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  • Behavioural Sciences

    Behavioural Sciences

Program Code:BHS
Duration:4 Semesters (2 Years)
Start Dates:Fall,
Start dates are subject to change
Credential Awarded:Ontario College Diploma

Program Description

The Behavioural Sciences diploma program gives you the opportunity to study the theory and clinical applications of the branch of applied psychology known as behavioural science. As a student in the Behavioural Sciences program, you will learn about Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), which is the science of understanding, analyzing and modifying human behaviour.

In the classroom and through your field placements, you will learn about the many clinical applications of ABA. One focus area for the program is the application of behavioural science to the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. You will also learn about interventions in other clinical areas, such as gerontology, mental health, forensics, and corrections. As a student in this program you will gain insight into the context of behavioural intervention as you learn about issues like family support, community integration, and risk management.

This program will prepare you to seek employment as an instructor therapist in government-funded or private Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI) programs. You will also be qualified to work as a behaviour technician in the new government-funded ABA-based support programs. As a graduate of this program, you would be able to seek employment in the school system as an educational assistant or educational resource facilitator, providing support to students with ASD, behavioural challenges, or other exceptionalities. Completing this program will also qualify you to seek employment in settings where an understanding of behavioural intervention is necessary, such as group homes, community living centres, and other specialized agencies.

Program Learning Outcomes

This Seneca College program meets the system-wide standards as set by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

As a graduate, you will be prepared to:


  1. Implement effective intervention strategies based on the science of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) in order to increase desired behaviours and teach new skills.
  2. Implement effective behaviour analytic interventions to decrease maladaptive behaviours.
  3. Integrate background information and knowledge of special populations into therapeutic practice, using a behaviour analytic approach.
  4. Communicate with various stakeholders the behaviour analytic principles, processes, and concepts central to the interventions being provided in order to enhance quality of service.
  5. Compile observations in the field that are behavioural, objective, accurate, parsimonious, and organized for further analysis.
  6. Record measurements of behaviour intended for analysis in accordance with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)’s Guidelines for Responsible Conduct.
  7. Apply systems thinking to behavioural processes related to socially significant behaviour change, client quality of life, and long-term planning.
  8. Discuss federal, provincial, and professional policies and regulations associated with the ethical practice of applied behaviour analysis (ABA) among various populations or service sectors.
  9. Apply input gained from collaboration with stakeholders (including individuals, family members, and community members) and professionals in the field of service into effective client service intervention.
  10. Develop a reflective practice, using professional development and self-care strategies to enhance professional competence.
  11. Develop client-centered behavioural intervention plans that account for individuals’ rights, needs, goals, and their social and community context.

Essential Employability Skills:

Graduates of this program are also expected to demonstrate the essential employability skills learning outcomes as outlined on the Ministry of Training, College and Universities website.

Admission Requirements

Program Eligibility:

  • Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent with:
    • Grade 12 English: ENG4(C) or ENG4(U)
  • OR Mature Student Status (age 19 or older) with the above prerequisite course(s), their equivalent(s), or appropriate Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) Certificate program credits (see Academic Upgrading).


  • A current Police vulnerable sector screening is REQUIRED for entry into the field placement component of this program.
  • Although not required for admission, one of the following Grade 12 Mathematics is considered an asset:
    • MHF4(U) (Advanced Functions);
    • MCV4(U) (Calculus and Vectors);
    • MCT4(C) Mathematics for College Technology (recommended grade 60% or over).

The Importance of Learning Skills:

Student success in college requires well developed learning skills (such as being able to work independently, participate in a team, be well–organized, develop good work habits, and show initiative). These skills are as important as prior academic achievement. While it is expected that applicants would have developed these skills through previous education and life experiences, Seneca offers support to assist students with further development of these important skills. Seminars, workshops and tutoring are available at Seneca's Learning Centres.


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Your Career

As a student in this program, you will graduate with a deep understanding of the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), and the broad range of their possible applications. You may choose to pursue a rewarding career as a behavioural interventionist in the field of autism, a field which offers many employment opportunities. You could also seek employment in the school system, as an educational assistant or educational resource facilitator, or in a specialized position within the school system’s every-increasing ABA-based services. Your career path may also lead you to employment in correctional facilities, group homes, or other specialized centres that need staff who can implement behavioural intervention plans with individuals with behavioural challenges or other exceptionalities.

Field Work

Field work is a critical part of the Behavioural Sciences program. Your field work placements will give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience and to apply what you have learned in the classroom in a real-world setting. In your field placement, you will work in a professional capacity, with specified job tasks, clinical responsibilities, time management requirements, contracted hours of work, expectations of teamwork, and appropriate interpersonal interactions. You will assume the role of a beginning professional in a supervised field-placement setting, working within an employer-employee relationship.

