For those with an interest in business and psychology, a career in industrial-organizational psychology may serve as a perfect fit. Professionals in this field apply the concepts of psychology to a company or organization; they work with human resources, management, sales, marketing, and administration to improve workplace efficiency. The field is also quite lucrative — according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for industrial-organizational psychologists reaches nearly $83,000. This guide can help you find the right online master’s in industrial organizational psychology program to meet your needs.
Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and variety of courses provided as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
The Best Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Degree Program
1. University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
Founded in 1880, the University of Southern California (USC) attracts students from all over the world and operates as the largest private-sector employer in the city of Los Angeles. USC currently hosts about 47,500 students and awarded over 5,000 bachelor’s degrees and more than 10,000 advanced degrees in 2018.
Among the many on-campus and online degree options at USC is the school’s master of science in applied psychology — a 16-month program comprising 34 credits. Courses cover a variety of topics, including organizational psychology, research methods in applied social psychology, principles of consumer psychology, and marketing and organizational analytics. The curriculum breaks down into 20 required credits, eight credits of organizational psychology electives, eight credits of consumer psychology electives, an internship, and a treatise.
This program can lead to opportunities for professionals interested in marketing and market research, career counseling, talent development, employee relations, and human capital management.
Applicants to the program should have knowledge related to the study of human behavior, and most participants have taken social science courses. Required admission documents include GRE scores, a statement of purpose, three references, and a resume.
University of Southern California is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
2. University of Maryland
College Park, Maryland
Home to more than 41,000 students, the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) was founded in 1856. UMD offers an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology that incorporates foundational organizational topics, such as applied research, evidence-based practices, statistical and marketing skills, and analysis of data sets.
The 30-credit program typically takes students 15 months to complete, and the blended learning format features on-campus seminar instruction and online learning. On-campus classes are taught during the evening at the school’s College Park location. This partially online master’s in industrial and organizational psychology follows a 12-week term format with the last week set aside for finals.
According to a recent U.S. News & World Report study, industrial and organizational psychologists ranked among the best jobs of 2018. These professionals can be found working for the government, private practices, consulting firms, and colleges and universities.
Applicants to this program must submit two letters of recommendation, a resume or CV, and a statement of purpose. Students must also carry out an interview with the director of the program.
University of Maryland is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
3. Sacred Heart University
Founded in 1963 and located in Fairfield, Connecticut, Sacred Heart University (SHU) offers more than 80 programs and hosts upwards of 8,000 students. The 300-acre university has grown significantly over the past several decades and represents learners from over 30 countries.
SHU offers a master’s in applied psychology with three concentrations, including one in industrial organizational psychology. This concentration examines the behavior of people within groups and organizations and offers career potential in fields related to behavioral research science, organizational development, labor relations, and performance appraisal.
The 38-credit program features courses divided into eight-week sessions. Students take classes online and on campus. This accelerated, hybrid format means full-time learners can complete the program in a year. Core courses include applied research methods and statistics, foundations of applied psychology, foundations of psychological science, and identifying and managing psychopathology in community settings.
Specific examples of courses within the concentration include organizational behavior and personnel psychology. Concentration credit requirements can also be met by earning a certificate in industrial organizational psychology or community psychology.
Sacred Heart University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
4. Golden Gate University
San Francisco, California
Located in San Francisco, California, Golden Gate University (GGU) was established in 1901 and offers many opportunities for adult learners. Among its degree offerings is an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This program teaches students to evaluate internal workplace conflicts, improve employee training, conduct market research, and increase employee productivity. Graduates leave the program with the potential to become leading psychology professionals who can improve morale within a company.
The 42-unit program can be taken online, on campus, or in a hybrid format. Core courses include applied psychological research, organizational change, diversity in organizations, and executive coaching theory and practice. Electives cover topics such as work and workforce trends, ethics in managing people at work, and conflict resolution skills and techniques. Students also complete an applied psychology internship.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and submit official transcripts and GMAT or GRE scores.
