Top 2019 Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree Programs and Schools

What is an Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree?

An industrial organizational psychology degree teaches how to apply psychology to organizations. You could study concepts like boosting employee morale and productivity. And, you could learn to solve workplace problems using research.

Industrial-organizational psychologists must usually earn at least a Master's degree. At this level, programs feature courses in statistics and research design. They may also cover everything from organizational theory to employment law.

The goal behind most IO programs is preparing students to improve the workplace. If you’re interested in what makes organizations happy and productive, this field may be for you!

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List of Popular Online I/O Psychology Degree Programs

Bachelor's in Psychology DegreeMaster's in Psychology DegreeDoctor of Psychology Degree
B.S. in Psychology – Industrial/Organizational PsychologyM.S. in Psychology – Industrial-Organizational PsychologyPhD in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
This Bachelor’s program covers an overview of psychology and human behavior. And, it teaches how to apply psychology principles to the business world. You’ll study everything from leadership skills to coaching and training.This Master’s program takes an in-depth look at how industrial organizational psychology can improve the workplace. You’ll study how to address both challenges and opportunities – from morale to workplace diversity.This doctorate program focuses on theory, research, and practice in I/O psychology. Candidates can also choose a specialization, such as Human Resource Management or Evidence-based Coaching.

Courses you could take include:

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

Courses you could take include:

  • Contemporary Psychology
  • Managing People
  • Research Methods in Psychology

Courses you could take include:

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

Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

You could find I/O psychology programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. But, all programs focus on applying psychology principles and research to workplace challenges.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Bachelor’s Programs

At the Bachelor’s level, expect to pursue an overview of psychology and how organizations run. Many undergraduate programs in this field explore business leadership, too.

Most programs cover the role of psychology in common business scenarios. For example, you could apply psychology to employee training. And, you could study the importance of work-life balance when it comes to employee morale.

Bachelor’s programs in Industrial Organizational (I/O) Psychology go by different names. These include:

  • Bachelor’s in Business Psychology
  • BS in Business Administration – Organizational Psychology
  • BS in Psychology – Industrial Organizational Psychology
  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Programs may vary in how they are structured. For example, some feature a business administration core. Others focus more on psychology coursework. Either way, you could take classes such as:

  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology of Learning and Motivation
  • Selection and Assessment in Organizations
  • Statistics

And, most programs require general education courses like English Composition and College Algebra.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Master’s Programs

At the Master’s level, programs often focus on research in I/O psychology. That could include designing and conducting original studies to address real-world issues.

Students may also learn how to apply current research to business scenarios. That involves understanding workplace processes, from recruiting employees to assessing their performance. Common coursework spans areas like professional development, team dynamics, and even compensation.

Other courses you could take include:

  • Organizational Theory
  • Personnel Psychology
  • Applied Psychological Research Methods
  • Employment Law
  • Employee Testing
  • Strategic Management

Master’s programs in industrial organizational psychology can vary by focus. For instance, a Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.A.I.O.P.) program may cover the study of applied research methods. An MBA in Industrial Organizational Psychology features a business core alongside concentration courses. So, you could study topics like management and finance, besides psychology.

Finally, most Master’s programs call for a capstone project or research thesis. These final projects require applied or original research within your IO interest area.

Doctorate Programs in Industrial Organizational Psychology

At the doctoral level, you may build on what you learned in an IO Master’s program. Or, you could enter with a Bachelor’s and earn your Master’s as part of the doctorate program.

Research methods are a key part of doctoral studies in IO. In fact, many programs center on researching and writing an original dissertation. You'll also take advanced courses in areas like organizational behavior and cognitive psychology.

You may encounter two main types of Industrial Organizational doctorate program:

  • PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. A PhD may explore both the theory and practice of IO. That said, PhD programs are research degrees that emphasize discovery in the field. Expect this program to focus on research methods, quantitative techniques, and more.
  • PsyD in Industrial Organizational Psychology. The Psy.D. is a clinical degree that focuses on psychology practice. In an IO concentration, you could apply practical psychology principles to organizational settings.

Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll likely explore how to optimize the workplace. That means understanding the theory behind effective organizations and satisfied workers.

How Long Does It Take to Earn an Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree?

An industrial organizational psychology Bachelor’s program has around 120 credits. It may take about four years to earn.

A Master’s program calls for about 30 to 40 credits and may take around two years for full-time students to earn

A doctorate program in I/O psychology takes about three to seven years to earn. The program may call for around 60 to 69 credits.

I/O Psychology Degrees That Could Be Earned in 24 Months or Less

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredStart DatesMinimum Months to Complete
Northcentral UniversityMaster's3052 weekly start dates20
The Chicago School of Professional PsychologyMaster's37Multiple24
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster's36Multiple20

The Cost of Earning an Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree

NCES puts the average cost of attending a public, four-year school at $19,189 per year. The cost of attending private and for-profit schools was higher, at $39,529 per year. Compare tuition for these schools with industrial organizational psychology programs:

SchoolDegree Level# of Credits RequiredCost Per CreditTotal Tutition Cost
Grand Canyon UniversityMaster's36$515$18,540
Regent UniversityMaster's39$650$25,350
Purdue University GlobalMaster's60-75$420$25,200 to $31,500

Top Schools that Offer Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

NCES names 119 institutions that have I/O psychology programs. From those schools, 1,815 degrees were awarded to students in 2016 (the most recent data). Most of these degrees were at the Master’s level (72%).

School2016 Total Grads/Degrees Awarded2018/19 Graduate Tuition
Capella University192$14,516
Teachers College at Columbia University145$39,240
CUNY Bernard M Baruch College119$19,920 (out of state)
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles71$21,213
University of New Haven59$16,470
University of Puerto Rico-Arecibo55N/A
Albright College50N/A
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Chicago48$21,213
Franklin University41$16,080
Walden University40$11,739

*Estimated for full-time, beginning undergraduate students

What You Should Know About Industrial Psychologist Licensing

Practicing psychology or officially calling yourself a psychologist requires a license in most states. That said, the rules vary depending on the kind of psychologist you are. And, each state may have different regulations.

Do I/O Psychologists need licensure?

Depending on the state, some areas of the I/O practice may call for licensure. But according to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, some of the work and research done by I/O psychologists does not require licensure. It all depends on your state and the kind of work you aim to do.

Which I/O Psychologists are eligible for licensure?

To pursue licensure, I/O psychologists may need to meet the following requirements:

  • A Ph.D./Psy.D. from an accredited university
  • An internship
  • One to two years of supervised practice
  • A passing score on the Examination for Professional Practice in Psychology (EPPP)

Check with your state board for other requirements. For example, Connecticut needs candidates to pass the Connecticut jurisprudence examination in addition to the EPPP.

What is the licensing process for I/O Psychologists?

The process of pursuing psychologist licensure depends on your state. Generally, you must graduate from an approved, accredited doctoral program. You must complete an internship and supervised experience. And, you must sit for one or more examinations.

To learn more about the process in your state, you can check with the Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards (ASPPB).

What Can You Do with a Degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology?

According to the most recent census data, over 2.5 million psychology degree-holders are currently in the workforce. Graduates of industrial organizational psychology programs are included in that count.

This field is growing as fast as average. There are 8% more Industrial-organizational Psychologist jobs projected by 2026. As organizations continue to focus on certain goals, they may need I/O professionals. These goals include increasing productivity and improving employee morale.

Women make up the majority of this field, with 69% female degree-holders. And, the average age of an I/O psychology graduate in the workforce was 41.1.

Top Salaries by State for Administrative Services Manager

StateEmploymentAnnual Mean Wage
New York18,350$137,480
New Jersey10,960$130,770
Rhode Island570$129,870
District of Columbia1,410$125,770


Find the Perfect Online Degree For You

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  • Job Growth Through 2026: 8% (As fast as average)
  • Typical Entry-level Education: Master's degree


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