Occupational Health Psychology Graduate Programs

Students pursuing a degree in occupational health psychology learn to analyze the effect of workplace conditions on individuals' wellbeing, be it physical or mental. This article will provide an overview of admittance requirements, common courses, and career options. Schools offering Healthcare Management & Public Safety Leadership degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Admittance Requirements for an Occupational Health Psychology Graduate Program

An undergraduate degree, along with some prerequisite undergraduate courses in psychology, are typical requirements for admittance to an occupational health psychology program. Students may need to have completed around 18 credit hours of psychology coursework during their undergraduate studies. Additionally, students are required to have completed the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and a minimum GPA of 3.0 is commonly required. Some institutions require proof of English proficiency through submission of TOEFL/IELTS scores. Submission of personal statements and letters of recommendation should also be considered.

Occupational Health Psychology Overview and Coursework

A graduate degree in occupational health psychology is suitable for students who would like to specialize their knowledge in an area of psychology focused on exploring the link between workplace factors and employee health. This multidisciplinary field of study utilizes psychological applications to improve the wellbeing of employees in the workplace. As this degree is often offered as a doctorate, the duration of an occupational health psychology graduate program might be between 4-5 years.

This field of study can often be found as a specialization in industrial-organizational(I/O), health psychology, or applied psychology degrees programs. The following classes are among the required coursework for the occupational health psychology concentration.

Personnel Selection

This course discusses the different factors involved during the selection of workers who are the best for a position. Students explore current research and practices in selection methods, the development of selection criterion, and the evaluation of assessment methods. An emphasis is set on the psychological aspect of assessment as well as legal obstacles in recruiting and promoting personnel.

Personnel Training

This course discusses the psychological theories of training to provide students with a knowledge of how to evaluate and design various training programs. Additionally, methods that are used to analyze a job's or organization's training needs are discussed. The assessment of trainees, as well as training strategies, are also analyzed.

Organizational Behavior

This course takes into consideration the complexity of individuals within organizations. The motivational, cognitive, and affective factors contributing to human behavior as well as how workers are influenced and, in turn, influence others within an organization are discussed. The consequences of systems at work within an organization are also explained, and students will be expected to further add to the field's knowledge.

Occupational Health Psychology

This core class provides an introduction to occupational health psychology and covers current research in the field. Students in an occupational health psychology class discuss work stress, hazard management, and the design of safe workplace environments. They also explore how theories associated with public health, law, epidemiology, preventive medicine, and psychology are used to promote well-being in the workplace.

Work Motivation

As suggested by its title, this course covers the application of motivational theories within the workplace. Theories currently in practice are evaluated alongside techniques previously used in the field. The success of methods such as job enrichment are discussed, and students examine how factors like personality, culture, and emotional intelligence affect motivation.

Occupational Health Psychology Degree Career Paths

Industrial/Organizational Psychologist

As an industrial/organizational psychologist, one will identify and evaluate emotional, cognitive, or organizational issues and aid in diagnosing patterns of behavior among employees. Additionally, these professionals might conduct research and surveys to gain more insight into behavioral tendencies. Students who have taken occupational health psychology courses can apply what they've learned to evaluate, assess, and provide consultation for different employees or their managers.

Human Resources Manager

A human resources manager has duties and responsibilities that revolve around the recruitment and selection process for an organization's employees. They also act as an intermediary between employers and employees to air grievances and ensure a comfortable working environment. The skills obtained from an occupational health psychology degree can allow one to specialize in areas such as employee motivation and training and could better qualify them for this position in terms of career development.

Postsecondary Psychology Teacher

A postsecondary psychology teacher can be an adjunct or full-time professor who is in charge of conducting research, writing up syllabi, and teaching classes in occupational health psychology or a related field. They are also responsible for providing assessments for students and conducting original research related to health or industrial/organizational psychology. Individuals who earn a PhD in this field are qualified for tenure-track positions at 4-year colleges and universities.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Industrial/Organizational Psychologist $97,260 13%
Human Resources Manager $113,300 7%
Postsecondary Psychology Teacher $76,710 12%

Source: *US Bureau of Labor Statistics

Occupational health psychology graduate programs often include a highly specialized concentration of industrial/organizational psychology and health psychology courses designed to provide deep insights on workplace engagement, motivation, and their relationship to individual well-being. Students who opt for one of these doctoral degree programs might find the curriculum very beneficial if they're interested in careers aiding others or conducting research in the field.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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