Popular Accredited BCBA Online Programs in Massachusetts [Updated for 2024]

Last Updated: June 10, 2024

Do you find yourself deeply interested in human behavior, especially when it comes to helping people overcome behavioral challenges? Have you been dreaming of becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), but your busy schedule or location has been a barrier? If so, it’s time to stop worrying and start acting!

Massachusetts is home to several top-notch online BCBA programs, each designed to prepare you to excel in this rewarding field. These programs offer you the flexibility to balance your work, family, and education effectively.

It’s time to transform your passion into a rewarding career with an online BCBA program in Massachusetts.

best Massachusetts BCBA programs

Online BCBA Programs in Massachusetts

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

  • UMass Online
  • Capella University
  • Fitchburg State University
  • Cambridge College
  • Regis College
  • Bay Path University
  • Arizona State University Online
  • Simmons University
  • University of Dayton

UMass Online

Online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Massachusetts, together with the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, offers an award-winning 21-credit online Graduate Certificate program in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This program is taught by professional behavior analysts who are experts in their field.

This online certificate is specially designed for professionals working in various sectors like psychology, education, child care, speech and language disorders, mental health, and human services. It gives you an insight into autism and other developmental disorders, and introduces you to behavioral methods, along with guidance on their applications. To get the most out of this program, it’s beneficial if you have some knowledge about child psychology.

Here’s why the program stands out:

  • It’s led by professionals who are highly skilled in behavior analysis.
  • It’s a verified course sequence that prepares you for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) exam.
  • It has the highest BCBA exam pass rates in the country among online graduate programs in behavior analysis.
  • The online courses offered by UMass are engaging and interactive, featuring activities, assessments, and opportunities to discuss topics with instructors and get feedback.
  • The program has received the Online Learning Consortium’s Excellence Award for Outstanding Online Teaching and Learning Program.

You have the flexibility to complete this program at your own pace. You can choose to take one or more courses each semester based on your availability. To obtain the certificate, you need to maintain an average grade of at least 3.0, with only one course grade allowed to be below B.

Some of the core courses that you will take include:

  • Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis
  • Measurement and Experimental Design
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Professional and Ethical Issues in Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Change Procedures
  • Implementation and Supervision Practices in Behavior Analysis

Courses are available all year round, across the Fall, Spring, and Summer semesters. You can access lectures and assignments, or participate in chat sessions by logging into your online course website weekly. Expect to dedicate 6 to 10 hours per week for course-related activities for each course.

Getting into this program requires a bachelor’s degree. Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not needed for this certificate program. You can use the credits earned from this certificate towards a related graduate degree if approved by the graduate program coordinator.

If you manage to complete the certificate with a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or above, you might even be able to skip the GRE for a related master’s degree. You have to complete the certificate program within five years with a minimum 3.0 GPA and no more than one course grade below B.

Fitchburg State University

Online Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate Certificate

Fitchburg State University offers a 21-credit online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate program that is ideal if you who want to become a certified behavior analyst.

This program includes seven courses that meet the eligibility requirements for the BCBA exam. It prepares you to work with children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities. The program helps you understand behavioral analysis and other factors that often contribute to success.

The core courses you will take in this program include:

  • Philosophical Underpinning ABA: This course gives you a broader understanding of ABA. You will learn about its history, its goals as a science, the philosophical assumptions it’s based on, and how it has matured as a field.
  • Concepts and Principles of Behavior Analysis: In this course, you will explore the history and theory of applied behavior analysis, including its definition and characteristics. The course is based on the BACB Foundational Knowledge list.
  • Research Methods in Behavior Analysis: This course helps you deepen your understanding of measurement and experimental design in applied behavior analysis. You will learn how to define behaviors, collect and analyze data, and evaluate behavioral interventions.
  • Behavior Change Procedures: This course focuses on refining your understanding of the basic principles of applied behavior analysis. You will critically examine how these principles are used to develop specific behavior change procedures, and you will develop and implement these procedures yourself.
  • Identification of the Problem/Assessment: In this course, you will study various assessment methods used in applied behavior analysis. You will examine theoretical frameworks and best practices for analyzing behaviors. Also, you will learn how to conduct an effective functional behavioral assessment.
  • Ethical & Professional Issues: This course links the ethical and professional standards of applied behavior analysis with their implementation. You will learn how to improve your professional skills as a human service consultant and collaborator.

