Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs Master & PhD Degree
What is a Graduate Industrial Organizational Psychology Program?
An Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology Graduate program studies work behavior. That includes how human behavior impacts the workplace. And how to help teams perform better. In this degree program, you’ll study work through the lens of science. You’ll explore ways to resolve workplace issues. And you’ll learn how to help businesses create a stronger culture. The most popular I/O grad program are industrial organizational psychology masters programs.
Some courses focus on how to measure ways people act, think and feel at work. Others cover ways to interpret and use data. And, use it to solve problems. Why? To make businesses better places to work!
What Can you do with a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology Program ?
Industrial organizational psychologists typically need to earn a master’s degree. That’s the entry level education to pursue this role. These pros could join a growing workforce of 2.64 million people. IO psychology graduate programs also include Doctorate in io psychology programs, read on to learn more!
Companies continue to need the help of I-O psychologists. One reason is to select and keep employees. And increase job satisfaction to make workers happier. After all, reducing staff turnover is one way to boost efficiency. This role shows a 3% projected increase in jobs from 2019 to 2029. (According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.) That is about as fast as the average for all jobs.
Do you prefer to work with employees? In that case, there are other careers where you might use I/O skills. Like training and development managers. They need knowledge of organizational behavior, too. These pros need to boost teamwork. And help workers navigate organizational change.
A career in human resource management is yet another path. This field shows 6% growth. HR pros help with personnel selection. So, they need to know how to access workers. Knowledge of personnel psychology could help with that. These and other paths could be perfect for your goals. And graduate programs could help you prepare.
Do I need a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology ?
In most cases, I-O psychologists need a master’s degree. Usually, a master’s in organizational psychology. Simply put, these pros need to know the principles of psychology. They need a grasp of research design and research methods. And they need a foundation in the social sciences.
Things you could study include productivity and employee morale. This helps when collaborating with companies to:
- Plan policies
- Assess job performance
- Increase business efficiency
- Change the business structure
- Do screenings and training sessions
- Motivate the workforce
- Develop a plan to help the business function at its best
Although you may start with industrial organizational psychology masters programs, some industrial organizational psychologists go on to earn a PhD. This or the PsyD is a typical path. From here, I/O psychologists may seek extra credentials. Like from the American Board of Professional Psychology. This org awards certs in 15 specializations. That include IO psychology.
Jobs in I-O Psychology
Top States for Employment: Industrial Organizational Psychologists
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
Most I-O psychologists work in scientific research. Also, as consultants. Others find work in school settings like colleges. Or, in state government and corporate management.
Popular Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs
Masters in industrial organizational psychology degrees are reported by the NCES. They fall under the category of Industrial and organizational psychology.
Let’s look at the most recent update of the data (2009/10). Across the U.S, 1,156 industrial and organizational psychology degrees were awarded to graduate students. The majority (91%) were at the master’s level.
Masters vs. PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology
The masters and PhD in IO psych differ in level and scope. Both call for you to conduct research. And both cover topics like performance management. Or how to build a better company culture. But the PhD is a bigger time commitment. And it could help you prep for research heavy roles.
A Masters in I/O psych often covers about 12 courses. These span statistics, research, and practice. You’ll learn the science behind work psychology. Plus, the methodology behind doing a research study.
This program has what’s known as the scientist practitioner model. That means you’ll explore how to find answers in your field. (Like a scientist.) But you’ll also learn how to enhance the workplace. And help employees thrive. (That’s the practitioner part.) Your program may also offer electives or concentrations. That could be a great way to study areas like talent development. Finally, expect to do a thesis or capstone project.
A master’s is the least education needed to enter this field. So, it may ready you to pursue a career. Like, in HR. Or organizational development. Or employee training.
A PhD in I/O psych is a research doctorate. It often covers around 20 courses. These cover a broad range of psychology courses. You could also dive into human resource management. And related areas. Also, PhD programs expect students to conduct research for their dissertations. This may include coming up with ways to solve problems for organizations.
Grads may go on to pursue any number of paths. Like director roles. Or educator roles. They could also conduct research to further the field.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Program Guide
Master of Science in I/O Psychology
I/O Psychology PHD’s
|Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology||PhD – Industrial/Organizational Psychology|
|Length of Program: 36 credits, 18 months||Length of Program: 60, 48 months|
|This program blends coursework from counseling psychology and business. The goal? Using psychology to foster a more effective workplace.||This program focuses on the psychology aspect of work behavior. It includes studies in group theory. Also, team processes. And organizational development. Other courses include:|
|No specific accreditations (other than regional)||No specific accreditations (other than regional)|
Does using the title ‘Psychologist’ or practicing psychology appeal to you? If so, earning a PhD in I-O psych may help you pursue that goal. In some PhD programs, you enter with a bachelor’s degree. There are also schools that roll a Master of Science or Master of Arts into the PhD curriculum.
