Educational Psychology

Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

The post-master’s Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is offered through the Educational Psychology Program in fully online or on-site formats. The program includes seven courses (21 credits) approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to address the skills and knowledge required for competent, ethical practice as a behavior analyst.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board credentials professionals as Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). To qualify for BCBA certification, individuals must obtain an approved graduate degree, complete an approved course sequence, engage in supervised practice, and pass a national examination. USM’s certificate program provides the approved course sequence for individuals who already possess an approved graduate degree. Completion of supervised practice experiences and the national examination must be arranged by students independently of the USM program. Supervised experiences may occur concurrent with or upon completion of the coursework.

The Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis is awarded upon completion of the following courses (21 credits total):  

SPY 601 Behavioral Principles of Learning
SPY 602 Clinical Research Methods
SPY 604 Functional Behavioral Assessment
SPY 605 Applied Behavior Analysis
SPY 606 Behavior Therapy
SPY 607 Consultation in School Psychology
SPY 608 Professional Ethics in Behavior Analysis

To be considered for admission to the certificate program, applicants must possess a minimum of a graduate degree (e.g., master’s or doctoral) in behavior analysis, education, or psychology. The degree must have been awarded by an institution recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted year-round; however, the following deadlines apply:

  • Applications must be submitted by May 1st for consideration for fall matriculation.
  • Applications must be submitted by December 1st for spring matriculation.

*Due to prerequisite requirements, individuals are strongly encouraged to begin coursework for the certificate program in the fall semester.

Application Requirements

A complete application packet includes:

  • A submitted online graduate certificate admission application.
  • A $25 non-refundable application fee.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, excluding the seven campuses of the University of Maine system.
    • A transcript is official when it comes directly from the institution. If an applicant is submitting an official transcript, it must be in a sealed envelope from the institution indicating that it is an official document. If the envelope has been opened prior to arriving at the Office of Graduate Admissions, it is no longer considered an official transcript.
  • A current resume/curriculum vitae.
  • An essay response to the following question: "Why do you seek training in applied behavior analysis?"

Acceptance to a certificate program does not constitute acceptance to a master's or post-master's certificate of advanced study program. Applications for degree programs must be made under a separate cover.

Transfer Credit

Students admitted to the post-master’s certificate program can request permission to transfer up to six (6) graduate credits toward the Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. In order for credits to be eligible for transfer, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Applicable credits must be transferred from a program that is approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board to meet the Fourth Edition Task List standards.
  • The credits must have been earned as part of a graduate course (e.g., 500 level or higher) offered by a United States institution of higher learning accredited by a regional and/or national accrediting body (at the time the credits were earned) and recognized as accredited by the United States Department of Education
  • The credits must have been earned for a course that is equivalent, in terms of content knowledge and skill requirements, to a course within USM’s certificate program.
  • The earned grade for the course and associated credits must be a B or higher (GPA equivalent of 3.0).
  • The credits must have been earned within 3 years from the date when transfer credit is requested.

To request transfer credit, students must submit the course syllabi and official transcripts to the Educational Psychology program coordinator. The coordinator will consult with program faculty to determine whether or not to approve the request.

If transfer credits are approved, the program will notify the USM Registrar to enter the official transfer onto the student's record. Transferred credits will be noted on the student's USM transcript and counted toward the student's certificate program of study.