Cambridge College

Master of Education – Autism/Applied Behavior Analysis

Cambridge College offers a 38-credit Autism and Applied Behavior Analyst master’s degree program designed to prepare you for the BCBA exam. The program is divided into two sections: courses related to autism and special education (14 credits), and an ABA course sequence (24 credits).

The core courses you will take in this program include:

  • Basic Applied Behavior Analysis I & II
  • Behavior Assessment
  • Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Research Methods in Applied Behavioral Analysis
  • Supervision and Management in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Collaboration and Consultation Techniques

As a student, you will learn about the history and diagnosis of autism, how to assess it, and the clinical applications of ABA therapy. You will also learn about the legal and ethical obligations of professional behavior analysts.

Cambridge College is known for its programs tailored to adult learners who may also be balancing work and family life. Their degree program in Applied Behavior Analysis is designed to streamline your educational journey:

  • Flexible Learning Options: You can attend classes online or on-campus, including evening and weekend options. Cambridge College understands the demands on adult students’ time.
  • No GRE Required: You can apply without taking the GRE. This makes starting your degree faster and easier.
  • Fast-track Your Degree: You can graduate in just two years, with a curriculum that aligns with current certification standards and the corresponding BCBA exam.
  • Connect With Peers: Your classmates will be professionals working in a related field with at least one year of experience in an ABA treatment setting. This fosters strong connections and peer support.
  • Affordable Tuition: Cambridge College offers lower tuition than comparable ABA programs.

Upon graduating with your Master of Education in Autism/Applied Behavior Analyst degree from Cambridge College, you will be ready to:

  • Sit for the national BCBA exam.
  • Apply your knowledge of ABA and its principles to human behavior and the treatment of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.
  • Use ABA strategies to address the needs of individuals with autism.
  • Develop, implement, and assess individualized ABA therapy plans for people across the autism spectrum.
  • Understand the clinical, educational, and ethical issues tied to applying ABA strategies in a wide range of treatment contexts and behaviors.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with ABA clients, their families, and other professionals in education and medicine.

A large number of jobs in ABA therapy for autism come from healthcare, educational services, and social assistance sectors. Other potential employers include insurance carriers, local government agencies, and research organizations.

Regis College

Online Applied Behavior Analysis Certificate

If you already have a graduate degree and want to specialize in ABA, the Regis College has a certificate option for you. This flexible online option lets you complete the coursework needed to be eligible for the BCBA certification exam, following the 5th edition standards.

This 21-credit post-master’s certificate in ABA is a course sequence verified by the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI). It’s designed for professionals who have a master’s degree in ABA, Education, or Psychology and aim to become a BCBA.

You can finish the ABA certificate program over three semesters. You also have the choice to take two practicum courses along with 1,500-2,000 hours of supervised independent fieldwork, which are the hours required for BCBA licensure.

The program provides specialized training in ABA practice. It’s designed to teach you the techniques and treatment approaches needed to analyze and improve behavioral challenges. These ABA treatment and intervention plans aim to improve the lives of individuals and their families.

Regis College’s online ABA program is designed to be interactive, flexible, and thorough. It covers a variety of topics such as ABA concepts and principles, treatment evaluations, behavior assessments, and more. The program blends research and hands-on experience, making it ideal for students starting out or looking for advancement in the field.

The goal of the ABA programs is to give students a historical and current scientific framework to interpret and apply the science of behavior analysis. As future professionals in the field, you will be well equipped to provide expert and socially significant service.

