Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial and organizational psychologists study and assess the behaviors of employees to ensure that businesses run smoothly. The most common type of advanced degree offered at this level is a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

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Essential Information

While enrolled in a Ph.D. program, students work individually or in research-focused groups to build their expertise in training techniques, performance appraisal and team functioning. Most Ph.D. candidates must complete a dissertation that explores a particular component of the field, and many choose to undergo advanced training opportunities with research organizations or training facilities.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Many universities offering Ph.D. programs in industrial and organizational psychology require that individuals hold a baccalaureate degree in a related field and have completed at least 15 credit hours of coursework and laboratory experience in psychology. Students should also typically have a minimum grade point average of at least 3.0 and earned passing marks on the GRE.

Courses found within a Ph.D. program in industrial and organizational psychology cover both the theoretical and practical aspects of the subject. In addition, students could learn about advanced research methods in the field of psychology and undertake the analysis of statistical data relating to the workforce and employee behavior. Some examples of core courses are listed below:

  • Quantitative methods in psychology
  • Survey of industrial psychology
  • Issues in personal psychology
  • Work motivation
  • Study of small group behavior
  • Psychological perspectives on organizational development

Employment Options and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, industrial and organizational psychologists held 990 positions in the United States in 2015 and earned a mean salary of $92,320. The majority of industrial and organizational psychologists worked for management, scientific and consulting services, while others worked for scientific research and development services, state government, and in the management of companies and enterprises. Employment in the field was predicted to rise 19% from 2014-2024, making it an occupation with much faster than average growth.

A Ph.D. program in industrial and organizational psychology will combine the core components of psychological theory with advanced statistical data, behavior and business topics as they pertain to industrial or corporate settings. Given the rapidly increasing demand for this position, students interested in psychology should consider pursuing an industrial and organizational psychology Ph.D.

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