Succeed with a Business Psychology Degree
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Southern New Hampshire University's online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology goes beyond the typical psychology degree. It explores how human behavior relates to organizational goals, and it offers strategies that can help you build an effective workplace.
This degree provides a unique blend of psychology and business courses to help you develop skills to solve individual, group and organizational problems and to influence organizational change.
Learn how to:
The Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology “familiarizes students with important concepts in psychology and shows how those concepts directly relate to the business world,” said Dr. Barbara Lesniak, associate dean of social sciences at Southern New Hampshire University.
In this degree and concentration, you will learn to examine workplace processes and employees’ individual working styles. You'll gain the skills necessary to use this information to increase productivity and worker satisfaction. This is the foundation that professionals in the field of industrial-organizational psychology use to solve problems in the workplace.
This concentration is particularly useful for managers and human resources personnel. With that in mind, some areas of focus include addressing human resource and managerial functions including hiring practices, staff management, and training and development. Professionals with an industrial-organizational psychology concentration also help shape and implement strategic plans within organizations.
“Industrial-organizational psychology is the fastest growing and most sought after psychology career today,” said Dr. Melissa Oleshansky, adjunct instructor of psychology at SNHU. “With the current challenges of the economy, the expertise of someone with industrial-organizational knowledge can help businesses manage change and remain competitive.”
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth for management occupations is 7% between 2018 and 2028, which is higher than the national average.1 The median annual wage across all management occupations is $105,660.1
The industrial-organizational psychology concentration develops skills important to managing individuals and groups in the workplace, with roles such as.
With no set class meeting times, you can learn on your schedule and access online course materials 24/7.
Take advantage of some of the lowest online tuition rates in the nation, plus financial aid for those who qualify. We also make it easy to transfer to SNHU by accepting up to 90 credits for a bachelor's degree and 45 credits for an associate degree from your previous institution.
Founded in 1932, Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution with over 100,000 graduates across the country. SNHU is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which advocates for institutional improvement and public assurance of quality.
Recently, SNHU has been nationally recognized for leading the way toward more innovative, affordable and achievable education:
At Southern New Hampshire University, you'll have access to a powerful network of more than 200,000 students, alumni and staff that can help support you long after graduation. Our instructors offer relevant, real-world expertise to help you understand and navigate the field. Plus, with our growing, nationwide alumni network, you'll have the potential to tap into a number of internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Part of our mission to expand access to quality higher education means removing the barriers that may stand between you and your degree. That’s why you can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 6 (8-week) undergraduate terms.
Simply work with an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions and walk you through the application process. Start by:
Test scores are not required as part of your application.
By earning a business psychology degree online, you'll build a solid educational foundation that can prepare you to improve organizational performance and productivity in any company or organization, big or small, public or private.
Along with gaining a strong business foundation in marketing, accounting and finance, in the Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology program online, you'll learn the key concepts of psychology, including scientific investigation, motivation, personality, intelligence, behavioral deviation, perception, learning and development. Courses are taught by instructors with professional credentials and experience in related fields.
The concentration in industrial-organizational psychology “integrates theories, research, case studies and practical examples to examine various workplace issues and important concepts like motivation, team dynamics and supporting high employee performance,” said Dr. Barbara Lesniak, associate dean of social sciences at Southern New Hampshire University.
This business psychology degree includes 4 main curriculum components:
Together, the 120 credits that make up your business psychology degree can prepare you for a career in business, a graduate degree in business or psychology, or all of the above. With 33 free electives (equivalent of 11 courses), the possibilities to customize your degree to your interests and career goals are numerous.
Our curriculum is designed with you in mind. The general education courses, such as writing, statistics and economics often align with many other associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs across the nation. If you haven’t already taken them, you will need to complete courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and applied statistics as part of the general education requirements.
The business core courses are designed to provide a strong foundation in financial, management and analytical skills that can help you be successful in any career field you choose.
You'll take business core courses such as:
The concentration in industrial-organizational psychology provides a comprehensive overview of various career options. “This starts in Introduction to Psychology, which presents basic psychology concepts through the lens of 5 themes: self-care, social justice, emotional intelligence, ethics and career connections,” Lesniak said. “These last 3 in particular have a close alignment with the business world. The concepts show up again in later courses, as well.”
Concentration courses may include:
Finally, your 33 free electives are an opportunity to customize your degree even further. You could choose from across the business and psychology curriculum to create the learning experience that helps you best reach your personal and professional goals.
To help you meet these goals, every class at SNHU is taught by professionals working in the field. “Each term the students and I have dynamic conversations about how these topics are not just relevant in the work environment but also how they play a role in our lives,” said Dr. Melissa Oleshansky, adjunct instructor of psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. “As a clinical psychologist during the day, I share with the class clinical case studies of how work stress impacts the mental health of employees and business owners. I offer a safe and nurturing environment for each student to explore their thoughts."
Curriculum Requirements & Resources
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30% tuition discount for U.S. service members, both full and part time, and the spouses of those on active duty.
Tuition Rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.
No Application Fee, $150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Business and psychology are two fields that work well together. When you combine them formally through a business psychology degree curriculum, you have an exciting and dynamic degree that focuses on how people behave in the workplace.
Having a professional on staff with the knowledge to maximize employee performance without compromising on best practices in business can be invaluable.