Golden Gate University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
5. Azusa Pacific University
Located in southern California, Azusa Pacific University (APU) was founded in 1899 and offers more than 100 programs to its students, including a master’s in organizational psychology that students can complete partially online. Upon completion of this program, students should be able to develop and implement change initiatives, diagnose organizational health, create job satisfaction surveys, improve employee morale, and hire and train new recruits.
Students can complete the 39-credit program in about a year. Students can expect to take classes like organizational ethics, statistics in organizational psychology, executive coaching skills and techniques, research methodology and survey applications, and consultative applications of organizational psychology. The 39 credits comprise required courses only — there are no electives in this program.
Courses utilize a distributed learning model and are conducted during weekends and evenings, although select courses may include online discussions and other distance learning methods.
Azusa Pacific University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
6. Colorado State University – Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado
Located in Fort Collins, Colorado State University (CSU) was founded in 1870 and maintains eight colleges and a variety of online and hybrid programs to suit the needs of working students. Among CSU’s offerings is an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This 38-credit program can be completed in 2–4 years, depending on a student’s enrollment status. Summer courses are required, but there is no final thesis. The curriculum aims to equip graduates with the tools and knowledge needed to perform tasks such as assessing employee performance; recruiting, selecting, and retaining exemplary employees; and analyzing workplace programs. Career options are plentiful and include working in human resources and personnel selection, succession planning and leadership development, and research and academia.
Some core courses students can expect to take are competency modeling and criterion development, applied psychological research design, applied industrial psychology, applied measurement theory, workforce training and development, and applied cross-cultural industrial/organizational psychology. The self-paced online format gives students bonus flexibility, helping them balance school with work and other commitments.
Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a minimum
B grade in undergraduate statistics, and a minimum
B grade in one of the following undergraduate courses: organizational behavior, human resource management, industrial psychology, or organizational psychology.
Colorado State University – Fort Collins is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
7. Touro University Worldwide
Los Alamitos, California
Located in Los Alamitos, California, Touro University Worldwide (TUW) provides a plethora of online degrees and programs, catering specifically to underserved populations, adult learners, and working professionals. Among TUW’s options is an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
The foundation for this program focuses on teaching students how to help people in organizations function more effectively. Students learn how to balance making profits for a business, keeping employees happy, and using best practices when assisting clients.
The 36-credit program comprises core courses covering topics such as improving customer relations, facilitating organizational change, developing high-performance teamwork, and statistics methods. Concentration options include coaching and consulting, occupational health psychology, and human resource management. Some examples of concentration courses are art and science of facilitation, organizational stress management, and developing a competency culture.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university and submit transcripts from all previously attended higher education institutions.
Touro University Worldwide is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
8. Carlos Albizu University – Miami
Miami-Dade County, Florida
Albizu University is a private institution offering various psychology programs to students, including an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This program teaches students to apply scientific knowledge to help solve workplace conflicts. Graduates of the program can improve training and development, performance measurement, quality of work life, and selection and placement concepts within their place of employment. Career opportunities include positions within the government related to union relations, affirmative action, and labor laws; research positions dealing with organizational change, work motivation, and talent development; and positions within human resources departments concerning employee training and relations.
The 42-credit program can be completed fully online and includes courses like small group theory and process, personnel psychology, psychological assessment techniques in the organization, work motivation, and attitude theory. Students must also complete six capstone project/applied research credits and maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Applicants must create an online account, submit an application, and pay the $50 application fee. All prospective students should connect with an advisor at the admissions office to ensure that the application process was successful.
Carlos Albizu University – Miami is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).
9. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago
Located in Los Angeles, California, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers over 20 programs to students, including an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This program can be completed in 2–4 years, depending on a learner’s enrollment status. Students develop skills in motivation, leadership, performance appraisal, personnel selection, and training. Some courses students can expect to take include performance management, organizational culture and design, and organizational team dynamics. Graduates of the program can pursue careers in areas related to human resources, leadership, and business.
