Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD Programs prepare students to apply psychology expertise to workplace settings and issues. Courses may discuss a broad range of issues.
Examples include fostering healthy workplace environments, increasing productivity, improving morale, what constitutes effective training and professional development, psychology research methods, and the essentials of organizational behavior.
Unlike some other types of psychology doctoral programs, IO Psychology doctorates may not be considered entry-level. These programs either be applied—meaning the program is designed to encourage use in the field or in clinical settings—or research focused. While in most cases, applying students would need to demonstrate a relevant academic background (e.g. a masters in psychology), professional experience might not always be required.
When choosing your preferred occupational psychology PhD program, one important part of that decision is the delivery format and how it fits into your life, non-academic responsibilities, and learning styles. While a spectrum of options may be available, the two basic formats are as follows.
The specifics of how these and other learning formats are handled may vary from program to program. TO find out more, reach out to your selected school or program.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Doctoral Programs generally confer one of two types of degrees upon successful completion. While individual schools may vary, the type of degree earned often reflects the nature of the curriculum and the types of skills honed by it.
The specific prerequisites, requirements, and other qualities of these and other degree types may vary. For more information, contact the program in question.
Industrial Organizational Psychology PhD Programs focus on the psychology of the workplace. Depending on the school, these programs may go by any of several names, including occupational psychology.
Like other branches of psychology, organizational psychology PhD programs may take any of several approaches to the material. These include programs centered on research and scholarship, clinical psychology practice, and organizational leadership roles. These approaches are reflected in the training model and the curriculum.
Industrial organizational psychology PhD programs, like other psychology programs, might adhere to one of a two basic training models. While both of these share essential concepts—such as the value of empirical study and research-based practices—how they go about it tends to vary, as do the typical paths of students graduating from such programs.
However, not every program may adhere neatly to the models described above. If you’re not sure, or want to learn more about a program’s philosophical approach and goals, don’t be afraid to reach out to them and ask for more information.
IO Psychology Doctoral Programs often build on prior related education. Often, this would be a masters degree in organizational psychology or another related field, and in some cases practical experience. As such, the courses you attend in a doctoral program are typically advanced and build off a certain amount of presumed expertise.
In most cases, the curriculum would made up of research methods; psychology concepts, theories and knowledge; clinical practice, and administrative skills for the workplace. The amount of time spent on each may vary by training model or school preference.
Below are 13 examples of the types of courses you’re likely to encounter in IO Psych doctoral programs.
In addition to required and elective coursework, earning a PhD in industrial organizational psychology is likely to have a few other requirements. These often take place toward the end of the program and act as a final prerequisite for graduation. Specific graduation projects and exams are likely to vary by program. That said, here’s a breakdown of the types of things you might see.
Remember that each program may be unique. As such, the graduation requirements (like the ones described above) may also vary. For more information about what this entails, reach out to the program in question.
While accreditation is often seen as an important factor in choosing psychology doctoral programs, the APA only accredits clinical, counseling, and school psychology programs. That means that programmatic accreditation is not typically available for industrial-organizational psychology doctoral programs. Instead, industrial organizational psychology students might choose to apply to doctoral programs offered by regionally or nationally accredited universities.
The prerequisites to apply to an industrial organizational psychology PhD program may vary considerably, depending on the target students, the goal of the program, the individual school, and other factors. That said, below are some of the elements you might need.
Industrial organizational psychologists may occupy a variety of unique roles. Unlike clinical psychologists, they often operate in corporate or workplace settings, using their knowledge of psychology research and practice to help an origination function effectively and to encourage employee satisfaction.
Some example careers that might be sought by Industrial Organizational Psychology PhDs include:
Psychology licensure is not always a concern for industrial-organizational psychologists, as many professional roles may not require it. However, if clinical licensure is something you’re interested in, make sure to follow up with your school of choice to learn more. Licensure requirements typically vary by state.
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SOURCES: [i] bls.gov/oes/2016/may/oes193032.htm [ii] bls.gov/ooh/management/training-and-development-managers.htm [iii] bls.gov/ooh/management/top-executives.htm [iv] bls.gov/ooh/business-and-financial/management-analysts.htm [v] bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm