Industrial Organizational Psychology Degrees: Overview

Students interested in Industrial Organizational Psychology degrees have options for on-campus and online programs, starting the bachelor’s level and going through the master’s and PhD degree levels.

What Industrial Organizational Psychology degrees are there?

Students that attend college on-campus and online can get various degrees in Industrial Organizational Psychology for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

What do students study in Industrial Organizational Psychology degrees?

A degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology teaches students business and psychology. Students learn how to use psychological tools to understand and improve organizations, such as businesses primarily. A bachelor’s degree teaches the basics in business and psychology, a master’s degree is more thorough and teaches research methods and more specialized psychology tools. And a doctorate (PhD) teaches even more specialized methods and psychological tenets.

IO Psychology degrees are applied psychology degrees, given that they’re actually put to use in the real world with application to improving organizations through psychological means.

Bachelor’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology

Bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Organizational Psychology are available at colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Some are on-campus programs, and some are offered fully online.

Usually the basic courses are completed in two years, and the rest of the degree consists in major courses in IO Psychology, and electives, for two remaining years. Students can complete this degree in four years on average, whether taking classes on campus or online. Usually these degrees consist of 120 hours total.

What do students learn in a Bachelor’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology degree program?

Students learn psychology and business principles, and how to use psychological tools and measurements to improve business profitability and employee satisfaction.

Here is a sampling of courses at Purdue University Global’s online Bachelor of Science in I/O Psychology:

  • Psychology of Leadership
  • Employment and Staffing
  • Attitudes and Motivation in the Workplace
  • Organizational Behavior


The Best Online Bachelor’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology

Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology

As with many master’s programs today, the master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology degree is offered online and on-campus at colleges and universities across the U.S. These degrees can usually be completed in two years on average. In certain instances these degrees can be completed sooner.

Master’s students are given a more thorough and deeper education of psychological tools and processes, and how to use them in application to improve organizations. The minimum degree requirement is usually a master’s degree for employment in organizations. A bachelor’s degree itself is a prerequisite for admission into a master’s program. The bachelor’s degree can be in different subjects, such as Business or Communication; bachelor’s in IO Psychology in particular is usually not a prerequisite for admission.

Examples of classes using Southern New Hampshire University’s online Master of Science in IO Psychology program:

  • Organizational Consulting
  • Motivation in the Workplace
  • Seminar in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • Psychology of Leadership


The Best Online Master’s Degrees in Organizational Psychology.

Doctorates (PhDs) in Industrial Organizational Psychology

A PhD in IO Psychology is usually around 60 credit hours, and takes on average three years to complete. This is a terminal degree in IO Psychology, and is the highest level. PhD students learn research methods and implementation of psychology that can be used to qualify graduates even for professorships and teaching positions at universities.

Sample of courses using Liberty University’s online PhD in Psychology: Industrial Organizational Psychology degree program;

  • Theories and Research in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Development
  • Teaching of Psychology
  • Psychological Research and Biblical Worldview

Grand Canyon University offers the online PhD in Psychology – Industrial and Organizational Psychology, with two research options from which students may choose: Qualitative and Quantitative. The Qualitative research focuses on learning from the habits, motivations and behaviors of the people that make up the organizations (or some specific department). The Quantitative research option studies numerical data and makes determinations and decisions based on that data.

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