Prospective students must submit a resume or CV, an essay, and three letters of recommendation. Applicants should also provide evidence of a
C grade or better in the following undergraduate courses: psychology, research methods or experimental psychology, and statistics or quantitative psychology.
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
10. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Located in the city of Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T) offers about 100 programs and hosts upwards of 7,000 students each year. Founded in 1870, Missouri S&T was one of the first technological institutions west of the Mississippi River.
The online master’s in industrial organizational psychology at Missouri S&T provides the foundational knowledge and skills students need to apply psychological science and improve the well-being of employees within organizations. Graduates are equipped to incorporate effective training programs, devise strategies for organizational development, and assess people for job placement among workplaces.
Students enrolled in this master’s program may pursue a thesis or non-thesis option in one of two tracks: applied workplace psychology or statistical methods in psychology. The 40-credit program contains core courses in training and development and small group dynamics. Methods courses — in both thesis and non-thesis tracks — include psychometrics, applied psychological data analysis, and ethics and professional responsibilities. Electives in the non-thesis track include advanced cognition, advanced human factors, and advanced social psychology. Instead of electives, thesis students complete at least six credits of research.
To apply to the program, incoming student must have a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA. Applicants should also submit GRE test scores and a statement of purpose.
Missouri University of Science and Technology is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
11. Kansas State University
Kansas State University (K-State) was established in 1863 and is known for being a research university. K-state offers an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
The 38-credit program combines web-based and on-campus courses, taking students around 2.5 years to complete. Graduates of the program accrue the behavioral science skills needed to solve issues that arise in the workplace. The curriculum focuses on ethical and legal issues, training and program evaluation, job analysis and selection, and performance appraisal and compensation.
Students also complete a research practicum under faculty supervision and are required to enroll in two-week, on-campus sessions during the summer each year. Half of the courses and the practicum can be completed online, while four courses must be completed on campus.
Applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA and need to submit GRE scores, a resume or CV, a statement of objectives, and recommendation letters.
Kansas State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
12. National Louis University
Located in Chicago, Illinois, National Louis University (NLU) was founded in 1886 and currently hosts over 7,000 students. The majority of classes contain less than 20 students and NLU offers a myriad of program options, including an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This master’s program can be completed in about 20 months, and the curriculum follows guidelines established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Students must complete 36–42 credits, and course options include advanced theories of personality, research methodology and writing, work motivation and job attitudes, psychological statistics and analysis, and talent acquisition and retention.
Admission requirements specific to this program include recent scores from the Criterion Online Writing Assessment (or a sample of a professional paper), two letters of recommendation, and a faculty review. Writing score/sample requirements can be waived if a student earned a minimum 3.0 undergraduate GPA or if they already hold another master’s degree from an accredited institution.
National Louis University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
13. Southern New Hampshire University
Manchester, New Hampshire
Located in the city of Manchester, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) was founded in 1932 as a private university. Today, the school offers over 200 programs and educates upwards of 93,000 students.
Among the programs offered at SNHU is an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology. This 36-credit program follows an asynchronous format, which makes it convenient for working professionals. Students can complete the program in about 15 months if they choose to study full time, taking two courses during each 10-week term. Graduates learn the skills and knowledge needed to solve workplace issues and challenges. Students should know how to conduct market research, identify and improve employee training, and increase productivity.
Course topics include organizational consulting, ethical practice in psychology, theories of personality, measurement and assessment, and motivation in the workplace. Graduates can go on to pursue careers in marketing, criminal justice, human resources, IT, and education.
The school uses a rolling admissions process and students may receive confirmation of their acceptance within days of applying.
Southern New Hampshire University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
14. Bellevue University
A private institution in Nebraska, Bellevue University (BU) has been educating students since 1966 and hosts close to 9,000 learners each year. Among the school’s 80 available programs is an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology, which teaches graduates about talent management and performance, employee engagement, and human resource development.
