Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Psychology is a very broad major. It can be combined with or applied to almost any other field to form a career. Industrial psychology for example is the product of psychology in business. It studies human behavior in organizations and the work place. Organizational psychology involves organization just as it’s called like putting a questionnaire together for students and deciding when to take it, who should take it, etc.

There are many specific tasks for this major.

  1. You can conduct trainings for an organization. You measure people’s knowledge of their particular task before and after their training and see how effective it was, what went wrong, etc.
  2. You can work in universities to help in testing and assessment. There are many factors that come up while developing a test and giving it out. Location, time, test administrator can all impact the results.
  3. Teaching Industrial/Organizational Psychology is also an option. You can teach at a university or college.
  4. Working in human resources is also possible. You get to analyze work positions and see what individual personality and characteristics work best for that position.

Different degrees will get you a job in this career, starting at a Master’s degree. The higher the degree, the greater the salary will be. Experience also positively correlates with salary. However, depending on what kind of profession you would like within this career, a certain degree of either a Master’s or PhD is required. Even though a Master’s is the minimum requirement, there are still a lot of job opportunities for this career with this degree.

The different professions with this career could be university professors, private businesses, and government agencies. Different ways in which industrial/organizational psychologists help an organization are by training employees, develop an organization, market/sale, increase productivity in a workplace, employ people that best suit a job, and test products.

For this career choice, any major is acceptable to get into an industrial/ organizational psychology graduate program. Most majors are psychology and business but that is not a requirement. Diversity is important in this career; the more different majors there are, the better people get to learn about different areas and people get to share different personal knowledge.

What industrial/organizational psychology graduate programs look for in applicants are mainly research or practical experience, the quantitative section of the GRE, the personal statement, and why you are interested. Research or practical experience is important because most professions of this career require research related work. It is best to start getting research experience as an undergrad student and as a graduate student as well. The more research experience, the better. The quantitative portion of the GRE what is mainly looked at because statistics is also used a lot in many of the professions. Personal statements and reasons why you are interested are important because this is where you get to let others know about your personal accomplishments, goals, and passions.

The test required to get into a graduate program for this field is the GRE, which stands for Graduate Testing Examination. They hold the similar concept of the Sat and ACT tests; to see how much you have learned. The costs vary depending on the program and degree you peruse. There are the general test and the subject test just like the SAT. The general test is in the subjects of math and English. Subject tests are also available. Different graduate schools require different tests. So depending on their requirements, you would take either the general or subject test. Some graduate programs do not require the test at all so it really varies.

There are different top schools for this career depending on what you are looking for. Degree, costs, program resources, and program culture are some ways in which graduate programs for industrial/organizational psychology have been ranked.

Top 5 Universities Rated By Students: Overall Quality

Master’s Degree PhD
Minnesota State University George Washington University
University of Tulsa University of Guelph
Carlos Albizu University Florida Institute of Technology
George Mason University Colorado State University
Elmhurst College Georgia Institute of Technology


Top 5 Universities Rated By Students: Program Resources

Master’s Degree PhD
East Carolina University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
George Mason University Bowling Green State University
Appalachian State University University of Oklahoma
Xavier University Rice University
Minnesota State University University of Maryland


Top 5 Universities Rated By Students: Program Culture

Master’s Degree PhD
East Carolina University Florida Institute of Technology
Appalachian University Rice University
Valdosta State University University of Maryland
Xavier University Bowling Green State University
Middle Tennessee State University University of Oklahoma


Top 5 Universities Rated By Students: Costs

Master’s Degree PhD
Indiana Purdue University University of Oklahoma
Southwestern Missouri State University Bowling Green State University
Radford University Rice University
Valdosta State University University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Middle Tennessee State University Clemson University


Out of all these ratings the only programs in California for this career are offered San Diego State University and San Francisco State University.


High Ratings for Graduate Programs in California

San Diego State University San Francisco State University
#12: Master’s Program Resources #15: Master’s Overall Program Quality
#16: Master’s Program Culture #16: Master’s Program Resources


Besides all these rankings, San Jose State University also offers a Master’s degree for industrial organizational psychology. This might also be a great university for a Master’s program due to the surrounding businesses and organizations. Because of this, there could be many opportunities for graduate students to have internships and gain experience from them.

Specialties within this career include knowledge of behavior in the workplace, knowledge about organization development, job analysis, and individual assessment.

The industrial/organization psychology career has become very popular over the years. Due to industrial/organizational psychologists’ skills and effects on different organizations, the number of people needed with this career just keeps increasing. The higher the competition and growth of organizations, the more an industrial organizational psychologist is needed.