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The career options of behavior analysts are many and diverse, since the research, scope and practice of these practitioners vary tremendously.

Behavior analysts are concerned with improving and understanding human behavior and are trained to use direct observation and experimentation to find causes for desired and undesired behaviors. They design strategies to alter socially significant behavior by changing existing behaviors, teaching new behaviors, teaching what behaviors are appropriate to use in different situations, and consistently evaluating the effectiveness of their behavioral interventions.

A behavior analyst is Board Certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) after passing the BCBA certification exam. To sit for the exam, a candidate must apply to the BACB® and provide evidence of having a minimum of a master's degree, completion of 225 classroom hours of graduate level instruction in the specified content areas established by the BACB®, and accumulated supervised experience hours that meet the BACB® standards. For more specific information regarding the certification process, you may visit the BACB® home page by going to www.bacb.com.

Behavior analysts work with people of all ages, from early childhood to geriatrics, and in multiple settings such as homes, schools, hospitals, residential facilities, rehabilitation centers, research labs and places of business.

Behavior analysts may also work directly with or act as consultants to organizations or specific programs. The scope of such work can include developmental disabilities such as autism and mental retardation, more severe problems such as schizophrenia, anxiety, parenting problems, marital conflict, gerontology, behavioral medicine, sexual dysfunction, addiction, and delinquency, among many others.

Prepare for the BCBA Exam

You should pursue this certification if you plan to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst exam. A major goal of this certificate program is to prepare students to take, and pass, this crucial examination.

On a personal level, this program is ideal for those who enjoy working directly with clients and organizations or see themselves consulting with schools and businesses. BCBAs are trained to make effective changes in the lives of their clients and those involved in their clients' lives.

The Psychology Department's BCBA Program at CSUN has been approved by the BACB® to meet the course work requirements for eligibility for the board certification exam. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify.

Program Content

The Post-Master's Program in Behavior Analysis consists of five 3-unit graduate-level courses and two 1-unit preparatory courses within a seventeen unit program (255 classroom hours) formulated to address the Content Areas detailed by the Board. 

You can earn your 17-unit certification* in less than 11 months:

  • Fall semester: three courses / 7 units
  • Spring semester: two courses/ 6 units
  • Summer semester: two courses / 4 units