Degree Requirements

Requirements for the B.A. or B.G.S. Major

All majors must complete the introductory and core course work as well choose from 1 of the following specialty area options.

Applied Behavioral Sciences Introductory Knowledge

Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science
Satisfied by ABSC 100 or ABSC 101

Applied Behavioral Sciences Core Knowledge and Skills
Majors must complete a course in each of the following areas:
Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy. Satisfied by ABSC 304
Research Methods and Application. Satisfied by ABSC 308
Contemporary Behavioral Science: Historical, Conceptual & Comparative Foundation. Satisfied by ABSC 509

Early Childhood Education & Intervention Specialty

This option is for students interested in understanding typical and atypical child development and learning to promote healthy development in young children (ages 0-6 years). Students who choose this option are required to participate in practica in classrooms that serve toddlers and preschool children. Faculty: Professors Claudia Dozier (practicum supervisor), Pam Neidert (practicum supervisor), Lynn Marotz, and Jan Sheldon.

Required Specialty Area Core Knowledge and Skills
Satisfied by ABSC 160 and ABSC 444 (Students may substitute PYSC 333 Child Psychology for ABSC 160. The credit hours for PYSC 333, however, do not count toward the 33 required ABSC major hours or toward the 15 required junior/senior ABSC hours.)

Specialty Area Electives (at least 8 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior/senior-level ABSC courses except those already required as introductory, core knowledge, and required specialty courses (which include ABSC 304, 308, 444, 509). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see specialty area advisors for recommendations.

Practicum 1
Two semesters are required. The courses are offered for 5 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and for 3 hours during the summer session. Students must select at least one of the courses listed below. For their other required semester, students may also select from ABSC 679 or ABSC 680 (in addition to those listed below).

    ABSC 675 Practicum I-Toddler Care & Early Intervention (for students new to the Toddler Care Practicum)

    ABSC 676 Practicum II–Toddler Care & Early Intervention (for students who completed ABSC 675)

    ABSC 677 Practicum I–Preschool Education & Intervention (for students new to the Preschool Education Practicum)

    ABSC 678 Practicum II–Preschool Education & Intervention (for students who completed ABSC 677)

BCABA Certification Examination Eligibility. Satisfied by choosing an additional practicum course (not previously taken) from the following list: ABSC 675, ABSC 676, ABSC 677, ABSC 678, ABSC 679, or ABSC 680. By completing three consecutive semesters of ABSC practicum courses, a student is eligible to sit for BCABA Certification Examination. The additional credit hours do not count toward the ABSC major hour requirements.

Early Childhood Autism Intervention Specialty

This option is for students interested in conducting intervention procedures to address language and social skill deficits of children with autism in home and school settings. Students who choose this option are required to take a preparatory course and practica focusing on children with autism. Faculty: Professors Claudia Dozier (practicum supervisor), Pam Neidert (practicum supervisor), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed, Jan Sheldon, Jim Sherman (practicum supervisor).

Required Specialty Area Core Knowledge and Skills
Satisfied by ABSC 160, ABSC 350, and ABSC 444 (Students may substitute PYSC 333 Child Psychology for ABSC 160. The credit hours for PYSC 333, however, do not count toward the 33 required ABSC major hours or toward the 15 required junior/senior ABSC hours.)

Specialty Area Electives (at least 5 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior/senior-level courses, except those already required as introductory, core knowledge, and required specialty area courses (which include ABSC 304, 308, 350, 444, 509). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see specialty area advisors for recommendations.

Practicum 1
Two semesters are required. The courses are offered for 5 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and for 3 hours during the summer session. Students must complete at least 1 semester of ABSC 680. For their other required semester, students may select from ABSC 675-680.

*Note: ABSC 350 must be taken prior to, or concurrently with, enrollment in the above practicum courses.

BCABA Certification Examination Eligibilty. Satisfied by choosing an additional practicum course (not previously taken) from the following list: ABSC 675, ABSC 676, ABSC 677, ABSC 678, ABSC 679, or ABSC 680. By completing three consecutive semesters of ABSC practicum courses, a student is eligible to sit for BCABA Certification Examination. The additional credit hours do not count toward the ABSC major hour requirements.

ABSC Early Childhood Research Specialty

This option is for students interested in gaining research experience in early childhood possibly as preparation for graduate school or employment in educational and clinical research centers. Students who choose this option will enroll in research-oriented practica. Interested students would consult with Professor Claudia Dozier. Faculty: Professors Claudia Dozier (practicum supervisor), Pam Neidert (practicum supervisor).

