California Industrial and Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs

Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs (or IO Psychology Programs) help students develop a thorough understanding of human behavior and how it impacts the workplace.

Through a combination of psychology and business courses, students may learn to use psychological principles and practices to solve problems in many areas of business. Industrial organizational psychologists could address issues in HR, administration, sales, management, marketing and more.

Industrial and organizational psychology programs may also help students develop research skills and knowledge. They may learn to conduct their own studies to better understand interactions in the workplace and help employees and organizations thrive.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs

What is Industrial Organizational Psychology?

Industrial organizational psychology, or IO psychology, is the application of psychology to organizations in both the public and private sector. Psychological principles and methods are used to solve problems and improve the quality of work life. This could include issues such as productivity, differing work styles and morale.

IO psychology may also inform policy decisions, employee screening or training practices, and strategic development.i

Industrial organizational psychologists could be useful in many different places. Businesses, government agencies, consulting firms and research bodies are just a few examples.

Within these organizations, an organizational psychologist might support a wide range of departments and tasks. In brief, industrial organization psychology could play a role anywhere people work together. And earning a business psychology degree may prepare you to be part of this process.

Overview of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Programs

Industrial and organizational psychology programs focus not only on the psychology of the workplace from a scientific standpoint, but also on its use to benefit both the organization and its individual members. The field can be divided into two main parts.

Industrial psychology programs highlight the study and application of psychology as it affects workers on a personal level. This could include things like employee reviews, benefits, and the overall work environment.

Organizational psychology programs focus on the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. While graduate programs may focus on both these areas, knowing what aspects of industrial organizational psychology are of most interest to you may help to determine your ideal course of study.

Your background may also be a major factor when it comes to selecting your school. Each IO psychology program may have different admission requirements based on education and professional experience. Requirements and available areas of focus vary, so follow up with an admission advisor for details.

Potential Courses in IO Psychology Graduate Programs

Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs combine clinical and organizational psychology courses with business classes. This provides students with a well-rounded base with which to understand and influence dynamics in the workplace.

Students may also take classes to develop their research skills and knowledge. While curriculum may vary depending on degree level and program goals, students could expect to take a few of the following classes.

  • Consulting for Organizational Change
  • Behavior Theories and Strategies
  • Workplace Motivation and Attitudes
  • Research Theory, Design, and Methods
  • IO Tests and Measurement
  • Personnel Psychology in the Workplace
  • Training and Evaluation

Contact individual industrial and organizational psychology programs for a full course list.

Research and Practicums in Organizational Psychology Programs

Many industrial psychology programs provide students with ways to learn outside the classroom. If your goal is to pursue industrial organizational psychology research, looking at what opportunities are provided may be crucial.

This is especially important for those interested in earning a PhD organizational psychology degree. Research often plays a larger role in doctorate programs, and most have a dissertation requirement. Therefore, it may be a good idea to seek programs with opportunities that align with your interests.

Those starting with masters in organizational psychology programs may also wish to look for chances to gain research experience. This may help you pursue academic and professional opportunities. Plus, it could potentially strengthen your doctorate application if you continue your studies.

If you're more interested in applying research as an industrial organizational psychologist, choosing a program with a greater focus on the real-world may be preferable. Some industrial and organizational psychology programs involve practicums, observation, or other experiences that may be of value. Schools vary so contact them directly for details.

Types of IO Psychology Programs

Industrial organizational psychology graduate programs may be offered at several levels and award different types of credentials. These may range from graduate certificates to masters or doctorate degrees. Each id tailored toward a unique set of academic and professional goals. They may also have varying requirements.

Masters in Organizational Psychology Programs

Masters in industrial organizational psychology programs typically require two years of full time study and may result in either a MA or MS degree. Often, MA and MS organizational psychology masters programs are rather similar. However, when they do vary, they may reflect different career and educational goals.

Many MA in industrial psychology programs are geared toward enabling further study. They may act as a stepping stone toward a doctorate and professional research opportunities.

As such, many MA industrial psychology programs require the successful completion of a thesis for graduation. They also often take a more liberal arts approach to subject matter and may place a heavier emphasis on theory.

An MS program in industrial organizational psychology, on the other hand, may focus more on the practical application of IO psychology. These are often based on a scientist-practitioner model and focus heavily on applying theory and research in the field.

