Popular Accredited BCBA Programs in Los Angeles [2024 Guide]

Los Angeles offers a variety of Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) programs designed to prepare students for a career in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). These programs are available through popular schools, providing both on-campus and online options.

Each program aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge and practical skills to effectively apply ABA principles in settings like schools, clinics, and private practice. The curriculum typically includes coursework in behavior assessment, intervention strategies, and ethical considerations in practice, alongside supervised fieldwork to meet certification requirements.

You can use this guide – which features some of the popular BCBA programs in Los Angeles – to help narrow your focus and find the school that’s the best fit for your needs.

BCBA Programs in Los Angeles

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

  • California State University, Los Angeles
  • National University
  • Pepperdine University
  • Arcadia University
  • Capella University
  • Purdue Global
  • The Chicago School

National University

Online Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis

The Master of Science in Applied Behavioral Analysis program at National University, offered both online and on-campus, is perfect for you if you are passionate about working with individuals with Autism and other neurodiverse conditions.

ABA is a sought-after profession that brings about real change in individuals’ lives. This therapy aims to help individuals adjust their behaviors. When applied successfully, ABA can help individuals develop or enhance various crucial skills, like socializing, job-related abilities, communication, academics, and self-care routines.

For you to earn a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University, you need to complete at least 45 credit hours of graduate work. You can also transfer  graduate credit from equivalent graduate work done at another institution. To be eligible for transfer of units, the credits should not have been used for another advanced degree, and the coursework must have been completed within the last 7 years.

Some of the required courses you must take include:

  • Philosophical Underpinning ABA
  • Concepts and Principles of ABA
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Behavioral Change Procedures
  • Developing ABA Interventions
  • Ethics Compliance Code
  • Supervision and Management
  • Application of ABA Skills

During the program, you will get to explore unique learning methods, such as precision learning, through a verified course sequence. You will also emphasize personal well-being, learning about social-emotional aspects, and gaining cultural awareness. You will wrap up your studies with a research-based capstone project.

After you successfully finish this program, you will have the skills to:

  • Explain the basic ideas and principles of Radical Behaviorism using a behavior analytic approach.
  • Review and understand data presentation and interpretation within the framework of an experimental design.
  • Bring in the Code of Ethics during the process of changing behavior and carrying out assessment procedures.
  • Incorporate methods for managing behavior and monitoring performance during the process of changing behavior and carrying out assessment procedures.
  • Apply the techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis in both research and everyday situations.
  • Perform research using appropriate design, statistical methods, measurements, data analysis, and methods for evaluating programs to enhance student outcomes.

To be eligible for the BCBA exam, you need to have a master’s degree with the verified course sequence (offered by NU) and complete 2,000 supervision hours.

Pepperdine University

Online Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis

Pepperdine University offers an online Master of Science program in Applied Behavior Analysis ABA that can set you on the path to becoming a BCBA. You can complete this program full-time in 18 months or part-time in 21 months.

Through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online classes, you will acquire the necessary skills to support individuals across various settings such as education, autism support, and rehabilitation. The program also covers organizational behavior management.

You will gain a deep understanding of behavioral psychology using an evidence-based, data-driven approach. The curriculum enables you to observe and assess behavior patterns, identify target behaviors, and choose strategies to drive positive changes.

Through the program, you will develop a comprehensive understanding of analytical behavioral health and modern techniques to identify, assess, and address human behaviors. You will study ABA concepts, assessment procedures, behavior change applications, and organizational behavior management.

In addition to learning applied behavior analysis principles and techniques, you will explore topics like ethical conduct, multiculturalism, and diversity. Some of the core courses that you will take include:

  • Assessment of Individuals, Couples, and Families
  • Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ethical and Professional Conduct for ABA
  • Applications of ABA for Behavior Change
  • Assessment Procedures for ABA
  • Supervision and Management for ABA
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

While studying, you will also gain practical experience and receive supervision from a BCBA at approved clinical sites as part of a practicum course. This hands-on learning will allow you to discuss your cases and receive feedback.

The course sequence at Pepperdine provides foundational knowledge of a variety of clinical interventions for children, adolescents, and adults. You will help patients in developing adaptive skills for better functioning in educational, family, social, and occupational roles.

Upon completing the program and the required experience hours, you will be eligible to sit for the BCBA exam. Mentors within the program will guide your learning, positioning you for BCBA certification.

Pepperdine University accepts applications throughout the year and you can start the program at various times. To apply, you need a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. GRE scores are not required, and application fee waivers are available for those meeting the priority deadline.

Arcadia University

Applied Behavior Analysis, Online MEd

Arcadia University offers an online Master of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis program, which can empower you to inspire real change in many professional settings. Guided by experienced professionals in the field, you will learn crucial skills for your career in a flexible online format.

