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 of Education FAQ 

 Updated July 2024

Click on the question below to expand the answer


How do Tiers 2-4 (recognition) differ from Tier 1 (accreditation)?

How do Tiered Model programs differ from my current VCS?

Does ABAI require specific program names/types or require the program to be housed in certain department? What if my program is not an Applied Behavior Analysis program or housed in an ABA department?  


Does my program have to apply as a specific tier?

What if we do not have all the tier requirements yet?

Should my program apply for Tier 2 before applying for Tier 1?

Do degree and certificate/coursework programs apply for recognition separately?

Do programs apply for recognition of each modality separately?

What happens if our application is not approved as a certain tier?

Is Tier 2 the same as "pre-accredited" or "provisional accreditation"?

What are the fees?

How much data do I need to include in my self-study application? Is it ok if my program does not have five years’ worth of data to report?


How many faculty are required for the program to be accredited or recognized? What is the required ratio of faculty to students?

Do all faculty have to be BCBA-Ds?

How are faculty defined and how do we report qualifications?

Is the thesis/equivalent required for all tiers?

Can our program provide options for students to do a thesis or an equivalent project?

What if the program doesn’t offer supervised experiential learning?

Does our program have to offer practical training that meets the BACB fieldwork requirements to qualify for Tiers 1, 2a, 3a, or 4a?


When can my program apply for recognition in ABAI's Tiered Model?

What will happen to my VCS if the program does not obtain recognition via the Tiered Model?

How long does it take to complete the self-study application?

How long does the review process take?

Modifed by Eddie Soh