Earn Your Master's in I-O Psychology
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The business landscape changes rapidly, and you’ll be well-prepared to work within this dynamic area with a Master of Science (MS) in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from Southern New Hampshire University. This master’s-level degree readies you to assist organizations as they seek to hire, retain and develop the best employees.
Day in and day out, industrial-organizational psychologists make valuable contributions to the business world – and one of the most important subfields of psychology. They can impact every part of an organization, from back-office administration to the factory floor and all the way up to the C-suite.
With a master’s in I-O psychology, you’ll get to tackle a wide range of workplace challenges and enhance overall quality of life by:
While the organizational psychology degree does not lead to licensure or certification, it aligns with Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology standards to provide skills that apply to a variety of positions. It also expands your employment options to fields like market research and advertising, where industrial-organizational psychologists (IOPs) help fulfill client needs.
Learn how to:
A goalkeeper has 0.08 of a second to make a decision on how to stop a penalty kick, Dr. Michael Hendery, SNHU psychology professor, told former MLS player Calen Carr in this look at how psychologists analyze split-second information processing and decision-making.
Your master’s in organizational psychology can prepare you to serve as a change agent in businesses across every industry, from criminal justice to education, healthcare to IT, manufacturing to transportation. Like many IOPs, you might work in an organization’s HR department or as an independent consultant hired to solve a problem.
“There really is no part of the workplace that is not focused on,” said Dr. Thomas MacCarty, associate dean of psychology at SNHU. “If there is any issue that may be hampering an organization from moving forward, an IOP can help alleviate the issue, or at least mitigate it.”
The industrial-organizational psychology program is designed to help you build skills and knowledge you can apply immediately in many types of work settings. While job functions can vary widely, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics groups IOPs into these 6 occupational categories:
This online master's in industrial-organizational psychology degree does not lead to licensure or certification. But unlike many other fields of psychology, earning your master's degree qualifies you for work as an I-O psychologist in many workplaces – though having a doctorate may earn you a higher pay grade.
“One of the things I like best is knowing our students are immediately applying course lessons in their professional lives,” said Dr. Eileen Schiffer, who teaches industrial-organizational psychology at SNHU. “The concepts we explore – motivation, leadership, communication, teamwork and organizational change – are things our students experience on a daily basis.”
Schiffer points out that master’s in IO psychology students use these skills throughout the program so they’re ready to apply them after graduation. “Our courses help them reflect on their experiences in new ways and offer them knowledge and skills that enable them to be more successful in their careers – not only after they graduate, but during each term on their paths to their degrees," she said.
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 12 credits 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.
All students are invited to join the online SNHU Psychology Club and to tap into our growing nationwide network of alumni for internship and career opportunities.
96.5% of students would recommend SNHU.2 Discover why SNHU may be right for you.
Acceptance decisions are made on a rolling basis throughout the year for our 5 graduate terms. You can apply at any time and get a decision within days of submitting all required materials. To apply, simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options. Your counselor can also walk you through the application process, which involves completing a graduate application and providing undergraduate transcripts.
If you don't have a background in psychology or a related field, you may need to take up to 3 foundation courses. For those who do not meet the minimum requirements, the following courses may be required:
Note: This program does not prepare you for state licensure.
Simply contact an admission counselor, who can help you explore financial options, answer all your questions, and walk you through the application process, which includes:
Starting with a foundation in psychology, you'll learn to apply psychological research to real-world organizational contexts. As you complete the industrial-organizational psychology graduate program’s core coursework, you’ll:
When you choose to pursue the concentration in industrial-organizational psychology, you'll use your 12 major elective credits to learn hyper-specific I-O psychology information and skills. Our master’s in industrial-organizational psychology concentration is made up of these 4 courses:
Your online master’s in I-O psychology classes are taught by highly regarded, accomplished faculty with years of real-world, hands-on experience. Our online faculty reflect the advanced academic qualifications and practical experience of a top-ranked, accredited university.
“Employers today are faced with many unique challenges,” said Dr. Cindy Alexander, an industrial-organizational psychology instructor at SNHU. “Our master’s in industrial-organizational psychology prepares students to help employers navigate those challenges and find solutions to maximize performance.”
Dr. Thomas MacCarty, associate dean of psychology at SNHU, credits the program’s broad curriculum with the versatility graduates bring to the discipline of I-O psychology.
“The successful graduate student has shown they have insight and knowledge in a wide variety of topics,” said MacCarty. He points to developmental psychology, sociology, behavioral research, ethics and legal issues, and human behavior as just a few examples.
Do you feel drawn to the psychology of the workplace? Do you feel a tug to help build healthier work environments? Move your career and the business world forward with a master’s in organizational psychology.
Total Credits: 36
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer a 25% 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.
$150 Graduation Fee, Course Materials ($ varies by course)
Industrial-organizational psychology, otherwise known as I-O psychology, is a subfield of psychology focused on workplace dynamics.
