Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

Tiered Model Documents and Resources


Programs seeking recognition from the ABAI are required to complete the Tiered Model of Education application (online self-study report) and participate in the review process. All application materials are available for download. Program coordinators may begin to prepare their application (narratives and data) at any time. Additional resources for the application and review process are below.


The self-study report is a complete assessment of the program, led by program administrators with involvement from faculty, students and external stakeholders. The self-study application process provides an opportunity for the administration and faculty to examine the program in light of the standards and policies and to draft recommendations for its own action to improve the program and services for students. The self-study report (submitted via ABAI’s online application system) permits an opportunity, once in a recognition cycle, for the program to report on these assessment efforts and the current status of the program’s compliance maintaining its recognition status.


It is assumed that, with reasonable guidance about the kind of information needed, programs can decide how best to present their goals, objectives and the means by which these are achieved. Similarly, it is assumed that with adequate information from a program, ABAI can reach an informed, fair and reasonable decision about the program’s status with respect to recognition in one of the Tiers.


All programs, regardless of location, are evaluated according to the same standards with considerable flexibility as to specific course content and the manner in which research and practical training are handled, the structure of the program, and with regard for applicable laws, regulations, and cultural environments.


Recognition & Application

 These templates are also available in the online application system. 




Recognition Policies


Tools & Resources


Additional Supports - Forthcoming 

ABAI also acknowledges that some programs may decide to develop entirely new courses or greatly revise their curriculum to align with the Tiered Model. Therefore, to support programs during this transitionary period, ABAI will soon have two support systems:

  1. A mechanism for programs to submit syllabi for review. The goal is to ensure the syllabi meet the purpose of the content area(s) and are well developed courses, prior to the program submitting it to their institutional for final approval (e.g., by the senate curriculum committee, university president, etc.). This syllabus review system is designed for eligible programs seeking accreditation and recognition. It is separate from the VCS system. 
  2. A sample of syllabi exemplars that meet the purpose and scope of some of the required content areas.

Additional information and details about these two processes are forthcoming.



Modifed by Eddie Soh