The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Graduate Certificate (online) program is an Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI)-approved Verified Course Sequence (VCS) that prepares candidates to use applied behavior analysis with cultural humility. The program emphasizes social justice while addressing issues and trends in service delivery.  

The ABA Graduate Certificate program includes 22 credits and 8 required courses that are completed fully online in a sequence that spans four semesters. Students rotate through the course sequence in a cohort model. Students may complete the stand-alone ABA certificate program, or students may complete the ABA certificate as part of a graduate degree program. 

Becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) 

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are board approved, graduate-level practitioners who deliver behavior-analytic services in a variety of fields including education, psychology, social work, business, health care, and other human service industries. The process for becoming a behavior analyst requires the successful completion of required coursework, experience hours, and a culminating certification exam. The certification process is overseen by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB). For details about becoming a BCBA, please see the following websites:   

Admission Requirements

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines vary by program, please review the application deadline chart for specific programs. Other important dates and deadlines can be found by using the One Stop calendars.


A graduate degree or concurrent enrollment in a graduate degree program is required for admission. Applicants must also complete the reason statement in the application.


  • Students wishing to obtain this certificate must declare their intention by applying to the program office or director.
  • All graduate certificate applicants—even those already enrolled in a UWM graduate program—must apply to the Graduate School through the Panthera Admission Application.
  • Graduate degree and previously admitted graduate non-degree students who decide to pursue a certificate program must submit the Panthera application before completing 6 credits in the certificate sequence.
  • Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree and have a minimum 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average to be admitted into a certificate program.

Credits and Courses

The Applied Behavior Analysis, Graduate Certificate (online) is a verified course sequence approved by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). The ABA Certificate prepares professionals for careers as behavior analysts dedicated to supporting those with behavioral health needs. The program is designed to establish fundamental intervention skills. There are 22 credits required.

Required Courses
EXCEDUC 716Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis3
EXCEDUC 718Behavioral Assessment3
EXCEDUC 720Behavior Change4
EXCEDUC 724Personnel and Supervision in Applied Behavior Analysis2
EXCEDUC 726Racial Equity in Behavior Analysis1
PSYCH 702Applied Behavior Analysis3
PSYCH 7143
Total Credits22

Completion of the program does not mean the students are board certified behavior analysts. They must independently complete fieldwork hours and pass the BCBA exam to be certified. Fieldwork hours and the BCBA exam are completed independently outside of the UWM certificate program and completion of these requirements are verified by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and the Association for Behavior Analysis International and not by UWM.

Additional Requirements

Transfer Credit

Transfer credits will be considered only if the applicant can provide ample, acceptable evidence that the course taken is substantively the same as the one it is being substituted for and was completed within the last five years with a grade of B or better. The VCS Coordinator will make determinations of transferability. All decisions are final. The core group of classes, which must be taken at UWM, allow for up to four credits to be transferred via syllabus review and subsequent approval. Credits used should follow the graduate school rule for transfer credits.   

Grade Point Average Requirement

A minimum cumulative 3.00 graduate grade point average in ABA Certificate courses taken at UWM is required. 

Time Limit 

Students pursuing an ABA Certificate without concurrent enrollment in another graduate degree program will have four years from initial enrollment in a certificate course to complete the certificate requirements. Students pursuing an ABA Certificate as part of a degree program will have the same time limit to complete the certificate requirements as they have for completing the degree program.  

Articulation with Degree Programs

  1. Credits and courses required for a certificate may double count toward meeting UWM graduate degree requirements subject to the following restrictions:
    • Degree programs must approve the courses from certificates that can double count toward the degree.
    • All credits taken in completion of certificate requirements may count towards a UWM graduate degree as long as they do not contribute more than 90% of the total credits needed to obtain the degree. (Note: Students in PhD programs must still complete the minimum residency requirements)
    • Certificate courses used toward meeting degree requirements must be completed within the time limit for transfer credit.
  2. Courses completed for a degree may be counted toward a subsequent certificate, subject to all certificate policy requirements.
  3. A course may count toward no more than one certificate and one degree.
  4. Students may not earn a certificate subsequent to a concentration in the same area.