“I would say it is using scientific study to look at employee-employer relationships as they relate to productivity, morale, engagement, job satisfaction and attitudes,” said Dr. Thomas MacCarty, associate dean of psychology at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU).
According to SIOP, the work of IOPs focuses on 6 key areas, all of which carry “critical relevance” for both employees and businesses:3
The American Psychological Association (APA) recognizes industrial-organizational psychology as a specialty in professional psychology.4 According to the APA, “there are many variables that determine how well an organization or company operates.” The APA cites the ability to communicate well, resolve conflicts, evaluate process issues and manage effectively as “examples of the components necessary for businesses to succeed.”
Hiring and training practices, the ways in which employees interact and many other factors can cause problems in any of these areas. Your master’s in organizational psychology can prepare you with the skills and knowledge of human behavior to tackle them.
“Virtually any job in which you deal with people and need to know how to relate to them and what influences their behavior will benefit from a graduate degree in psychology,” said Dr. Barbara Lesniak, SNHU associate dean of psychology. When it comes to people issues in the workplace, industrial-organizational psychology graduate programs fit the need perfectly.
Industrial-organizational psychologists (IOPs) work in nearly every type of organization imaginable, in both the public and private sector. You might work for a hospital, a manufacturing firm, a government agency or a private university.
Industrial-organizational psychology master's programs do not lead to licensure or certification. However, SNHU’s program aligns with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) standards required for a wide range of roles and responsibilities.3
Depending on the organization, your research might focus on aptitude tests for job candidates, leadership development programs, staffing and compensation guidelines, workplace safety recommendations or programs to improve work-life balance.
According to the American Psychological Association, IOPs “are qualified as trainers, facilitators, assessors, coaches and consultants. I-O psychologists may also work directly in an organization’s human resources department, or they may act as independent consultants, called into an organization to solve a particular problem.”3
Industrial-organizational psychologists (IOPs) analyze issues in the workplace, conduct research and recommend solutions based on their findings. Process breakdowns, productivity losses, personality conflicts, poor morale and even safety concerns are among the issues an IOP might help address.
The American Psychological Association describes 6 common workplace scenarios where IOPs might use their research: 3
Some IOPs teach college or conduct research, or both. Some work as executive coaches or training specialists, others as human resource generalists or managers. Others have less familiar titles, like:
When you earn a master’s in organizational psychology, you'll focus on the skills and knowledge that address these and other workplace-related issues. You’ll gain a foundation in psychology and learn how to apply psychology research to real-world situations.
Yes – industrial-organizational psychology is in very high demand by organizations in nearly every industry. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 12.3% growth – much faster than average – for industrial-organizational psychologists (IOPs) through 2028.1
Over time, senior management in a variety of organizations have seen the value in turning to IOPs for help with solving a wide variety of business problems. That positive trend may account for the high rate of growth, according to the BLS.
Wages are high as well. In 2019, the BLS reported median annual wages of $92,880 for IOPs.1 In fact, the BLS reports that several related roles may also experience higher-than-average demand through 2028, including:
Most definitely. Human resources professionals use psychology in many aspects of their work, from recruiting and hiring staff to training and developing the workforce.
Industrial-organizational psychology graduate programs incorporate psychology principles that are fundamental to the work of HR departments.
Your master’s in organizational psychology prepares you to add value to the HR function. In fact, many industrial-organizational psychologists (IOPs) choose human resources as a career path, often as HR generalists or managers. Some use their credentials to work as human resources practice leaders.
If you’re already working in HR, a master’s in I-O psychology can supplement your HR skill set and open doors to new opportunities. As an IOP graduate student, you’ll learn to apply psychology research findings to common workplace challenges, including how to:
Many schools offer undergraduate psychology degree programs, as well as master's in psychology online and on campus options, but only you can decide which one is best for you. You’ll need to consider whether the program fits your budget, your schedule and your career plans, among other things.
SNHU’s online master’s in organizational psychology is one of the most affordable in the nation. And since we're an accredited university, you can count on a high-quality education. Our faculty members are among the best in online education, bringing real-world experience from all aspects of psychology to the classroom.
Southern New Hampshire University also offers one of the most flexible online master's degree programs you’ll find. At SNHU, going to school online means being able to create your own schedule. That’s because we have no set class times. So as long as you turn in assignments by the weekly deadlines – typically Thursday and Sunday nights – you can squeeze in coursework when and where it’s most convenient for you.
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 more than 9,200 SNHU online students in survey responses from the fall of 2019.
3Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, “For Organizations: I-O and Employee Lifecycle,” on the internet, at: https://www.siop.org/Professionals (viewed June 26, 2020)
4American Psychological Association, “Pursuing a Career in I/O Psychology,” on the internet, at: https://www.apa.org/action/science/organizational/education-training (viewed June 26, 2020)