BCBA Exam Pass Rate by School

Written by Jack Levinson

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If you are an aspiring Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist who has completed your schooling, the last step of receiving your ABA certification is taking the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) exam. The BCBA exam is a pivotal assessment within the field of ABA therapy. It serves as a benchmark for individuals seeking certification as behavior analysts, reflecting their competence and proficiency in applying ABA principles effectively and ethically.

The BCBA exam evaluates candidates on their grasp of ABA concepts, principles, and techniques. This comprehensive assessment covers a diverse array of topics, including behavior assessment, intervention strategies, data analysis, ethical considerations, and professional conduct. To be eligible for the exam, candidates typically need to meet specific educational requirements, which usually include having completed a graduate-level ABA program that is accredited by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). Additionally, candidates must have completed a specified number of supervised experience hours under the supervision of a qualified BCBA.

What is the BCBA exam?

The BCBA exam itself is a rigorous test designed to measure candidates’ knowledge, understanding, and application of ABA theories and practices. It can be seen as a culmination of your graduate school experience, demonstrating that you have the expertise to begin your practice as a full-fledged therapist. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions that assess both conceptual understanding and practical application. These questions draw upon a wide range of competencies, including the following:

  • Understanding behavioral assessments
  • Designing and implementing effective behavior intervention plans
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Ethical considerations
  • Professional conduct

By passing the BCBA exam, ABA therapists demonstrate their competence and readiness to provide high-quality behavior analysis services to individuals in need. This certification not only validates the skills of ABA therapists but also ensures a standard of care that promotes positive outcomes and enhances the quality of life for those receiving ABA interventions.

Indeed, holding BCBA certification is considered an important part of career advancement for practitioners. ABA therapists who pass the exam are recognized as authorities in their field, positioning themselves for increased career opportunities, higher salaries, and the ability to lead and mentor others within the ABA community. While there may be some professional opportunities in the field of ABA for those who do not whole BCBA certification, passing the test will allow you to level up significantly, so it should not be considered optional in your career trajectory.

Pass Rates by School: The Numbers

Below is the reported data showing the overall pass rates on BCBA examinations for students of the top graduate-level ABA programs throughout the United States. This is useful for prospective ABA therapists who are deciding which program will best serve their professional goals.

This information is collected from the BACB’s report BCBA Examination Pass Rates for Verified Course Sequences (2021), accessed in August 2023.


