Best Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master's Programs

Updated August 16, 2022

A master's in industrial-organizational psychology prepares you for a fascinating career in management or consulting. Learn about the best master's programs.

Are you ready to discover your college program?

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Industrial-organizational psychologists use applied psychology to help organizations and individuals boost effectiveness, increase employee retention, and improve productivity. Scientific research organizations, colleges, and universities are the most common employers. In these settings, the average industrial-organizational psychology salary is in the six figures range.

Keep reading to learn about the best industrial and organizational psychology master's programs and what to expect in school and a career.

What to Look For in an Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master's Program

An industrial-organizational psychology master's degree is a major investment of time and money. Factors to consider when selecting schools include the program's quality and curriculum, admissions requirements, cost and financial aid, structure and schedule (especially if you plan to work while studying), and student-to-faculty ratio.

Accreditation means that a school meets quality educational standards, so this page only lists accredited industrial-psychology programs. Employers may prefer hiring graduates from accredited institutions. Additionally, students may transfer credits between accredited programs.

Practical Experience Requirements

Many industrial-organizational psychology master's programs require internships rather than practicums, while others require practicums and internships. Some programs offer the choice between a thesis and an internship. While schools may provide internship openings and advice, students apply to and manage their internships.

Internships and practicums help students develop real-world experience, work with industry professionals, and build a network and references. Some research-based internships can lead to publishing academic papers, which can be an advantage when applying to jobs or graduate schools.

Common practicum internship settings include management consulting firms, large corporations, government organizations, healthcare organizations, and nonprofits. Common internship tasks include assisting in research projects, helping to develop training programs, and collecting and managing data.

Career Relevance

Industrial-organizational psychologists may work in human resources or organizational management and leadership. They also work as consultants, either independently or as part of a consulting firm. Depending on the size and nature of the organization or consulting engagement, they may work alone or as part of a team.

Industrial-organizational psychology work typically includes:

Featured Online Programs

Best Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master's Programs

#1

University of Central Florida

School Information
Location Orlando, Florida
Admission Rate 44%
Graduation Rate 72%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

UCF offers about 230 programs, with psychology ranking as the top major. The MS in industrial-organizational psychology teaches students how to apply psychological principles in various workplace settings. Full-time students can complete the 38-semester-hour curriculum in four semesters. The program offers thesis and non-thesis options.

Learners explore topics like work motivation and job attitudes. Other topics include staff recruitment, placement, and selection. Students learn how to conduct and evaluate psychological research. Enrollees can use elective credit for training in areas like advanced social psychology.

Enrollees can culminate the degree with a thesis. A nonthesis option requires field experience such as a practicum in an applied setting. 

Students may receive financial assistance through assistantships, fellowships, or tuition support. Admission requires a bachelor's in psychology or a related major, or a bachelor's degree in any major and prerequisite coursework. UCF requires GRE scores.

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#2

CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 43%
Graduation Rate 70%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Baruch is part of the City University of New York system. The school's MS in  industrial-organizational psychology prepares students for practitioner and research careers. Enrollees receive a comprehensive education in applying theoretical principles to real-world settings. 

The program accommodates the needs of both full-time degree-seekers and working students. Learners complete evening classes at Baruch's Manhattan campus and supplement in-person learning with online coursework. The 36-credit curriculum requires core classes that examine psychological research design, problems in I/O psychology, and applied statistical analysis for business decisions.

Enrollees use elective credit to develop skills in areas like performance management or training and development. Students culminate the degree with a thesis. The thesis offers the option for an independent research project or group research project.

Mid- and senior-level professionals may want to consider the executive MS in I/O psychology. Admission to either program requires a bachelor's degree and school transcripts.

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#3

New York University

School Information
Location New York, New York
Admission Rate 16%
Graduation Rate 85%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 10% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Founded in 1831, NYU is a private school that serves about 50,000 students. The institution's top-ranked programs include the MA in industrial-organizational psychology. The program offers full-time and part-time enrollment options. NYU offers the program exclusively on campus. Students complete most classes in the evenings for added flexibility. 

The 36-point curriculum covers competencies like personnel selection, performance measurement and rewards, and leadership and strategic change. The program provides specialization opportunities. Options include management consulting and executive coaching. Another option teaches students how to lead and manage change.

Students work on real cases and interact with business clients throughout the program. Enrollees can opt to conduct research with NYU faculty and publish findings or present them at academic conferences. They culminate the industrial and organizational psychology degree with a comprehensive examination or thesis. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and prerequisite coursework.

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#4

University of Georgia

School Information
Location Athens, Georgia
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 87%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

UGA is one of the nation's oldest public colleges and a leading research center. The graduate school offers a professional master's in industrial-organizational psychology (IOMP). Designed for working professionals, the two-year program requires only five weekend sessions each term at UGA's Gwinnett campus. The program uses a cohort model that convenes in the fall. 

UGA's IOMP offers a practitioner-focused curriculum. Students learn how to develop research-based interventions to address organizational issues. The curriculum requires 36 credits evenly taught by I-O faculty and practicing I-O psychologists in the Atlanta area. 

Coursework covers competencies like talent acquisition, motivation and engagement, and competency modeling and evaluation. Students also learn organizational research methods. 

The industrial and organizational psychology practicum develops students' consulting skills.

A formal mentoring program pairs first-year IOMP students with program alumni. Admission requires a bachelor's degree in any major and GRE scores. The department prefers at least two years of professional work experience.

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#5

San Jose State University

School Information
Location San Jose, California
Admission Rate 64%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

SJSU's MS in industrial and organizational psychology provides extensive training in I/O theory, research, and practical application. Degree-seekers study in small cohorts of about 10-12 students. Enrollees complete 30 units of required coursework and electives in two years. 

