Online ABA Course Sequence

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The ABA course sequence at Dordt University is built around the central idea that every person is a beloved image-bearer of God, worthy of an education that helps them use their gifts fully.

Students will learn to identify target behaviors, enact plans for improvement, and measure the results to guide future efforts. Those who complete the courses will be equipped to help their students and families thrive.

This sequence is approved by ABAI and meets the coursework requirements for the BCBA certification exam.

An BCBA at Dordt's Thrive Center for ABA works one-on-one with a child


The 100% online sequence included the following courses:

SPED 611 - 3 Credits

This course introduces students to the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and the principles supporting this scientific study of behavior. In this course, we will explore the history and development of the field of behavior analysis. We will also consider the fundamental principles of science that apply to ABA, as they do to all areas of science. We will identify the defining characteristics of ABA and explore the underlying philosophy specific to behavior analysis. We will then consider how this philosophy aligns with our own worldview.

SPED 612 - 3 Credits

In this course, we will define basic concepts that form the basis for applied behavior analysis (ABA). A major focus of this course is understanding the role of the environment on behavior. We will consider principles of behavior such as reinforcement and punishment and the relationship between these principles and their related behavior change tactics. We will also explore the role of motivation and rules in shaping behavior.

SPED 613 - 3 Credits

This course will focus on competencies needed to measure a behavior of interest and to determine the effects of various environmental arrangements on the target behavior. Factors influencing selection of a measurement system will be explored including the need for a system that is accurate, reliable, and valid. The defining features, advantages, and uses of single-subject experimental design will be considered. There will be an emphasis on developing skills in graphing of behavioral data and in interpreting data provided in graphed form.

SPED 614 - 1.5 Credits

This course explores ethical dilemmas that can arise in the professional life of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Our focus will be on the general role of a code of ethics in the work of various professionals and the specific guidance provided by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. We will explore various scenarios and consider how the BCBA should act in each situation based on the Ethical Code.

SPED 615 - 1.5 Credits

This course continues the exploration of ethical dilemmas that can arise in the professional life of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). We will focus on developing a greater understanding of the guidance provided by the Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts. We will explore additional ethics related scenarios and consider how the BCBA should act in each situation based on the Ethical Code.

SPED 616 - 3 Credits

This course will build on the foundation of concepts and principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) developed in previous courses. We will consider the topics of determining whether an individual has a need for ABA services, assessing an individual’s strengths and needs, and prioritizing behavior-change goals. A major focus of the course will be on conducting a functional analysis of problem behavior and interpretation of functional assessment data. We will also consider various methods for conducting a preference assessment.

SPED 617 - 2 Credits

This course addresses principles of behavior change and explores a variety of behavior change strategies that can be used with individuals based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Topics covered in this course include reinforcement and punishment procedures, prompting, motivating operations, modeling, shaping, chaining, verbal behavior, extinction, token economies, group contingencies, and self-management strategies. We will also consider procedures that can promote generalization and maintenance.

SPED 618 - 2 Credits

This course focuses on designing and implementing behavior change procedures. We will work on developing competencies in writing goals that are observable and measurable. We will also work on selecting evidenced-based interventions that are based on assessment results and that are appropriate to the supporting environment and the preferences of the target individual. Strategies for monitoring progress as well as for measuring fidelity of implementation will be explored. Opportunities and responsibilities for collaboration with other service providers will also be discussed.

SPED 619 - 2 Credits

In this course, we will explore how the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) can speak to improving the way we supervise and manage personnel. This course will help you develop competencies in establishing clear performance goals and expectations, conducting staff training, and monitoring and assessing staff performance. We will discuss how to use a functional assessment approach to address variables affecting staff performance. We will also consider the reasons for using ABA based supervision strategies in terms of safety, productivity, and client outcomes.


The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional requirements before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination.


The sequence can be completed in two years. A typical plan of study includes one or two courses per semester.

The program is 21 credits.

Yes, all courses are 100% online. No travel or on-campus residency is required.

Most of the coursework is asynchronous, meaning you can do it when it works best for you, whether that's before breakfast, after dinner, or sometime in between. Some components will be synchronous and require joining in for an interactive dialogue at a set time.


Costs to complete Dordt's BCBA course sequence:

  • Tuition: 21 credits at $390/credit = $8,190
  • Technology Fee: $100
  • Program completion fee: $100
  • Total cost: $8,390

2021-2022 tuition prices shown. Prices subject to change.

If you are planning to work as a BCBA in the state of Iowa, you may be eligible for up to 50 percent tuition reimbursement. Visit to learn more.

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Located in Sioux Center, Iowa, Dordt University is a Christian university committed to helping you serve in the real world—right now, today.

The Wall Street Journal and Times Higher Education have consistently ranked Dordt #1 in student engagement. So you know you can expect to experience a Christian community that builds you up and pushes you to grow when you begin your graduate studies at Dordt University.

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