Pennsylvania License Requirements for Behavior Specialists

To apply for a behavior specialist license in Pennsylvania, applicants must submit an application. The application can be submitted online through the Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) (Click the "Register" link).

Among the requirements for the license, applicants must seek verification from colleges and universities that:

  1. The applicant has completed a masters degree (or higher) or a post-masters 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 substantial relationship to behavior specialist practice.  This is Form 6 of the application.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Education (SOE) is putting the following process into place in order to expedite the SOE’s role in the application procedures. If you received your masters degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Education (SOE) or if you received your masters 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:

  1. Complete the applicant portion of Form 2 (Verification of Education, p. 3), Form 5 (Verification of 90 Hours of Evidenced-Based Coursework, p. 6-7), and Form 6 (Verification of Substantial Relationship of Major to Behavior Specialist Practice, p. 8). Print clearly in black ink.
  2. Print and complete the top section of the School of Education Process Form.
  3. Please send an electronic copy of the application to the Program Coordinator of the School of Education program that you recently completed. Doug Kostewicz ( is the Program Coordinator of the Applied Behavior Analysis Program. Robert Gallen ( is the Program Coordinator of the Applied Developmental Psychology Program.
  4. Request an official transcript to be sent from the University of Pittsburgh Office of the Registrar directly to the Board of Medicine using the following link: Enter the Board of Medicine address found on the Behavior Specialist License application as the transcript recipient. You must complete this step for your application to be complete.

The SOE will process the verification of Forms 2, 5, and 6 and will return them directly to the State Board of Medicine as per the licensure requirements. Copies of the forms will be returned to you by mail.

Applicants can also apply online