Skip to main content

Business Psychology Degree Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Concentration

Jessye Giley wearing a light green blouse, dark blazer and pearl necklace sitting in a wood  paneled conference room with a large table and several chairs in the background.

Cost per credit $330

Total courses 40

Term length 8 weeks

Program Overview Why get a business psychology degree?

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. The program provides a unique blend of psychology and business courses to help you develop skills to solve individual, group and organizational problems and influence organizational change.

This specialized psychology concentration is available to students enrolled in either the BS in Business Administration program or the BA in Psychology program. You can choose which core major suits your career goals while exploring your I/O psychology interests.

Skills you'll learn:

  • Alignment of business management styles
  • Human resource functions
  • Team collaboration
  • Using data to drive recommendations
  • How to apply psychological research
  • Employee engagement strategies
Karie Lamb, who earned her degree in 2023, wearing her cap and gown, holding her SNHU diploma in front of her while standing in the SNHU Arena at a Commencement ceremony.

Courses & Curriculum Online business degree courses built for today's workforce

Along with gaining a strong business foundation in marketing, operations, 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.

Degree Courses

Online business psychology degree courses

This business psychology degree consists of general education, business core, concentration and free elective courses. Together, the 120 credits that make up your business psychology degree can help prepare you for a career in business, a graduate degree in business or psychology, or all of the above. With 33 free electives (the equivalent of 11 courses), the possibilities to customize your degree to your interests and career goals are numerous.

Courses may include:

Course ID: PSY 108
In this course, students will explore the complexities of the human mind by examining the science behind why we think, feel, and do. Students will experience the evolution of psychology through the early schools of thought, major branches, and core theories that guide contemporary perspectives. As students consider the broad influence of psychology on their perceptions, emotions, and everyday choices, they will acknowledge the idea that, in the human experience, "psychology is everywhere."
Course ID: HRM 200
In this course, students will be introduced to the basic principles of human resource management. Students will explore the various functions of the role, including sourcing and managing talent, promoting an organizational culture and analyzing how human resources impact important organizational decisions. Students will also be introduced to total rewards and how it is used within an organization. Tools relevant to the profession and how they are used to inform various functions of the job will be addressed.
Course ID: PSY 365
In this course, students explore leadership theories and principles from a psychology perspective. Through the use of psychological instruments and analysis of leaders, students analyze their own leadership style and engage with topics including the psychology of leadership, followership theory, and motivation. Students also explore issues of employee engagement and its relationship with organizational working environments.
Course ID: PSY 258
Industrial/Organizational Psychology is an applied field in psychology focused to improve the effectiveness of the workplace through research, assessment and interventions allowing for enhancement of the office climate, improvement of group and individual performance and overall organizational goals. I/O psychologists work in a wide variety of organizational settings including human resource agencies, professional administration, marketing, consulting, training and development, and university teaching.

Visit the course catalog to view the full BS in Business Administration curriculum.

Apply for free in minutes

Our no-commitment application can help you decide if SNHU is the right college for you and your career goals. Apply up until 2 days before the term starts!

Upcoming term starts: October 28, 2024 | January 06, 2025

Next term starts:
Sept. 02, 2024

Online Student Experience What’s it like going to SNHU?

Attending college online at SNHU can be a life-changing experience. In fact, 93.2% of online students would recommend SNHU according to a 2023 survey with 21,000+ respondents.

What to expect:

8-week terms

Learn around your schedule

24/7 online support

Online Classroom

What does an online course look like?

You’ll take your courses within SNHU’s Brightspace platform. This is where you’ll find your:

  • Schedule of weekly assignments
  • Discussion boards
  • Grades
  • Instructor announcements
How to Take an Online Class at SNHU
5 ways SNHU makes the admission process "easy-peasy" #shorts

Admission Applying to SNHU is fast and free

No application fee. No test scores. And no college essay. Just a simple form with basic information. It’s another way SNHU helps you reach your goals sooner.

All it takes is 3 simple steps

It's easy, fast and free.

You’ll fill out one form to verify your high school completion or GED. Then, if you’ve attended college before, you’ll submit a form for each school so we can request your transcripts for you. (Also for free!)

After reviewing your official evaluation, you can decide if SNHU is right for you! If you choose to enroll, just pick your start date and get ready for classes to begin.

Talk to an admission counselor: 888.327.SNHU |


SNHU is accredited by the regional accreditor the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), which means we meet certain standards of academic quality, and have the tools and resources necessary for students to be successful. The university also carries specialized accreditations for some programs.

