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Frequently Asked Questions (4th to 5th Ed.)

New standards increase coursework requirements and add specifications for course structure. Please refer to the BACB January 2017 newsletter, and the guidance documents the BACB® has provided about applying for certification during the transition:


To qualify for the BCaBA or BCBA examination after January 1, 2022, applicants to the BACB must meet 5th Edition standards. Full coursework requirements and a description of the differences between 4th and 5th Edition standards can be found here:

Please also be aware that supervised experience will need to meet the new supervised fieldwork requirements. Students should confer with their BCBA supervisors, and refer to the BCBA or BCaBA 2022 eligibility requirements.

Your previous coursework will apply to the 5th Edition standards, but because of increases in course-hours and restructuring of coursework requirements there is not an exact one-to-one correspondence between most courses. Rather, it is a question of looking at the Task List and other requirements to determine what additional coursework is needed. Therefore, we are happy to provide individual advising.

  • To request advising, gather this required information:
    • The courses you successfully completed (B or better)
    • The level of certification you are seeking (BCBA or BCaBA)
    • The type of degree you currently hold (i.e., bachelor’s or master’s)
  • Then, send this information to us in a single email to

Although some hours from all 4th Edition courses will apply toward meeting 5th edition standards, not all hours completed will apply. This is because in the 5th Edition Task List standards there are several significant changes from the 4th Edition standards.

For example, all hours in Measurement and Experimental Design for 5th Edition must be from one stand-alone course. That means students who took a 4th Edition course that provided measurement hours alongside material from another area of the Task List will not be able to use these hours toward meeting 5th Edition standards. Because the measurement hours obtained from 4th Edition courses BEHP5012 or BEHP5018 were combined with other content areas, students who took these courses will need 45 hours of Measurement and Experimental design from a stand-alone course.  BEH5043 can meet this requirement.

Other requirements have also been restructured, which may necessitate taking additional course hours.

Some 4th Edition courses can indeed be used toward the M.A. Behavior Analysis Practice. However, because we must be sure that you not only meet 5th Edition BACB standards but also university degree requirements for the M.A., we will need to look at your situation individually - just email us at

The BACB determines what coursework meets certification requirements. When you complete one of the 4th or 5th Edition course sequences in full (take all the courses from a single sequence), you complete a single Verified Course Sequence (VCS). A VCS is a sequence that is already verified as meeting the coursework requirements for certification. When applying to the BACB, students who meet requirements with a single VCS select their course sequence number on the application.

If you combine course sequences by using courses from more than one VCS to meet requirements, it is not considered a single VCS and you will list courses individually when you apply for certification. The BACB may also ask for additional documentation for courses when they are not from a VCS.

While we are happy to advise based on our experience, to have the BACB evaluate your coursework you can request a formal coursework evaluation directly from them. Although there is a fee involved, this fee is later applied to your exam application. This is the only way to have their official determination, in advance, of what they will accept and what you still need. View more information about the formal coursework evaluation.

For the Verified Course Sequence (VCS), Florida Tech does not “accept” courses – it is the BACB that determines whether courses satisfy the current course requirements. We can advise which courses are likely to be needed, based on our understanding of the requirements, but only the BACB can approve an application for certification.

If your goal is to meet BACB coursework standards and you have courses from another institution, you will be combining course sequences. That is, it is not a matter of Florida Tech accepting your courses or allowing you to transfer courses in, but rather looking at how the courses you have will combine with courses from our VCS to meet BACB coursework standards. We can advise you on what courses to take based on either a VCS grid from another school or a coursework evaluation from the BACB. Ultimately, only the BACB can approve coursework combinations, but we will advise students according to our experience with BACB standards.

Your previous coursework may apply to the 5th Edition standards, but because of the differences in the structure of the task list and the organization of our course sequence you may end up duplicating some content.

We’ll be happy to advise you based on our experience. Please gather the following information:

  • The program and school you attended
  • The coursework content grid for that program (available on the ABAI website)
  • The courses you successfully completed (grade of B or better; course numbers must match the grid you provide)
  • The level of certification you are seeking (BCBA or BCaBA)
  • The type of degree you currently hold (i.e., bachelor’s or master’s)

Send this information to us in a single email to

  • Please do not send course syllabi. Our advising can only be based on the information found on the VCS content grid.
  • If your courses were not from a VCS or if a content grid is unavailable for other reasons, you must request a BACB coursework evaluation.



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