Texas Tech University

The Burkhart Center Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Training Program

Degree Plans

Master of Education - Special Education - ABA Concentration

Graduate Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis

PhD in Special Education

FAQs Regarding Applied Behavior Analysis Coursework

Who should apply for this program?

Individuals interested in our program through the Burkhart Center include those who are already teachers, want to become teachers and wish to become more proficient in evidence-based teaching strategies used when working with students with disabilities; those who are private ABA therapists or others in the field of autism seeking teacher certification or who wish to earn an advanced degree in their field; and individuals who wish to become board certified behavior analysts. While our program will prepare you to work successfully with students and clients with a variety of disabilities, our overarching focus is on students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Are the Courses through the Burkhart Center the same courses offered through the College of Education?

No. While the courses both meet requirements for a Masters Degree in Special Education through the College of Education, there are some differences in the two programs.

Both sets of courses are Verified Course Sequences by the Association for Behavior Analysis International. The Burkhart Center's VCS is #4460. The College of Education's VCS is #4111. The Burkhart Center's courses are taught by faculty in the Burkhart Center and the COE courses are taught by separate faculty.

Interchanging courses from the two separate programs will allow for completion of a degree, but there is the possibility that the courses would not be interchangeable when applying to sit for board certification with the BACB. This would mean you could potentially have to retake classes if you take them from two separate VCSs. Taking courses under one VCS is highly encouraged for this reason.

What's the main difference in the two programs?

The Burkhart Center's VCS (#4460) has six graduate courses that can be taken as part of a Masters Degree in Special Education with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis.

The courses can also be taken as part of an ABA certificate - meaning, if you already have a masters degree and your goal is to complete coursework in order to sit for board examination, you can take the courses through the Burkhart Center's VCS.

Along with the required coursework, the Burkhart Center also offers intensive practicum. The intensive practicum fulfills the supervision requirement in order to be eligible to sit for board examination. A primary difference in our program is that the intensive practicum experience with the Burkhart Center VCS is integrated with and occurs concurrently with the coursework. As you complete the coursework, you will be assigned to complete tasks in your practicum setting that parallel topics and tasks you are learning about in class. So, if your class is talking about setting up visual schedules, you will work in your internship to implement visual schedules in your practicum setting during the same semester. Thus, students are expected to complete their practicum at the same time they take the classes.

For more information on the College of Education's VCS (#4111), visit the College of Education's M.Ed. in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) page.

Why is your degree plan considered a "Hybrid Program?"

The Burkhart Center's degree plan and coursework is considered hybrid for two reasons. ABA III: Functional Behavior Assessment is a course offered only in the summer. During this course, students travel to Texas Tech University for an intensive 3-day training on conducting an FBA as part of the course.

Also, as part of the intensive practicum, students receive a face-to-face visit with a practicum supervisor during at least two of their practicum semesters.

Can I start the course sequence in the spring?

No. In order to provide the highest quality program, with a focus on the graduate student having a meaningful learning experience, the Burkhart Center VCS is a cohort style program with coursework starting in the Fall Semester of each year.

Students begin their coursework in the fall and work with the same cohort of students throughout each of the courses over a two-year time period. Courses are taken in a specific order so that students are able to maximize their learning experience and so that intensive practicum activities can better be aligned across the cohort. Courses through the Burkhart Center VCS are offered in the following order:

EDSP 5303: ABA I Fall - first year
EDSP 5345: ABA II Spring - first year
EDSP 5346: ABA III Summer Semester - first year
EDSP 5347: ABA IV Fall - second year
EDSP 5348: ABA V Spring - second year
EDSP 5349: ABA VI Spring - second year
EDSP 5093: Intensive Practicum Spring - first year
Fall - second year
Spring - second year

ABA Certificate vs. Masters?

The Burkhart Center currently offers the ABA coursework in two ways. Students who are interested in pursuing board certification in ABA must have a masters degree and complete required coursework.


Prospective students may complete a master's degree in special education with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis through the Burkhart Center. All of the coursework that is part of the Verified Course Sequence is offered as a part of this degree.


In order to take courses only for the ABA Certificate, students must already have a master's degree in behavior analysis, education, or psychology. (This changes to 'any field of study' in the year 2022).

I've been taking courses with the College of Education program. Can I take ABA V with the Burkhart Center this semester since they are not offering it in the College?

The coursework within each ABA certificate program are two separate Verified Course Sequences approved by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Our program here at the Burkhart Center is the Verified Course Sequence #4460. There is a separate course sequence through the College of Education. Students are encouraged to take all courses towards the ABA certificate under one course sequence in order to sit for board certification. There is no guarantee your coursework will allow you to sit for the exam if courses are taken from different Verified Course Sequences without taking additional courses.

More Information

Verified Course Sequences through the Association for Behavior Analysis

Requirements for board certification in ABA

Master's Degree in Special Education through the Burkhart Center


If you'd like more information on how to apply to our program, please email melanie.teague@ttu.edu.