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What's the best way to become BCBA certified if I want to get a MA/MS in psychology?

I am a student who is currently taking her BA in Psychology. I am still searching for what kind of career I want to have. I am not sure if I want to work in counceling, with children or focus on research. #psychology #career

Thank you comment icon Hi Alisa, My daughter is also doing her BA in Psychology along with a degree in Music Therapy. She's fairly certain that she doesn't want to go the research route, mostly because she feels that means a Ph.D, and she's not ready for that. She's looking at more hands-on work like counseling, so she's looking at auditing a couple of courses next semester. One of the courses she's looking to audit is on industrial psychology. She spoke to a psychologist who's in this field, and one of her professors mentioned that this was a field that was fairly new, and had promise. Additionally, she's looking at auditing some counseling courses. She'll try and find a job in Music Therapy, but will also take the GRE so that she can look at a Masters' or Psy.D. in a more hands-on psychology field. I'm not sure where you are in your Bachelor's journey, but if you have some semesters left, you may want to consider talking with your advisor and peers, and auditing some courses that look interesting to see which field within Psychology you want to specialize in. All the very best in your educational and career journey Thanks, --Deepak Deepak Chadaga

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Hassan’s Answer

https://www.bacb.com/bcba/ has the requirements specifics but you'll also want to confirm the licensing requirements for the state you'll want to practice in. https://www.bacb.com/u-s-licensure-of-behavior-analysts/ has the California requirements which seem to match the National Board.

https://accreditation.abainternational.org/accredited-programs.aspx has the list of accredited Universities and https://www.bacb.com/equivalency-evaluation/ outlines how you maybe able to meet the requirement via degree equivalency evaluation if you get an equivalent degree from a University that's not on the list.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for your answer. I have reviewed these before and it doesn't seem like my state has licensing. I am not sure what this means. I have researched but haven't found the clearest answers. I was thinking about obtaining my degree in ABA though. I originally wanted a degree specifically in psychology, however, due to my location restrictions, it doesn't seem that obtaining the right credentials will be easy. Alisa
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Jerome’s Answer

You'll need a Master's Degree in ABA to sit for the BCBA exam, but licensure isn't required in all 50 states. It won't hurt to get the certification, as you'll then be all set if your state does join the growing number of those who do require it (or if you relocate). This is a specialized field of study with specific requirements for internships, practicum hours, and so forth. Consider starting by obtaining a position as a BT (Behavioral Technician) to decide if you want to pursue the field. It's challenging but very rewarding if you're the right person for the job.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon This was super helpful, thank you! Alisa
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