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Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Program of Study


The I/O Psychology training program offers a well-rounded curriculum that reflects the state of the art of the discipline of I/O psychology and meets current professional recommendations including: 

  •  “Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral Level in Industrial-Organizational Psychology” published in 1999 by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Inc. (SIOP), Division 14 of APA

  • “Petition for the Recognition of a Specialty in Professional Psychology” describing the specialty of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, SIOP, 2011

The Ph.D. degree requirements include 60 credits of coursework, a master’s thesis, comprehensive examinations, and a dissertation.


Course Requirements for the I/O Training Area:

The 60-credit course curriculum is organized into 4 groups of required courses and 1 group of elective courses:

  • Group 1: I/O Psychology Foundation Courses (21 credits)
  • Group 2: General Psychology (12 credits)
  • Group 3: Industrial Psychology Courses (minimum of 6 credits)
  • Group 4: Organizational Psychology Courses (minimum of 6 credits)
  • Elective Courses (minimum of 15 credits)

Group 1: I/O Psychology Foundation Courses (21 credits):
  • Problems in I/O Psychology: II. Organizational Psychology (3 credits)
  • Statistics & Computer Programming I (3 credits)
  • Statistics & Computer Programming II (3 credits)
  • Research Methods and Design I (3 credits)
  • Independent Readings (3 credits)
  • Independent Psychological Research (3 credits)
  • Psychometric Methods (3 credits)

Group 2: General Psychology (12 credits): 
  • Ethical/Legal Issues for Psychologists (3 credits)
  • Social Psychology (3 credits)
  • Cognitive Psychology (3 credits)
  • Individual differences (e.g., Personality, Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Organizations) (3 credits)

Group 3: Industrial Psychology Courses (minimum of 6 credits):
  • Problems in I/O Psychology: I. Personnel Psychology (Job Analysis and Selection) (3 credits)
  • Advanced Seminar in Research Problems in Personnel Psychology (Performance Management) (3 credits)
  • Training and Development (3 credits)

Group 4: Organizational Psychology Courses (minimum of 6 credits):
  • Human Motivation (3 credits)
  • Leadership in Organizations (3 credits)
  • Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues in Organizations1 (3 credits)
  • Emotions and Attitudes in Organizations (3 credits)
  • Career Development/Work-Life Interface (3 credits)


Elective Courses (Minimum of 15 credits; may include Group 3 or Group 4 courses, above the minimum Group requirements; Four of the five electives must be psychology electives).

Examples of recent I/O psychology and statistics electives:

  • Advanced Psychometrics (Item Response Theory) (3 credits)
  • Organizational Survey Research (3 credits)
  • Organizational Development (3 credits)
  • Special Topics: Individual Psychological Assessment (3 credits)
  • Special Topics: Talent Management (3 credits)
  • Special Topics: Research Synthesis (3 credits)
  • Hierarchical Linear Models (3 credits)
  • Path Analysis, Factor Analysis, & SEM (3 credits)
  1A course can only be used to fulfill one requirement.

Students take 18 credits in years one, two, and three, and 6 credits in the fourth year. Previously earned credits in an I/O psychology Ph.D. program may be transferred in some situations. Credits from a terminal master's degree or other prior graduate degrees are not transferred and will not apply to the Ph.D. requirements.


Master's Thesis Requirement for the I/O Training Area:

All students are required to complete a master's thesis. A committee chair and two additional committee members are selected to advise the student throughout the process of developing a proposal, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, conducting the research, and completing the thesis. A successful oral defense of the thesis proposal is the first doctoral examination in the I/O training area. A successful oral defense of the final written document completes the thesis requirement.

Written Comprehensive Examination Requirement for the I/O Training Area:

After the completion of the master's thesis and 54 credits, students take a two-day written comprehensive examination covering all facets of industrial and organizational psychology, research methods, psychometrics, and ethical/professional issues. Passing the comprehensive exams is the second doctoral examination in the I/O training area.

Dissertation Requirement for the I/O Training Area:

All students are required to complete a doctoral dissertation. A committee chair and two additional committee members are selected who advise the student throughout the process of developing a proposal, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval, implementing the research, and completing the dissertation. Once the written dissertation is conditionally accepted by the initial committee and by two additional committee members, a successful oral defense completes the course of graduate study.