Accredited BCBA Programs in Alabama [2024 Updated Guide]

If you have a passion for understanding human behavior and using that knowledge to help people improve their lives, pursuing a career as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) could be a great choice for you. In Alabama, there are a variety of online and in-person BCBA programs designed to equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in this field.

From learning the theories that explain human behavior to applying these concepts in practical settings, BCBA programs in Alabama offer a comprehensive education. Let’s take a closer look at what BCBA programs in Alabama have to offer to you and what you can expect if you decide to enroll in one of them.

Best Accredited BCBA Programs and ABA Masters in Alabama Online

BCBA Programs in Alabama

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering BCBA programs in Alabama:

  • Jacksonville State University
  • University of Alabama in Huntsville
  • Troy University
  • Auburn University
  • Simmons University
  • University of Dayton
  • Pepperdine University
  • Arizona State University

Jacksonville State University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

At Jacksonville State University, you can enroll in the Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program to work towards becoming a board-certified behavior analyst. This program is designed to give you a deep understanding of how to analyze behavior through structured learning, hands-on training, and research opportunities.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the coursework requirements of this program for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination.

Your coursework will be divided into two main areas: experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and applied behavior analysis (ABA). In EAB classes, you will learn about the fundamental connections between environmental events and behavior. Meanwhile, ABA classes will train you to apply these basic principles to help different groups of people.

You will also have the chance to gain real-world experience through research facilities that focus on both animal and human behaviors, as well as at local sites where you can practice what you have learned.

You can choose between two paths: the non-thesis option and the thesis option. Both paths require you to complete 39 graduate semester hours of psychology courses along with some additional foundational courses, depending on your undergraduate preparation.

  • Non-Thesis Option: You will need to pass a comprehensive exam and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA in all your graduate courses.
  • Thesis Option: This path involves not only completing the necessary coursework but also successfully defending a thesis. You will need to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 in all your graduate courses.

During your time in the program, you will take eight core courses covering a range of topics including:

  1. Personnel Supervision and Management: Learn how to supervise and manage teams using behavior analysis principles.
  2. Conceptual Foundations of Behavior Analysis: Understand the core concepts and research methods in psychology.
  3. Functional Assessment: Get to know the strategies and ethical considerations involved in behavioral assessment.
  4. Applied Behavior Analysis I & II: These two courses introduce you to the theories, principles, and methods of applied behavior analysis, including working with diverse populations and understanding current research trends.
  5. Single-Subject Research Methods: Learn how to implement changes in behavior using single-subject research strategies.
  6. Experimental Analysis of Behavior: Develop a deep understanding of the experimental analysis of behavior and its research approach.
  7. Ethics and Professional Development: Discuss the ethical guidelines and professional skills needed in behavior analysis research and practice.

To get into this program, your application will go through a careful review process, and you might be asked to interview with the Psychology Graduate Committee to provide more details before a final decision on your admission is made. Admission requirements for the program include:

  • Non-refundable $35.00 fee.
  • An undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.
  • Three (3) Graduate Reference Forms.
  • Letter of intent highlighting reasons for pursuing the program.

University of Alabama in Huntsville

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

At the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), you can pursue a 33-credit Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis, a program designed to fulfill the increasing demand for behavior analysts in the state and surrounding areas. The primary goal is to prepare you to take the BCBA examination successfully.

The program is designed to help you complete the courses you need to become a BCBA. It gives you the knowledge to work with individuals one-on-one, help their communities, and add value to the field of behavior analysis through research and hands-on experience.

The program has several objectives:

  • Understanding Behavior: You will learn about the philosophy of behaviorism, different ways to understand behavior, and the basic ideas of science.
  • Applying Knowledge: You will use what you have learned about behavior concepts and principles in real situations.
  • Research Methods: You will learn how to conduct research in behavior analysis.
  • Working on Behavior: You will learn how to assess and make changes to behavior.
  • Ethics and Professional Skills: You will learn and follow the ethical guidelines of behavior analysis and develop professional skills.
  • Awareness: You will become more aware of social and cultural differences.
  • Supervision Skills: You will learn how to guide others and oversee systems.

