Students in MA or MS programs in organizational psychology focus on the psychology of work-related issues, like employee engagement, organizational behavior and job satisfaction. Students in an MS program may have a more research-oriented curriculum than those in an MA program. An original thesis or practicum experience is generally a requirement for graduation from either program.
Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. They may also need to meet a minimum GPA requirement and earn acceptable scores on the GRE.
Master's Degree in Organization Psychology
Throughout the curriculum in a master's level psychology program, students learn about occupational safety and organizational systems. They receive instruction on working with human resources to pre-screen and test job applicants. Issues related to motivation, productivity, stress reduction and job satisfaction are explored, and effective management and leadership practices are examined. In addition to workplace attitudes and research methods, students in these programs may take courses in:
- Human Resources Management
- Personnel Selection
- Performance Evaluation
- Behavioral Analysis
- Organizational Training
- Professional Ethics
Popular Career Options
Organizations that would like to improve workplace quality by achieving higher productivity from workers, retaining quality employees, creating a more diverse workforce and implementing non-discrimination policies can benefit from the help of an I/O psychologist. Graduates from a master's degree program may hold job titles such as:
- Executive coach
- Psychological research assistant
- Workplace trainer
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates that the employment of industrial/organizational psychologists will increase by 19% from 2014 to 2024, (www.bls.gov), which is much faster than the national average for all occupations. Based on May 2015 data from the BLS, the median yearly salary for industrial-organizational psychologists was $77,350.
Continuing Education Information
Individuals interested in pursuing research careers or faculty positions at universities can pursue a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Students focus on conducting research and performing quantitative meta-analysis and multi-level analysis of the data. Gaining real-world experience via internship is also emphasized. Students are expected to contribute to the field by writing a dissertation and presenting original research findings at professional conferences.
Even though MBA programs in organizational psychology are not usually offered, MA and MS programs in the field make it possible for students to pursue graduate-level studies of the applications of psychology to the workplace. Graduates are ready to seek jobs in the field, or they can enroll in doctoral programs if they aspire to academic research jobs.