Top Online Masters in Industrial Organizational Psychology

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Are you interested in psychology and the workplace? Well, then you may be interested in pursuing an industrial organizational (IO) psychology degree program. Do you enjoy learning new things? Do you enjoy application? Then this may be the path for you. In this program, you will learn how to apply psychology to organizations. What does this mean for you? Well, you could study concepts like how to boost employee morale. And, you could study productivity. Additionally, you could learn to solve workplace problems. You will do this by using the research available to you.

To be an IO psychologist, you must typically earn at least an M.S. degree. At this level, you can expect your program to feature courses in statistics. You will also take classes in research design. And, you could cover organizational theory. You could study employment law, too. This is so you can help companies thrive.

Are you wondering what the goal behind most Industrial Organizational psychology programs is? Well, it is to prep you to help understand the work place. And then, to help you improve it.  You will do this by applying your skills. Are you interested in what makes  a company a happy place to be? Do you want to teach people how to be more productive? Well, then this field may be good for you!



B.S. in Psychology Industrial Organizational Psychology

In this B.S. program, you will gain an overview of psych as a whole. You will study human behavior. Also, you will learn to apply psychology principles. Where will you apply them? Well, you could focus on the business world, for instance. And, you could study leadership. You will also study coaching. And, you could study training.

Course Examples:

  • Employment and Staffing
  • Psychology of Leadership
  • Attitudes and Motivation in the Workplace

M.S. in Psychology Industrial Organizational Psychology

Are you interested in an advanced degree? Well, in the M.S. program, you will take an in depth look at how IO psychology can improve the workplace. So, you will study how to address challenges. And, you will learn to recognize opportunities. You will also cover topics such as morale. And, you could cover work place diversity.

Course Examples:

  • Contemporary Psychology
  • Managing People
  • Research Methods in Psychology

Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational  Psychology

In this PhD program, you will improve upon what you have already learned. You will focus on theory. Also, you will cover research. And, you will cover what a practice in IO psych would mean for you. So, you could choose a focus. You could focus on HR Management. Or, you could focus on Evidence Based Coaching.

Course Examples:

  • Psychology of Organizational Behavior
  • Job Attitudes, Measurement, and Change
  • Survey Research Methods


You will find IO psychology programs at the undergraduate level. And, you can find more advanced programs at the graduate level. All programs you come across will focus on something similar. What is that, you ask? Well, you will take on the challenge of applying psychology principles to workplace challenges. And you would use your research to back up your findings.


At the B.S. level, you can expect to pursue an overview of psychology. Also, you will study how organizations run. And, you will find, that in many undergraduate programs in this field, you will explore business leadership, too.

You can expect most of your programs to cover the role psychology plays. As such, you will cover how you can connect it to common business scenarios. For example, you could apply psychology tactics to employee training. And, you could study the importance of work life balance. You could also relate psychology to employee morale.

You will find that B.S. programs in IO Psychology often go by different names.

Common programs you will find, include:
  • B.S. in Business Psychology
  • Business Administration Organizational Psychology B.S.
  • B.S. in Psychology, IO Psychology
  • Industrial and Organizational Psychology B.S.

You will find your programs may vary in how they are structured. For example, you will see some programs that feature a business administration core. Other times, you will find, a program focuses more on psychology coursework.

You will find your programs include courses like:
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology of Learning and Motivation
  • Selection and Assessment in Organizations
  • Statistics

Most programs, you will see, require general education courses. So, you will take English Composition. Or, you could take College Algebra.


At the M.S. level, your program will often focus on research in IO psychology. So, you could design original studies. And then, you could conduct studies so you can address real world issues.

You may also learn how to apply current research to business scenarios. This, you will find, involves understanding workplace processes. So, you will focus on different workplace issues. You could look at recruiting employees. And, you could focus on assessing performance. Commonly, you will cover areas like professional development, too. Also, you could cover team dynamics. You could even study compensation.

You will find programs include courses like:
  • Organizational Theory
  • Personnel Psychology
  • Applied Psychological Research Methods
  • Employment Law
  • Employee Testing
  • Strategic Management

If you pursue this route, you will find your M.S. program in IO psychology will vary. You could see different focuses. For instance, if you pursue a Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.A.I.O.P.), your program may cover the study of applied research methods.

If you earn an M.B.A. in IO Psychology, your program will feature a business core. Additionally, you would take concentration courses. So, you could study topics like management. And, you could study finance. This would be in addition to you studying a psychology core.

If you pursue an M.S. program, then you will most likely need to complete a capstone project. You could also need to complete a research thesis. What does this mean for you? Well, it means your final projects will require you to use your applied research. Or, you could conduct original research. Then you would apply this knowledge to your IO interest area.


At the Ph.D. level, you may build on what you have learned in an IO M.S. program. Or, you could enter with a B.S. Then, you could earn your M.S. as part of the doctorate program.

What kind of methods will you use in your studies? Well, for one, you will use research methods as a key part of your doctoral studies in IO. In fact, in many programs, you will focus on research. And then you will write an original dissertation. You will also take advanced courses. You could study areas like organizational behavior. And, you could study cognitive psychology.

You will see common programs like:
  • Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology. In a Ph.D. program, you may explore the theory of IO.  And, you could explore the practice of IO. That said, your program is a research degree. This means you will emphasize your discoveries in the field. You can expect your program to focus on research methods. And, you will focus on quantitative techniques, and more.
  • Psy.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology. In the Psy.D. program, you will earn a clinical degree. You will focus on psychology practice. In an IO concentration, you could apply the practical psychology principles you learn. Usually, you will apply it to organizational settings.

