Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)


Who should apply?

The ABA program is a cohort-based program that can be combined with the MA/MS in Special Education. Students can complete the Verified Course Sequence (VCS) in two years and the VCS+MA/MS coursework in about two and a half years. The ABA program is fully aligned with the Department of Special Education’s Critical Concepts.

  • Non-Degree: Individuals with graduate-level degrees in need of a VCS toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® examination*.
  • Degree: Individuals with undergraduate degrees (GPA at least 3.0) in human service areas of study such as behavior analysis, education, psychology, social work, child and family studies, etc who would like to receive a master’s degree (MS) in Special Education in addition to a VCS 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. Please refer to the Behavior Analyst Certification Board for additional requirements.


Tuition is set by the PSU Board of Trustees and is published annually on the Tuition and Fees website. Students admitted to the non-degree option living outside of Oregon are assessed residency tuition rates. Non-residents admitted to the degree-option are assessed non-resident tuition rates. Admission to this program is competitive and candidates must meet all admissions requirements including documented experience working with individuals with disabilities.

    Admissions: non-degree

    First, check the application deadline for your program. Use the ABA application portal to access Tk20, then follow the steps to create a free application account. Once your account is set up, log in with the username and password for that account (NOTE: this is separate from all other Tk20 accounts, and only used for admission applications). Be sure to keep a record of the username and password in case you need to log in multiple times.

    After you log in, click the “Create a New Application” button, then select and complete the SPED BCBA Application.

    Admissions: MA/MS

    First, check the application deadline for your program. To apply, create an account or sign into the Portland State University Admissions Application system. When prompted for the program, select "College of Education" as the College, and then "Program Name" as your program of study.

    Application checklist

    • BA/BS with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or higher
    • Experience with persons with disabilities
    • Program-specific application
    • Unofficial transcripts are accepted by the College of Education for the program application. You must submit transcripts for all institutions previously attended, regardless of whether you earned a degree or not. If admitted, you must send official transcripts to the Graduate School in order to register for classes.
      • Acceptable unofficial transcripts are:
        • Web-based transcripts downloaded from an institution: institution and student name must be visible on transcripts
        • Photocopies of official transcripts: these must include the front and back of all pages, including transcript key
      • Previous applicants:
        • If you’ve previously submitted official transcripts to PSU, you are still required to upload unofficial transcripts to complete your application.
    • After you are admitted, you must submit official transcripts to:
      • The Graduate School
        Portland State University
        PO Box 751
        Portland, OR 97207 - 0751
        Electronic official transcripts should be sent to
    • Personal statement (writing prompt provided within application)
    • Résumé
    • Two recommendation forms (forms are provided within application)
    • Faculty interview

    To validate your admission you must take a course during the term in which you have requested to be admitted. Should you not take a course in that term, your application will be cancelled and you will need to reapply.

    Questions about the application process?

    If you have questions about the application process, contact
    Learn about available scholarships and financial aid.