Also known as industrial-organizational psychology or I/O psychology, organizational psychology is a unique study of human behavior and business. Professionals in the field use their understanding of how people think and act to help businesses create systems to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
To work as an organizational psychologist, individuals need a specialized education. They don't need a doctoral degree, as other psychologists do, but should have a master's degree. Organizational psychology degree programs combine coursework about human motivation and behavior with business classes. The result is a curriculum that helps students learn how to develop policies that will help a workforce achieve its potential.
Online organizational psychology degrees are available from several institutions. Other schools offer night and weekend classes that make it convenient for working professionals to earn their degree.
Best Colleges for Organizational Psychology Degree Programs 2018-19
We analyzed data from colleges and universities across the country that offer organizational psychology degree programs. We looked for institutions with prominent programs and those with strong records of providing affordable education and graduating students on time. According to our methodology, these are the best colleges for organizational psychology degree programs.
Bernard M Baruch College is one of ten schools within the City University of New York system. Often simply called Baruch College, the institution is known for its business programs. Its Zicklin School of Business is the largest accredited collegiate school of business in the country.
It is within this school that students will find a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in industrial/organizational psychology. The college indicates many choose it as a terminal degree. However, for those who want to further their education, the Weissman School of Arts & Sciences offers a Master of Science (MS) in industrial/organizational psychology as well as a doctoral degree in the field.
Baruch College ranks second for its affordable tuition and seventh for its graduation rate. It has the second most prominent organizational psychology program among the schools surveyed.
Maryville University has a long history of education. The school was founded in 1872 and is located about 20 miles from downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Its 7,800 students are enrolled in traditional campus programs, adult education campus programs and online degree programs.
The school offers an industrial and organizational psychology concentration minor which can be combined with majors such as organizational leadership, psychology or another field. Graduates earn a bachelor's degree which can be put to use in the workforce immediately or built upon with a master's degree.
To land on the list of best colleges for organizational psychology degree programs, Maryville University pulled in solid scores in virtually all metrics considered. It ranked third for program prominence, fourth for its graduation rate and eighth for tuition.
As a school known for its aviation and aeronautical programs, it may be surprising to hear that Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ranks among the schools with the best organizational psychology degree programs. However, its Prescott, Arizona campus has a degree worth considering.
The Bachelor of Science in industrial psychology and safety at Embry-Riddle is designed specifically for those planning a career in the aviation industry. Students learn about human behavior and how to create systems that will minimize the human errors which account for the majority of aviation accidents.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott has the fourth most prominent program among surveyed schools. It also ranks fourth for its admissions rate, making this school a good choice for anyone worried about going through a rigorous admissions process.
The University of Detroit Mercy was created in 1990 when two prominent institutions merged. The University of Detroit was founded by Jesuit priests in 1877, and the Mercy College of Detroit was established by the Sisters of Mercy in 1941. Now combined, these Catholic institutions offer more than 100 academic programs as the University of Detroit Mercy.
For students interested in organizational psychology, the university offers two options. There is both a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology. The undergraduate degree is intended to provide a foundation for graduate studies while the master's degree is considered terminal.
In these rankings, the University of Detroit Mercy has the fifth most prominent program. It also has the ninth best graduation rate and is notable for its flexible scheduling options and student support services.
With a campus in Reading, Albright College is the oldest institution of higher learning in Berks County, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1856 by the Evangelical Association and is today affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Those looking for online degrees for organizational psychology may be interested in the Albright program. The school's accelerated bachelor's degree in organizational behavior/applied psychology is geared specifically for adult learners. Rather than operating on a traditional class schedule, students meet for four hours in the evenings and then complete other coursework online.
Albright College has the most prominent program of all schools analyzed for these rankings. It also has small class sizes and career counseling services. The college ranks 12th for its graduation rate.
Based in Murfreesboro, Middle Tennessee State University notes it produces the most graduates for the Nashville economy and is the second-largest producer of graduates in the state. It was founded in 1911 as a teacher's college but has since expanded to offer a variety of degrees through its eight colleges.
Within the Department of Psychology, MTSU offers a bachelor's degree in industrial/organizational psychology. The curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry-level positions or to continue their education at the graduate level. MTSU also offers a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology.
Middle Tennessee State University is an affordable choice and ranks third for its in-state tuition and fees. It also has the ninth most prominent program and the ninth best admissions rate.
Founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1846, Saint Xavier University is not only the first Mercy institution of higher learning in the country but also the oldest Catholic institution in Chicago. The school enrolls approximately 4,000 students on two campuses in Illinois.
Students interested in online organizational psychology degrees may want to look at the degree completion programs at Saint Xavier University. Intended for those who already have an associate degree or an equivalent number of credits, the school's bachelor's degree in organizational development can be earned in as little as 21 months through a combination of evening, Saturday and online courses.
Saint Xavier University has the sixth most prominent program among the schools surveyed. It also ranks sixth for its admission rate and 12th for its tuition rate.
On a campus in Maryville, Northwest Missouri State University provides its 7,000 students with more than 160 undergraduate and graduate degree options. The school is known for education innovations that include giving a laptop to all full-time students and instituting a rental system in which textbooks cost only $6 per credit hour.
Northwest offers a bachelor's degree in organizational behavior and human resources. The program takes a multidisciplinary approach to teach students about both business and behavioral science. As part of their curriculum, students can participate in internships and profession-based learning experiences.
