping stone towards a graduate degree.