Behavior Analysis - Frequently Asked Questions

Behavior Analysis -Frequently Asked Questions

Does the program admit part time students?

Once a student begins collecting experience hours under a BCBA, the student has five years to complete certification requirements and sit for the BCBA exam, otherwise any accrued experience hours reset to zero and the student must begin accruing experience hours all over again. Therefore, we do not encourage enrollment on a part-time basis because the student may not be able to finish meeting certification requirements within five years.

Does the program admit blended AR students?

At this time, the behavior analysis emphasis is not accepting blended AR students. Given the course rotations in the behavior analysis course sequence, a blended student would still need to take an additional two years after they complete their undergraduate coursework. It makes more sense to simply apply to the two-year master’s program as you are finishing up your undergraduate degree.

How can I begin gaining experience in ABA? 

There are a number of ABA agencies in the local communities of Arcata and Eureka that frequently (and happily!) hire college students, especially psychology majors. If you have already taken PSYC 320, you are even more sought after by the agencies. Go to and enter search terms such as “behavior technician” or “behavior aid”, and you might be surprised to see a few job postings. You can also directly contact ABA agencies such as Autism Intervention Professionals (AIP), Multiplicity Inc and their sister agency Starfish Hero, IECP, Trumpet Behavioral Health, or Autism Learning Partners (ALP).

Will I need to complete a Master’s thesis in order to graduate in the behavior analysis emphasis?

A: You must complete a culminating experience in the form of either a Master’s thesis or a Master’s project in order to graduate. The thesis is generally recommended for those students who wish to pursue PhD studies. The Master’s project is smaller in scope and is more appropriate for students who wish to become practitioners in the field.

Can I begin counting clinical experience hours before I begin the behavior analysis graduate coursework?

Unfortunately, no, you must have already started your behavior analysis coursework. You can begin counting experience hours starting as early as the first day you begin the coursework.

I already have a master’s degree in psychology or a closely-related field and am interested in obtaining my BCBA. Can I take the Humboldt Behavior Analysis course sequence without having to get a second Master’s degree?

You sure can! Registering for the courses through Extended Education will allow you to open enroll in each course in the behavior-analysis course sequence. Follow this link for instructions:

I am applying to the Master’s program. Would you consider a letter of recommendation from my clinical supervisor who is a BCBA at an ABA agency, or should all of my letters of recommendation be from university faculty?

A letter from a clinical supervisor who could comment on your developing skill sets, professionalism, and capacity to grow when given more responsibilities would be welcome.