According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists is expected to grow by 13% through 2028. I/O psychologists face strict competition in the job market due to a large number of qualified applicants. However, those with training in quantitative research methods usually have a competitive edge. I/O psychology is the area of psychology focused on the workplace. I/O psychologists apply principles of psychology to solve problems related to HR, business, sales, and marketing. They may be involved in employee training and development, testing, policy planning, and in the creation of incentives.

We created this list of the top 25 campus-based industrial/organizational psychology master’s programs in the U.S. We consulted College Navigator to find programs offering a master’s in this area with the majority of coursework delivered in a traditional campus-based environment. We narrowed our list to include only those programs holding regional accreditation. We determined the best schools have a rigorous curriculum taught by faculty that are both researchers and industry professionals. The best schools also have a rigorous curriculum that includes the opportunity for field research, a thesis or capstone project, and professional development opportunities. From this final list of schools, we applied our ranking criteria to come up with our top 25 campus-based I/O psychology master’s programs.

Average Graduate Tuition

  • Less than $10,000 per year= 5 Points
  • $10,000 to $15,000 per year= 4 Points
  • $15,001 to $20,000 per year= 3 Points
  • $20,001 to $25,000 per year= 2 Points
  • Greater than $25,001 per year= 1 Point

We also looked at a school’s student/faculty ratio and awarded more points to schools with a lower ratio. We believe a lower student to faculty ratio allows students to receive individualized attention and support throughout the program.

Student to Faculty Ratio

  • 15:1 or less= 5 Points
  • 16:1 to 20:1= 3 Points
  • Greater than 20:1= 1 Point

#25 – Columbia University – New York, New York

Master of Arts-Social-Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $46,216/year
Points: 6
The Teachers College at Columbia University features a social-organizational psychology master’s program in a traditional and executive format. For students new to the field or transitioning from another field there’s the 45 credit hour MA program. This program follows the scientist-practitioner model. Students can choose from a variety of applied courses to build their applied skills in I/O psychology. The executive program is for students with eight years or more of experience and includes a specialization in change leadership. Students move through the program as a cohort, using innovative technology and cultural immersion and residential experiences throughout the NYC metro area.

#24 – New York University – New York, New York

Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 9:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $42,888/year in-state and $/year out-of-state
Points: 6
New York University features a top campus-based master’s in I/O psychology with the flexibility to accommodate both full and part-time students. Students can choose between a thesis or passing a comprehensive written examination. Courses cover:

  • personnel selection
  • performance measurement and rewards
  • training in organizations
  • work motivation and attitudes

Students complete five elective courses to customize their degree, allowing them to focus on specific areas of I/O psychology that meet their professional interests.

#23 – Elmhurst College – Elmhurst, Illinois

M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $31,170/year
Points: 6
Elmhurst College features a campus-based top master’s in I/O psychology that links science to the challenges of work life. This two-year part-time program schedules classes during the evening hours to accommodate adult professionals. The program follows a cohort model allowing students to work closely with each other for the duration of the program. Courses cover areas like:

  • job analysis and performance management
  • research methods
  • employee selection procedures
  • measurement and assessment

Faculty are industry experts with experience in research, fieldwork, and networking. Students must choose to complete an internship, capstone project or a thesis.

#22 – Seattle Pacific University – Seattle, Washington

Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MA)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $29,772/year
Points: 6
The master’s in industrial/organizational psychology at Seattle Pacific University is a campus-based program that admits new students during the fall semester. The curriculum provides students with a strong foundation in theory that easily transfers to the field. Field-practicum experiences allow students to:

  • develop their skills
  • conduct research
  • design and deliver interventions

Students can choose from a wide variety of electives to meet their personal and professional goals.

#21 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology – Chicago, Illinois

M.A. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

chicago-school-of-professional-psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 5:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $21,213/year
Points: 6
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology features a top campus-based master’s in I/O psychology available to both full and part-time students. Courses cover areas like:

  • organizational leadership
  • organizational attitudes and survey development
  • training

All students complete two 300 credit hour internships relevant to either HR or I/O. This I/O psychology master’s program is one of the only programs in the country that aligns with the SHRM guidelines.

