Accredited BCBA Programs and Certification in Minnesota [2024 Guide]

Last Updated: June 29, 2024

Are you interested in exploring the world of behavior analysis in Minnesota? The Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) programs available in the state offer a fantastic opportunity for learners like you to dive deep into this fascinating field.

In Minnesota, several institutions offer top-notch in-person and online BCBA programs designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of behavior analysis. Whether you are just starting out or looking to advance in this area, these programs can guide you. This article will shed light on some of the popular BCBA programs in Minnesota, giving you a clearer picture of what to expect.

Best Accredited BCBA and ABA Masters Programs and Certification in Minnesota Online

BCBA Programs in Minnesota

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

  • St. Cloud State University
  • University of Minnesota
  • Arizona State University Online
  • University of Dayton
  • Simmons University
  • Capella University

St. Cloud State University

Master of Science (MS) – Applied Behavior Analysis

At St. Cloud State University, you have the opportunity to enroll in the MS in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program to develop critical skills that will serve you in a variety of professional settings. This program is structured to offer both in-person and online formats to fit your availability.

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.

As you enroll, you will find that the course load is adaptable to your needs. On-campus students typically take three courses each semester, while distance learners often take two. It is possible, considering your individual circumstances, to adjust your course load to one per semester, although it may extend the duration of your program.

You will have two options to complete your degree – the Thesis Option (Plan A) and the Comprehensive Examination Option (Plan B). Plan A, which consists of 45 credits, requires you to choose at least one elective course and undertake a thesis. Alternatively, in Plan B, which is a 46-credit pathway, you will be asked to pass a comprehensive exam to to demonstrate mastery of program competencies.

Some of the core courses that you will take include:

  • Experimental Analysis of Behavior
  • Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavioral Applications I and II
  • Behavioral Assessment
  • Social Bases of Behavior
  • Practicum in Behavior Analysis

During your time in the program, you will work towards the following goals:

  • Achieving your MS degree through comprehensive courses in behavior analysis.
  • Gaining hands-on experience through supervised practicum and internship opportunities.
  • Engaging in research activities including potential thesis projects.
  • Receiving support through academic and career advisories in the field of behavior analysis.

With a focus on advanced academic and professional training, this program prepares you for careers in various fields including autism support, community integration strategies, and organizational development, among others.

To guide you throughout your journey, an advisor will be assigned to you when you join the program. This advisor will be your go-to person for course scheduling, thesis guidance, and planning your internship. You have the flexibility to change advisors if needed, with mutual agreement.

A vital component of your educational journey will involve practicum and internships. These opportunities are designed to offer you real-world experience under the guidance of a qualified supervisor. As an on-campus student, you will be given a list of approved sites for your practicum and internships. If you are a distance learner, it will be your responsibility to arrange appropriate supervision at your workplace or another suitable setting. You should plan this at least one semester in advance.

During the practicum, you will gain practical experience by dedicating 5 to 6 hours weekly for direct contact, in addition to your class hours. Supervision will be face-to-face, with a minimum commitment of one hour weekly under a qualified BCBA or doctoral-level professional.

Upon successful completion of the program, many graduates have ventured into rewarding careers in various establishments such as schools, businesses, and community agencies. Some have even pursued doctoral studies in other universities.

Transferring up to 10 graduate credits to this program is allowed. For this, you would need to submit detailed information about the course along with your official grades to your advisor for approval.

Keeping a consistent performance is important, and you will be required to maintain a minimum GPA of 3.0 to stay in the program. Falling below this threshold would mean a probation period to improve your grades.

Admission requirements for this program include:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree.
  • At least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Up-to-date Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
  • Two letters of recommendation.

University of Minnesota

Master of Arts in Special Education –  With an Emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis

The University of Minnesota offers an in-person MA program in special education with a focus on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This program is designed to equip you to become a board-certified behavior analyst, a role that is increasingly in demand.

Through this program, you will build strong competencies to work as a behavior analyst in educational environments. You will learn to design and implement educational and behavioral plans for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. The goal is to use your knowledge in behavior analysis to enhance the quality of life for individuals in various service settings.