Your learning will mostly take place online through the Canvas Learning Management System of UAH. The courses will involve a mix of live and self-paced activities. While you will be required to attend live sessions weekly via Zoom, you will also engage in independent activities such as reading materials and watching videos. Occasionally, you may be required to attend in-person sessions at UAH for more detailed learning experiences.

Some of the courses that you may take include:

  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Introduction to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Fundamentals of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Interventions in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Exceptional Child and Youth
  • Ethics and Professionalism in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Supervision and Management in Applied Behavior Analysis

To facilitate practical learning, the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UAH will ensure that you have sufficient opportunities to gain clinical experience in various settings, some of which will be linked to your coursework, while others will be independent experiences outside the program.

Maintaining a minimum GPA of 3.0 is essential to continue in the program. If your GPA drops below this threshold, a supportive action plan will be devised to help you improve. Before you commence your course sequence, you will be required to attend an orientation session via Zoom. To graduate, sustaining a GPA of 3.0 or above is necessary.

Admission requirements for the program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended.
  • An Interview with the faculty.

Troy University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

At Troy University, you can enroll in the 48-credit Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program to work towards becoming a board-certified behavior analyst. This program follows a scientist-practitioner model, offering you a comprehensive educational and clinical experience based on the philosophy and science of behavior analysis. The goal is to prepare you to foster positive changes in individuals’ lives through informed behavior modification. You can opt for the thesis or non-thesis track.

In this program, you will undertake a detailed study involving both basic and applied research, focusing on learning principles that affect both humans and other organisms in various settings. Your learning will be supplemented with at least 1500 hours of supervised fieldwork, where you will receive guidance from experienced faculty and certified behavior analysts in the community, enhancing your research and clinical skills through individual and small group supervision.

As a part of your training, you will learn how to develop and implement interventions, You will learn to create strategies to teach new behaviors and address challenging behaviors effectively.

Upon graduation, you will be eligible to take the BCBA examination. Successful completion allows you to meet the licensure requirements for behavior analysts in Alabama and several other states. You will find opportunities to work in diverse settings, assisting individuals diagnosed with disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and oppositional-defiant disorder.

If you opt for the thesis track, you will also be well-positioned to pursue higher studies in behavior analysis and related fields.

The courses you will take cover a range of topics, including:

  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior: Understanding the principles of behavior through basic research.
  • Behavioral Theory and Philosophy: Learning about the history and philosophy of behaviorism and how to interpret behavior using behavior analysis concepts.
  • Ethics and Professionalism in Behavior Analysis: Understanding the legal and ethical guidelines in behavioral research and practice.
  • Organizational Behavior Management: Learning to supervise personnel and improve performance and safety through targeted interventions.
  • Behavior Assessment: Gaining skills in various behavioral assessments.
  • Principles of Behavior Analysis: Becoming proficient in the technical terminology used in behavior analysis.
  • Behavior Change Procedures: Learning common behavioral interventions and how to implement them.
  • Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork: Developing professional practice and research skills through hands-on experience.

To apply for this program, you need to have completed at least 15 credits of psychology courses, including courses in research methods and statistics, or their equivalents. Additionally, you should have undertaken at least one undergraduate course related to behavior analysis or have relevant professional or research experience in the field.

Other admission requirements for the program include:

  • Personal Statement
  • Three recommendation letters
  • Interview with the faculty.

Auburn University

Master of Science (MS) in Applied Behavior Analysis

At Auburn University, you can pursue a 24-credit Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis through an on-campus, non-thesis program that also offers financial assistance. The program is facilitated by five full-time faculty members who are experts in various fields of research and practice.

Over the course of six consecutive semesters, which equals to 24 months, you will be engaged in a full-time program that combines foundational and specialized coursework with supervised practical experience. This setup ensures that you receive a comprehensive education grounded in the philosophy, science, and application of behavior analysis.