Are you interested in these programs? If you pursue them, you will likely explore how to optimize the workplace. That means you will work on understanding the theory behind effective organizations. And, you will look at how that impacts satisfied workers.


Some common courses include:

Introduction to Psychology: Gain insight into how humans think and act. In this course, you could study learning, memory, motivation, and a lot more.

Organizational Behavior: This course looks at how people act at work. You could learn about topics like teamwork, stress, and motivation.

Employment and Staffing: What goes into hiring good workers? This course may cover how to attract, interview, and keep employees.

Motivation in the Workplace: Learn how to motivate workers to do great things. In this course, you could study theories behind why people make choices and take action.

Psychology of Leadership: In this course, you could learn what makes a great leader. You may study leadership styles, theory, and how to motivate others.

Statistics: Dive into how data helps solve problems. This course may cover how to collect and analyze data, using statistical tools.

Selection and Assessment in Organizations: Explore how to choose and test employees who may be the right fit. This course could cover the laws, ethics, and methods you’ll need to know.

Strategic Communication: Wondering how to communicate in ways that get results? In this course, you could learn how to know your audience, craft a great message, and more.


Are you wondering about how much time you need? Well, in an IO psychology B.S., program you will need to earn around 120 credits. What does that mean for you in terms of time? Well, it may take you about four years. If you pursue an M.S. program, you will be required to earn about 30 to 40 credits. As a full time student, it may take you around two years. If you pursue a doctorate program in IO psychology, it will take you longer. It may take you about three to seven years to earn your degree. You will be required to earn about 60 to 69 credits.



School# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Northcentral University3052 (weekly)20
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyN/AN/A24
Grand Canyon University36Multiple20


Are you wondering about your costs? According to the NCES, you will find the average cost of attending a public, four year school. On average, you will pay about $26,000 per year. You will find the cost of attending private and for profit schools is higher. This will cost you $32,900 per year. Below, you can compare tuition for these schools with IO psychology programs:

School# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tuition Cost
Grand Canyon University36$515$17,800
Regent University39$650$19,680
Purdue University Global60 to 75$420$10,134 to 14,445


Are you wondering what schools offer the best programs? Well, you can see DataUSA names 133 institutions. And, you can see that they have IO psychology programs. From those schools, you will find, 2,488 degrees were awarded to students in 2022 (the most recent data). You will find most degrees earned were at the M.S. level (72%).

School2022 Degrees awarded2023/24 Tuition (out of state unless *)
Capella University234$14,436
Teachers College at Columbia University93$35,987
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College71$15,414
Walden University110$12,498
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles80$20,844
University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo16$5,324
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago31$20,844
Albright College34$28,794
University of New Haven18$45,730
Seattle Pacific University32$38,814

Estimated for full time, beginning undergrad students


Are you wondering about accreditation? Well, accreditation means you will know that your education meets quality standards. You won’t find specific accrediting organizations for IO psychology programs. But, you can still make sure your college is accredited. Do you plan to apply for federal financial aid? Then, you must make sure your school is accredited. If you do qualify, then financial aid may be available for you.


Are you already thinking about jobs? Well, it is natural for you to think about that. But, you can rest assured. According to the most recent data, you will find over 2.84 million psychology degree holders in the workforce. And, you will see many graduates of IO psychology programs included in that count.

This field, you will be happy to know, is growing as fast as average. You can see 6% more Industrial organizational Psychologist jobs projected by 2032. And, you will find, organizations continue to focus on their goals. Thus, they will need you, as an IO professional, to help.

Are you wondering what their goals are? Well, you could  help companies in several ways. You could be tapped to help increase productivity, for example. Or, you could be called upon to improve employee morale.

Women make up the majority of this field, you will find. You can see 69.4% of degree holders are female. So, are you wondering what the average age of an IO psychology graduate is? Well, you can look at the work force. You will see the average age is 41.2.


You can take a look below at the following information. You will see, it is for IO Psychologists. And, you will find the salary and employment numbers will differ if you pursue other career paths.

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
North Carolina40$86,400


IO Psychologist

As an IO Psychologist, you apply psychology to human behavior, specifically focusing on the workplace. Your primary role involves problem-solving and enhancing organizational efficiency. This could entail improving productivity, boosting employee morale, and contributing to training and development initiatives. You may collaborate with top executives and managers to devise work policies and introduce innovative programs.

According to 2023 BLS Data:

Median Salary: $130,020 per year

Job Outlook Through 2022-2032: 27% (Much faster than average)

Typical Entry Level Education: M.S. degree


As a psychologist, your focus revolves around studying human behavior, emotions, thought processes, and social interactions. You’ll likely conduct research to gain deeper insights into behaviors and treatment methods.

Applying these skills, you’ll work with various types of patients across diverse settings. You could be employed in schools, organizations, or run your own practice if self-employment suits you.

According to 2023 BLS Data:

Median Salary: $92,740 per year

Job Outlook Through 2022 – 2032: 6% (As fast as average)

Typical Entry Level Education: Ph.D. degree

Social Worker

As a social worker, your role involves aiding individuals and communities in resolving challenges. This could encompass various tasks such as coordinating community resources, establishing programs, and offering services in healthcare settings. You might also handle crisis situations and work on sensitive cases like child abuse.

Social workers often deliver mental health services, primarily working for individual or family services. Additionally, opportunities exist to work within the state government.

According to 2023 BLS Data:

Median Salary: $58,380 per year

Job Outlook, 2022 – 2032: 7% (faster than average)

Typical Entry Level Education: B.S. degree

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