The online Applied Behavior Analysis program at Arcadia is designed to equip you with the right knowledge and skills needed in this fast-growing educational specialty. What’s more, these online courses meet the criteria for the BCBA licensure exam. Want to boost your job prospects even more? You can choose electives to earn an Online Graduate Certificate in Autism at the same time as your Master’s degree.

With Arcadia’s program, you can expect an education in applied behavior analysis that prepares you for top performance in your career. The online courses concentrate on evaluating student and client behavior throughout their lives, empowering you to bring positive changes to homes, schools, and communities. You will also get to try your hand at real work through an on-site practicum, which you could possibly complete at your current workplace.

In the course of earning your Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arcadia, you will take 13 online courses that concentrate on proven methods for behavior assessment and intervention. The skilled faculty will immerse you in practical coursework, supplemented by 2,000 practicum hours to give you real-world experience. You also get to choose three electives, including the option to work towards a Graduate Certificate in Autism simultaneously with your master’s degree.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has approved Arcadia’s online Applied Behavior Analysis program as a Verified Course Sequence (VCS). It’s possible to complete the program in as little as 18 months.

In this program, you can transfer up to six credits for the foundational course requirements. However, credits from other institutions are not accepted for the Applied Behavior Analysis core courses.

Some of the core courses in the program include:

  • Concepts and Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Functional Behavior Assessment and Behavior Change
  • ABA Training and Supervising Human Service Staff
  • Positive Behavioral Approaches
  • Special Topics in Autism

To apply for the online Applied Behavior Analysis program at Arcadia, you will need:

  • A Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited institution
  • Official transcripts from each college, university or professional school you’ve attended
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • A personal statement
  • Your resume
  • A completed background check

Capella University

Online Graduate Certificate – Applied Behavior Analysis

Capella offers a 40-credit online Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. This program can help you make a positive difference in people’s lives, no matter their background. The coursework for this certificate has been verified by the ABAI, which means it meets the requirements for eligibility to take the BCBA exam.

Not only does this program enhance your current skills, but the credits you earn can also be applied to a future MS in Psychology, Applied Behavior Analysis degree at Capella.

Here’s a glimpse at the core courses you will be taking:

  • Basic Foundations in Applied Behavior Analysis: This course will help you understand the basic principles and ideas that form the foundation of behavior analysis science. You will learn to tell the difference between therapies that use behavior analysis and those that don’t.
  • Advanced Concepts in Applied Behavior Analysis: This course will let you explore the concepts that drive the science of behavior analysis. You will learn to recognize different types of triggers and consequences that influence behavior and practice using the scientific terminology common in behavior analysis.
  • Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis: In this course, you will study the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. You will practice tackling ethical problems that commonly crop up in behavior analysis work.
  • Measurement and Research in Applied Behavior Analysis: This course will teach you about common measurement, data display, and experimental methods in applied behavior analysis. You will learn to distinguish between different types of measurements and understand when to use each one.
  • Behavior Analytic Assessments: In this course, you will learn how to apply a wide range of assessment approaches in behavior analysis. You will learn how to evaluate a client’s preferences, needs, and strengths and weaknesses in skills.
  • Supervision and Management in Applied Behavior Analysis: Here, you will apply evidence-based supervision practices to oversee behavior-analytic programs. You will learn to apply behavior change methods and create behavior change programs that address verbal behavior, using Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Capstone: In this course, you will demonstrate your understanding of ethical and professional conduct, basic concepts and principles in behavior analysis, assessment techniques, and implementation of behavior-analytic methods. You will assess their effectiveness and display your knowledge, scholarship, and research proficiency in ABA.

How Do I Become a BCBA in California?

To become a BCBA in California, you must:

  • Hold a master’s degree.
  • Have completed the required ABA course sequence.
  • Have completed the required number of supervised work hours.
  • Pass the BCBA examination

Can You Become a BCBA Without an ABA Degree?

Yes, you can become a BCBA without a degree specifically in ABA, but there are specific educational and training requirements that you must meet.

  • Educational Requirements: To qualify for BCBA certification, you need to have at least a master’s degree. However, this degree does not need to be specifically in ABA. It can be in psychology, education, or another field that is related to behavior analysis. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) accepts degrees from accredited universities that meet their coursework and experience requirements.
  • Coursework Requirements: You must complete a specific amount of graduate-level coursework in behavior analysis from a program that meets the BACB’s coursework requirements. This coursework can often be completed through a verified course sequence (VCS) offered by various universities as part of, or in addition to, a degree program.
  • Supervised Experience: You must also complete 1500-2000 hours of supervised practical experience.
  • Passing the Exam: Finally, after completing the educational and experience requirements, you must pass the BCBA examination to become certified.
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