School of Education

Pennsylvania Licensure Requirements for Behavior Specialists

To apply for a behavior specialist license in Pennsylvania, applicants must submit an application along with fees and other items.  Among the requirements for the license, applicants must seek verification from colleges and universities that:

  1. The applicant has completed a master's degree (or higher) or a post-master's certificate from an accredited college/university with a major course of study in school, clinical, developmental, or counseling psychology, special education, social work, speech language pathology, occupational therapy, professional counseling, behavior analysis, nursing, or another related field. This is Form 2 of the application.
  2. The applicant has completed 90 hours of evidence-based coursework distributed as follows: (a) ethics approved by the Bureau of Autism Services (3 hrs.), (b) autism-specific coursework or training (18 hrs.), (c) assessment coursework or training (16 hrs.), (d) instructional strategies and best practices (16 hrs.), (e) crisis intervention (8 hrs.), (f) comorbidity and medications (8 hrs.), (g) family collaboration (5 hrs.), (h) specific skill deficit training (16 hrs.).  This is Form 5 of the application. 
  3. The applicant has completed a major course of study that bears a substantial relationship to behavior specialist practice. This is Form 6 of the application.

How to Apply for the PA Behavior Specialist Licensure

Arcadia University’s School of Education has the following process in place in order to expedite the university’s role in the application procedures. If you received your master's degree from Arcadia University or if you received your master's degree from another school, but took one or more the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) courses from the School of Education and wish to apply those courses to the PA Behavior Specialist Licensure, please do the following:

Step 1

Complete the applicant section of:

  • Form 2 (Verification of Education, p. 3)
  • Form 5 (Verification of 90 Hours of Evidenced-Based Coursework, p. 6-7)
  • Form 6 (Verification of Substantial Relationship of Major to Behavior Specialist Practice, p. 8)

Print clearly in black ink.

Step 2

Send your completed forms (2, 5 and 6) by regular mail to Arcadia University School of Education, 450 S. Easton Road, Taylor Hall room 200, Glenside, PA 19038 OR scan and email to soe@arcadia.edu.

  • Forms received will then have the university portion verification section completed and forwarded to the Office of the Registrar, to be enclosed with your official transcripts.
Step 3

Request an official transcript to be sent from Arcadia University Office of the Registrar directly to the Board of Medicine.

  • Select your method for transcript request using the Online via TranscriptsPlusTM or a hard copy request form. For full information and fees for these methods, visit the Transcript Requests web.
  • Enter the Board of Medicine address found on the Behavior Specialist License application as the transcript recipient.
  • Check the box in Special Handling section that indicates you have an attachment/enclosure.

The School of Education will process the university portion of Verification Forms 2, 5, and 6 and will, along with your official transcript, return them directly to the State Board of Medicine as per the licensure requirements. Copies of the forms will be returned to you by email with confirmation that your materials have been sent.