The 36-credit program uses an accelerated, cohort format, which allows students to keep pace with their peers and form strong support systems. Upon completion of this program, students should be able to develop research methods that address various business topics, identify issues in the workplace and research how to solve them, and leverage data to improve best practices in the field. Notable courses include social psychology, organizational development, statistical methods, personnel selection, and measurement and design.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution earned with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Essays and recommendation letters may also be required.
Bellevue University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
15. University of Hartford
West Hartford, Connecticut
Located in West Hartford, Connecticut, the University of Hartford (UHart) has been educating students for over 60 years. The school offers more than 100 programs, including a master’s in organizational psychology online.
This 36-credit, asynchronous program delivers courses through seven-week blocks. The program uses start dates in September, January, and May. Students can expect to graduate in around two years, although this may vary depending on a learner’s enrollment status and course availability. Coursework covers advanced research methods, experimental design, personnel psychology, and a capstone project. Students also complete 21 elective credits.
Applicants to UHart’s master’s in organizational psychology online program should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, but there are no minimum GPA requirements. Students should also submit a resume, a letter of intent, and two recommendation letters. Transfer students may be able to bring in up to six eligible transfer credits.
University of Hartford is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
16. Eastern Kentucky University
Located in Richmond and with roots tracing back to 1906, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) focuses on high-quality instruction, scholarship, and service. The school offers a wide variety of degrees, endorsements, and certificates, including an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This fully online program teaches students the foundational knowledge and skills needed to assess the behavior of people within various organizations and develop strategies to improve performance and productivity in the workplace. Comprising 36 credits, this degree can lead to employment opportunities as HR analysts, directors of training, health and safety managers, and employee developmental specialists. The program follows guidelines outlined by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.
Applicants to EKU’s master’s in industrial organizational psychology program must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, earned with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students should also provide proof of completion of at least two undergraduate-level psychology courses and submit their GRE scores, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, and a resume or CV.
Eastern Kentucky University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
17. Austin Peay State University
Founded in 1927, Austin Peay State University (APSU) is a public school located in Clarksville, Tennessee. APSU hosts more than 10,000 students and offers a variety of degrees, such as an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
This 34-credit program follows guidelines established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and can be completed in approximately two years, depending on a student’s enrollment status. Participants learn how to analyze research; assess, interpret, and apply data to the workforce; and develop psychology-based interventions related to industrial and organizational psychology methods. Courses include foundations of applied psychology, performance management, training and development, leadership and organizational change, and personnel psychology.
Prospective students must submit GRE scores, a personal statement, and three letters of recommendation.
Austin Peay State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
18. Baker College
Located in Flint, Michigan, Baker College was founded in 1911 and offers over 150 programs, including an online master’s in industrial organizational psychology.
Learners in this program learn principles of psychology that can help improve processes in various organizations. Students should be able to leverage psychological theories and improve strategies and principles for employees. Graduates of the program gain the skills and knowledge needed to serve as competent psychology practitioners, applying methods and principles to a variety of careers.
The 36-credit program can take students up to two years to complete, depending on their enrollment status. Participants can look forward to taking classes in statistics and data analysis, research methods, psychology of leadership, psychology of training and learning, and industrial/organizational psychology.
Applicants must submit a resume, transcripts, and an essay.
Baker College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
19. Franklin University
Located in Columbus, Ohio, Franklin University has been educating students for over 115 years. Many programs at Franklin cater specifically to working adults who require increased flexibility when pursuing an online degree. Among Franklin’s many online offerings is a master’s in business psychology.
Students pursuing this degree learn how to solve managerial issues, help motivate certain behaviors in the workplace environment, and take advantage of the latest neuroscience and psychological research to improve organizations and employee relations.
The 36-credit program can be completed in 14 months and includes courses in managerial psychology, psychology and marketing, psychology and human resources, behavioral economics and neurofinance. Participants must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer credits are considered on a case-by-case basis, but students must complete at least 24 credits while in residence at the university.
Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution earned with a minimum GPA of 2.75. Students with a lower GPA can still apply, but they may be asked for additional references and documents related to their work history. This program does not have any GRE requirements.
Franklin University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).
What Is a Master’s in Organizational Psychology?
Combining the principles of psychology and business, organizational psychology (also known as industrial psychology) is the scientific study of working. A master’s degree in organizational psychology provides graduates with the critical leadership skills to drive structural and cultural change across an organization.
Online master’s degree programs in industrial organizational psychology explore an array of topics related to human behavior and business, including workplace diversity, employee training, performance auditing, and change management. Students learn to use evidence-based best practice to effectively restructure organizations, promote teamwork, and enhance the workplace. Available concentrations in this degree track include talent management, human resources management, and coaching and consulting.
Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Programs
Each school offers its own unique program. For example, instead of traveling to a college campus for classes, some schools let distance learners complete all their work in virtual classrooms. This allows students to take classes and complete assignments in the comfort of their own home or office. It also opens the door for students to enroll in programs outside of where they live and work. Online students engage with their professors and classmates through email, web conferences, and discussion boards.
Instructors deliver online coursework synchronously, asynchronously, or as combination of both formats. Asynchronous programs do not require any specific login times, which means that students can complete work on their own schedules. Conversely, synchronous courses require students to sign on at specific times to participate in real-time video conferences or group discussions with classmates and instructors. Cohort-style online programs tend to mandate that students complete courses together at a set sequence and at a specific pace. Students in more flexible programs can choose their course loads and finish their programs at a pace that best suits their needs.
Online learning serves as a great option for students who require maximum flexibility, such as needing to balance work, family, or other personal commitments. The most successful distance learners are independent and self-motivated enough to complete their work.
The Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology
After earning an undergraduate degree, students often face the decision of whether to pursue a master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology is a great steppingstone to a more advanced degree in the field. Professionals with bachelor’s degrees in organizational psychology may find careers as training and development coordinators, instructional designers, personnel analysts, or human resources generalists.
However, many positions in this field require a master’s degree. Earning an online master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology opens the door to many job opportunities with higher earning potential, including as organizational consultants, training development directors, researchers, and employee relations directors. Some organizations may even prefer to hire industrial-organizational psychologists who hold their Ph.D. Earning a doctoral degree in industrial organization also qualifies graduates to become college professors. The following section describes five potential careers for students with a master’s in organizational psychology.
Average Salary by Degree Level
|Degree Level||Average Salary|
|Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Psychology||$66,000|
|Master’s Degree in Organizational Psychology||$100,000|
What Can You Do With a Master’s in Organizational Psychology?
Working at the intersection between modern business and traditional psychology, industrial-organizational psychologists often partner with business or government professionals to develop employee training programs, evaluate organizational structures, and assist with change management programs. Students with their online master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology also apply these principles to a variety of business operations within administration, human resources, and marketing. Professionals in this specialized field can also opt for careers in academia to conduct research, write papers and books, and instruct students.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychologist:
- Industrial organizational psychologists analyze human behavior in the workplace. Their work includes research design, creating assessment exercises, conducting surveys, and interpreting results. Industrial-organizational psychologists generally hold a master’s degree and state licensure, though some organizations prefer a doctoral degree.
Salary by experience:
- Entry Level: $61,000
- Mid-Career: $94,000
- Experienced: $112,000
- Late Career: $131,000
- Industrial-Organizational Professor:
- As the industrial-organization field grows, so does the demand for professors. Industrial-organizational professors teach college-level courses, conduct research, and mentor students. They also present lectures, assign coursework, and grade assignments. Colleges and universities require adjunct professors to hold at least a master’s degree; however, most tenured professors hold a Ph.D.
