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Graduate Admission FAQs

When is the application deadline?

  • The application deadline is December 15th. If positions are still available, we will consider applicants who apply after this deadline. To find out if any positions are still available, you should contact the professor(s) with whom you want to work.

Where do I send my application materials?

Is the GRE required?

  • While students are not required to take the GRE, students who have done well on it may be at an advantage compared with others who have not taken the exam
  • The Department considers students who may have less than perfect verbal or quantitative scores and they may still be strong candidates for graduate study. Students scoring less than 500 on both quantitative and verbal are, needless to say, at a competitive disadvantage.

Is there a minimum undergraduate GPA, below which my application will not be considered?

  • No, but you must keep in mind that admission to graduate school is a competition.
  • The most qualified applicant will be the one accepted. Having said that, we recognize that many students do poorly in their first year or two of undergraduate study.
  • We also recognize that students with extensive math and/or physical science coursework on their transcripts may have lower GPA's than more traditionally trained undergraduate psychology majors.
  • With respect to your academic record, we tend to look for students who posted a high GPA in their last two years and have taken (and done well in) coursework relevant to behavioral science.

Who reviews my application?

  • On the departmental application you will indicate the faculty members with whom you would like to work. These faculty members will conduct the initial review of your application. From there, if a faculty member is interested in your application, he/she must obtain consent of three other faculty members and the department's director of graduate training before your name can be forwarded to the KU Graduate School with our recommendation to accept.

What happens after I submit my application?

  • Shortly after the application deadline, the ABS faculty will review all completed applications. This process may take several weeks to complete as it must be coordinated with the KU Graduate School.
  • If one of the professors puts you on their short list of candidates, then that professor will contact you.
  • The professor will usually invite you to visit KU and discuss how your career goals may be compatible with the activities of that professor. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit KU if invited to do so.
  • The professor with whom you interviewed will notify you of his/her decision in a timely fashion.
  • Ultimately, students must be accepted by the professor in the ABS department and the KU Graduate School (a separate entity). Students are not admitted into the program without both acceptances.

When do you typically know if you will be accepted to the program?

  • First, applicants should know that each applicant must be accepted by a faculty member of the ABS department and the KU Graduate School (a separate entity). If both of these requirements are met, only then will the student be admitted into the ABS program. For example, it is possible to be accepted by the KU Graduate School and not accepted by a faculty member. In this situation (and similar situations), the student would not be accepted into the ABS program.
  • Shortly after the application deadline, the ABS faculty will review all completed applications. This process may take several weeks to complete as it must be coordinated with the KU Graduate School. If one of the faculty members puts you on their short list of candidates, then that faculty member will contact you and invite you to an interview. The faculty member will usually invite you to visit KU and discuss how your career goals may be compatible with the activities of that professor. Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit KU if invited to do so. Following the interview, the faculty member will either invite you to join his or her lab or, most likely, place you on his or her waiting list. If you are placed on the waiting list, the faculty member will usually contact you with a final decision within a few weeks. The professor with whom you interviewed will notify you of his/her decision in a timely fashion.

Does the graduate program offer funding and/or tuition waivers or reimbursement?

  • Funding for graduate students depends on the faculty advisor and his or her sources of funding (e.g., grants, clinical work, etc.). Currently, the majority of the students in the doctoral program have funding.
  • While some faculty can offer graduate teaching or research assistantships, the department does not guarantee funding. Contact the faculty with whom you would like to work to learn more about funding opportunities they may provide for you

How long does does it typically take to complete the program?

  • MA
    Generally, students complete all requirements for the MA degree in 2 to 3 years.
  • PhD
    If a student enters with a master's degree, it is expected that the student will complete the requirements for the Ph.D. degree within four years.
  • Both
    Students who enter the department with a bachelor degree are required to complete the requirements for the master's degree before pursuing the requirements for the Ph.D. degree. Typically, students will complete the requirements for the master's degree within 3 years and the requirements for the Ph.D. degree within 4 to 6 years.

Does the ABS department offer courses and supervision that fulfill requirements of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB)?

  • The ABS Department currently offers a course sequence that fulfills the BACB education requirements. The ABS department does not programmatically offer supervision. However, many faculty will provide the supervision necessary to fulfill the BACB supervision requirements. If you are interested, you should discuss this with faculty with whom you are interested in studying.
  • You may visit the BACB website at for eligibility and exam information.

Is the ABS program ABAI Accredited?

  • Yes, the department is currently accredited by ABAI through 2019.

Can people work/do research with faculty other than their advisor?

  • Students are typically admitted to work with one faculty member. In addition, students are often very busy conducting either their own research under supervision of their faculty advisor or conducting research that is part of their advisors line of research. Further, the faculty member with whom the student wishes to work may not have sufficient time or resources to supervise an additional graduate student. However, there is nothing that prohibits the practice of working/doing research with multiple faculty members. Applicants are encouraged to discuss this with the faculty members with whom they may be interested in working.

Are you expected to stay in Lawrence for the summer?

  • This depends on the needs and requirements of your faculty supervisor. Some faculty supervise clinical and research programs that are in operation whenever KU is in session and some faculty supervise clinical and research programs that are open year round. If your faculty supervisor does not work during the summer, it is still expected that you work on projects that contribute to your progress as a student, such as continued exposure to the literature and writing manuscripts.

My question didn't appear in this list.

  • Contact the department at absc@ku.edu with your question.
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.
    —ALA
  • 23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times