Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in Washington State

Industrial/organizational psychologists play an increasing role in workplace development. This article focuses upon some industrial/organizational psychology programs in Washington State, as well as common career roles after earning the degree.

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Industrial/organizational psychology is a distinct branch of psychology focused on interpreting employee behavior within the workplace. Earning a graduate degree focused upon industrial/organizational (I/O) psychology can lead to a range of career paths in academia and in industry. Read more to discover some I/O psychology programs in Washington State, and some career possibilities upon the completion of a degree.

Graduate Programs in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in Washington State

Seattle Pacific University, MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

One option for students who wish to pursue graduate study in I/O psychology is the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Seattle Pacific University. The goal of the M.A. program is to provide students with theoretical frameworks to address behavior within the workplace. The program requires 66 credits to complete. Courses may include Organizational Behavior, Program and Organizational Evaluation, and Motivation. Students also consider the integration of faith within the workplace. Students culminate their program by conducting a research project within an outside organization or workplace. To apply, students should have a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0 and GRE results of a combined 295. Prospective students should also provide a resume, personal statement, and three recommendations.

Seattle Pacific University, PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Students who wish to study I/O psychology at the doctoral level may wish to consider the PhD program at Seattle Pacific University. The program aims to train researchers and leaders in the world of work. Students must complete 168 credits. Courses may include Psychometrics, Vocation and Integrity, and Personality Theory. Students will be introduced to research methodology through participation on a vertical research team, and will also complete independent research leading to the completion of a dissertation. To apply, students must have a bachelor's degree. Any major is acceptable, however prerequisite courses include one course in statistics and three courses in psychology. Students should also submit GRE results indicating a combined score of 300, a resume, and a personal statement.

Washington State University, PhD in Psychology

At the Vancouver campus of Washington State University, students can earn a PhD in experimental psychology with a focus on I/O psychology. The degree typically takes five years to complete if enrolling with a bachelor's degree and requires 72 hours of coursework in addition to a dissertation. Required courses include Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Occupational Health Psychology. In addition to courses within the psychology department, students are encouraged to enroll in classes in the College of Business. To apply, students should submit undergraduate transcripts, GRE scores, and letters of recommendation. Research and teaching experience, as well as undergraduate courses in statistics, experimental methods, math, biological sciences, and computer science will be considered.

Career Options

Those who pursue graduate study at the master's or doctoral level in industrial/organizational psychology will have a range of career options upon the completion of their degree.

Industrial/Organizational Psychologists

Many graduates will wish to pursue work as an industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologist. I/O psychologists apply psychological principles to the workplace and conduct research and implementation of employee screenings and workplace trainings. Some I/O psychologists focus directly on overall quality of life improvement.

Human Resources Managers

Another option is to work as a human resources manager. These professionals handle staffing issues, including hiring, firing, and dispute resolution. They ensure that compensation strategies and benefits are addressed by company executives.

Training and Development Managers

Some graduates may wish to put their skills to use by focusing on the development of training programs. Training and development managers assess employee skills and develop or select programs designed to remediate and accelerate the development of such skills, either through in-person or online programs. They work with instructional designers and teachers of professional development programs to ensure that program quality is consistent and up-to-date.

Management Analysts

Management analysts work with organizations around defined areas of concern. They interview employees and analyze a range of data in order to make written and oral reports or potential solutions to the area of concern. They must confer and communicate effectively with a range of professional staff.


Those who earn a PhD may wish to pursue employment as a professor. Professors instruct students in assigned classes and work with them individually to ensure their academic success. They also frequently conduct research in their area of specialty.

A graduate degree in industrial/organizational psychology can provide access to a range of career options. Washington provides students with several opportunities to enter this field.

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