ABA Centre ROSTOK: 36.36%


ABA España: 37.47%


ABA CARDP: 71.43%


Antioch University: 90%


Arcadia University: 37.04%


Arizona State University: 45.68%


Assumption University: 85.71%


Auburn University: 100%


Aurora University: 56.52%


Baekseok University: 23.81%


Ball State University: 63.23%


Bangor University: 81.82%


Bay Path University: 56.52%


Baylor University: 71.43%


Beijing Normal University: 100%


Brock University: 100%


Caldwell University: 81.75%


Cal State Fresno: 100%


Cal State Los Angeles: 58.82%


Cal State Northridge: 100%


Cal State San Marcos: 25%


Cal State Stanislaus: 50%


California University Pennsylvania: 50%


Cambridge College: 73.15%


Capella University: 53.4%


Clemson University: 66.67%


Columbia University Teachers College: 94.12%


Daemen University: 75%


Drake University: 71.43%


Drexel University: 60%


Eastern University: 64.5%


Endicott College: 100%


Fitchburg State University: 42.86%


Florida Institute of Technology: 100%


Florida State University: 100%


Fresno Pacific University: 44.44%


George Mason University: 51.85%


Georgia State University: 71.43%


Hofstra University: 66.67%


Hunter College: 66.67%


Johns Hopkins University: 64.29%


Kent State University: 50%


La Sierra University: 50%


Lehigh University: 66.67%


Lindenwood University: 75%


Lipscomb University: 84.21%


Long Island University: 45.45%


Manhattanville University: 66.67%


Mary Baldwin University: 63.64%


McNeese State University: 75%


Michigan School of Psychology: 100%


Michigan State University: 85.71%


Mississippi State University: 57.14%


Monash University: 93.75%


Monmouth State University: 28.57%


Montana State University Billings: 76.925


Moscow Centre of Pedagogy and Psychology: 50%


National Changhua University of Education: 77.78%


National Changhua University of Education: 66.67%


National University: 44.37%


National University of Ireland Galway: 87.5%


Nicholls State University: 65.22%


Northeastern University: 78.57%


Northern Arizona University: 52.94%


Northern Illinois University: 71.43%


Northern Vermont University – Johnson: 66.67%


Nova Southeastern University: 44.19%


Oakland University: 73.68%


Ohio State University: 85.71%


Oregon Institute of Technology: 100%


Ouachita Baptist University: 50%


Our Sunny World: 50%


Pennsylvania State University Harrisburg: 72.72%


Pepperdine University: 86.36%


Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: 25%


Portland State University: 61.11%


Purdue University: 77.78%


Purdue University Global: 34.07%


Purdue University Global: 63.46%


Pusan National University: 13.04%


Qingdao University: 78.8%


Queens College: 67%


Queens College: 41.67%


Queens College; 25%


Queen’s University Belfast: 76.56%


Queen’s University Belfast: 100%


Regis College: 73.68%


Rider University: 70%


Rollins College: 70%


Russell Sage College: 62.12%


Saint Cloud State University: 91.3%


Saint Cloud State University: 100%


Saint Joseph’s University: 17.24%


Saint Joseph’s University: 28.57%


Saint Joseph’s University: 56.25%


Saint Louis University: 57.14%


Salve Regina University: 66.66%


Sam Houston State University: 66.67%


San Diego State University: 60%


Seton Hall University: 42.86%


Simmons University: 75%


Southeast Missouri State University: 28.57%


Southern Illinois University: 47.06%


Southern Illinois University: 87.5%


St. Joseph’s College: 50%


SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities: 66.67%


Temple University:  90.91%


Texas A&M University: 42.42%


Texas State University; 64%


Texas Tech University: 66.67%


The Chicago School of Professional Psychology: 71.43%


The Pennsylvania State University; 80.95%


Touro College: 42.86%


Trinity Christian College: 63.64


University of Arizona: 58.33%


University of Arkansas: 63.64%


University of British Columbia: 100%


University of California Santa Barbara: 20%


University of Central Missouri: 66.67%


University of Central Oklahoma: 63.64%


University of Cincinnati: 50.6%


University of Cincinnati: 47.06%


University of Colorado Denver: 73.91%


University of Dublin Trinity College: 81.82%


University of Dublin Trinity: 33.33%


University of Georgia: 100%


University of Hawaii Manoa: 80.49%


University of Houston Clear Lake: 100%


University of Houston Victoria: 41.18%


University of Kansas: 90%


University of Kent: 86.36%


University of Kentucky: 100%


University of Louisville: 66.67%


University of Maryland Baltimore County: 85.71%


University of Massachusetts Boston: 50%


University of Massachusetts Dartmouth: 54.55%


University of Massachusetts Global: 62.86%


University of Massachusetts Lowell: 60.34%


University of Memphis: 66.67%


University of Miami: 100%


University of Michigan – Dearborn: 55.56%


University of Missouri Columbia: 75%


University of Missouri St. Louis: 75%


University of Nevada Las Vegas: 66.67%


University of Nevada Reno: 66.67%


University of New Mexico: 70%


University of North Carolina Wilmington: 100%


University of North Dakota 54.54%


University of North Dakota: 57.14%


University of North Texas: 77.77%


University of North Texas: 85.71%


University of Northern Colorado: 80%


University of Northern Colorado: 75%


University of Oklahoma: 85.71%


University of Pittsburgh: 78.26%


University of Saint Joseph: 63.64%


University of South Carolina: 42.86%


University of South Florida: 68.29%


University of South Wales: 86.96%


University of Southern California: 83.33%


University of Southern Maine: 100%


University of Texas Austin: 75%


University of Texas Rio Grande Valley: 16.67%


University of Texas San Antonio: 56.25%


University of Texas San Antonio: 62.5%


University of Ulster Coleraine: 62.5%


University of Utah: 63.64%


University of Virginia: 82.35%


University of Washington: 53.39%


University of West Florida: 52.56%


Utah Valley University: 81.82%


Vanderbilt University: 85.71%


Wayne State University: 71.43%


Wayne State University: 50%


West Virginia University: 8.33%


Western Connecticut State University: 88.24%


Western Michigan University: 83.33%


Western Michigan University: 71.43%


Western New England University: 93.1%


Western New England University: 100%


Western University: 83.61%


Western University: 80%


Westfield State University: 76.92%


Whitworth University: 80%


Yonsei University: 36.63%



Do I need to graduate from an ABA degree program in order to take the BCBA?

Yes. The BACB, which oversees the BCBA credential, requires candidates to have master’s degrees in order to take the exam. There are also typically fieldwork hours required of all test takers. It’s important to note that the requirements for BCBA certification can vary by jurisdiction and over time, as the field and certification standards evolve. It’s therefore recommended to refer to the official BACB website or contact the BACB directly to get the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the prerequisites for BCBA certification.

Do I need to pass the BCBA exam in order to become an ABA therapist?

Typically, yes, you do. However, it’s important to note that the exact requirements can vary based on your location and the specific organization you’re aiming to work with. Some places might allow you to work as an ABA therapist without being a BCBA, but your role and responsibilities may be more limited compared to a BCBA-certified therapist. Additionally, becoming a BCBA involves completing a master’s degree program in behavior analysis or a related field, gaining supervised experience, and then successfully passing the BCBA exam.

Where do people learn how to pass the BCBA exam?

People often learn how to pass the BCBA exam through a combination of formal education, specialized exam preparation resources, and hands-on experience. A significant portion of the BCBA exam content is covered in formal coursework, including behavior assessment, intervention strategies, ethical considerations, and research methodologies. This means that high quality graduate programs will serve you well when you take the next steps to pursuing certification. There also are numerous resources available specifically designed to help candidates prepare for the BCBA exam, which include practice questions. Finally, joining or forming study groups with fellow BCBA candidates can also be beneficial, and will connect you with peers who are also entering the field of ABA.