Course Sequence


BehaviorAnalysis@Simmons offers an extensive exploration of the field of applied behavior analysis. Our rigorous, practice-based curriculum focuses on contemporary research and the full range of applications of behavior analytic principles, across various domains, populations, and clinical practice.

The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the following courses toward the coursework requirements for eligibility to take the Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® examination. Applicants will need to meet additional eligibility requirements and demonstrate they reside in an authorized country before they can be deemed eligible to take the examination. 

Course Sequence 

Term 4

Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis

Practicum I

Term 5

Verbal Behavior

Practicum II

Course Descriptions

Introduction to Applied Behavior Analysis

BEHVO 424 | 4 credits

This course is an introductory course in Behavior Analysis. The focus of this class will be the basic behavioral principles (e.g., reinforcement, stimulus control, punishment and extinction). The format will include a combination of lectures, group discussions, and small group activities. Readings from the text (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2020) will serve as the basis for class discussions. In addition, supplemental readings that provide applied or experimental examples of the topics provided will be assigned.

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Introduction to Single Subject Research Designs

BEHVO 415 | 4 credits

This course is designed to introduce the fundamentals of behavior-analytic research, methods for obtaining data based on operationally defined target behaviors. At the culmination of this course students should be able to independently create all single-subject research designs, discuss benefits and limitations to each design, and identify how and where experimental control is demonstrated. Students will learn to select an appropriate research design, interpret data, and make data-based decisions.

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Behavioral Assessment

BEHVO 426 | 4 credits

Assessment is the cornerstone of behavior analysis. Whether working with people or animals, individually or in groups, in whatever problems behavior analysts address, the foundation is rigorous assessment. This course introduces the methods of behavioral assessment, focusing on the identification of  hypotheses and hypothesis testing for the purpose of identifying functional relations. The course also teaches students to plan effective clinical and educational interventions based on the results of a multidimensional behavioral assessment. A multidimensional behavioral assessment approach using a continuum of assessment methods is presented.

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Methodologies for Behavior Change I

BEHVO 427 | 4 credits

This course explores strategies to establish, strengthen, and weaken target behaviors using research-based methodologies. Four categories of methods for changing behavior will be reviewed over the course of the semester: (1) stimulus control, (2) antecedent interventions, (3) differential reinforcement procedures, and (4) punishment procedures.

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Ethics and Legal Issues

BEHVO 430 | 4 credits

This course was designed to provide students with an overview of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board ethics code. Ethical issues outlined in the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB®) Task List will be reviewed in the context of this class (http:/  Additionally, the student will become familiar with federal and state legal regulations and policies specific to behavior management and restraint, as well as discuss larger ethical issues such as the design of cultures, guardianship, and discrimination.

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Methodologies for Behavior Change II

BEHVO 434 | 4 credits

This course reviews a methodological, evidence-based approach to educational design, as well as several evidence-based instructional practices. The pedagogical strategies taught throughout the course are utilized in this class, including Interteaching, active responding, programmed instruction, mastery-based learning, Personalized Systems of Instruction (PSI), Precision Teaching, and Direct Instruction.

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Advanced Topics in Behavior Analysis

BEHVO 445 | 4 credits

This course provides an overview of laboratory research in the experimental analysis of behavior. Students will review strategies and tactics of experimental control, along with theoretical underpinnings and implications of the reviewed research. Translation of the reviewed work into applied application will be emphasized.

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Verbal Behavior

BEHVO 465 | 4 credits

Skinner considered his 1957 book, Verbal Behavior, to be his most important work. Skinner rejected cognitive explanations of language as the transmission of thoughts and ideas that start in our minds. Instead, he analyzed verbal behavior as behavior controlled by basic behavioral processes, including positive reinforcement and stimulus control. In this course, students will read and analyze the concepts in Verbal Behavior, such as the mand, tact, intraverbal, and autoclitic. The distinction between radical and methodological behaviorism is discussed, including a discussion of how behavior analysts treat private events and covert verbal behavior. Students read research on applications of verbal behavior to improve the communication of individuals with language delays. There is also an emphasis on practical applications of the analysis of verbal behavior. Products of this course include a teaching program based on verbal behavior and a paper extending ideas or research avenues in verbal behavior.

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Autism Spectrum Disorders

BEHVO 466 | 3 credits

This course provides an overview of the history, characteristics, and treatments associated with autism spectrum disorders. Specifically, the student will review research, systems, and interventions documenting the evidence-based, best-practice approach of applied behavior analysis. Additionally, the student will learn how to collect and evaluate assessment data before the onset of intervention in order to develop relevant and efficacious treatments. Finally, the student will demonstrate the abilities to empirically and objectively evaluate behavior analytic treatment via single-subject research designs and then communicate these results, in writing and orally, to both scientific and lay audiences.This course is not required and is offered at an additional cost. Students elect to take this course to enhance their knowledge of ASD and/or to meet the licensing requirements of some states.

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