Applied Behavior Analysis

Applied Behavior Analysis is a field that utilizes basic behavioral principles to address behavior challenges of social significance. An applied behavior analyst uses methods of direct observation to gather information about how different environmental events influence behaviors of interest, and then systematically evaluates if/how modifications to these environmental events produce socially significant changes.

For a more detailed description of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis, click here.

The Department of Psychology and Sociology at UNA now offers a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA) examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. These requirements are outlined on the BACB website.


The goal of the ABA minor is to introduce students to the field of behavior analysis, and to provide training to individuals interested in designing, delivering, and evaluating behavioral interventions. The 18-credit minor provides high-quality training in the field of ABA. The coursework, along with appropriate practicum experience, will prepare individuals to sit for the BCaBA Examination.

The minor provides students with an academic and professional background in ABA. Students are prepared for employment in a variety of community and private agencies/settings. In addition, persons with behavior analytic training work as behavior support specialists in educational settings or in intensive behavior therapy programs for children with autism. The minor in Applied Behavior Analysis will be particularly attractive to students in Psychology and Education Programs of study, or it may be completed on a stand-alone basis.

According to the BACB, an individual gaining Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst level certification (BCaBA) typically:

"Conducts descriptive behavioral assessments and is able to interpret the results and design ethical and effective behavior analytic interventions for clients. The BCaBA designs and oversees interventions in familiar cases (e.g., similar to those encountered during their training) that are consistent with the dimensions of applied behavior analysis. The BCaBA obtains technical direction from a BCBA for unfamiliar situations. The BCaBA is able to teach others to carry out interventions and supervise behavioral technicians once the BCaBA has demonstrated competency with the procedures involved under the direct supervision of a BCBA. The BCaBA may assist a BCBA with the design and delivery of introductory-level instruction in behavior analysis. It is mandatory that each BCaBA practice under the supervision of a BCBA. Governmental entities, third-party insurance plans and others utilizing BCaBAs must require this supervision." ( 

Please note that completing the ABA minor at UNA does not indicate that a student is certified in the field of behavior analysis and does not guarantee a passing grade on the BCaBA exam. At this time, practicum experience is not offered; however, we can assist students in identifying potential locations to earn the necessary supervised fieldwork in order to be eligible to sit for the BCaBA exam.

Career Opportunities

Behavior analysts work in any setting in which they can address problematic behaviors that are of social concern. Behavior analysts have been particularly effective serving individuals on the autism spectrum and individuals diagnosed with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition, behavior analysts also find meaningful roles in the areas of education, business and industry, treatment of substance abuse, behavioral safety, school consultation, parent and staff training, sports and athletic performance, and animal training (to name a few).

Job Demand

Demand for credentialed behavior analysts is increasing. Job postings for Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs) have seen a 995% increase from 2014 to 2017. For more information, click on the following links for a review of employment statistics, salaries, etc.

Behavior Analyst Certification Board – U.S. Employment Demand for Behavior Analysts 2010-2021

Association for Professional Behavior Analysts - 2014 Professional Employment Survey Results

Please see the catalog, here.

UNA does not currently have pass-rate data for the BCaBA exam available. Pass-rate data are not published for sequences with fewer than six first-time candidates in a single year or for sequences within their first four years of operation.

To view current BCaBA Pass Rates, please click here

Behavior Analyst Certification Board

Association of Professional Behavior Analysts

Association for Behavior Analysis International

American Psychological Association – Division 25 (Behavior Analysis)

Applied Behavior Analysis EDU – an excellent resource that provides information on career paths, salary expectation, program options, state licensing requirements, and laws and practice standards.

ABA Scholarship Opportunities

For additional information or if you have questions, please contact Dr. Kayla Jenssen, BCBA-D at or 256-765-4692.