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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of General Studies in Applied Behavioral Science

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Preparation and Advising

To graduate with the major in 4 years, prospective majors should enroll in the introductory course and 1 of the 300-level core courses during the first 2 years and list ABSCA-BA as their interest code on the College’s ARTS form. By the end of the second year, they should have consulted with a faculty adviser about degree requirements, specialty areas, and career opportunities. By the end of the third year, they should have taken the prerequisite courses for the fourth-year practicum. This information may also be found in the department’s Undergraduate Handbook. By the beginning of the junior year, majors should complete the College’s Major Declaration form. They should list either ABSCA-BA or ABSCA-BGS as the major code on the ARTS form for a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of General Studies degree, respectively.

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

The major requires 33 credit hours, 15 of them at the junior/senior level, that is, courses numbered 300 and higher. The courses are sequenced as follows:

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 The Principles and Procedures of Behavior Modification and Therapy (3)
  • ABSC 308 Research Methods and Application (4)
  • ABSC 509 Contemporary Behavioral Science: Historical, Conceptual, and Comparative Foundations (3)

Specialty Areas. All majors select a specialty area from those listed below and from one of the options within them, if offered. Students should see advisers in their prospective specialty areas by the end of the sophomore year. The areas and the options are

1. Early Childhood

  • Early Childhood Autism Intervention
  • Early Childhood Education and Intervention
  • Early Childhood Research

2. Youth Development and Juvenile Justice

  • Delinquency and Juvenile Justice

3. Adults with Disabilities

  • Adults with Developmental Disabilities

4. Community Health and Development

  • Community Leadership
  • Health Promotion
  • Independent Living

5. Basic Research and Conceptual Foundations

  • Basic Research
  • Historical and Conceptual Foundations

Alternative specialty areas may be arranged with the prior approval of the department’s undergraduate curriculum committee and a faculty adviser, who mentors the student.

Content Courses 14-17 hours
  • Each specialty area has its own required and elective content courses. The electives are junior/senior-level courses necessary to complete the 33-hour major and its requirement of 15 junior/senior hours. They are drawn from either a recommended or a restricted list of courses. Students are encouraged to select content courses for their College general education requirements that complement their specialty areas, such as courses in the biological sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and in the professional schools (e.g., special education, social welfare, premedicine).
Practicum Courses
3-6 hours
  • Each specialty area has a practicum requirement that provides supervised, hands-on training or research experience. The minimum prerequisite for the practicum courses is completion of (or concurrent enrollment in) an introductory course, ABSC 304 and ABSC 308, or permission of the instructor. Some practicum courses also require completion of (or concurrent enrollment in) the required specialty area courses. Students should consult advisers in their specialty areas early in the junior year about practicum placements, prerequisites, and requirements.

Limitations. No more than a total of 6 hours of ABSC 279, ABSC 469, ABSC 479, ABSC 489, and ABSC 499, and no more than 6 hours of practicum, apply to the 33-hour major.

International Experience, Research Experience, and Service Learning

The department offers students opportunities to obtain international experience in a program offered jointly with the Office of Study Abroad (ABSC 279, ABSC 479) and research experience with faculty members who teach research courses or a research practicum (ABSC 499, ABSC 599, ABSC 679, ABSC 692, ABSC 693, ABSC 698, ABSC 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.

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.

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