Top Schools for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Jul 27, 2018

Learn about programs in industrial and organizational psychology, which emphasize the behavior and well-being of people in the workplace. Find summaries of four top programs, as well as an overview of other schools in the U.S. that offer training for aspiring industrial and organizational psychologists.

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School Overviews

Graduate programs in industrial and organizational psychology can include coursework in hiring, staff assessments, and training, as well as opportunities for research. Undergraduate offers in this field are less common. Relevant programs can be found at well-regarded universities. Four of the top schools for industrial and organizational psychology include Michigan State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Illinois. All four universities have previously received high rankings from U.S. News & World Report for the quality of their industrial and organizational psychology or general psychology programs in the publication's most recent surveys.

Michigan State University

Michigan State University is a large research school that ranked #1 for industrial-organizational psychology programs according to U.S. News & World Report in 2013, the most current rankings for the field. Michigan State's small program has only 15-20 graduate students enrolled at a time. They work closely with eight faculty members to complete coursework and research. While various research specialties are available, the program emphasizes an applied approach with internships at corporations and organizations. Half of Michigan State's I-O psychology alumni have taken jobs in an applied field.

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University, a Big Ten school, was ranked #30 for its graduate psychology program by U.S. News & World Report in 2013, the most current year for those rankings. This program offers coursework in selecting personnel, developing training programs, and assessing organizational behavior. In addition to coursework, six semesters of practicum experience are also required. The practicum allows students to apply their knowledge to real-world problems. At least two independent research projects are required during the program. Students also have the chance to take part in many other research opportunities.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, a research-based institution and another Big Ten school, had the #2 I-O psychology program in the nation for 2013, according to U.S. News & World Report. The University of Minnesota was ranked #9 among general psychology programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. The Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in I-O. The emphasis may be on personnel psychology, employee assessment, and motivational behavior in the workplace, among other areas.

University of Illinois

University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign was ranked #7 among graduate psychology schools by U.S. News & World Report in 2013. The school offers a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program. The program gives students the opportunity to conduct high-level research in a particular topic of interest, ranging from hiring to job attitudes to race and gender gaps in the workplace. Organizational psychology is also an undergraduate concentration within the psychology bachelor's program.

More Top I-O Psychology Schools

Here are some more good schools for I-O psychology.

School Name Distinction Location
University of South Florida Offers a degree in I-O psychology and a concentration in occupational health psychology Tampa, FL
Florida International University This program focuses on research Miami, FL
University of Maryland - College Park Classes are taught in the evening to accommodate working students College Park, MD
George Mason University Offers a master's degree in psychology with an I-O concentration Fairfax, VA
University of Akron Has an industrial/gerontological psychology program Akron, OH
Bowling Green State University The U.S. News & World Report ranked this I-O program third in the nation in 2013 Bowling Green, OH

Students who are interested in industrial-organizational psychology can find academic opportunities at both public and private universities, most often at the graduate level.

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