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Industrial Organizational Psychology Master's Degree Programs

An industrial-organizational psychology master's degree program is primarily concerned with the ways psychological theory and practice can be applied to workplace performance success.

Information for Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in industrial-organizational psychology are available at colleges and universities across the United States and are also available online. Depending on the institution, students may achieve either a master of arts degree or a master of science degree. Typically, prospective master's degree students will need a bachelor's degree from an accredited university for admission, but it need not be in psychology if they meet prerequisites in classes related to psychology and research. Below are a few brief descriptions of some of the classes often found in one of these programs that span about two years.

Organizational Psychology

Students in an industrial-organizational psychology master's degree program will require a strong foundation of knowledge in the ways individual and group psychology can affect an organization. To meet this need, programs typically offer a course in organizational psychology which can introduce them to the subject matter. Topics included might be how attitudes are formed, work motivation, the impact of organizational structure on performance, and the techniques used to measure and analyze behavior.

Organizational Change

In order to create a better understanding of how the evolution of an organization can affect individuals and groups, many industrial and organizational master's programs will feature a course in organizational change. Students in these classes will often be presented with strategic concepts, the various catalysts that can lead to change, methods for stimulating innovation, how to manage resistance, and techniques to measure the impact of change on an organization. Typically, learners will gain knowledge through literature on the subject and investigation of case studies in the field.

Training and Development

Many industrial-organizational psychology master's programs will have a course in training and development to give an overview of the ways I/O psychology affects theories of learning as it pertains to the workplace. The themes often covered will be an analysis of training needs, methods for designing a training program, and the ways to evaluate the effectiveness of training programs. Additional topics addressed might include various legal aspects, task/person analysis, and relevant training principles.

Employee Selection

Students in industrial-organizational psychology master's degree programs will often find courses in employee selection that focus on the process taken to gather job-related information about prospective employees in order to facilitate hiring and placement. Typically covered issues include selection, recruiting, and testing of prospects. The methodology used to make final employment decisions might be included, as well.

Motivation

Industrial-organizational psychology master's programs will often have a course in the ways of creating motivation and how to apply them to the workplace. Themes typically explored in these classes might be the factors that go into motivating individuals, how to identify problems of motivation, and psychological techniques that can be used to motivate. In some cases, emphasis might be placed on measuring and evaluating how motivation techniques affect performance in an organization.

Psychometrics

Measuring the effects of various hiring and motivational practices is a necessity for running a successful business or organization which is why industrial-organizational psychology master's degree programs will often feature a course in psychometrics in the curriculum. In these classes, students will usually be given an overview of both classical and modern test theory. Themes touched upon might be reliability, item analysis, the validity of tests and their outcomes, and the various theories including item response and generalizability among others.

Research Methods

Research methods classes are typically laboratory-based and teach learners how to create a system for processing human resource information. Some of the topics investigated in a research methodology course might include quantitative and qualitative data analyses, the skills needed to interpret data, and the ethics of research. The criteria that go into determining the reliability and validity of a particular type of research might also be addressed.

Performance Management

Performance management courses will typically give students an overview of the theories and practices used to measure and evaluate on-the-job performance in various types of organizations and businesses. Topics often covered include processes of selecting employees and placement within an organization. In addition, students might explore evaluation program design and the requirements of job performance.

Industrial-organizational psychology master's degree programs are primarily concerned with the various ways to apply psychological theories and research to businesses and other organizations. These programs typically span around two years and are readily available across the United States, offered as both M.A. and M.S. degrees.