Required Specialty Area Core Knowledge and Skills
Satisfied by ABSC 160 (Students may substitute PYSC 333 Child Psychology for ABSC 160. The credit hours for PYSC 333, however, do not count toward the 33 required ABSC major hours or toward the 15 required junior/senior ABSC hours.)

Specialty Area Electives
Satisfied by completing 11 hours of any junior/senior-level courses approved by the advisor. The following are recommended: ABSC 350, ABSC 444, ABSC 405, ABSC 455, ABSC 486, ABSC 535, ABSC 565, ABSC 786, or ABSC 871.

Practicum (6 hours)
Two semesters are required. The courses are offered for 3-5 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and for 3 hours during the summer session. Students must complete at least 1 semester of ABSC 679. For their other required semester, students may select from ABSC 675-680. No more than 6 hours of ABSC 679 may count toward the ABSC major hours.

*Note: ABSC 308 must be taken prior to, or concurrently with, enrollment in the above practicum courses.

BCABA Certification Examination Eligibility. Satisfied by choosing an additional practicum course (not previously taken) from the following list: ABSC 675, ABSC 676, ABSC 677, ABSC 678, ABSC 679, or ABSC 680. By completing three consecutive semesters of ABSC practicum courses, a student is eligible to sit for BCABA Certification Examination. The additional credit hours do not count toward the ABSC major hour requirements.

Youth Development & Juvenile Justice Specialty

This specialty area is for students who want to work with children and adolescents who may be involved formally or informally with the juvenile justice system. It includes courses addressing issues such as juvenile law, developing relationships, counseling and problem-solving, behavioral contracting, and other techniques used when working with school-aged children and adolescents. The course sequence culminates in a yearlong practicum during which students work with children and adolescents in the Truancy Prevention and Diversion Program. The practicum is in collaboration with the school district, Social and Rehabilitation Services, the district attorney's office, and the juvenile court.

Graduates with this specialty are excellent candidates for positions as probation officers, counselors in mental health programs, intake and assessment officers, truancy prevention specialists, and treatment personnel in intervention and treatment programs for children and adolescents. Many students also pursue graduate study in social welfare, law, counseling, and psychology. Faculty: Professors Yo Jackson, Jan Sheldon (practicum supervisor), Ric Steele, and Eric Vernberg.

Required Specialty Area Core Courses
Satisfied by ABSC 410 and ABSC 560. Students should plan their program with a department advisor. ABSC 410 must be taken prior to enrolling in the practicum. It is offered only in the spring semester.

Specialty Area Electives (9 hours)
Students must choose from the course below:

    ABSC 310 Building Healthy Communities (3)
    ABSC 360 Drugs, Addiction, Behavior (3)
    ABSC 405 Children and Media (3)
    ABSC 470 Organizational Behavior Management (3)
    ABSC 486 Issues in Parenting (3)
    ABSC 535 Developmental Psychopathology (3)
    ABSC 562 Behavioral Community Psychology (3)
    ABSC 565 Applied Developmental Psychology (3)
    ABSC 626 Psychology of Adolescence (3)

*Note: Although ABSC 160 is not required for this specialty area, it is a required prerequisite for some of the specialty area electives.

Practicum  ((10 hours)
This practicum requires a two-semester commitment (enrollment in ABSC 694), beginning in the fall semester and continuing in the spring semester. Space may be limited and enrollment may depend on the date of indication of interest and performance in ABSC 410.

Adults with Disabilities Specialty

This specialty area is for students interested in working with people with developmental disabilities and in the development of supportive teaching programs in the community for people with developmental disabilities. The courses teach observing and defining behavior, increasing appropriate and decreasing inappropriate behavior, developing relationships, counseling, legal and ethical issues, and experimental design. The course sequence culminates in practicum work in a community-based residential service agency or day treatment program for adults with developmental disabilities.

Graduates of this specialty are excellent candidates for positions in residential treatment programs, community human service agencies, and vocational and pre-vocational teaching programs for people with disabilities. Many students also pursue graduate studies in applied behavioral analysis, special education, and psychology. Faculty: Professors Jan Sheldon and Jim Sherman (practicum supervisor).

Required Specialty Area Course
Satisfied by ABSC 350.