Masters of Science in Organizational Psychology programs may be a great way to prepare to pursue management, HR and analytic roles.

In either case, programs may have an internship or practicum component to augment classroom study. This may help students to gain experience in the field.

There may also be opportunities to support professors with research or pursue interests of your own. Every masters in organizational psychology program is designed differently, so it's best to review course lists and contact schools for additional informatoin.

Applying to Organizational Psychology Masters Programs

Many people pursuing a masters in organizational psychology degree have already obtained bachelors degrees in psychology. However, organizational psychology masters programs may also consider relevant experience, as well as skills that may cross over from other disciplines.

Students with undergraduate degrees in different fields may be required to demonstrate a basic level of fluency with psychology or take remedial courses before entry. Contact preferred masters in organizational psychology programs to learn more.

Ph.D. Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs

Earning a PhD in industrial organizational psychology could allow you to conduct you own IO research, both during the program and post graduation. Typically programs require students to write a dissertation and complete 4 to 6 years of study, though this varies.

In their dissertation, students have an opportunity to explore a specific area of interest, and present and publish their own findings. Coursework may be tailored to support this effort.

As Ph.D. organizational psychology programs are longer and typically research based, many may have research experience requirements for admission.

This experience could be earned while earning a masters in industrial and organizational psychology degree or in a professional setting. In either case, a masters degree from an accredited university may be required.

Upon graduation, students might pursue careers teaching at a university or a variety of advanced professional and consulting positions. Employement requirements vary.

Graduate Certificate in Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs

Graduate certificate programs in industrial organizational psychology may be ideal for working professionals looking to expand expertise. These programs are often shorter and have more concentrated course work.

Many may be aimed at individuals who have already completed a related graduate program but wish to expand their knowledge in industrial organizational psychology. Others may better suit industrial organizational psychologists and require some professional experience. Every program is different, so contact schools for details.

Campus vs.Online Industrial and Organizational Psychology Programs

Choosing the format for your IO psychology program may be a key factor in the success of your education. Schools now offer a variety of options that may fit into your lifestyle. On-campus, online, and hybrid programs may all be available.

Industrial organizational psychology graduate schools, the most traditional option, may be ideal for those who want the community atmosphere of a campus. Many schools have facilties like labs and libraries to enhance the classroom experience. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in research opportunities alongside professors.

Organizational psychology programs online may offer a level of convenience perfect for the working professional. Graduate programs situated 100% online may not be subject to geographical restrictions. Additionally, online classes could have greater flexibility to fit into your schedule.

It's important to note that some online programs may have practicum or other in person requirements. Follow up for details.

Hybrid industrial and organizational psychology programs combine aspects of both campus and online options. Students may complete courses online then participate in short campus visits. Or take both online and on campus courses throughout the semester. This format may be designed several different ways, so be sure to double check details before applying.

What Is an Industrial Organizational Psychologist?

Sometimes referred to as business psychologists, industrial organizational psychologists use psychological theories and methods to solve problems in the workplace. They may perform rigorous academic and scientific research and apply psychological principles, and their research findings, to creating and sustaining a happier, healthier, and more effective organization.

In 2016, the median annual salary for industrial organizational psychologists was $82,760.iii

Psychologists typically need a doctoral degree in psychology to practice. However to become an industrial organizational psychologist, you may only need a masters degree in psychology.ii That said, some may choose to earn a doctorate in organizational psychology degree to expand their knowledge and potentially gain a competitive edge.

Employment of industrial and organizational psychologists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as average for all occupations. However, industrial organizational psychologists are expected to face competition for positions because of the large number of qualified applicants.

Industrial-organizational psychologists with extensive training in quantitative research methods may have a competitive edge.iv Look for industrial psychology graduate programs with a strong research component, such as PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology programs, if this is of interest to you.

Find Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs

Let GradSchools.com help you find perfect industrial organizational psychology graduate programs! Using the menu, choose any of the program levels to search for masters in organizational psychology programs, PhD industrial organizational psychology programs and certificates.

Or filter by formats for campus based or online organizational psychology programs. You can also filter by state to find schools near you.

Once you have a list that fits your criteria, click on listings to read more about each program, and contact schools directly. All the information is at your fingertips. Start reviewing IO Psychology program options to apply today!


Source: [i] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-2 | [ii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-4 | [iii] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-5 | [iv] bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm#tab-6

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