PhD in I-O Psychology

 

Tara Behrend lecturing in front of a class of I-O psychology students sitting at a table

 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology delves into areas including personnel selection, training and development, work motivation and leadership. Working closely with advisors, PhD students often win awards for their research, and many present each year at conferences held by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Academy of Management.

The I-O Psychology Program is designed in accordance with guidelines established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP; Division 14, APA). Graduates leave prepared for roles in academia, government agencies, consulting firms and the private sector.

 


From Classroom to Career

A group of four students in business suits smiling at a conference

Real-World Applications

Employers of all sizes seek industrial-organizational psychologists who can help guide organizational change. This work might include:

  • Conducting research on employee retention and turnover
  • Improving products through strategic customer surveys and feedback
  • Advising leaders and team as they think through difficult decisions or craft company philosophy around topics such as diversity and inclusion

Office of Personnel Management.

Internships

Many students also choose to pursue optional internships in the Washington, D.C., area. The department has ties to many local and national organizations, providing plenty of internship opportunities. Past internship employers include:

  • Army Research Institute
  • Federal Management Partners
  • Fors Marsh Group
  • GEICO
  • ICF
  • Mariott
  • Personnel Decision Research Institutes
  • U.S. Office of Personnel Management
  • The World Bank

"I was able to earn trust from co-workers because of my subject matter expertise in the I/O area and basic research methodology. The program also really set me up for success [with] opportunities such as my fellowship at the Army Research Institute."

Kaitlin Thomas

PhD ’17, I-O Psychology


 


I-O Research in Action

Workplaces and Virtual Environments (WAVE) Lab Logo

Matching Personalities to Careers

In partnership with the Foster Workforce Development Institute, the I-O Psychology Program’s Workplaces and Virtual Interests (WAVE) lab has partnered with TIME magazine to conduct a study about vocational interests and aspirations. The survey asks simple questions about what sort of activities participants might enjoy doing, then compares results with nearly 1,000 job profiles to find the closest match.


Course Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled: 72 credits, including 42 credits in required courses, 12 credits in elective courses, and 18 credits in dissertation.

Required
Methods/statistics
DNSC 6274Statistical Modeling and Analysis3
DNSC 6275Advanced Statistical Modeling and Analysis3
DNSC 6276Exploratory and Multivariate Data Analysis3
ORSC 8261Research Methods in Organizational Sciences3
PSYC 8231Development of Psychometric Instruments3
Industrial/organizational psychology core
ORSC 6212Current Issues in Personnel Testing and Selection3
ORSC 6214Personnel Training and Performance Appraisal Systems3
ORSC 6297Special Topics3
PSYC 8243Seminar: Psychology of Leadership in Organizations3
PSYC 8245Seminar: Organizational Behavior3
PSYC 8260Psychology of Work Group Development3
PSYC 8291Theories of Organizational Behavior3
Psychology breadth
One course from the following:
PSYC 8253Social Cognition *3
PSYC 8254Social Influence *3
PSYC 8255Attitudes and Attitude Change *3
One course from the following:
PSYC 8203Experimental Foundations of Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition *3
PSYC 8204Experimental Foundations of Psychology: Biological Basis of Behavior *3
Electives**
12 credits in elective courses selected from the following:
ECON 6219Managerial Economics3
ORSC 6209Management Systems3
ORSC 6216Theories and Management of Planned Change3
ORSC 6217Productivity and Human Performance3
ORSC 6241Strategic Management and Policy Formation3
ORSC 6242Organizational Communication and Conflict Management3
ORSC 6246Comparative Management3
ORSC 6248Strategic Human Resource Planning3
PSYC 8203Experimental Foundations of Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition *3
PSYC 8204Experimental Foundations of Psychology: Biological Basis of Behavior *3
PSYC 8211Community Psychology I *3
PSYC 8253Social Cognition *3
PSYC 8254Social Influence *3
PSYC 8255Attitudes and Attitude Change *3
PSYC 8256Introduction to Survey Research3
PSYC 8257Current Topics in Social Psychology3
STAT 2118Regression Analysis3
STAT 3119Analysis of Variance3
Dissertation
PSYC 8998Advanced Reading and Research (taken for 3 credits)1-12
PSYC 8999Dissertation Research (taken for 15 credits)3-12
*Can be used as an elective only if it is not chosen to fulfill the breadth requirement.
** The list of electives is not exhaustive. At least 3 credits must be taken in a course outside of the PSYC designation.