Bachelor's in ABA

For anyone exploring the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA), you are just in time. By enrolling in Ball State's online bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you can help fill a growing labor market need for professionals with ABA credentials.

Quick Facts

  Next Start Date: August 19, 2024

The principles of Applied Behavior Analysis have many applications and have been shown to be effective for addressing the needs of individuals with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. ABA is about using proven techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in socially significant behavior for children and adults. You will learn to help children and adults alike to address behavior and solve social problems and relationships between individual, family members, or people in the community.

This program is offered completely online – with part- and full-time options – making it possible for you to continue your daily routine while earning your degree. All courses are asynchronous, so you can finish your coursework on your own schedule, as long as you complete weekly assignments by their deadlines.

Our Academic Advisors

The role of your academic advisor is more than telling you which courses to take. For starters, they are student success specialists, and they are dedicated to your academic success from day one. You’ll work with the same specialist from application to graduation.

Contact your student success specialist, who can answer questions you have about our program.

What It's Like to Pursue a Bachelor’s in Applied Behavior Analysis Online

As new Applied Behavior Analysis facilities continue to grow, so will the need for bachelor-level behavior specialists. Because a bachelor’s in ABA, matched with study in ASD, raises your marketability, you will be prepared for many job possibilities, including:

  • Behavioral consultants working in school districts
  • Behavioral therapists working in autism centers
  • Behavioral therapists working in mental health centers
  • Behavior consultants with companies working with individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Behavior consultants working with physicians, nurses, and psychologists in hospitals

Graduates of the program will also be well positioned to pursue advanced graduate degrees in ABA, school psychology, counseling psychology, clinical psychology, social work, criminal justice, special education, and education.

And, although this undergraduate program focuses on autism, you will learn ABA techniques and skills that you can use to address a wide array of needs such as organizational behavior management, health and wellness improvement, and substance abuse disorders.

After completing this bachelor’s degree, along with the necessary field hours, you’ll be eligible to take a national exam to earn the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) credential. BCaBAs are needed to fill positions in a range of settings—ABA clinics, autism centers, hospitals, mental health centers, schools, geriatric facilities, to name but a few. 

An abundance of job postings in Indiana—and across the country—means that this shortage could be an opportunity for you wherever you live. Since Ball State’s undergraduate degree comes to you 100 percent online, you can prepare for this favorable job market from your laptop—whether at home, at work, or your child’s soccer practice.

Earning a bachelor's degree in applied behavior analysis with an emphasis in autism opens yourself up to boundless opportunities within a career that has a shortage of credentialed professionals.

First, you will earn a foundation in an important behavioral science and will learn from faculty who care about their students and who are actively engaged in research and their own communities. The program is housed within the Ball State Teachers College, which regularly ranks among the best in the nation.

Secondly, the ABA program is part of college's Department of Special Education. This academic department has been on the forefront of training professionals in best-practice methods to help special populations for decades. 

A bachelor’s degree program could also help prepare you for continued graduate-level education in ABA, which could significantly broaden your career opportunities and earning potential. Ball State has one of the largest master's degree programs in ABA in the country.

Ball State has several programs in Applied Behavior Analysis offered online. Our undergraduate specialization, our graduate certificate, and the master's degree were the first such programs in the state of Indiana. This bachelor's degree in ABA is also the first in Indiana and one of only a few online undergraduate degrees in this field available in the nation.

Our online programs enroll students from around the globe, enabling graduates from around the world to obtain BACB credentials and enhance their communities. Our online bachelor's in Applied Behavior Analysis only reinforces Ball State as a national hub for ABA studies.

For example, our Center for Autism Spectrum Disorder (CASD) was founded to produce meaningful answers to the questions that most challenge the ASD community. By using rigorous research methods and addressing crucial gaps in services, our team of faculty, staff, and students work to meet the growing needs of individuals with ASD, their families, and professionals who work with them.

  • Ball State has this highest form of accreditation: continuing institutional accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission. What this means to you is that we have met rigorous academic standards and professionalism that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and other institutions of higher learning. We have been accredited since 1925.
  • CAEPOur Teachers College is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP), a specialized accrediting body for educator preparation that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • We are also accredited by the Indiana Teacher Training and Licensing Commission.
  • U.S. News & World Report consistently places Ball State on its list of universities with the Best Online Bachelor's Programs and the bachelor's in ABA is ranked 27th in their list of Best Online Bachelor's in Psychology programs.
  • In addition, 23 programs within the college have received national recognition through their respective professional associations.

