3 answers

What is organizational psychology all about?

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Psychology major undergrad.
Thinking about future.

Which school offer organisational psychology program? (grad studies)
What is it like?
What can you do with it?

Any personal experience you can share with me if you are in the program?

Thank you!


Hi Cindy! Great question. I'm no organizational psychologist, but I did study about this in my psychology class. Psychology majors with a bachelor's degree or higher can work as organizational psychologists for different companies. Their role is to study individuals in the workplace and research ways to organize it so that productivity and effectiveness is maximized. Sometimes, organizational psychologists even counsel unhappy workers. Check out this website to see a list of the top schools with industrial-organizational psychology programs: https://www.usnews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-humanities-schools/industrial-organizational-psychology-rankings. I hope this helps and I wish you the best in all your organizational psychology endeavors! Mireia R.

3 answers

Daniela’s Answer


Hi, Cindy!

I/O psychologists apply their scientific research in all types of organizational and workplace settings, such as manufacturing, commercial enterprises, labor unions and health care facilities. The focus of their research ranges from applicant and employee testing and assessment to leadership development, staffing, management, teams, compensation, workplace safety, diversity and work-life balance.</span>

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.</span>

The career path to becoming an I/O psychologist begins with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Opportunities with a bachelor’s degree alone aren’t unheard of, but they are sparse. Most students interested in I/O psychology go on to earn an advanced degree, although they may take time off between degrees to work and gain real world experience.

A person with a master’s degree in I/O psychology is often able to find an entry-level position to launch a career. However, those with a doctoral degree will have more employment opportunities in this field.

Specialized knowledge and training in the science of behavior in the workplace requires in-depth knowledge of organizational development, attitudes, career development, decision theory, human performance and human factors, consumer behavior, small group theory and process, criterion theory and development, job and task analysis and individual assessment. In addition, the specialty of industrial-organizational psychology requires knowledge of ethical considerations as well as statutory, administrative, and case law and executive orders as related to activities in the workplace.</span>

I/O Psychologists are scientist-practitioners who have expertise in the design, execution and interpretation of research in psychology and who apply their findings to help address human and organizational problems in the context of organized work. I/O psychologists:

  • Identify training and development needs;
  • Design and optimize job and work and quality of work life;
  • Formulate and implement training programs and evaluate their effectiveness;
  • Coach employees;
  • Develop criteria to evaluate performance of individuals and organizations; and
  • Assess consumer preferences, customer satisfaction and market strategies.




Janie’s Answer


It's awesome that you are thinking far ahead! I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology, and there isn't a lot you can do without a master's degree or doctorate. Industrial / organizational psychology is all about using evidence-based research to help organizations make decisions about their work force, including people and policies.

There are a lot of things you can do with this degree. For example, you can do almost any human resources related function, do freelance consulting or consult with a firm, recruiting, talent development, talent acquisition, training, and organizational development. I currently work in training and development and have a management background, and I hope to leverage my degree into a training director role. I would definitely recommend visiting siop.org to learn about programs in your area and I-O in general.

Form relationships with your professors now and work on keeping your GPA high. Your professors can give you letters of recommendation. Also this type of psychology deals with analyzing statistics, so it wouldn't be a bad idea to take some math classes that are based in statistics.

Janie recommends the following next steps:

  • Check SIOP for programs and more info.
  • Work with professors, sometimes in the School of Business, on the research projects if it all possible.
  • Look into Graduate School requirements and if there are tests you need to take to get into the school, start studying in your junior year.
  • Take stats classes.

Linda Ann’s Answer


The previous answer is fairly comprehensive. To that I would add the following:

Go to the website of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Division 14 of the American Psychological Association). Poke around at that website and you will find ratings of graduate ;programs in I-O psychology. Here's the link: https://www.siop.org/

Have fun exploring!