They study topics like personnel psychology, applied psychometrics, and multivariate analysis. Students use elective credits for specialized training in areas like training and development and organizational development. Enrollees can also customize the industrial and organizational psychology degree with classes from other departments such as business administration. 

Degree-seekers complete a 6-12-month internship part time or full time. SJSU's Silicon Valley location gives students access to internships and employment possibilities at top firms. All enrollees complete a research project and culminate the program with a master's thesis. 

Admission requires a bachelor's degree in psychology or a bachelor's degree in any major and prerequisite psychology coursework. Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#6

CUNY Brooklyn College

School Information
Location Brooklyn, New York
Admission Rate 45%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 7% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Brooklyn College's 76 graduate programs include two degrees in industrial-organizational psychology. The MA in I/O personnel and human resources focuses on research and practice in HR management areas like recruitment, training, and compensation. The MA in I/O group processes and organizational behavior teaches enrollees how to optimize an organization's human capital, culture, and leadership performance.

Each program requires 33-36 credits depending on whether students choose a nonthesis or thesis option. All enrollees complete a common core that covers topics like human relations and research methods and program evaluation. Each specialization requires three classes. Students customize the industrial-organizational psychology degree with elective credit. 

Enrollees can complete an optional internship. Small class sizes facilitate personalized learning. The school offers among the area's lowest tuition rates. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and a minimum 3.0 GPA.

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#7

DePaul University

School Information
Location Chicago, Illinois
Admission Rate 68%
Graduation Rate 74%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Higher Learning Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

A Chicago-based Catholic college, DePaul offers a combined MA/Ph.D. in industrial-organizational psychology. The program develops scientist-practitioners with expertise in selecting and developing human capital within organizations. 

The curriculum requires 96 credits: 72 credits for the MA and 24 credits for additional Ph.D. requirements. This MA is not a terminal degree. The program only enrolls students who intend to complete a doctorate. Enrollees take general psychology classes in subjects like perception and cognition and social psychology of the self. 

I-O coursework explores concepts such as performance appraisal, personnel psychology, and advanced training and development in organizations. Students develop their roles as practitioners by working in local I-O settings. All enrollees complete statistics and research coursework to prepare for the development of a master's thesis and doctoral dissertation.  

Admission requires a bachelor's degree and GRE scores.

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#8

Teachers College at Columbia University

School Information
Location New York, New York
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Columbia's Teachers College offers an MA in social-organizational psychology. Students learn how to develop solutions to address organizational and societal challenges. The 45-credit program uses a scientist-practitioner model, blending psychology theory and research with real-world experiences in the classroom.

Enrollees study various organizational functions, organizational psychology, and HR management. They build on this knowledge with training in group dynamics and adaptive negotiation and conflict resolution. Learners customize the degree with elective coursework from Teachers College or outside the program. Enrollees learn how to apply their training through an internship or practicum. Additional applied courses include executive coaching and data-based interventions.

Students must pass a comprehensive exam. Degree-seekers can enroll full time or part time. Teachers College offers no funding, making this a self-pay program. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and GRE scores.

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#9

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

School Information
Location Charlotte, North Carolina
Admission Rate 65%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

UNC Charlotte is North Carolina's urban research college. Faculty developed the MA in psychology: industrial-organizational with working professionals in mind. Students can continue their careers while attending evening and weekend classes. Degree-seekers do not need I/O experience to pursue this industrial-organizational psychology degree.

The 31-credit program explores topics like job attitudes, talent acquisition, and organizational development and change. A class introduces students to quantitative research methods in organizational science research. Learners tailor the degree with a research thesis or practice track that requires a comprehensive examination. 

Enrollees build applied learning expertise completing a practicum like an internship. UNC Charlotte's organizational science consulting and research unit also offers experiential learning opportunities. The program's advisory board of I/O psychologists and HR professionals ensure the program's relevance in the I/O field. Admission requires a bachelor's degree and GRE, MAT, or GMAT scores.

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#10

Appalachian State University

School Information
Location Boone, North Carolina
Admission Rate 77%
Graduation Rate 73%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Set in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of the University of North Carolina's 17 campuses. The departments of psychology and management partner to offer the MA in I/O psychology and HR management (HRM). The program is the country's only cross-disciplinary I-O psychology and HRM master's degree.

The 51-credit curriculum features an interdisciplinary core of courses. Degree-seekers study topics like employment law, strategic HR management, and performance management. Enrollees learn research and quantitative methods in psychology. Participants culminate the industrial and organizational psychology degree with a research thesis or internship. 

The program features small classes for more personalized learning. Most students complete the degree in less than two years. The school of graduate studies offers financial aid such as scholarships, assistantships, and fellowships to help eligible students pay for the degree. Admission requires a bachelor's degree, minimum 2.5-3.0 GPA, and GRE scores.

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Frequently Asked Questions


Are there any certified programs in industrial-organizational psychology?

The American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology offers board certification in industrial-organizational psychology. Many universities offer certificate programs, though these are not the same as board certification.

Are there many industrial-organizational psychology jobs?

Industrial-organizational psychology is a niche field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports only 610 industrial-organizational psychologists in the country. However, this is a versatile degree that students can use in other careers, such as administration, management consulting, or teaching.

Do I need a license to be an industrial-organizational psychologist?

Because industrial and organizational psychology jobs do not involve diagnosing or treating individuals, many states do not require licensing. The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology lists state boards and regulations.

How much do industrial-organizational psychologists earn?

The average annual salary for industrial-organizational psychologists is $113,320, according to the BLS. Local government positions pay the highest average salary at $ 160,180 followed by scientific research and development jobs at $122,660.

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