The ABAI has verified the coursework requirements of this program for eligibility to take the BCBA examination. Some of the courses that you will take include:

  • Interventions for Behavioral Problems in School Settings
  • Foundations in Behavior Analysis
  • Single-Case Experimental Design
  • Functional Behavior Assessment
  • Behavior Assessment and Intervention in Applied Settings
  • Methods in ASD
  • Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis

To complete this program, you will need to earn 33 credits and undertake a capstone research project. Your learning will be complemented with hands-on experience, requiring up to 20 hours per week of fieldwork at one of the partner sites over four semesters. If you aim to take the BCBA exam, you will be required to complete between 1,500 to 2,000 hours of supervised fieldwork after starting the MA in ABA program.

During your studies, you will have the opportunity to work closely with people experiencing disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder and developmental disabilities. Your role will involve conducting meaningful assessments and offering support to help individuals reach their goals and foster self-determination.

Highlights of your learning journey at the University of Minnesota include:

  • Completing your master’s degree in just four semesters.
  • Preparing to become a board-certified behavior analyst.
  • Conducting research under the guidance of experienced faculty.
  • Gaining practical experience working with certified practitioners.
  • Building valuable connections with peers and faculty sharing your passion.
  • Stepping into a career with confidence, equipped with knowledge in a high-demand field.
  • Working in a role that can genuinely make a lasting impact on people’s lives.

As a graduate, you will be able to:

  • Apply evidence-based practices to define, measure, and assess behavior.
  • Understand various strategies for experimental design.
  • Gather and evaluate behavioral data effectively.
  • Comprehend the factors that influence behavioral change.
  • Utilize educational technology to identify and address behavioral needs.

After graduation, potential career paths open to you include roles as:

  • Behavior analysts
  • Clinical behavior therapists
  • Education behavior support specialists
  • Intensive behavior therapists
  • Residential and vocational specialists

Admission requirements for this program include:

  • A completed bachelor’s degree.
  • At least a 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
  • Official transcripts.
  • Personal statement.
  • Up-to-date Resume/Curriculum Vitae.
  • Three letters of recommendation.

Arizona State University Online

Online Master of Arts in Special Education – Applied Behavior Analysis

With the Master of Arts in special education focusing on ABA from Arizona State University (ASU), you can gain deep knowledge of the principles of ABA. You will understand how it’s used to teach new abilities and enhance human behavior. The program’s courses are verified by ABAI, preparing you to take the BCBA exam.

The ABA focus in ASU Online’s degree will guide you through the ABA process, stressing ethical values and evidence-supported best practices. You will learn to evaluate behavior, design customized therapy plans, and use data to monitor improvement. The program also offers insights into how people learn and the different theories of behavior change.

The master’s degree in applied behavior analysis includes coursework that fulfills the ABAI’s verified course sequence requirements, qualifying you for the BCBA exam. You will have to satisfy some extra requirements to be eligible for the exam. ASU also offers an optional practicum for those who wish to gather BCBA supervised fieldwork experience.

During the program, you will take various core courses, including:

  • Concepts & Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Ethics of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Analytic Assessment
  • Advanced Applications of Applied Behavior Analysis
  • Behavior Change Procedures

One possible career path after graduating from this program is becoming an ABA therapist. Although this is a special education master’s with an ABA focus, it’s structured to prepare you for a wide range of ABA careers, not only those in the educational field.

To graduate, you will need to complete either an Applied Project or a Capstone project. If you are planning a professional career in applied behavior analysis, the Applied Project option lets you prepare a supervised project in the field. On the other hand, the Capstone option involves reflecting on all the coursework you have completed throughout the 30-hour program.

ASU doesn’t distinguish between online or in-person degrees. All degrees and transcripts simply state “Arizona State University” because ASU Online students learn from the same faculty and receive the same course content as on-campus students.

To apply, you need at least a 3.0 CGPA in the last 60 hours of your bachelor’s program or a 3.0 CGPA in a relevant master’s program.

All applicants need to submit:

  • A graduate admission application and the application fee.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Official transcripts.
  • A personal statement.
  • A current curriculum vitae or resume.
  • GRE is not required.

How Do I Become a BCBA in Minnesota?

To become a BCBA in Minnesota, you need to:

  1. Obtain a graduate level degree from an accredited university.
  2. Successfully complete the necessary ABA coursework as outlined by the BCBA Fifth Edition Task List.
  3. Fulfill all fieldwork requirements (2000 hours of Supervised Fieldwork or 1500 hours of Concentrated Supervised Fieldwork).
  4. Pass the BCBA examination.

How Much Does a BCBA Make in Minnesota?

As of September 2023, the average annual salary for a BCBA working in Minnesota is $90,644. More experienced and top earning BCBAs working in Minnesota make over $140,000 per year.

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