You will be evaluated on the basis of an approved learning contract as agreed upon by you, the approved fieldwork agency, and Seneca College’s Behavioural Sciences program. This work calls for you to have the ability to be self–aware, reliable, sensitive and facilitative, and mature enough to focus on the needs and interests of others.

Diploma to Degree Transfers

Through transfer agreements and institution partnerships, graduates of this Seneca College program may be eligible for credit at the following post-secondary institution(s):


University/CollegeDegrees Available
University of Ontario Institute of Technology• Bachelor of Arts (BA) (Honours) in Forensic Psychology – Bridge

Important Academic Dates

Please take a few moments to view Important Academic Dates for your relevant semester.


Semester 1 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BHS101 Introduction To ABA I: History and Principles 3
BHS102 Behavioural Theory I: Observation and Assessment 3
BHS103 Professional Pathways 3
SSW101 Interpersonal Communications 3
PSY100 Introduction To Psychology 3
EAC150 College English 3
Semester 2 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BHS201 Introduction to ABA II: Techniques & Applications 3
BHS202 Behavioural Theory II: Assessment and Data Analysis 3
BHS203 Ethics and Professionalism 3
BHS204 Autism and Developmental Disabilities 3
SWL206 Human Development for Social Service Professionals 3
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 3 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BHS301 Legislation, Policy and Practice 3
BHS302 Interventions I: Strengths and Skills 3
BHS303 Forensics, Crime, and Corrections 3
BHS347 Field Work Seminar I 2
BHS357 Field Placement I 4
XXXXXX General Education Option 3
Semester 4 Course Name Hrs/Wk
BHS401 Inclusive and Long-Term Community Practices 3
BHS402 Interventions II: Behaviour Reduction 3
BHS403 Acquired Brain Injury and Adult Services 3
PSY206 Personality and Abnormal Behaviour 3
BHS447 Field Work Seminar II 2
BHS457 Field Placement II 4
XXXXXX General Education Option 3

Contact Us

Admissions Advisors:
Domestic Admissions Advisor: Elizabeth Hosein
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55035
International Admissions Advisor: Julie Leong
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 22380
Registration & Records Advisor:
  Elizabeth Hosein
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55035
Program Contacts:
Program Coordinator: Laura Cavanagh
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55623
Program Chair: Biljana Bruce
Telephone: (416) 491-5050 Ext. 55002
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"The proposed curriculum offers broad coverage of the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) for those new to the field of behavioral sciences. As an employer at a non-profit autism research and resource center, I am intimately aware of the critical importance of ensuring that young professionals entering the field have a firm grasp of the principles and applications of ABA in order to become more reflective and highly skilled therapists."

Daniel Openden, Ph.D., BCBA-D
President & CEO
Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center (SARRC)


"The proposed [Behavioural Sciences] program has several strengths that make it very attractive to an organization such as our own, such as a clear focus on behaviour theory, assessment and intervention, extensive field placement opportunities, and course offerings in the areas of psychology and mental health."

Dr. Laurel L. Johnson, C. Psych
Associate Clinical Director of Forensic Services, Syl Apps Youth Centre, Kinark Child and Family Services


"I applaud Seneca College on the quality of the program, its learning objectives and the commitment to enhancing the opportunities available to prospective clinicians in this exciting and dynamic field of study.
Based on many years of recruiting and training young staff to work with children, youth and adults with an ASD, and their families, it is very clear to me that the proposed program will provide an excellent education for workers wishing to enter the field."

Margaret Whelan, MSW
Executive Director (retired) Geneva Centre for Autism


"Behaviour analysis is, at its core, beneficial to an understanding of criminal behaviour. Once the behaviour is understood, of course it can be managed much more effectively. Civilians working as Crime Analysts within the police service would be better able to understand those patterns of behaviour that lead to criminality and be better equipped to manage these patterns, assisting police officers in keeping our communities safer. The course content and field placement experience would definitely be beneficial to any applicant seeking either advancement or employment within a police or correctional service."

Detective Elisabeth Willcox
York Regional Police, Threat Assessment Unit


"The proposed curriculum offers students a very good foundation in the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis, along with practical experience in clinical applications. Individuals who have academic training that has exposed them to both theoretical underpinnings as well as practical applications are well-prepared to begin working in the field without extensive training by a prospective employer."

Dr. Soula Homatidis, C. Psych.
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

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