The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences was formed as a result of a campus reorganization in the spring of 1972. It consisted of academic departments formerly administered by the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Business and Public Administration, in addition to a new College of Bussiness and Management. The academic departments initially included within the division were: Afro-American Studies, Anthropology, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Bureau of Governmental Research, Economics, Geography, Government and Politics, Hearing and Speech Sciences, Information Systems Management, Institute of Criminal Justice and Criminology, Institute of Urban Studies, Linguistics, Psychology, and Sociology. In addition, the College of Business and Management, newly added to the Division, consisted of the departments of Accounting, Behavioral Sciences, Finance, Management Science-Statistics, Marketing, and Transportation, Business and Public Policy.
The Division was designed to extend and support learning in traditional disciplines while creating conditions for the development of interdisciplinary approaches to solving behavioral and social problems. At the heart of the behavioral and social sciences is an emphasis on a broad liberal arts education as the foundation for understanding the environmental, social, and cultural forces that shape the world.
At the head of the division was a provost, appointed by the chancellor, to serve as the chief administrator. Within the division, the College of Business and Management was administered by a dean and department chairmen and directors oversaw the academic departments, institutes, and bureaus. The Academic Council of the division consisted of representatives from faculty, staff, and students; it was a part of the divisional system of governance. As a democratically elected body, the council initiated, acted on, and considered all matters of divisional concern. There were also various committees within the division; these included the executive, programs, curricula, courses, tenure, and other assorted committees.
The University of Maryland at College Park was again reorganized in 1986 and the five divisions were split into fourteen colleges; the divisions had been widely perceived as too large and bureaucratic in nature. Most of the original academic departments of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences were retained except for the following: Bureau of Business and Economic Research, Bureau of Governmental Research, Information Systems Management, and Linguistics. These units have become part of other colleges at the College Park campus. The College of Business and Management also became a separate academic unit during this reorganization.