Specialty Area Electives
Satisfied by completing 11 hours of any junior/senior-level courses to meet the 33 hour major requirement. The following are recommended: ABSC 410, ABSC 437, ABSC 535, ABSC 560, ABSC 565, or ABSC 671.

Practicum  (at least 11 hours)
Satisfied by completing of any ABSC courses, except those already required as introductory, core knowledge, and required specialty area courses (including ABSC 100, 304, 308, 350, 509). Additionally, at least 9 hours of coursework must be at the junior/senior level. Practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see specialty area advisors for more specific recommendations.

Community Health & Development Specialty

This specialty area is for students interested in building healthy and well-functioning communities. They may do so through public service (e.g., AmeriCorps, Peace Corps) or in a career following graduate study in an appropriate field such as public health, public policy, law, rehabilitation, psychology, social welfare, or medicine. It provides opportunities to better understand and make a difference with important community problems and goals (e.g., substance abuse, violence, education, child and youth development, independent living of people with disabilities, well-being of older adults).

Course work and practicum experiences focus on (a) intervention methods used to address community problems and goals (e.g., strategic planning, intervention, advocacy) and (b) research methods used to study the effects of community initiatives for health and development (e.g., community assessment, evaluation). The course sequence culminates in a 2-semester practicum arranged with faculty members and representatives of community organizations or governmental agencies (e.g., in public health, child advocacy, independent living, youth development, community development). Faculty: Professors Jomella Watson-Thompson (practicum supervisor), Stephen Fawcett (practicum supervisor), and Glen White (practicum supervisor).

Required Specialty Area Course
Satisfied by ABSC 150 or ABSC 151 and ABSC 310 or ABSC 311.

Specialty Area Electives (at least 8 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior/senior-level ABSC courses, except those already required as introductory, core knowledge, and required specialty courses (including ABSC 304, 308, 310/311, 509). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count as specialty area electives. Please see specialty area advisors for recommendations.

Practicum  (6 hours)
Two semesters of practicum (ABSC 690/691) are required (3 hours in both fall and spring semesters).

*Note: ABSC 310/311 must be taken prior to, or concurrently with, enrollment in the above practicum courses.

Basic Research

Students pursuing the basic research option learn about behavioral processes and research methods, and acquire skills in the experimental analysis of behavior. Students completing this option complete a 2-semester hands-on practicum in which they assist in the conduct of research on human or nonhuman behavioral processes. Students are involved in all aspects of the research endeavor, from conceptualization of problems to data collection, analysis, and presentation. Students pursuing this option are required to complete an introductory course in statistics. Faculty: Professors Derek Reed (practicum supervisor), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (practicum supervisor), and Edward K. Morris (practicum supervisor).

Specialty Area Electives (at least 11 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior/senior-level ABSC courses, except those already required as introductory and core knowledge courses (ABSC 304, 308, 509). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see a specialty area advisor for recommendations.

Statistics in Psychological Research
Satisfied by PSYC 210 or PSYC 211

Practicum (6-10 hours)
Two semesters of practicum (ABSC 692) are required. Practicum courses are offered for 3-6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and 3 hours during the summer session. However, no more than 6 hours total apply to the major. The prerequisite is the permission of the supervisor, as space permits.

Conceptual Foundations

Students pursuing the conceptual foundations option learn about contemporary conceptual issues in behavior analysis, its history and philosophy, and its relations with the behavioral, social, and cognitive sciences in general. As a result, they acquire skills in critical thinking about behavior and the behavior of scientists. Students who complete this option complete a 2-semester practicum in which they read and research a relevant literature and write a paper that advances their understanding of the field. Faculty: Professors Derek Reed (practicum supervisor), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (practicum supervisor), and Edward K. Morris (practicum supervisor).

Required Specialty Area Course. ABSC 798 Conceptual Foundations in Applied Behavioral Science (3)

Specialty Area Electives (at least 8 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior/senior-level ABSC courses, except those already required as introductory and core knowledge courses (including ABSC 304, 308, 509, 798). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see a specialty area advisor for more specific recommendations.

Practicum
Satisfied by ABSC 693 (6-10 hrs). Practicum courses are offered for 3-6 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters, and 3 hours during the summer session. No more than 6 hours total apply to the major.

