Image of Dr. Hixson with child at table.

The psychology department offers undergraduate and graduate courses and basic and applied research opportunities in behavior analysis. Students may also get applied experiences in behavior analysis at the Central Autism Treatment center. Starting January 2021, the courses listed on the BCaBA and BCBA web pages will meet the educational requirements for the 5th edition BCBA/BCaBA Task List.

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the application and scientific study of socially important behavior. Applied behavior analysis has been applied to many areas, including substance abuse, clinical behavior analysis, neurodevelopmental disorders, education, behavioral medicine, and job safety and performance. The largest population applied behavior analysts work with is people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ABA is effective in increasing language, social skills, and other important functional skills to improve the lives of people with ASD.

In Michigan and across the country, there are many opportunities in ABA for people who are credentialed as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA). Central Michigan University provides the necessary undergraduate courses to become an RBT or BCaBA and the required graduate coursework to become a BCBA. The Association for Behavior Analysis International has verified the course sequences below to be eligible to take the Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and the Board Certified Behavior Analyst examinations.

Contact Us

Hixson081.jpgMichael Hixson, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Verified Course Sequence Coordinator

Dr. Hixson's primary research has been in the areas of curriculum-based measurement and academic interventions. He is interested in the study of learning and behavior problems from a behavior analytic perspective. A particular area of interest is in how previous learning affects later learning.


Deborah Grossett, Ph.D., LP, BCBA-D, LBA
Clinic Director

Dr. Grossett has published in the areas of behavior analysis, behavioral pharmacology, organizational behavior management, developmental disabilities, single-subject research design, sleep disorders, and prevention of problem behaviors. She has provided several presentations on a variety of topics including ethics, behavior therapy, aging, and autism.

reilly.jpgMark Reilly, Ph.D.

Dr. Reilly's research is a merging of the experimental analysis of behavior with mathematical modeling to better understand basic behavioral processes. Current research focuses on three areas: sensitivity to reinforcer delay as a measure of impulsivity, the motivational properties of response effort or work, and the environmental determinants of drug action.

For additional information on becoming a BCBA or BCaBA, visit the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) at

Central Michigan University’s BCBA and BCaBA Course Sequence is funded in part by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services through the Michigan Legislature. ​​