Undergraduate Track in Applied Behavior Analysis


All sections for Fall 2014 PSYC 355 are full. Please check back at this website approximately halfway through the semester for Spring 2015 enrollment GIM meetings. All students interested in Spring 2015 enrollment must attend a GIM during Fall 2014.


The ABA Track at Binghamton University is the first undergraduate program in the nation to receive course sequence approval by the international Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

The ABA Track courses fulfill BACB Course Content Requirements based on the 3rd and 4th edition task list specifications for the BCaBA exam. However, students must complete additional Supervised Independent Fieldwork post-graduation in order to be eligible to sit for the exam.

Download the Psychology Major: Track in Applied Behavior Analysis BACB Course Content Verification Form-4th Edition Task List, BCaBA Level

PSYC 355 L&C: Laboratory in Child Behavior (This course meets University GenEd Composition (C) AND Laboratory (L) requirements and is an approved departmental laboratory course).

  • This is a laboratory/practicum course for students who wish to learn about objective, empirically based concepts and procedures for the assessment, intervention and evaluation of human behavior using Applied Behavior Analysis methodology. Students are held to the highest standards of conduct as the setting for the course is a school program for children with special needs.
  • Prerequisite course requirements for PSYC 355 vary depending on whether a student is taking the course to fulfill a Gen Ed requirement, to fulfill requirements for the Psychology major, or as part of the ABA Track in psychology. Prerequisites could include: PSYC 243 and PSYC 344; PSYC 220 is strongly recommended. PSYC 356 is prerequisite OR co-requisite.
  • Any students who are in their sophomore year or higher and who have taken at least one psychology course are encouraged to apply. Interview and permission of the instructor required (conducted in the semester prior to enrollment).

    If interested in enrolling in PSYC 355, there will be a General Interest Meeting offered each semester prior to the desired semester of enrollment at the ICD. In order to enroll in PSYC 355, you must attend this meeting to meet with a course instructor for permission of enrollment. Check back at this site about 1-2 months into each semester for dates and times.


    About the Undergraduate Track in Applied Behavior Analysis

    Applied behavior analysis (ABA) refers to the precise analysis of behavior and learning patterns, as well as the conditions that serve to evoke, establish, and maintain behavior. ABA draws upon the fields or experimental psychology, clinical psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology and neuropsychology.

    • The ABA track is designed to prepare students who have a strong interest in children’s services for graduate school and/or careers in human services, specifically in the fields of:
      • Clinical psychology
      • Special education
      • Speech/language pathology
      • Research
      • Public policy

Applied Behavior Analysis is a specific conceptual and methodological approach for educational and treatment intervention that historically derives primarily from research in psychology on basic learning processes. Applied Behavior Analysis refers to the precise analysis of behavior and learning patterns and the conditions that serve to elicit and maintain these behaviors and patterns. Unfortunately, these principles and the substantial body of knowledge that they are based upon is often mistranslated and simplified such that reference is only made to simple techniques such as motivational reward and other such isolated procedures. This does not at all capture the sophistication, complexity, effectiveness, nor principles of applied behavior analysis.

Applied Behavior Analysis must also be discussed within the context of the particular characteristics of the individual receiving services, as well as family, social and political contexts. The choice of setting, structure and goals is highly dependent upon the diagnostic issues surrounding the individual, whether that be autism, developmental delay, learning disability etc. Strong emphasis is placed upon knowledge of basic and applied research, professional ethics, and practical skills. The philosophy of the Psychology Major Track in Applied Behavior Analysis is that the teaching of Applied Behavior Analysis must be done in a systematic and comprehensive manner that directly addresses appropriate application, taking into consideration issues that are inherent in the delivery of educational and clinical services.

The ABA Track is supported by a generous grant from the Brian and Gale Paul Fund.


Undergraduate Roles at ICD

Trainees- Undergraduates in PSYC 355 and 493 who assist staff with a child or group of children under continual supervision wherein feedback is provided on performance. Feedback is provided in both written and verbal format. Emphasis is on initial skill acquisition of ABA principles and techniques.

Advanced Trainees- Undergraduates chosen from the most exemplary undergraduates in the psychology track in ABA with responsibilities that include assistance to staff members and direct instruction to the children under supervision of staff. Emphasis is on further development of skills under a wider range of contexts.

Peer Supervisors- Undergraduates, who are also advanced trainees at ICD, expected to provide peer supervision, feedback, and ongoing support to both trainees and other advanced trainees.

Research Assistants-Undergraduates expected to assist with various ongoing research projects, including but not limited to research protocol implementation, behavioral observation, and data collection, entry, and analysis.

For a more detailed description of the ICD and available practicum sites, please refer to the pages below:

Undergraduate Course Information

To declare the ABA specialization in addition to the Psychology major, students must be enrolled in or have completed PSYC 355 Lab in Child Behavior. It is important to note, however, that students do not have to declare the ABA specialization to enroll in courses offered at the ICD.

The Psychology major track in the ABA program requires a minimum of 15 courses. These courses must be distributed as follows:

  • 3 - PSYC 111, 243, and 344.
  • 3 - PSYC 356, plus two courses from PSYC 351, 358, 360, 362, and 385.
  • 1 - PSYC 476R, Conceptualization of, and Intervention for, Child Disorders (Note: two four-credit courses from 493, and 494 substitute for the 2nd 4xx seminar requirement as per general Department guidelines for majors. However majors in the ABA Track are strongly advised to take an additional 4xx seminar beyond the minimum requirements).
  • 2 - PSYC 220 and 223.
  • 3 - PSYC 355, 493, 494.
  • 3 - Twelve additional elective credit hours from the Division of Science and Mathematics, 12 of those credits to be taken outside the Psychology Department, and of those, at least eight must be taken from the same department. Courses that do not meet the all-college science requirement (as indicated in the Bulletin at the time the course was taken) cannot be used to fill this requirement.

The following 7 courses form the ABA track core requirements:

  • PSYC 220: DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY
  • PSYC 223: BEHAVIOR DISORDERS
  • PSYC 356: EXPERIMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY (LEARNING)
  • PSYC 355: Laboratory in Child Behavior
  • PSYC 493: Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation II
  • PSYC 494: Assessment, Intervention, and Evaluation III
  • PSYC 476R: Conceptualization of, and Intervention for, Child Disorders

All of these 7 core courses must be passed with a grade of B or higher. Students must earn a C or higher in PSYC 111 and 243 to count for the major and be registered for PSYC 355 in order to declare in the ABA Track.

  • The practicum location is the Institute for Child Development.
  • For further details on major requirements please see below:

    For additional information follow this link to Binghamton University’s Psychology Department website. Information sessions are held at the Institute for Child Development each semester. For more information you can contact the ICD by calling 777-2829 or by e-mail at icdugrad@binghamton.edu.