Option 3 Eligibility Requirements

This option to qualify for BCBA certification requires an acceptable doctoral degree, 10 years post-doctoral experience practicing behavior analysis, acceptable supplemental experience, and passing the BCBA exam.

1. Degree

Applicants must possess a doctoral degree in an acceptable field of study from a qualifying institution. Acceptable fields of study are behavior analysiseducation, or psychology. Degrees may also be accepted from degree programs in which the candidate completed a BACB verified course sequence. Applicants who are unsure of whether the field of study of their degree is acceptable may request a preliminary review.

See the October Newsletter for changes that go into effect on January 1, 2022.

2. Postdoctoral Experience

Acceptable postdoctoral experience is defined as:

  1. 10 years of postdoctoral experience practicing behavior analysis
  2. The duration must be at least 10 years of full-time practice (cumulatively)
  3. All practice must have occurred under a relevant state or national professional credential (e.g., a license)
  4. Different credentials at different times are acceptable

Required documents for this experience are a curriculum vitae, signed attestations from current or former employers, and proof of the applicable professional credential(s).

3. Supplemental Supervised Experience

Applicants must complete at least 500 hours of Supervised Independent Fieldwork that meets current Experience Standards. Please note that these standards stipulate training requirements for trainees and supervisors which must be completed before experience begins. This experience must commence following the 10 years of postdoctoral experience.

See our Audit Process webpage for additional information about what to do in the event of an audit.

4. Exam

Applicants must take and pass the BCBA exam. Authorization to take the exam is only provided to applicants who have submitted a complete application to the BACB, including all documentation necessary to demonstrate that they have met eligibility requirements.
More Information

Apply for the BCBA Exam

Note: See our October 2015 newsletter for an extension of previous Option 3 requirements for individuals in certain non-English speaking countries. Individuals eligible for this extension may contact us for further instructions.