New England Commission of Higher Education Logo

Tuition Cost & Savings College can be more affordable than you think

As a nonprofit university, SNHU offers some of the lowest online tuition rates in the country. And when you work with our Financial Services team, we'll explore ways to help you save even more on your education – and customize a payment plan that works for you.

Online undergraduate programs

Cost per credit
Cost per course
Cost for 120-credit degree*
Full- and part-time students
Active-duty military and spouses | Full- and part-time students**

*before previously earned credits are applied

Tuition rates are subject to change and are reviewed annually.

**Note: Students receiving this rate are not eligible for additional discounts.

Additional costs: Course materials vary by course.

Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

$9,900 $14,850 $19,800 $24,750 $29,700
Transfer credits and lower your cost by:

If 30 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $29,700

If 45 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $24,750

If 60 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $19,800

If 75 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $14,850

If 90 of your prior learning credits ($330/credit) are accepted toward your bachelor’s degree.

Your remaining tuition cost: $9,900

How we estimate your tuition cost:

We look at the cost per credit multiplied by the number of credits you need to earn for a bachelor's degree. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 credits. SNHU allows you to transfer in up to 90 credits, requiring a minimum of 30 credits to be taken at SNHU. This is only a tuition estimator, and doesn't account for other fees that may be associated with your program of choice.

Career Outlook What can I do with an online business psychology degree?

By earning an industrial organizational psychology concentration online, you'll build a solid educational foundation that can help prepare you to improve organizational performance and productivity in any company or organization, big or small, public or private.


The industrial-organizational psychology concentration will help you develop skills important to managing individuals and groups in the workplace, with roles such as:

Plan and manage your organization’s workforce. Ensure fair and legal hiring practices and design and deliver onboarding and other trainings.

Coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being. Work with nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies or government agencies.

Design training programs, write or revise training manuals, create course content and other materials for training programs and design surveys to ensure that training methods are effective.


Job growth predicted for training and development managers through 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1


Median annual wage for training and development managers as of May 2023, according to the BLS.1

Understanding the numbers
When reviewing job growth and salary information, it’s important to remember that actual numbers can vary due to many different factors—like years of experience in the role, industry of employment, geographic location, worker skill and economic conditions. Cited projections do not guarantee actual salary or job growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

"I am fascinated by psychology and I want to continue developing my business acumen," said graduate Shelbi Sniff, '20. "This program allows me to do both because it is a unique blend between psychology and business."

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 better degree depends on your specific career goals. Graduates of both business degrees and psychology degrees may find themselves in similar fields, working within the areas where people and business intersect. This often looks like roles in human resources, talent development, etc.

A business degree provides a holistic overview of multiple areas of business, while a psychology degree is based in psychology research, methods and theory.

Once you've identified your end goal, the career or specific position you'd like to be in, back in from there to identify education or skill requirements for that role. Once you understand what employers are looking for in those roles, you can choose the program that suits your goals.

And with a concentration like industrial organizational psychology, you can blend the two subjects and add a unique skill set to your resume, helping you stand out in the job market in either field.

The great thing about a business psychology degree concentration 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:

  • Human resources manager: Put your people skills to work by engaging in hiring best practices as well as all facets of staff development and support. Highly administrative, this role also requires a strong level of communication and interpersonal skills. Almost every business needs a strong professional in this role to ensure that all staff management processes are in compliance with legal standards, as well as designed to help every employee be their best at work.
  • Training and development manager: In this role, your primary responsibility would be to design and implement training programs to support staff and help ensure they have the tools and information they need to be their best at work every day. You may also survey staff to ensure the effectiveness of this training. With a mix of instruction, administration and interpersonal interaction, this dynamic role could position you for a rewarding career building and maintaining a strong workforce for your company.
  • Social and community service manager: Use your psych business skills to coordinate and supervise programs and organizations that support public well-being, Work in environments like nonprofit organizations, for-profit social service companies or government agencies.

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.

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, human resources is a particularly good fit. Human resources is the true intersection of business and people, where understanding human behavior and its relationship to business environments is a critical part of working in the field.

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. This would include 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. Always be sure to check your state's requirements when it comes to licensure as a mental health professional.

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 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 resource management. 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 program. 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 productively 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.”

Depending on your career goals, an organizational psychology degree could be well worth it. At SNHU, we offer an affordable, accredited online program designed to help prepare you for career advancement.

For Jackie Lancaster '19, our I-O degree program offered a perfect gateway to the next phase of her career.