Salary by experience:
- Entry Level: $60,000
- Mid-Career: $71,000
- Experienced: $86,000
- Late Career: $99,000
- Training Development Director:
- Training development directors create and implement employee training programs. They establish training objectives and ensure that goals align with an organization’s larger strategic initiatives. Most positions require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree; however, many employers prefer a master’s degree.
Salary by experience:
- Entry Level: $68,000
- Mid-Career: $84,000
- Experienced: $107,000
- Late Career: $119,000
- Research Consultant:
- Research consultants collect and analyze data, and then they present their findings. Industrial-organizational research consultants solve business problems related to employees and the workplace. Most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree; however, many employers require or prefer a master’s degree.
Salary by experience:
- Entry Level: $60,000
- Mid-Career: $82,000
- Experienced: $94,000
- Late Career: $102,000
- Employee Relations Director:
- Employee relations directors typically work in human resources departments. They manage the workforce, guide employee actions, conduct training sessions, and ensure compliance with labor regulations. Employee relations directors must hold at least a bachelor’s degree; however, most employers prefer a master’s degree.
Salary by experience:
- Entry Level: $74,000
- Mid-Career: $102,000
- Experienced: $103,000
- Late Career: $117,000
Choosing an Online Organizational Psychology Graduate Degree Program
Organizational psychology programs analyze the behavior of people in business settings. Professional organizational psychologists use psychological principles to create methods and plans in order to optimize productivity. The highly specialized nature of the degree means that further concentration options are not always available. However, students often personalize their program by choosing electives of interest.
Courses in an online master’s in industrial-organizational psychology program apply theory to practical settings. Students may take classes such as measurement and statistics, research methods, workforce training, and cross-cultural psychology. Prospective students should note that specific classes and electives vary from school to school.
- Program Cost:
- Students must consider the cost of tuition when comparing master’s degree programs. Some schools charge per-credit tuition, while others charge per course. Learners should calculate the total cost of a program to ensure that they can afford the degree. Students should also consider financial aid options, such as student loans, scholarships, and assistantships.
- Transfer Policies:
- A school’s transfer policy proves especially important both to students with previously earned college credits and to those who intend to transfer to a different school in the future. Each school develops its own policies for transfer students. Students with previous credits should look for schools with transfer agreements that make it easier to count old credits toward their degree.
- School Size and Type:
- Students should consider whether a public or a private school suits them best. Public schools enjoy funding from the government, which usually results in larger class sizes. Private programs, by contrast, tend to offer smaller class sizes. Students should contact their prospective school to learn more about the size of their classes.
- Program Length:
- The length of the program is a key factor when comparing master’s in organizational psychology programs. Prospective students should think about how long they want to study. For example, schools offer online programs on an accelerated, full-time basis or on a part-time basis:
- the latter pace accommodating working professions content with extending the total time it takes to graduate.
- On-Campus Requirements:
- When looking at online master’s programs, students should find out about any on-campus requirements. Many schools feature 100% online programs; however, certain schools require distance learners to visit campus (or another location) a few times during the program.
- Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements:
- Most master’s programs require students to write a final thesis paper, take a final comprehensive exam, or a complete a final capstone project. A thesis tends to focus on research, while exams may entail writing timed essays. Capstone project requirements vary by school; however, some organizational psychology programs require students to apply their research to real-world scenarios.
Accreditation for Online Organizational Psychology Master’s Degrees
The accreditation process involves an evaluation of a school’s academics, faculty, resources, and more. Accredited institutions are approved and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (ED). The ED and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a non-governmental organization of colleges and universities, ensure the credibility of accrediting organizations.
Two types of accreditation apply to higher education: regional and national. Regional accreditation is the highest standard of accreditation, and seven ED- and CHEA-recognized regional accreditation agencies oversee accreditation in the U.S, including the Higher Learning Commission and the Middle States Commission of Higher Education. Schools with regional accreditation boast nonprofit status and typically serve as the more reputable institutions.
