Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MA)


The Master of Arts with a major in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology prepares students to perform quality professional human resources services in a variety of work settings. The program provides career advancement opportunities for human resource professionals in private and public sector organizations. In addition, it offers coursework for those in entry-level positions or those embarking upon human resource careers. As a terminal master's degree program, this highly specialized and competitive educational experience in I/O Psychology is distinct from business education and from doctoral training in I/O Psychology. Graduates are employed as external or internal consultants; a small number of graduates continue their education in I/O doctoral programs.

The Psychology Department faculty is dedicated to implementing a program that focuses intensively on psychological theories, principles, research, and their application to human behavior in the workplace. Areas of concentration include leadership and organizational development; multicultural, race, nationality, and gender issues in the workplace; human resource assessment and personnel selection; training and development; job design; performance evaluation; and workplace ethics.

The total 42 credit hours required for the degree can be earned either part-time, i.e., two courses per term, or full-time, i.e., four courses per term. Full-time students can complete the program in two years, including a summer term. Part-time students can complete the program in two and one-half years, including summer terms.

The program includes a comprehensive examination and a 250-hour internship/practicum experience. The internship/practicum consists of supervised practice of Industrial/Organizational Psychology in a private or public-sector organization. Paralleling the internship/practicum experience is a year-long capstone course. This course allows for the integration of courses taken throughout the program, as well as integration of theory and practice.

Students may decide between two options to complete the program: (1) a comprehensive examination-plus-additional coursework option, or (2) an examination-plus-thesis option. The additional coursework option requires two additional elective courses instead of a master's thesis. The thesis option requires the thesis (which comprises original research under faculty supervision) in lieu of the two additional elective courses. Either option requires 42 credit hours to complete the degree. Students oriented toward immediate professional practice upon graduation may choose the coursework option, whereas those who anticipate pursuing doctoral education before they enter professional practice will likely choose the thesis option.

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    Admission Requirements

    1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with a 3.0 grade point average in the last two years.
    2. Completion of an undergraduate major in psychology or related field and required undergraduate prerequisite courses.
    3. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination, General Aptitude Test (the subject tests are not acceptable).


    The Master of Arts with a major in Industrial/Organizational Psychology involves 42 credit hours, 36 of which are required coursework hours completed through the following curriculum:

    • PYC 5700 Issues in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3 credits)
    • PYC 6600 Statistical Methods I (3 credits)
    • PYC 6610 Statistical Methods II (3 credits)
    • PYC 5040 Advanced Research (3 credits)
    • PYC 5710 Psychometric Theory and Test Construction (3 credits)
    • PYC 5720 I/O Assessment II: Human Resources Assessment (3 credits)
    • PYC 5730 Ethical Issues in the Workplace (3 credits)
    • PYC 5740 Training and Development (3 credits)
    • PYC 5750 Leadership Models (3 credits)
    • PYC 5760 Multi-Cultural Issues in the Workplace (3 credits)
    • PYC 5790 Capstone Experience (3 credits)
    • PYC 5880 Practicum Industrial/Organizational Psychology (3 credits)

    Students who elect to complete an additional 6 credit hours in place of a master's thesis may select two courses from the following possible elective courses:

    • PYC 5000 Social Psychology (3 credits)
    • PYC 6040 Learning and Memory (3 credits)
    • PYC 6500 History and Systems of Psychology (3 credits)
    • MBA 5140 Foundations of Management (3 credits)
    • MBA 5210 Personal Development, Ethics, and Social Responsibility (3 credits)
    • MBA 5250 Organizational Leadership (3 credits)
    • MBA 5270 Organizational Processes (3 credits)
    • MBA 5680 Diversity in Management and Marketing (3 credits)
    • MBA 5720 Human Resources Management (3 credits)
    • MBA 5840 Organization Theory (3 credits)
    • MBA 5850 Organizational Change and Development (3 credits)

    Academic Standards

    Students must maintain an overall GPA of 3.0. A student who earns two grades of C+ or lower will not be eligible to continue in the program unless the student can demonstrate unusual or extraordinary circumstances as responsible for the deficient performance.

Program Contact Information

Program Director: Kathleen Zimmerman-Oster, Ph.D.
Reno Hall, Room 232
McNichols Campus

Telephone: 313-993-1137
Fax: 313-578-0507

Department Website

Interim Department Chair: Steven Abell, Ph.D., ABPP