When you earn a business psychology degree, you are arming yourself with the know-how necessary to be successful at improving organizational productivity and personnel performance.
In whatever direction you choose to go with your business psychology degree, rest assured you can help to improve both productivity and workplace relationships, ultimately making your company a more efficient and more enjoyable place to work for everyone.
The great thing about a business psychology degree is how versatile it is. With a broad general education as the base of the degree, you'll have the writing, communication, analytical and math skills you need to excel in any job, in any industry.
The major coursework in business prepares you to tackle principles of human resources, marketing, operations management and business systems. Your studies will also touch on law, finance and general management principles.
Then, take this well-rounded business education and add the study of social psychology, industrial psychology, cognitive psychology and more as you learn how to apply these principles to any business setting.
From there, you can leverage your bachelor’s degree with the guidance of your faculty, each of whom are professionals working in their prospective fields, to move forward in the job search or to continue on for a graduate degree.
Many businesses look to people with a business psychology degree to create training and strategies for increasing productivity and efficiencies, and to improve employee morale.
With a business degree combined with a psychology concentration, you may work as a:
While this bachelor of science degree does not qualify you to work as a psychologist, the coursework does help prepare you for graduate-level work needed to become a business psychologist. It also prepares you to enjoy an exciting career helping others be their best in the workplace.
Business psychology is a subset of general psychology with many overlapping principles. You can study the minds and behavior of people in a business environment. That may involve studying the employees, the leadership, the overall company culture or all of the above. The field may also involve studying client and consumer behavior in the form of market research.
By understanding the aspects of running a business that keep it healthy and solvent and by being able to address the psychological factors that can affect the behavior of all parties involved, you can help businesses of all types thrive.
Business psychologists are also often found as training and development or human resources specialists. This is because your psychology background can help an organization develop and maintain effective hiring and staff development practices.
Not only is business an option for people with coursework in psychology, working in the business world can be an excellent way to apply your background in psychology for the benefit of the company for which you work.
While any aspect of the business world would be well-served by your psychology degree, marketing is a particularly good fit. A strong background in psychology can provide you with the research skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to gauge consumer interest and predict spending habits.
Your strong communication skills can also be a benefit in virtually any professional field. Your psychology background means you have the foundation in liberal arts, including writing and math, that allows you to think both creatively and analytically, to help move any business forward.
You'll also have a deep understanding of the motivating factors behind human behavior. That can lead to a rewarding career in operations management, human resources, finance or design of business and information systems.
The first step to becoming a business psychologist is to earn a bachelor’s degree in an applicable field. That is usually a bachelor’s degree in business or psychology. We recommend a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus on industrial-organizational psychology. That degree offers flexibility as well as broad transferable skills coupled with specific courses that will ground your business background in psychological principles.
From there, you may wish to pursue an MS in Psychology, which includes a master's in organizational psychology concentration, or take aim at an MBA or similar graduate degree. A doctorate may be required for some professional fields, depending on your career interests.
At Southern New Hampshire University, we not only have more than 200 degree programs available. We also have professional admission counselors standing by to assist with placement into the program that best suits your needs and goals. We also have a vibrant alumni network, so you are supported long after you complete your studies.
Not only can you earn a master’s in business with a bachelor’s in psychology, but the two fields overlap quite a bit. Both require a solid foundation in general education and the liberal arts. Strong written and oral communication skills are a must. A knowledge of math, in particular economics and applied statistics, is also helpful in both fields.
The major coursework for Southern New Hampshire University’s online Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration with a concentration in Industrial Organizational Psychology includes a lot of intentional overlap between business and psychology so you gain the knowledge you’ll need for a rewarding career in business psychology.
In particular, you will study financial accounting, business law, introduction to marketing and even human resources administration. All of these courses will benefit from your further study in your psychology concentration in industrial organizational psychology as well. There, you will add the study of social psychology, industrial psychology and even cross-cultural psychology to your professional repertoire.
All of this together can prepare you well for a successful business career, especially when paired with an online master's in psychology, online MBA or similar graduate-level business degree. SNHU will be ready to help you explore your career options either way to ensure you maximize your credits and earn your master’s degree on the timeline that is best for you.
Organizational psychology, also known as business psychology, is a specialization that combines general psychology principles with how the business world functions. If you are interested in a career that involves driving institutional change, an organizational psychology degree is for you.
Every business needs its most important resource – its people – to work together well. But that can be a challenge when different working styles, cultural norms and personality types are in the mix. That challenge needs a professional well-versed in best business practices as well as an understanding of behavior and psychology. Great job satisfaction awaits the person ready to help improve process and culture and help every employee find their motivation. After all, psychologists base their professional practice in knowledge obtained from verifiable evidence of human behavior.
Throughout the curriculum, “we discuss a variety of mental health conditions and how mental health plays a role in one’s capability of working efficiently and productivity or how one’s mental health can contribute to interpersonal conflict, burn out and workplace despair,” said Dr. Melissa Oleshansky, adjunct instructor of psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. “We work as a team and listen and share with each other all term long while discussing the practical life skills and strategies to improve job skills, personal growth and motivation for success that are so crucial to the practice of organizational psychology.”
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as well as several other accrediting bodies.
1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:
Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.
2According to a survey responses from over 9,200 SNHU online students conducted in the fall of 2019.