But not all programs ready you to pursue licensure. Instead you may come away with strong leadership and consulting skills. These may strengthen your ability to solve workplace problems. Wondering about admission requirements? Grad programs in this field may call for:
- Your undergrad transcripts
- A minimum GPA
- GRE scores
- Letters of recommendation
- And more
Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology Classes
I/O psychology classes focus on the scientific study of human behavior. They look at the way individuals and groups behave at work. Then they apply this knowledge to solve problems. Like morale issues. And training challenges.
A typical curriculum includes courses in research methods, statistics and work psychology. Other material may touch on themes from HR management. That’s useful if you need to select, hire and train personnel.
Depending on the program you choose, you could also take coursework in:
- Learning and cognition
- Group dynamics
- Behavioral consulting
Finally, you may be able to choose between a capstone, thesis or internship. A capstone project may be a perfect option if you are working full time and want to put class material into action. An internship may suit someone new to the field. It provides some practical experience.
Take a look at a few sample classes below.
Applied Organizational Psychology
This class looks at how leaders, co-workers, policies and culture come together. All this impacts workplace behavior, thinking and attitudes. Why does this matter? Because it offers insights into what motivates people to do their best. Or work well in teams.
This class covers a wide range of methods that measure behavior. The emphasis is often on how to interpret data. And how to test it. For instance, you could measure intelligence. And aptitudes. This can help you learn more about worker strengths.
Human Resources Development
This class may survey the ways companies train and develop workers. It may include exercises like role playing and sensitivity training. And it may focus on effective ways to change behavior.
Group Dynamics and Team Leadership
This class may focus on how groups behave. And how to lead a team to success. Topics may touch on the theory and practice of leadership. Others, on building effective teams. Or managing conflict. You may also learn how relationships work in corporate culture.
Accreditation for Industrial Organizational Psychology
Many accredited schools offer I-O psych programs. Accreditation shows that a school or program meets standards of quality. These are set by an accrediting agency. The agency commits to improving the quality of education in a given field.
Six regional accreditors review and approve schools in their district. Attending one of these institutions may allow you to apply for financial aid. Also, accredited schools often enable credit transfers.
I-O psych programs also review themselves. This process involves self-study. The goal? To ensure the program teaches relevant skills and ethical practices.
What about accreditation for doctoral psychology programs and internships? Look no further than the American Psychological Association (APA). Or rather, it’s Committee on Accreditation (CoA). Attending an APA accredited school is key for pursuing state licensure.
Also look into the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). They created the Guidelines for Education and Training in this field.
SIOP is trying to set norms for accreditation of master’s programs. But this is a work in progress.
SIOP (2002) lists 88 masters programs. You’ll find these on its web page for Graduate Training Programs in Industrial Organizational Psychology and Related Fields. At this time the only I-O program accredited by MPAC is the University of West Florida.
How Long Does it Take to Earn a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology?
Earning a Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology usually takes two years of full time study. PhD programs may take between four and five years. Plan to only study part time? Earning your degree may take longer. Finally, if you’re seeking more flex in your program, consider an online degree. An online master of IO psych program may fit your schedule.
I-O Psychology Programs That May Be Completed in 24 Months or Less
|University||# of Credits Required||Start Dates||Minimum Months to Complete|
|Purdue Global University||60-75||4||18|
|Sacred Heart University||36||Rolling admissions||12|
|Southern New Hampshire University||36||Multiple||24|
|Grand Canyon University||36||Multiple||20|
How Much Does an Industrial Organizational Psychology Cost?
The average cost of a of a grad degree from a public institution is $11,617 per year. This means you will be able to find programs more affordable than the average. And yes, there are more expensive ones, too.
This graphic shows grad tuition costs of 4 institutions with industrial psychology programs. These were reported by the NCES. We have then compared those costs to the typically most affordable and most expensive college options, also as reported by NCES.
|Instate/Out Of State Tuition||School|
|State||Employment||Annual Mean Wage|
written by Rana Waxman
Schools with Industrial Organizational Psychology
GradSchools.com offers 108 Industrial Organizational Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Grand Canyon University
University of Strathclyde
University of Limerick
University of Missouri - St Louis
California State University, San Bernardino
Liverpool John Moores University
University of Denver