The ED also recognizes national accreditation agencies, including the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training. National accreditation focuses on specific trades, vocations, or faith-based careers. Students should note that attending a school with only national accreditation comes with some downsides, such as employer skepticism regarding the degree conferred and credit-transfer issues.
How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master in Organizational Psychology Degree Program?
Various criteria impact the length of time it takes to earn a degree. For example, most master’s degrees require students to earn 30–40 credits, with some degrees requiring up to 54 credits. Whether distance learners take classes on a full-time or part-time basis also affects the length of time it takes to graduate. Some schools allow students to choose between full-time or part-time status; however, some programs only come in one format.
Students who take courses on a full-time basis may earn their degrees in 2–2 years, while those who opt for part-time programs may need 2–4 years to complete their degrees. Distance learners who wish to earn their degrees at a quicker pace should look for accelerated programs, which allow students to graduate in as little as 11 months. Additionally, students who transfer in previously earned credits may require less time to earn their degrees, as taking fewer credits results in a cheaper total program cost.
Courses in an Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Program
- Organizational Development and Change:
- An organizational development course equips students with fundamental knowledge of organizational structures, processes, rules, and functions. In this course, students explore planning, executing, and managing change in today’s modern, fast-paced work environments. Topics include human behavior, program implementation, and organizational analysis. Courses typically cover intervention and resolution methods such as consultation, coaching, and behavior modeling.
- Psychology Research Methods:
- Research methods courses ensure that students develop a substantial understanding of the research process, including research design, hypothesis development, and experimentation. Research courses also cover the conception and implementation of a research study, from the planning phase to collecting data to analyzing results. Students may practice advanced statistical techniques, such as canonical correlation and logistic regression.
- Personnel Psychology:
- Courses in personnel psychology provide students with a social psychological perspective of industrial and work-related problems. Topics include human resources, personnel selection, talent management, job satisfaction, and performance appraisal. Students discuss work behavior, job satisfaction, group relationships, organizational effectiveness, and corporate social responsibility. Courses also explore current trends and future directions of the field.
- Talent Management:
- Talent management courses provide students with a strong understanding of topics related to human resources, such as how to recruit, select, develop, and retain employees within an organization. Courses explore talent acquisition, training and professional development, compensation, employee turnover, and labor relations. Students also discuss current challenges and explore various strategies and solutions.
- Social Psychology:
- Social psychology courses explore the impact of social factors on human behavior. In this course, students examine how people think, act, and interact within various social situations, including in the workplace. Students analyze the underlying causes of different behaviors and discuss diverse perspectives. Topics include prejudice, stereotyping, aggression, conformity, interpersonal attraction, social cognition, and intergroup relations.
Organizational Psychology Membership Associations
Membership associations serve as a valuable resource for organizational psychology professionals. Association members receive numerous benefits, including access to specialized job boards, private events, and elite subscriptions. Professional associations provide members with ample networking opportunities and ensure they stay up to date on the latest research and trends in the field.
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology:
- Dedicated to advancing the industrial-organizational psychology field, SIOP is a professional association with more than 10,000 members. SIOP offers members several networking opportunities, such as the Annual Conference and the Leading Edge Consortium. Student members can search for internships in the association’s JobNet and post their resumes on their Conference Placement Center.
- American Psychological Association:
- APA is a professional organization with more than 118,000 members. APA offers an abundance of resources for psychology students, clinicians, consultants, researchers, and educators, including internship opportunities, subscriptions to special publications, financial planning guides, discounts on continuing education opportunities, and a specialized job board.
- Association for Behavior Analysis International:
- ABAI is a 26,000-member organization dedicated to human behavior analysis. The association offers members networking events and continuing education opportunities around the world. Members enjoy access to a robust selection of career services, including a specialized job board and job placement services.
- Association for Psychological Science:
- APS is an international organization of more than 30,000 psychologists, scientists, academics, researchers, and students. Dedicated to understanding and improving the human condition, the association offers members access to conventions, research publications, and career services. APS regularly awards members for their contributions to the advancement of the field.