As one of the best colleges for organizational psychology degree programs, Northwest Missouri State University ranks first for its low tuition and fees. It comes in fifth for its admissions rate and 13th for program prominence.
Ithaca College is another of the top schools for organizational psychology. Founded in 1892 in Ithaca, New York, the college enrolls more than 6,500 students. Originally a music conservatory, the college today offers diverse degree programs.
Organizational psychology goes by the name applied psychology at Ithaca College. A Bachelor of Science degree combines economics, business and communications courses with those in the field of psychology. There is also an option for psychology majors to concentrate in behavioral neuroscience.
The college is notable for having the third best graduation rate on these rankings. IC also has the 7th most prominent program in the field. Students have access to academic advising and career placement assistance upon graduation.
As one of ten members of the Concordia University System and affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Concordia University Irvine offers more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs. It states its goal is to develop wise, honorable and cultivated citizens.
CUI is one of the schools offering online organizational psychology degrees. Its bachelor's degree in organizational psychology can be earned fully online, making it an appealing choice for busy adults. It's also offered in an accelerated format which means students can earn their degree in as little as 18 months.
Concordia University Irvine ranks ninth overall for program prominence. The school also features a low student-faculty ratio. It comes in 10th for its graduation rate and 13th for its tuition and fees.
Organizational Psychology Degree Programs and Common Career Paths
Organizational psychologists may be hired to work exclusively with one business, or they may offer their services as a consultant to many companies. Either way, they need to have the right education which, for most employers, means having a master's degree.
Career Outlook for Organizational Psychology Majors
Businesses are always looking for methods to become more efficient. Since organizational psychologists specialize precisely in helping firms do that, they may find their services in demand. Here's a closer look at the career outlook for the profession.
Financial Aid and Scholarships in Organizational Psychology
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology offers financial aid programs specifically for those studying the field. It awards graduate student scholarships including the Mary L. Tenopyr Scholarship and the Lee Hakel Graduate Student Scholarship. Other programs may be offered by colleges, universities and local business or psychology associations.
Fellowship is awarded for three years; continued support is based upon recipient's progress.
Reapplication required for renewal.
To be included in these rankings, all schools must meet the following initial criteria for the specific subject being ranked.
- Offer an undergraduate degree (either associate or bachelor’s) in that subject.
- Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in the most recent year of IPEDS data available.
Based on those criteria, we ranked all 2-year and 4-year schools in IPEDS that reported data for all of the following points. Ratings are calculated on a 10-point scale, using the weights specified.
- In-state undergraduate tuition & fees, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Graduation rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Accessibility, based on admissions rate, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Institutional spending, based on two equally weighted factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Instructional and academic support expenses per full-time enrolled student
- Instructional and academic support spending as a percentage of all expenses
- Student-to-faculty ratio, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Flexibility, based on the following factors, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Percent of students enrolled fully or partly in distance education
- Whether the school offers programs that can be completed entirely in the evenings and on weekends
- Whether the school offers academic and career counseling
- Whether the school offers job placement services for students who complete their programs
- Whether the school offers any alternative tuition plans, such as a payment plan or guaranteed rate
- Size of program, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded in 2014-15 were in this particular subject, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Related subjects, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered at any level, National Center for Education Statistics, 2015
- Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
- Most Recent Cohorts (All Data Elements): 2016-17, College Scorecard, U.S. Department of Education, https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/data/
- Pursuing a Career in I/O Psychology, American Psychological Association, Accessed January 2018, http://www.apa.org/action/science/organizational/education-training.aspx
- Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Psychologists, Accessed January 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/psychologists.htm
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Baruch College, Accessed January 2018, http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/wsas/areas_of_study/social_sciences/industrial_organizational_psychology.htm
- Academic Programs, Maryville University, Accessed January 2018, https://catalog.maryville.edu/content.php?catoid=12&navoid=807
- Industrial Psychology and Safety, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott, Accessed January 2018, http://prescott.erau.edu/degrees/bachelor/industrial-psychology-safety/index.html
- Psychology, University of Detroit Mercy, Accessed January 2018, http://liberalarts.udmercy.edu/academics/psy/
- Adult Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates, Albright College, Accessed January 2018, https://www.albright.edu/school-professional-studies/undergraduate-degrees-and-certificates/
- Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Accessed January 2018, http://www.mtsu.edu/programs/organizational-psych/#t-2
- Organizational Development, Saint Xavier University, Accessed January 2018, http://sxu.edu/academics/colleges_schools/cps/programs/organizational-development.asp
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Northwest Missouri State University, Accessed January 2018, https://www.nwmissouri.edu/academics/undergraduate/majors/organizational-behavior-human-resource.htm
- Psychology (B.A.) Applied Psychology (B.S.), Ithaca College, Accessed January 2018, https://www.ithaca.edu/hs/depts/psychology/programs/psychology/
- Learning Outcomes, DePaul University, Accessed January 2018, https://www.depaul.edu/university-catalog/degree-requirements/graduate/csh/industrial-organizational-psychology-ma/Pages/learning-outcomes.aspx
- SIOP Graduate Student Scholarships, Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Accessed January 2018, http://www.siop.org/SIOPAwards/gradstudentscholarship.aspx
- Online Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Psychology, Concordia University Irvine, Accessed January 2018, https://www.cui.edu/online/degrees/bachelors/organizational