Organizational Behavior Management Research & Practice

This specialty area is for students interested in studying the application of behavioral principles to people and groups in business, industry, government, and human service settings. This specialty area includes courses in behavior analysis, research methods, and organizational behavior management with a focus on its three sub-disciplines including performance management, systems analysis, and behavior-based safety. The program culminates in practica that provide students with direct experiences improving employee behavior, work safety, or organizational systems within businesses in the community. Students completing this program will gain knowledge and experience in the areas of behavior analysis, management, staff training, and systems-level interventions. Careers: This area is relevant for students interested in behavioral consulting, management, human services, and business.

Introductory Course (3 hours)
ABSC 100 Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science (3) or
ABSC 101 Introduction to Applied Behavioral Science, Honors (3)

Core Courses (10 hours)
ABSC 304 Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy (3)
ABSC 308 Research Methods and Applications (4)
ABSC 509 Contemporary Behavioral Science (3)

Required Area Electives (6 hours)
ABSC 150 Community Leadership (3 hours)
ABSC 470 Organizational Behavior Management (3 hours)

Specialty Area Electives (at least 8 hours)
Satisfied by completing any junior-senior level ABSC courses, except those already required as introductory, core knowledge, and required specialty area courses (including ABSC 304, 308, 470, 509). Additionally, practicum courses (ABSC 675-699) do not count toward specialty area elective hours. Please see specialty area advisors for recommendations.

Practicum (6-10 hours )
This practicum requires a 2-semester commitment (enrollment in ABSC 682), beginning in the fall semester and continuing in the spring semester. Space may be limited and enrollment may depend on the date of indication of interest. No more than 6 hours of practicum apply to the major.

BCABA Certification Examination Eligibility (optional). By completing three consecutive semesters of ABSC practicum courses, a student is eligible to sit for BCABA Certification Examination. The additional credit hours do not count toward the ABSC major hour requirements.

Applied Behavioral Science Major Hours & Major GPA

While completing all required courses, majors must also meet each of the following hour and grade point average minimum standards:

Major Hours
Satisfied by 33 hours of major courses.

Major Hours in Residence
Satisfied by a minimum of 15 hours of KU resident credit in the major. 

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Hours
Satisfied by a minimum of 12 hours from junior/senior courses (300+) in the major.

Major Junior/Senior (300+) Graduation GPA
Satisfied by a minimum of a 2.0 KU GPA in junior/senior courses (300+) in the major. GPA calculations include all junior/senior courses in the field of study including F’s and repeated courses. See the Semester/Cumulative GPA Calculator.

Study Abroad

The department offers students opportunities to obtain international experience in a program offered jointly with the Office of Study Abroad (ABSC 279ABSC 479) and research experience with faculty members who teach research courses or a research practicum (ABSC 499ABSC 599ABSC 679ABSC 692ABSC 693ABSC 698ABSC 699). Research experience is recommended for students planning to attend graduate school. The department also offers some courses that include a service-learning component. Many of these programs, research experiences, and service-learning courses meet university requirements in these areas.

Graduation Plan

With careful planning and commitment to a full-time course load, you can graduate in 4 years. Download a sample 4-year plan for applied behavioral science.

Double Majors

The department encourages double majors and minors in other departments. Double majors are especially appropriate for students planning to attend graduate school or enter professional programs (e.g., psychology, law, medicine). Any of the College’s other majors may be appropriate, but among the more common are psychology, human biology, sociology, political science, and speech-language-hearing.

Contact Info

Department of Applied Behavioral Science

Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Ave., Room 4001
Lawrence, KS 66045-7561
785-864-4840
785-864-5202
absc@ku.edu
http://www.absc.ku.edu/
Edward K. Morris, Chair
785-864-4840

Department of Applied Behavioral Science

Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Ave., Room 4001
Lawrence, KS 66045-7561
785-864-4840
785-864-5202
absc@ku.edu
http://www.absc.ku.edu/
Claudia Dozier, Co-Undergraduate Coordinator
785-864-0526
cdozier@ku.edu
Pamela Neidert, Co-Undergraduate Coordinator
785-864-0771
pneidert@ku.edu

Department of Applied Behavioral Science

Dole Human Development Center
1000 Sunnyside Ave., Room 4001
Lawrence, KS 66045-7561
785-864-4840
785-864-5202
absc@ku.edu
http://www.absc.ku.edu/
Derek Reed, Co-Director, Graduate Program
785-864-4840
Florence DiGennaro Reed, Co-Director, Graduate Program
785-864-4840
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