Organizational Psychology & Development Education & Training

Oct 14, 2019

Undergraduate and graduate certificates, master's degrees and doctoral programs are all available in organizational psychology and development. These programs focus on the application of psychological principles in the workplace.

Essential Information

Program levels in organizational psychology and development include certificates, master's in organizational psychology and PhD programs in organizational psychology. Master's and doctoral programs may focus more on research than certificate programs; students who earn a certificate may be able to transfer credits towards a degree. Doctoral programs typically focus on research leading to a publishable dissertation. In most cases, industrial-organizational psychologists only need a master's degree to land a job in the field, although a doctoral degree can lead to work in college-level research or instruction.

Certificates and master's require undergraduate degrees, master's and PhD programs usually require GRE test scores and PhD's require master's degrees before enrolling.

Certificate in Organizational Psychology and Development

Graduate certificate programs in organizational psychology, development or dynamics instruct those who have already earned a bachelor's or master's degree about the psychological principles behind the effective management of an organization. Students study how professional individuals work in groups and learn ways to motivate employees in a work setting. Certificate programs can also be found for those not yet enrolled in a degree program.

Comm topics studied in these programs include:

  • Psychology
  • Leadership strategies
  • Communication in organizations
  • Group facilitation
  • Organizational dynamics

Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology

Students interested in this field can also earn a master's degree in industrial and organizational psychology. Students learn to utilize scientific psychological research methods in enhancing employee productivity and company development. They are also taught how to conduct workplace hiring, training and performance evaluation.

Courses include opportunities for research while pursuing topics related to psychology. These topics include:

  • Organizational psychology
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Measurement theory
  • Organizational behavior
  • Organizational systems

Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology

The foundation of the doctorate program lies in researching how scientific methods can be utilized to effectively resolve issues in the workplace. Through their research, graduates will better understand how to apply complex concepts and theories involving the improvement of employee interactions in practical work settings.

Theoretical and research coursework comprises much of the instruction available on the doctorate level. Topics include:

  • Research methods
  • Organizational change
  • Organizational social psychology
  • Organizational ethics
  • Consulting
  • Statistics

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Those with doctorate degrees often enter teaching, research and consulting. They may also work as organizational psychologists in schools, government agencies and other organizations. Due to increased student enrollment in colleges and universities, job openings are expected to rise for college professors, with a 11% increase in employment predicted from 2018 to 2028, according to the BLS. This represents favorable opportunities for those with a Ph.D. The median wage for a college teacher in psychology was $76,710 as of 2018.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for industrial and organizational psychologists are strong, with a 13% increase in employment expected from 2018 to 2028 ( The demand businesses continue to place on employee retention and increased productivity will ensure organizational psychologists maintain a high value in the eyes of employers. As of May 2018, the median annual salary for industrial organizational psychologists was $97,260.

Popular Careers

With the skills and knowledge gained from this program, certificate holders tend to work for businesses in departments that impact company employees. These departments often include:

  • Organizational development
  • Labor relations
  • Training
  • Human resources

Certificate or degree programs in organization psychology focus on topics such as measurement theory, leadership strategies and organizational behavior. A master's degree should be sufficient for many careers in this field, but a doctoral degree may be required to work as a college professor or researcher.

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