Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Industrial-organizational psychology is the branch of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to organizations, promoting efficiency and productivity, as well as the well-being of employees. Many graduates of the I/O Psychology MA program work in organizational settings after graduation, while others use their time in the program to strengthen their academic backgrounds in psychology before pursuing further graduate studies at another institution.

Graduates of the program assume positions in profit and non-profit organizations in human resources, training, consulting, research, organization development, recruiting and similar specialties. They have been employed in companies such as GE, Shell Oil, Gartner, Survey Sampling, Bank of Montreal, Deloitte & Touche, Hewitt Associates, Toyota, and Merrill Lynch; and by the Red Cross, the Justice Department, and a number of universities such as Loyola, UConn, and Fairfield University. The skills, psychological principles and methodologies mastered in the program may be applied in a variety of organizational settings depending upon the student's interests and career choices.

Admission to the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program

An interview with one or more faculty members is required for admission to the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program. The interview is intended to clarify the applicant's understanding of the program and the profession, and to evaluate the applicant's potential success as a candidate. After admission, each candidate is required to meet with a faculty advisor to outline a planned program of study. Prior to registering for courses each semester, candidates are encouraged to meet with their advisor. Students may be required to take one or more English writing courses if their writing skills do not meet graduate level standards.

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology program offers two programs of study in industrial/organizational psychology: a traditional MA program and a 5-year integrated Bachelor's/Master's degree program. Requirements for the programs include:

  • Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Requires the completion of 39 credits of approved courses. 36 of these credits must be in psychology.
  • 5-Year Integrated Bachelor's/Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Requires the completion of 9 credits at the undergraduate level and 30 credits at the graduate level.

Note: Students who need to take 9 credits every semester for financial aid or visa reasons may need to take additional credits beyond the minimum required for the degree.


Candidates in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program are expected to act in accordance with the American Psychological Association's ethical principles. Candidates who behave unethically may be dismissed from the program. The ethical principles are available online. In addition, the Disposition Statement (Academic Honesty Policy), as presented in the Academic Policies section of this catalog, is applicable to this program.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of the master's comprehensive examination is required of all candidates.

The comprehensive examination in psychology requires candidates to demonstrate understanding and mastery of relevant knowledge in psychology, as well as the ability to synthesize this knowledge in the creation of sophisticated essays.

Candidates are eligible to take the master's comprehensive examination after successful completion of 24 credits, 18 of which must be specifically in psychology. Candidates have a maximum of two opportunities to pass the examination.