During your time in the program, you will undertake a range of clinical internships and supervision, which will lead to a deep understanding of different practice areas. The goal is to prepare you to become a BCBA, ready to address a variety of social and behavioral problems through practical and research experience. The program encourages students to continue this work through doctoral training, contributing significantly to the field of behavior analysis.

Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Behavioral Principles
  • Applied Behavior Analysis I and II
  • Methods for Studying Individual Behavior
  • Autism and Intellectual Disabilities
  • Behaviorism
  • Ethical & Professional Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Capstone Project

A significant part of your training will be the intensive practicum, which requires you to complete 1,500 hours of formal training in different service settings, working with individuals with developmental disabilities. This component involves around 20 hours of on-site training each week of the semester. The settings for the practicum include early intervention preschools, campus-based treatment facilities, and consultation services in local school districts, among others. The training is supplemented with a weekly practicum class, small group supervisory sessions, and individual supervisory meetings, culminating in a research-based capstone project.

To be considered for the program, you should have a bachelor’s degree in any field, but those with a grade point average of at least 3.0 will be given priority. It is also beneficial if you can demonstrate experience with behaviorally oriented coursework and practical experience working with individuals with disabilities or other groups in your application materials.

Furthermore, each year, a number of Agency Fellowships are available to qualified students. These fellowships, sponsored by public and private human service agencies in Alabama, offer financial benefits including a monthly stipend and coverage of both in- and out-of-state tuition. Accepting one of these fellowships entails a commitment to work for the sponsoring agency for one to two years after graduation.

How Do I Become a Certified Behavior Analyst in Alabama?

To I become a certified behavior analyst in Alabama, you must:

  • Have a graduate level degree.
  • Complete the required graduate-level coursework (21-credit coursework in ABA).
  • Complete the required no. of hours under the supervision of a BCBA.
  • Pass the BCBA exam.

What is the Difference Between ABA and RBT Certification?

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) and RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) certifications are related to each other in that they both pertain to the field of behavior analysis, but they represent different levels of training, responsibility, and expertise.

ABA certification is for individuals with advanced education and training in behavior analysis, while RBT certification is for entry-level technicians working under the supervision of an ABA certified professional. Here is how they differ:

ABA Certification

  • Level of Expertise: Generally held by professionals with a higher level of education and expertise in the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Education Requirement: Typically requires a master’s or doctoral degree in psychology, behavior analysis, or a related field.
  • Experience Requirement: Requires supervised practical experience in the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Examination: Candidates must pass a comprehensive examination administered by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  • Roles and Responsibilities: ABA certified professionals are responsible for assessing clients and developing, implementing, and supervising behavior intervention plans.
  • Certification Levels: There are different levels of ABA certification, including Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA).

RBT Certification

  • Level of Expertise: Entry-level position in the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Education Requirement: Requires a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Training Requirement: Requires completion of a 40-hour training program that covers the RBT Task List as outlined by the BACB.
  • Examination: Candidates must pass the RBT Competency Assessment and a written examination administered by the BACB.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: RBTs work under the close supervision of a BCBA or BCaBA, implementing behavior intervention plans developed by the supervising analyst.
  • Certification: Once certified, RBTs must adhere to the BACB’s ethics code and complete ongoing training and competency assessments to maintain their certification.

How Long is the BCBA Exam?

The BCBA exam is a 4-hour in-person computer-based examination. It consists of 185 multiple-choice questions, each of which has four possible answers. It is designed to assess the knowledge and skills of individuals seeking certification as behavior analysts. The BACB has contracted with Pearson VUE to deliver the BCBA exam at authorized Pearson VUE testing sites throughout the US.

How Much Does a Board Certified Behavior Analyst Make in Alabama?

As of September 2023, the average annual salary for a BCBA working in Alabama is $74,015. BCBAs working in Auburn, Mobile, and Montgomery on average earn $84,760, 81,701, and $76,952 per year, respectively. More experienced and top earning BCBAs working in Alabama make over $120,000 per year.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.