Course Description

This course focuses on the philosophical underpinnings, and key concepts & principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA).  Specifically, this course focuses on the definition, characteristics, principles, processes, and concepts of and ethical issues pertaining to applied behavior analysis and their application to clinical practice and research in the area of severe developmental disabilities. Additional topics covered in this course include behavior and response classes, advanced issues related to reinforcement and punishment, stimulus control, establishing operations, functional relations, generalization, teaching contingency-shaped behavior, antecedent- and consequence-based intervention procedures.

Learner Outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the goals of behavior analysis as a science (i.e., description, prediction, control)
  • Explain the philosophical assumptions underlying the science of behavior analysis (e.g., selectionism, determinism, empiricism, parsimony, pragmatism).
  • Understand the history of ABA
  • Describe and define the dimensions of applied behavior analysis
  • Describe and explain behavior from the perspective of radical behaviorism
  • Distinguish among behaviorism, the experimental analysis of behavior, applied behavior analysis, and professional practice guided by the science of behavior analysis.
  • Define and provide examples of behavior, response, and response class.
  • Define and provide examples of stimulus and stimulus class.
  • Define and provide examples of the respondent and operant conditioning.
  • Define and provide examples of positive and negative reinforcement contingencies
  • Define and provide examples of positive and negative punishment contingencies.
  • Define and provide examples of schedules of reinforcement.
  • Define and provide examples of automatic and socially mediated contingencies.
Define and provide examples of unconditioned, conditioned, and generalized reinforcers and punishers.


Important Note: Completion of the UCSB PaCE ABA program does not result in BCBA or QBA certification. Individuals seeking certification must take and pass an examination with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) or Qualified Applied Behavior Analysis Credentialing Board (QABA). While courses in this certificate program may count toward the educational requirements for becoming eligible to take the examination, completion of this certificate program will not, in itself, result in BCBA or QBA certification. 

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Classes are offered according to the schedule on the respective Certificate or Program Page. Please click on the Request Information below to be promptly notified when enrollment opens.