"After a hiatus from higher education, I found an online advertisement and decided to explore the online degree programs offered," she said. "When I found I-O psychology, I was thrilled because I would be able to take courses I was interested in. The best part was that the program aligned with what I was doing for work and had the potential to allow me to bring new opportunities to my employer."

As a mom of four with an associate degree under her belt, Lancaster knew she was ready to continue her education online – but wasn't sure what to expect. This all changed when she connected with the admission team.

"The admissions team shared the reality of online coursework, and rather than gate keeping, they spent a lot of time opening doors," Lancaster said. "They were forthright and generous with their time, reassuring me that I could obtain a bachelor’s degree. It was the team that changed the way I felt about studying online. I became confident in myself and my ability to tackle the rigorous program. When I graduated, there was a team to help me apply to and transition into my Master’s program."

Overall, Lancaster speaks highly of her experience.

"My program was worth every minute I spent working to obtain my degree," she said. "It has opened new avenues that I was not able to explore before. I feel as if I can speak the language of my profession proficiently and I have gained a tremendous amount of self-esteem over the process."

For Shelbi Sniff '20, another I-O psychology student, SNHU stood out for different reasons.

"Before choosing SNHU, I did a lot of research on several universities that offered an industrial-organizational psychology degree," she said. "Through that research, I related most to SNHU and loved that their mission states: 'Our success is defined by our learners’ success.' This is such a genuine statement that touched my heart."

This feeling was punctuated by the immediate support she received when she applied.

"I was contacted within 24 hours of submitting my application for SNHU (while other schools took 3-5 days to contact me)," she said. "That very first conversation had me hooked and excited to continue my education and fulfill my dreams!"

And her advice for others thinking about going back to school?

"This degree program is 110% worth it," Sniff said. "In my opinion, there was no difference in this online learning path vs. being in person. This degree is so valuable to my career and in allowing me to reach my professional and personal goals."

Whether a business psychology degree is "good" depends on your career goals and interests. A degree in business psychology can be valuable for those who want to work at the intersection of psychology and business.

It equips you with a blend of psychological knowledge and business acumen, which can be applied in various fields such as human resources, organizational development, marketing and management.

There are applications for psychology all over business as the feature of industrial organizational psychology is understanding human behavior.

Communication is critical to business, where working with teams to solve business problems is commonplace.

And understanding personality types and working and learning styles can be critically important to success in business as these are qualities of a good leader- understanding how to best manage people and teams.

Business psychology, also known as industrial organizational psychology, is specifically tailored for applications in the business world.

It focuses on understanding human behavior in the workplace, optimizing organizational processes and enhancing employee well-being and productivity.

So, if your primary interest is in business-related settings, industrial organizational psychology is the most relevant subfield of psychology.

The main difference between psychology and business psychology lies in their focus areas:

  • Psychology: Psychology is a broad field that studies human behavior, thoughts, emotions, and mental processes. It encompasses various subfields, including clinical, counseling, developmental, cognitive and social psychology, among others.
  • Business Psychology (Industrial Organizational Psychology): Business psychology, or industrial-organizational psychology, is a subfield that applies psychological principles and research methods to understand and solve problems in the workplace. It deals with topics like employee motivation, leadership, teamwork and organizational culture.

A professional with a background in business psychology is often called an "industrial-organizational psychologist" or simply an "I-O psychologist."

They may also be referred to as "business consultants," "organizational psychologists," or "workplace psychologists," depending on their specific role and job title.

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.

The choice between sociology and psychology for a career in business depends on your interests and career goals. Both disciplines can be valuable, but they approach business-related topics from different angles:

  • Psychology: If you're interested in understanding individual behavior, motivation, and decision-making within a business context, psychology, especially industrial organizational psychology, may be a better fit.
  • Sociology: If you're more interested in studying group dynamics, social structures and the impact of society on organizations and businesses, a BS in Sociology could be a more suitable choice.

Business psychology is increasingly important in today's competitive and complex business world. It helps organizations improve employee satisfaction, productivity and overall effectiveness.

By understanding human behavior in the workplace, businesses can make informed decisions about hiring, training, leadership and organizational culture, ultimately contributing to their success and profitability.

Business psychology also plays a crucial role in addressing issues like diversity and inclusion, employee well-being and ethical business practices.

Sources & Citations

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, on the internet, at:

  • (viewed April 23, 2024)
  • (viewed April 23, 2024)
  • (viewed April 23, 2024)
  • (viewed April 23, 2024)

Cited projections may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth.