Occupational Psychology Graduate Programs

This article outlines the common courses, typical program duration, and admission requirements for occupational psychology graduate programs, which may also be known as organizational or industrial psychology. Schools offering Occupational Therapy Assistant degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Information for Occupational Psychology Graduate Programs

The purpose of an occupational psychology graduate program is to facilitate the application of psychological principles to organizations, by equipping future psychologists with the knowledge and skills they would need to understand organizational behavior, models of productivity, motivation, job satisfaction, experimental design, and statistics in the context of occupational psychology. A PhD in occupational or organizational psychology can typically be completed within four to seven years, while a master's degree would require about two years of full-time study; common course options follow.

Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal

This kind of course can provide students with the tools they need to understand the theory and practice of the collection, use, and analysis of job and performance data. Students often learn about the predominant theories, research, and practices in the realm of occupational or industrial performance appraisal. In class, students may be tasked with discussing and analyzing the theories and policies associated with performance appraisal across various industries. The available techniques, legal aspects, reliability, validity, cognitive factors, and current research findings associated with job analysis and performance appraisals are some of the other topics typically covered.

The Psychology of Motivation at Work

Students taking this type of course can get the opportunity to examine the causes and effects of motivation in organizational settings, including the factors that may motivate a group or an individual to take action for the attainment of a goal or the betterment of the organization or business as a whole. The psychological origins of motivation are often studied, such as whether it stems from natural forces (i.e. needs, drives, and desires) or rationality (identity, meaningfulness, purpose). The biological, neurological, sociocultural, and psychological roots of occupational motivation are typically discussed and analyzed.

Individual and Leadership Assessment

In this sort of course, students might learn about the different assessment tools and techniques for occupational and business applications. The primary principles of leadership theory and practice may be emphasized, and students can learn to use assessment center technology and measurement tools for assessing vocational interests and abilities, as well as aptitude (including intellect) and other work-related personality traits and constructs. Students might complete sample comprehensive individual assessments as part of the practical or 'lab' portion of the course.

Recruitment, Placement and Selection

Students can learn the skills needed for effectively selecting, recruiting, and placing employees within a corporate or industrial setting with the help of innovative assessment tests and techniques. Emphasis might be laid on the individual, organizational, and societal demand for the appropriate utilization of individual differences in the process of recruitment, training, and placement. The role of governmental regulations in recruitment and selection processes, the common problems, and the role of individual behavior and attributes in the initial placement of employees could also be studied and discussed.

Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Occupational Psychology

This type of course could enable students to understand the major ethical and legal issues associated with the professional practice of industrial or occupational psychology. Students will be able to explore the ways in which ethical considerations influence the process of hiring, training, and motivating employees as well as professional decision-making at all levels. How employees can connect the work they do with the ethics and values that they personally believe in, and how such a connection can affect their productivity and engagement at work, might be examined. Legal issues such as mandated professional behavior and state licensing laws are also typically highlighted.

Individual and Executive Coaching

The literature concerning work-related individual interventions is often studied and analyzed within this sort of course. Consulting applications of occupational psychology, such as professional coaching, identifying and rectifying workplace dysfunction, and differentiating psychopathological issues from normal ones are some of the other topics that might be covered. Students often learn, practice, and research assessment and intervention techniques that are needed for individual-level professional coaching and other types of occupational consulting services. Overall, students can learn ways to maximize productivity and workplace effectiveness among employees.

Occupational Psychology Graduate Programs: Admission Prerequisites

Students seeking admission to occupational psychology (also known as industrial/organizational psychology) graduate programs should have completed a four-year undergraduate degree, or a foreign equivalent, in a relevant field. Official transcripts from all degree-granting institutions previously attended, an updated CV or resume, and a statement of purpose (in essay format) are also typically required, along with the application form and fee. Other common admission requirements include GRE scores, a GPA of 3.0 and above, and two or more letters of recommendation from faculty members familiar with the student's academic work.

In conclusion, students who want to gain enrollment in an occupational psychology graduate program at the master's or PhD levels should fulfill the above-mentioned requirements. To earn the degree, they might take courses such as the psychology of motivation at work, job analysis and performance appraisal, and individual and leadership assessment.

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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