Applied Behavior Analysis, CAGS

The Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (CAGS) program prepares graduates to assume supervisory behavior analyst roles in schools and agencies and to serve as independent consultants. Additionally, it seeks to give graduates expertise in a specific clinical area related to applied behavior analysis, such as early intervention, public policy, or autism. This program is designed for the student who possesses a graduate degree in either Psychology or Education. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has verified this course sequence as meeting the course requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) examination.

This program includes 6 core courses in behavior analysis that explore the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis in-depth and address its philosophical underpinnings. The 6 core courses are followed by 4 additional courses in a specific content area related to behavior analysis. These courses, which are related, explore the related clinical issue in-depth. Students may elect to complete their supervised experience hours by taking Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 1 (CAEP 8417) and Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 2 (CAEP 8418), in addition to the 10 required courses.

Courses are delivered in an online format. Students attend lectures virtually and view supplementary material on their own schedules, taking advantage of technological advances that promote student learning and increase student-to-instructor and student-to-student communication.

Students take one or two courses each academic term, and courses are offered during the fall, spring, and summer full semesters. Behavior Assessment (CAEP 6327) and Research and Design Methods (CAEP 6328) serve as prerequisite courses to the remaining courses in the program.

Professional Portfolio

The capstone for the program is the professional portfolio. This portfolio, which is compiled electronically, documents the student’s acquisition of critical behavioral procedures and competency in critical clinical skills. These skills, each of which is associated with a specific project, include:

  • Preference and reinforcer assessment
  • Functional assessment of problem behavior
  • Task analysis
  • Discrete trial
  • Stimulus equivalence
  • Consequence reinforcement
  • Conditioned reinforcement
  • Literature review

Each semester, students complete assignments associated with the above clinical skills, and each assignment culminates in professional documents to be included in the student's professional portfolio. A faculty member reviews and signs each assignment in the professional portfolio. The faculty member's signature indicates that the student has achieved the faculty-established standards for the project. Graduates are encouraged to use their professional portfolio when applying for employment.

Complete all courses and requirements listed below unless otherwise indicated.

Core Requirements

A grade of B or higher is required in each course.

CAEP 6327Behavior Assessment3
CAEP 6328Research and Design Methods3
CAEP 6329Service Administration3
CAEP 6331Advanced Learning Seminar 13
CAEP 6334Applied Programming Seminar 13
CAEP 6336Systematic Inquiry 13
Complete 3 semester hours from the following:3
Programmed Learning
Advanced Learning Seminar 2
Applied Programming Seminar 2
Systematic Inquiry 2
Specialization Area
Complete specialization area in consultation with your faculty advisor.9


Note: The intensive practicum is optional. Consult your faculty advisor.

CAEP 8417Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 12
CAEP 8418Intensive Practicum in Applied Behavior Analysis 22

Program Credit/GPA Requirements

30 total semester hours required
Minimum 3.000 GPA required