The program objectives include:

  • Explaining behavior causes using both scientific and everyday language.
  • Creating effective measurement procedures for behavior targets in different cultural contexts.
  • Conducting various indirect assessments, skills assessments, and functional behavioral assessments, and interpreting the results.
  • Designing effective, empirically validated programs based on assessment results.
  • Interpreting visual data across various single-subject designs.
  • Training caregivers, staff, and parents to implement culturally sensitive empirically validated interventions.
  • Supervising behavior analytic interventions.
  • Demonstrating ethical and culturally competent treatment of all individuals.
  • Providing comprehensive care through multidisciplinary collaboration.

Bay Path University

Online Master’s Degrees

At Bay Path University, you can enrolling in an online ABA degree by choosing one of the following degree options:

  1. A 48-credit Master of Science (MS) in ABA: This includes coursework and supervision to make you eligible for the BACB Certification Exam.
  2. A 51-credit Education Specialist (EdS) in ABA: This is for those who already have an MS or MA in a related field. It includes ABA coursework and supervision with a focus on applied research.
  3. A 57-credit MS in ABA with a focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
  4. A 60-credit MS in ABA with a focus on Applied Verbal Behavior.
  5. A 60-credit MS in ABA with a concentration on Trauma-Informed Practice.

All these options give you graduate-level instruction in ABA that aligns with the BACB 5th Edition Task List. They also fulfill all the supervised fieldwork requirements (including both restricted and unrestricted hours).

These programs are designed to:

  • Train you to work as a scientist and clinician in environments committed to using evidence-based behavioral treatment to tackle behavior and performance challenges.
  • Prepare you to gain credentials in ABA and advance in professional settings that offer ABA services.
  • Provide you with a course sequence verified by the ABAI. This meets the 5th edition coursework requirement for taking the BCBA exam. It also provides advanced instruction in verbal behavior, staff training, supervision, functional/experimental analysis of behavior, and behavioral education systems.
  • Give you the chance to gain supervised practice in various special applications of ABA.
  • Include coursework and 2,000 hours of supervised, independent fieldwork overseen by experienced faculty in all program options.
  • Offer intensive study for BACB Exam Preparation.

best Massachusetts online ABA programs

What is the Salary for a BCBA in Massachusetts?

As of January 2024, the average salary for a BCBA in Massachusetts is $80,421 per year or $54.85 per hour. Top earning BCBAs in Massachusetts make over $100,000 per year.

The salary of a BCBA in Massachusetts can vary widely, indicating that there are likely numerous opportunities for career progression and salary growth depending on your expertise, geographic location, and years of experience.

Is Being a BCBA a Difficult Job?

Becoming a BCBA presents its own set of unique challenges, but the job is also filled with numerous rewards. Here are a few factors that contribute to its complexity:

  • Volume of Work: BCBAs often handle a large number of cases and may work long hours, which could include evenings and weekends. Navigating the needs of various clients, each requiring individualized treatment plans, can be demanding.
  • Emotional Involvement: The job entails working with individuals suffering from developmental and behavioral disorders, including autism. Seeing these individuals grapple with their challenges can be emotionally intense.
  • Communication Challenges: BCBAs interact with clients, their families, and other professionals, which can sometimes be complicated. Explaining complex behavioral concepts and treatment strategies in an understandable way is a skill that needs constant honing.
  • Data Interpretation: Continuous assessment and evaluation of clients’ progress is a significant part of a BCBA’s job. It involves the collection and analysis of vast amounts of data, which can be a complex and time-consuming process.
  • Continuous Learning: The field of applied behavior analysis is always progressing. BCBAs need to keep up with the latest research and best practices, which demands constant learning and professional growth.
  • Ethical Dilemmas: BCBAs often encounter challenging ethical decisions that require careful thought and adherence to professional standards. Striking a balance between the client’s best interests and ethical guidelines can sometimes be difficult.

Despite the challenges, the role of a BCBA is also immensely rewarding. The opportunity to help individuals enhance their behaviors and achieve their goals provides a sense of accomplishment. Moreover, like any profession, with more experience and expertise in the field, the challenges become more manageable.

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