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Specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Note: The Specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is not currently taking any new students.


About the Specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

The doctoral program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology provides a broad training in both industrial and organizational topics, while fostering integration with psychology in general. Likewise, the program follows the scientist/practitioner model that is the hallmark of the discipline. The department's goal is to prepare the student for both academic and applied positions, but the program emphasizes the training of scholars, with particular prominence given to research. Both independent and collaborative research projects with faculty members are required.

To these ends, students are expected to complete courses in statistics, research methods, and basic and advanced seminars in I/O and other areas of psychology. These psychology and I/O courses provide substantial training in the psychology of human resource management (i.e., personnel) and organizational behavior. A supervised practicum is encouraged after students complete their comprehensive exams.

Students may pursue personal interests through seminars, other courses in the Psychology Department, and courses elsewhere in the university, including the College of Business. Students may also specialize in applied quantitative psychology. A master's thesis and doctoral dissertation, both substantive research projects, are required. The master's degree is not intended to be a terminal degree but only a step toward the Ph.D. degree. We do not usually accept students who have a master's degree in I/O or related disciplines from another university, although exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. It is anticipated that students will complete the Ph. D. program in four to six years.


Jeffrey B. Vancouver, Current research involves developing and testing computational models of human/environment interactions, focusing on the role of goals and feedback in motivation and learning.

Emeriti Faculty

Rodger W. Griffeth, Research interests include organizational turnover and human resource systems.


Recommended Courses

The specialization in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is intended to prepare the student for both academic and applied positions. Training in both personnel/human resources and organizational psychology is emphasized.

Coursework: In addition to the course sequence in statistics required of all students and three of the four core Experimental Section courses, the organizational program requirements include a basic core of courses and more advanced preparation in statistics and research design.

Students may pursue personal interests through seminars, other courses in the psychology department, and courses in other departments, especially in the College of Business.

Students are also encouraged to obtain practical experience on an internship after proposing a dissertation thesis. Finally, both independent and collaborative projects with faculty members are strongly encouraged. Courses taken to satisfy the scholarly tool requirement may not be used to satisfy other program requirements.

Specifically, recommended courses for I-O students include:

  • 5710 First-Year Seminar in Experimental Psychology
  • 6980 Research Seminar
  • 7110 Multivariate Statistics
  • 7130 Advanced Regression Analysis
  • 6610 Survey of Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • 7621 Organizational Psychology: Org Behavior OR 7550 Motivation
  • 7631 Performance Appraisal and Management
  • 7633 Selection & Placement
  • 7635 Training & Development
  • 8906 Advanced Seminar: I-O Psychology
  • 8906: Advance Seminar: Occupational Health Psychology
  • 8906: Advanced Seminar: Work and Family