Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis

Description and Outcomes

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) degree provides you with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to prepare for graduate study or to work effectively with individuals in a variety of settings. This program provides an examination of the design, analysis, and application of learning theories and behavioral principles. It is designed to prepare you to pursue careers working with children and adults struggling with behaviors ranging from difficulty with everyday social interactions to various disorders including autism spectrum disorders, and other mental health challenges.

If you have already completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, you may be eligible for degree requirements to be waived and replaced with advanced start credit. Refer to Advanced Start Credit in Bachelor’s Degrees for details.


You can personalize your degree with a concentration in business foundations. The business foundations concentration will allow you to gain competencies in the fundamental concepts of business administration. You will develop an understanding of the four functions of management, the components of a marketing strategy, and the financial performance of an organization.

Graduate Program Pathways

If you are interested in earning both a bachelor's and master's degree, consider a graduate program pathway.

Program Length

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis program consists of a minimum of 180 quarter credit hours. Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a bachelor of science degree.

Program Outcomes

Discipline-Specific Outcomes

  1. Disciplinary Knowledge and Skills: Draw upon foundational principles in the field of psychology, including applied behavior analysis, including historical considerations, fundamental principles, and current trends in the field to design effective treatment. 
  2. Research and Analysis: Utilize basic methodology in psychology including research design, data analysis, and the interpretation and evaluation of findings to determine effective client services. 
  3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Use analytical thinking, skeptical inquiry, and the scientific approach in solving problems related to behavior and mental health as they relate to the current diagnostic categories to design individualized treatment plans. 
  4. Disciplinary Knowledge and Skills: Apply conceptual knowledge of principles of applied behavior analysis to case examples and scenarios that reflect everyday problems within individuals, families, and organizations with regard to functional assessments, behavior intervention plans, and the evaluation of effectiveness of treatment. 
  5. Professionalism and Ethics: Demonstrate competent and ethical practice in the field of applied behavior analysis through the conduct of functional behavior assessments that inform function-based behavior intervention plans that address socially significant behaviors. 
  6. Communication: Explain treatment approaches in terms that clients, their families, and organizations can understand to gain informed consent.

General Education Literacies and Professional Competencies

In addition to the discipline-specific outcomes, general education literacies and professional competencies are integrated throughout your academic program. You can review the general education literacies and professional competencies associated with your academic program in the General Education and Professional Competency Requirements section of this Catalog.

Program Availability

For program availability, please refer to the U.S. State and Other Approvals section and Program Availability Information.


Progression Requirements

You may not use credit for prior learning to fulfill the following courses; you must complete these courses at Purdue Global. In addition, to be eligible to satisfy certification requirements and ensure your knowledge is current, you may be required to retake the following courses if you are a returning student and completed them more than 5 years prior to your re-enrollment. You may request exceptions, based on relevant coursework and professional experience, from the Dean or a designee.

Code Title Credits
PS225Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis5
PS340Exceptional Needs Children6
PS360Applied Behavior Analysis I6
PS365Applied Behavior Analysis II6
PS385Targeted Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis6
PS410Screening and Assessment6
PS430Program Design and Evaluation6

Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams

Certification and licensure boards have state-specific educational requirements for programs that lead to a license or certification that is a precondition for employment. Prospective and current students must review Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site to view program and state-specific licensure information.

Licensure-track programs may limit enrollment to students in certain states; please see Purdue Global’s Program Availability Information to determine enrollment eligibility.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA®) examination (via Pathway 2). Applicants will need to meet additional Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) eligibility requirements, including evidence of residency in an authorized country, before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. 

  • PS225 Ethics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PS340 Exceptional Needs Children
  • PS360 Applied Behavior Analysis I
  • PS365 Applied Behavior Analysis II
  • PS385 Targeted Topics in Applied Behavior Analysis
  • PS410 Screening and Assessment
  • PS430 Program Design and Evaluation

Please refer to the BACB’s website for full eligibility requirements (

It is important to note that students seeking BCaBA certification can only begin accruing supervision hours once they begin taking an ABA concentration course in the verified course sequence. Any supervision hours documented prior to taking the first qualifying course will not be recognized by the BACB.

The Bachelor of Science in Psychology in Applied Behavior Analysis meets educational requirements for the BCaBA examination in all states, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territory of Guam. Prospective and current students must review Purdue Global’s State Licensure and Certifications site to view program and state-specific licensure information.

It is important to understand that the requirements for behavior analysts vary by state and can change with little to no warning. Students seeking employment as a behavior analyst should inquire directly to the jurisdiction where employment is desired, as some states require additional licensure or certification. The BACB U.S. state licensure requirements may be viewed at the following link:

Beginning  January 1, 2023, applications for BCaBA or BCBA certification from candidates who live outside of the United States and other designated countries will no longer be accepted, per the BACB's Global Certification policies. Specific information regarding this policy can be found on the BACB’s website at

The BACB can be contacted at:

Behavior Analyst Certification Board
8051 Shaffer Parkway
Littleton, CO 80127
Tel: 720-438-4321