UMass Boston

Applying to the Program

We appreciate your interest in the Applied Behavior Analysis for Special Populations Graduate Certificate Program, offered at UMass Boston by the Center for Social Development and Education and the College of Education and Human Development.

The information below is also available in the ABA Information Packet.

Feel free to contact us if we can answer any of your questions or provide additional information.

Jill Tilton

Andre Maharaj

Our courses begin only each September and run sequentially through the end of July each year. The deadline for applying to the ABA Graduate Certificate Program for Fall 2023 is July 1. However, if you submit your application after July 1 and submit all of your supporting documents before August 31, you may begin taking courses in the fall as a non-degree student with permission of the Graduate Program Director. Your official admission to the program as a matriculating student will then be considered for the following spring. If accepted, your three fall courses will be "transferred" into the program if you have earned at least a B in each course.

When applying for the ABA graduate certificate program, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • completion of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in education, psychology, or a related field approved by the Program Director, Andre Maharaj ( If you have completed a degree in an area that is not listed above, you may still be accepted into the UMass Boston ABA Graduate Certificate Program if you have experience in the field.
  • Undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or approval of Program Director.
  • Employed or volunteering currently at a site that enables you to dedicate at least 10 hours per week in applying behavior analytic skills. Note: let us know if you have not located an appropriate site and would like suggestions. Contact the Program Director,

If you meet these prerequisites, we welcome you to apply to the program. Students with only a bachelor’s degree may be admitted to the ABA Graduate Certificate Program and continue on to complete a master’s degree (containing the certificate courses plus advanced ABA-related courses) to meet the graduate degree requirement to take the BCBA exam.

Application Process for the ABA Graduate Certificate Program

(If you are currently a UMass Boston graduate student or have recently graduated from a UMass Boston graduate program, you may follow a different, and simpler, application process than the one directly below. Scroll to the bottom of the page for details.)

To apply, complete the application to the program through the University’s Graduate Admissions Office.
If you apply before July 1st, you are applying for admission to Term: Fall 2023; College of Education and Human Development; Intended Major: Applied Behavior Analysis (Graduate Certificate).

Students begin the series of courses only each fall. Note: If you learn about our program after the July 1st deadline and are interested in applying, please contact Andre Maharaj at or Jill Tilton at immediately. With permission, you could then apply for official admission as a matriculating student for Spring 2024. You may begin taking courses with us as a non-matriculating student in Fall 2023 if you apply to the program for Spring ’24 by September 1, 2023 and have permission from the Program Director. Non-matriculating students are not eligible for the same financial aid options and must earn at least a B in their fall courses to roll them into their official program when they matriculate in Spring.

Required materials for a complete application to the ABA Graduate Certificate Program:
1) Application and Fee
2) Statement of Purpose (a two-part essay - give your reasons for wishing to attend graduate school and indicate your specific interests, and the kind of work you would like to do, in your intended field.
3) Resume
4) 2 Letters of Recommendation from people familiar with your work and your potential as a graduate student.
5) Transcripts - Provide official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended where you earned more than 6 credits.

No tests are required (except for international or permanent resident immigrant applicants who may be required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the International Language Testing System exam (IELTS), the Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic), or the DuoLingo English Test.

International Applicants: please refer to the International Graduate Applicants page for any additional requirements for your application. The ABA Graduate Certificate Program may be considered a full-time program for visa purposes under certain conditions.

*Please note: it is your responsibility to track the arrival of your transcripts and all application materials to Graduate Admissions. Once your application is received, you will receive an email from Graduate Admissions with an identification number and pin that you can use to sign in at Check Status | Graduate Students - Admissions ( and track the receipt of these items.

You may ignore any notice that you need to submit GRE test scores. The GRE is not required for our program.

In addition: Submit to us (the ABA program), not Grad Admissions, the
           _____ Applicant checklist (page 19 of the ABA Information Packet)
           _____ AIS form about your supervision, found in the Appendix of the ABA Information Packet
           _____ Current job description

Please note: If you will be starting a new job before the courses start and do not know who will be your BCBA supervisor in the fall, please send in the AIS form with the information you do have, and a note explaining your situation and when you might have the rest of the information.

If you will be in a setting/practicum site that does not enable you to apply behavior analytic skills or can only do so on a limited basis (less than 10 hours per week), you will not be accepted into the program.

Email these forms as an attachment to

Admissions decisions are made on a rolling basis. When approved, you will receive an official email from the UMass Boston Graduate Admissions Office. You may accept your seat in the program and pay the fee (currently $250) electronically at Check Status | Graduate Students - Admissions ( (the same log-in where you were able to check the status of your application). Do NOT pay this deposit to the Bursar’s Office.

In July or August, we will email to you a logistics packet that outlines instructions for registering and other particulars such as textbooks to purchase. Registering for all Fall courses begins in early August and must be completed by September 1.

All students are required to submit an immunization form to the Health Office and complete health trainings; see the list at University Health Services Welcomes New Students - University of Massachusetts Boston ( You must complete these forms and trainings, or a hold will be placed on your account and you won’t be able to register for classes.

All matriculated graduate students registered for 7 or more credits must have health insurance. If you are a matriculated student in fall, you must either purchase the University’s health insurance or fill out the online waiver form showing that you already have comparable coverage. Go to University Health Services Welcomes New Students - University of Massachusetts Boston ( for more information.

Current or former UMass Boston graduate students:

If you have already been accepted into the MEd in LTET or any other master’s degree program at UMass Boston, or have completed a graduate program at UMB within the past year, and wish to apply to the ABA Graduate Certificate Program, please send the Additional Program Form to the Program Director ( Also email the Director 1) a few paragraphs regarding why you are interested in adding the ABA Graduate Certificate, 2) the AIS form in the Appendix of the ABA Information Packet about your current work situation and arrangements for supervision, and 3) a current job description.