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A trend toward more inclusive classrooms and the mainstreaming of students with or at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) is creating a demand for teachers who have the specialized knowledge and skills to meet the unique needs of this population.

Few institutions of higher education offer programs with a focus on emotional and behavioral disorders despite the demand, according to the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE). In fact, this need for specially trained practitioners in EBD greatly exceeds the supply of specialists, according to the AAEE.

This program is offered completely online.

What It’s Like to Pursue a Graduate Certificate in Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Both locally and nationally, schools need teachers with specialized preparation to meet the needs of students with or at-risk for EBD.

Ball State’s online graduate certificate in EBD is designed for those with undergraduate or graduate degrees in education, psychology, criminal justice, social work, speech/language, or closely related fields. It may also appeal to special education teachers, social workers, police officers, and juvenile justice system personnel.

The program focuses on the design of educational services for individuals with emotional and/or behavioral conditions, which adversely affect their educational performance. Our certificate program will prepare you to identify, assess, and evaluate students and behaviors; develop individual education plans and behavior intervention plans; and design, implement, and evaluate evidence-based instructional strategies and interventions for individuals with or at-risk for EBD.

Course content also covers historical developments in the field of EBD; laws and public policies pertaining to the education and treatment of individuals with EBD; identification, assessment, and evaluation of students and behavior; evidence-based academic and behavioral interventions; and program planning and development.

You can start the certificate program at any semester and you can complete the program in one year.

Course Requirements

Halfway to a Master's

Ball State's online graduate certificate in emotional and behavioral disorders will get you halfway to a 30-credit master's degree in special education.

This graduate certificate requires the following courses:

  • SPCE 632 Introduction to Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits) 
  • SPCE 634 Educating Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders (3 credits)
  • SPCE 635 Advanced Studies in EBD (3 credits)
  • SPCE 604 Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (3 credits)
  • EDPS 606 Human Learning and Achievement Motivation (3 credits)

Ready to Apply?

You will first want to check if you meet the admission requirements for the Ball State Graduate School. Then you may apply.

No GRE is required.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Semester: July 10
  • Spring Semester: November 15
  • Summer Semester: April 15

Summer semester courses are generally 10 weeks and must be started at the beginning of the term.


Admission to Ball State is selective, and we carefully evaluate all application on an individual basis. Applying for admission is easy. Use our convenient, comprehensive, and secure online application.

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Students from Other States

Ball State is authorized to accept online students from all U.S. states. However, certain states have regulations regarding licensing programs in nursing and education. Learn more about state authorizations for non-Indiana students.

International Applicants

If the degree is offered only in an online format, U.S. policies will not allow you to come to the U.S. and take only online courses. However, you may be able to study online from your home country. 

International Students Studying Online Only

If you’re an international student, in addition to meeting the requirements above, you will first need to meet the admission requirements for international graduate students. For information about the international admission process, contact the Rinker Center for International Programs.

If you are receiving sponsorship from your government for your studies, please confirm with your sponsor that you are permitted to enroll in online education courses. It is your responsibility to determine if you can enroll in online courses per your sponsor (if applicable), and the laws and policies of your nation and the United States.

International Students Studying on Campus 

You can only study on campus if the degree has either an on-campus or blended option. Online only degrees cannot be taken on campus. If you’re an international student and wish to study on our main campus in Muncie, Indiana, you will first need to meet the admission requirements for international graduate students. For information about the international admission process, contact the Rinker Center for International Programs

Admission deadlines for international students are earlier. 

Please review the admission deadlines from the Rinker Center so that there is plenty of time to review your application before enrollment deadlines.

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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