Background and Context

The Department's long past lies in the founding of KU's Department of Home Economics in 1910, which was transformed in 1964 into the Department of Human Development and Family Life -- an applied behavioral science department (Baer, 1994). Its research informed KU's Bureau of Child Research, now part of the Life Span Institute (LSI), and was informed by developmental and biobehavoral sciences.

The Department of Applied Behavioral Science has always had one of the largest and most productive behavior analysis faculty in the world with the departments' founding faculty members being Donald M. Baer (1931-2002) and Montrose Wolf (1935-2004). In 1968, its faculty members founded the field's premier research journal, the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the Department then grew large and famously successful. In 1990, it moved into the Dole Human Development Center, funded, in part, in recognition of its achievements. In 2000, it had over 25 faculty members and 200 graduate students, and received the Award from the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) for Enduring Programmatic Contributions. Between 2001 and 2004, it bolstered the undergraduate curriculum and made over the graduate program, the latter according to ABAI's accreditation standards. In 2004, it became the Department of Applied Behavioral Science.

Baer, D. M. (1994). A brief, selective history of the Department of Human Development and Family Life at the University of Kansas: The early years. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 26, 569-572.


ABS Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony

To rsvp for the ABS undergraduate recognition ceremony, please click here.
You MUST fill out this form in order to receive a personalized certificate from the department.

For your name to appear in the program, you must respond by Monday, May 1st at 8:00 a.m.

The ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 13th at 9:00 a.m. in the Kansas Union Ballroom.
It is intended for Fall 2016 graduates and candidates for Spring 2017 and Summer 2017 graduation.

Upcoming Events:
Questions about the Graduate Program?

If you have questions about our graduate program, please contact Dr. Edward Morris, Director of Graduate Studies, at ekm@ku.edu

Why KU
  • One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
  • Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
  • 44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
    —U.S. News & World Report
  • Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times