 Calculate the Cost of a Bachelor's in Applied Behavior Analysis

It's important to you to understand the expenses associated with your education. We encourage you to utilize our cost calculator to gauge the anticipated costs of your education to plan for your future. Need assistance? Our student success specialists stand ready to support you.

Calculate Your Costs

Grants for College

Good news for Indiana adult students! The Indiana Commission for Higher Education is offering college grants for adults returning to college, or even beginning their educational journey. The Adult Student Grant awards up to $2,000 to help pay for your college expenses and is renewable. This grant is available to Indiana residents, aged 25 and older, who are enrolled or will be enrolled in an undergraduate program.* Review the requirements below and learn if you qualify for the Adult Student Grant.

Learn More about the Adult Student Grant

*Additional requirements are listed on the Indiana Commission for Higher Education Adult Student Grant website.

Already Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, even if it is not in Applied Behavior Analysis, earning the online behavioral studies certificate allows you to sit for the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) exam. The certificate is 15 credits, offered entirely online, and can be finished in three semesters when taking one or two courses at a time. By earning the behavioral studies certificate, you will gain:

  • the ability to develop, implement, and monitor behavioral programs to treat various kinds of behavior issues within a variety of settings
  • the ability to conduct effective functional behavioral assessments and analyses in a variety of applied settings, and then use that information to develop appropriate behavioral intervention plans
  • a firm foundation in ABA if you wish to pursue graduate work to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst

This is a perfect option for full-time Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) or career-changers looking to make an impact in the ABA field.

Meet Our Students

Online Applied Behavior Analysis Courses

Ball State’s online bachelor of science (BS) in ABA requires 120 credits.

  • University Core Curriculum (36-39 credits)
  • General Electives (45-48 credits) — You will work with your advisor to select the elective courses to best fit your academic goals. You will have enough elective credits to fit in a minor, which can make you even more marketable. Minors available online include psychology of human development, sociology, and criminal justice.
  • Applied Behavior Analysis Major Courses (36 credits)
ABAI Verified Course Sequence

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® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.

Course Requirements

All of these courses are required:

  • EDPS 270 Lifespan Development (3 credits)
  • SPCE 200 Exceptional Children and Adults (3 credits)
  • SPCE 280 Behavior Analysis Principles, Processes, and Philosophy (3 credits)
  • SPCE 290 Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)
  • SPCE 292 Treatment and Interventions with Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)
  • SPCE 307 Ethical, Professional Practice in Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 310 Application of Consultation in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 315 Advanced Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 316 Single-Subject Research Design and Applications (3 credits)
  • SPCE 320 Advanced Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPCE 438 Advanced Seminar in Applied Behavior Analysis (3 credits)
  • SPCE 483 Seminar in Autism Spectrum Disorder (3 credits)

View All Courses

The degree is designed so that you can complete it in four years if you take classes full time. Completion time will vary if you attend part time. We encourage you to discuss with your advisor regarding your workload and your time frame for completing your degree. 

On-Campus Students

If you are studying on campus, you can earn the BS or BA (bachelor of arts) in Applied Behavior Analysis. The BA degree includes some foreign language requirements.

On-campus students will have a wider array of elective courses, core courses, and optional minors in which to choose. Your advisor will help you create a plan of study to meet your goals.

 Ready to Apply?

An application and all required application materials must be received two weeks prior to the start of classes for a given term in order to be considered for admission to Ball State. Our semester start dates can be found in Ball State’s academic calendar.

Whether you are transferring credits in from another university or have never taken college courses before now, we invite you to learn about Ball State's admission requirements and how to apply to this program.


Although the courses within the major are completely online, you may take this major if you are a student on Ball State’s main campus. You will need to apply via the university’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions.


If you are already a current Ball State student, then meet with your academic advisor regarding a change of major. You may also contact one of our online advisors.

If you are planning to study online from your home country, you may apply for this degree program.


However, because of federal requirements, we cannot currently accept international students studying on the Ball State campus to this major.

Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized by the U.S. Department of Education to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, if you are considering a program that leads to professional licensure, some states may have additional regulations. Review our state authorization website if you live outside of Indiana and contact us if you have questions.

Want to Learn More?

Do you have questions about this program or online learning? We’re here to help! You may request more information using our online form, or feel free to reach out directly to one of our staff.

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