Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis (CERT)

Graduate Certificate in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis 
Unit: College of Education and Human Development (GE)
Department: Special Education
Program Webpage  
Academic Plan Code(s): AABACAA

Program Information

This program can be completed in a traditional classroom format or entirely online.

The University of Louisville's Graduate Certificate in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis provides practitioners with advanced knowledge in autism research and behavioral analytic approaches to skill development and the treatment of challenging behavior.

Students receive rigorous academic work within the program's carefully designed course sequence that is taught by faculty with practical and research experience in autism and applied behavior analysis.

Upon completion of the program's approved courses, students with an approved masters degree must complete a 1,500 hour practicum to be eligible to sit for the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Certification Exam. For more information on certification, go to

Certification in applied behavior analysis demonstrates a level of competency in research-based principles for education and the treatment of challenging behavior.

The reported increase in the number of children with autism suggests growth in the availability of positions for behavior analysts and schools and the community.

Admission Requirements

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® has approved the University of Louisville’s course sequence as meeting the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst Examination®. Applicants will have to meet additional requirements to qualify. For more information on certification, go to

Admission to to the program requires a graduate application to the Graduate School

Applicants must also have the following:

  • A bachelor's or master's degree in Special Education, Psychology, Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy or Social Work from an accredited institution 
  • A 2.75 overall GPA in the bachelor's degree and/or a 3.0 overall GPA in the master's degree and any additional graduate work
  • Official transcripts
  • Professional certificate/license in a field related to autism (e.g., Special Education, Psychology, Speech Language Pathology, Occupational Therapy or Social Work), current employment working with individuals impacted by autism, or availability to complete 10 hours of fieldwork per week throughout the duration of the program
  • Three letters of recommendation related to the applicant's work with individuals with autism
  • Grade of B-minus or higher in required prerequisite courses within the past three years (EDSP 644 and EDSP 570)
  • Submission of GRE scores
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required of all foreign students from countries in which English is not the native language.

Those intending to seek certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) must hold a master's degree in Education, Psychology, or Behavior Analysis 

Program Requirements

Prerequisite Courses

EDSP 644Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDSP 570Autism: Introduction and Understanding3

Both must have been taken within the past three years with a grade of B- or higher.

Program Coursework

EDSP 671Autism: Strategies and Techniques3
EDSP 669Single Subject Research Methods and Designs3
EDSP 546Behavior Analytic Approach to Communication3
Midpoint Assessment
EDSP 650Advanced Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDSP 651Professional and Ethical Practice of Applied Behavior Analysis3
EDSP 673Research Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorders3
Exit Requirements
Minimum Total Hours18

Minimum of 15 credit hours in 600-level courses is required.

Transfer credits are not accepted to this certificate program.

All courses must be completed within four years of admission to the program.

To complete the program, students must have a minimum of a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.  No credit shall be accepted for carrying a grade lower than B-minus.

Midpoint Assessment: Students who do not meet the midpoint requirements may be exited from the program.  A program faculty panel will review individual cases and make a determination regarding the student's ability to remain in the program.  Decisions of the program faculty panel are final.

Exit Requirement: Completion of intervention project and presentation with a rating of Satisfactory and grades of B- or higher in all certificate courses.