Behavior Analysis Major — Undergraduate Degree Program | Briar Cliff University

Behavior Analysis Program

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Degree Type: Bachelor of Arts
Program(s) Offered: Major only

Are you a patient person, who loves working with children and adults — particularly those with special needs? If so, majoring in behavior analysis might be the right choice for you!

What can I do with a behavior analysis degree?

Behavior analysis is a rapidly growing field that teaches ways to help those with autism, social disabilities, drug and alcohol addiction, or other challenging behaviors learn to adjust to everyday life. If you become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), you’ll be able to work with special needs individuals in settings across the country including:

  • Elementary & Middle Schools
  • High Schools
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Community & Development Centers
  • Child Welfare Organizations
  • Brain Injury & Rehabilitiation Clinics
  • Addiction Recovery Specialists
  • Juvenile Correction Facilities

Become a certified BCaBA.

Briar Cliff University’s Bachelor’s degree in Behavior Analysis is an ABAI Verified Course Sequence (#51045, 5th edition). This means that our program is designed to provide students with the required coursework and practicum experience to qualify for credentialing at the Assistant Behavior Analysis (BCaBA) level. In order obtain practicum experience, students must first complete a mandatory supervision contract with the Director of the Behavior Analysis program. 

Behavior Analyst Certification Board:

Pre-Experience Checklist:

Licensure (Iowa, Licensed Assistant Behavior Analyst)

In the state of Iowa, certification as a BCaBA meets the state licensure requirements to obtain an Assistant Behavior Analyst License. Licensure requirements vary state-by-state; students wishing to practice behavior analysis outside of the state of Iowa should research the state-specific licensure requirements.

Iowa Department of Public Health, Board of Behavioral Science:

Click here for more information on professional licensure. 

Get hands-on experience.

We partner with several community schools and organizations like the Pier Center for Autism to give you hands-on practicum experience — the chance to help real people, with real disabilities. Working side-by-side with caring professors and professionals in the field, you’ll help create plans to meet the special needs of individual children and adults.




MATH 200 - Elementary Statistics

An introduction to the theory and applications of statistics intended for students in business, nursing and the social sciences, but also recommended for students in the liberal arts. Topics include measures of central tendency and variability, probability distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, linear regression, correlation, analysis of variance and nonparametric statistics. This course is not open to those in a mathematics major. Prerequisite: MATH 10 or recommendation of the department chairperson based upon mathematics assessment Read more »

PSYC 111 - Introduction to Behavior Sciences

This courseis an introduction to the principles of learning and behavior that are the natural science of behavior analysis. Read more »

PSYC 11IS - Senior Seminar (Independent Study)

A capstone research experience where the student will select a research idea, conduct a literature review on the topic, propose a study, conduct the study, and then present data in both oral and written form. Read more »

PSYC 211 - Professional Development for Psychology Majors

The purpose of this course is to prepare students for their professional lives by improving their writing (e.g., grammar, style, APA format, etc.), interviewing, and analytical skills (e.g., understanding research articles). Read more »

PSYC 295 - Experimental Psychology

Emphasizes the study of experimental methodology, research design, and analysis of research data using SPSS. The laboratory sessions provide practical experience in conducting research and learning to communicate research results. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 and MATH 200. (Instructor permission required) Read more »

PSYC 311 - Ethics in Behavior Analysis

In this course students will learn the BACB guidelines for responsible conduct in behavior analysis and disciplinary and ethical standards and procedures. Read more »

PSYC 333 - Assessment in Behavior Analysis

In this course students learn how to conduct behavior analytic assessments (e.g., preference assessment, reinforcer assessments, functional behavior assessments). Read more »

PSYC 352 - Psychopharmacology

An introduction to psychoactive therapeutic drugs and drugs of abuse. The biochemical, physiological, and behavioral effects of each will be considered. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 Read more »

PSYC 355 - Adulthood and Aging

This course provides a foundation for understanding psychological development of older people with focus on geriatric assessment and psychological disorders in the aging population. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 Read more »

PSYC 365 - Human Motivation and Emotion

This course will examine the human principles of motivation and emotion. Special emphasis is given to the influence motivation and emotion principles have on the human learning process. Prerequisite: PSYC 110 Read more »

PSYC 400 - Principles of Learning

The study of the principles of conditioning, learning, and memory in animals and humans. Special emphasis on theoretical foundations and practical applications. Traditional and current theoretical perspectives are evaluated in the light of empirical research evidence. Read more »

PSYC 452 - Introduction to Behavioral Pharmacology

An introduction to the behavioral analysis of drug effects. This course will explore behavior analytic methodology and techniques. Read more »

PSYC 455 - Behavior Interventions

This course covers fundamental elements of behavior change and specific behavior-change procedures. Read more »

PSYC 465 - Senior Seminar

A capstone research experience where the student will select a research idea, conduct a literature review on the topic, propose a study, conduct the study, and then present data in both oral and written form. Prerequisite: PSYC 110, PSYC 295 Read more »

PSYC 493 - Intensive Practicum

This practicum will involve 10-15 hours per week of work in a supervised clinical practice, educational, or applied research setting in which procedures based on behavior-analytic principles are implemented. Read more »

Additional Program Requirements

 Behavior analysis majors are required to take 12 total credit hours of internships (PSYC 390/490).

 For additional general education requirements and curriculum information, download the latest University academic catalog.

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