#20 – University of Minnesota – Minneapolis, Minnesota

Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O) Master’s Degree Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $17,064/year in-state and $26,412/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota features a top campus-based master’s in industrial/organizational psychology awarded to students on their way to completing their PhD. Students complete coursework during their first two years of the program, as well as complete a first year research project. These courses include:

  • personnel psychology
  • psychometrics
  • organizational psychology
  • analysis of psychological data

During the final two years as students pursue their PhD, students begin to build their professional identification and develop a network of professionals in the field.

#19 – University of New Haven – West Haven, Connecticut

Master of Arts program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $16,470/year
Points: 6
The College of Arts and Sciences at the University of New Haven features a top campus-based master’s in I/O psychology that prepares students to work with both individuals and groups to create positive organizational change. Students benefit from unique research opportunities and internships. The flexible course curriculum accommodates student employment, internships, and graduate assistantships. All students have the opportunity to complete a practicum project at their current place of employment, developing their professional skills. Full-time students can complete the program in two years while part-time students can finish in three.

#18 – Western Michigan University – Kalamazoo, Michigan

Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $15,638/year in-state and $29,569/year out-of-state
Points: 6
Western Michigan University features a campus-based industrial/organizational master’s program through the Department of Psychology. Students who complete the program will be prepared for either the workforce or to continue on to doctoral study. Students can choose to complete either a practicum option or a thesis option. Courses cover:

  • personnel selection and placement
  • personnel training and development
  • psychology of work
  • behavioral systems analysis

Opportunities are available for graduate assistantships and fellowships. For the past five years, 100% of master’s graduates have secured employment after graduation.

#17 – Minnesota State University – Mankato, Minnesota

Master of Arts Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,404/year
Points: 6
Minnesota State University Mankato features a top campus-based industrial/organizational psychology following the scientist/practitioner training model. This 44 credit hour program includes a three month internship or thesis, a comprehensive exam, and a portfolio review. Courses cover areas like:

  • psychometric theory
  • stress and health in the workplace
  • organizational development
  • job analysis and performance appraisal

Graduates are successful in a variety of roles including:

  • management consulting
  • human resources
  • market research.

#16 – San Jose State University – San Jose, California

Master of Science program in Industrial/Organization (I/O) Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,176/year in-state and $16,680/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The College of Social Sciences at San Jose State University features a top campus-based master’s in I/O psychology that prepares students for professional practice or research. Courses cover areas like:

  • applied psychometrics
  • multivariate analysis
  • personnel psychology

All students complete an internship with many opportunities available in the Silicon Valley, including Adobe, eBay, Intel, and Genentech. Students must also complete a thesis that includes an original research project. Most courses are taught during the late afternoon or early evening, ideal for working professionals.

#15 – University of Central Florida – Orlando, Florida

M.S. Program in I/O Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 30:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,916/year in-state and $25,759/year out-of-state
Points: 6
The University of Central Florida features a top campus-based master’s in industrial/organizational psychology designed for full-time students. Both thesis and non-thesis program options are available. This 38 credit hour program includes courses in:

  • training and team performance
  • assessment centers and leadership
  • job analysis and performance appraisal
  • recruitment, placement and selection

Graduates are able to create a work environment that maximizes productivity and job satisfaction.

#14 – Hofstra University – Hempstead, New York

IO Psychology Master’s Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $24,192/year in-state and $/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The industrial/organizational campus-based master’s program at Hofstra University is designed specifically for students and organizations in the Long Island area. The organizations in this area are undergoing complex change and need trained professionals in I/O psychology to assist during these changes. This unique 44 credit hour program includes an internship allowing students to gain supervised experience while working on applied projects. Both full and part-time program options are available. Courses are offered during the evenings to accommodate working professionals.

#13 – Roosevelt University – Chicago, Illinois

Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MA)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $20,153/year
Points: 7
The College of Arts and Sciences at Roosevelt University features a top campus-based I/O psychology master’s program. Dedicated faculty are active in research and have worked with organizations all over the country. Students work with faculty to develop their skills related to both the science and the practice of I/O psychology. Students can participate in applied projects through the Organizational Effectiveness Consulting Center, gaining valuable real-world experience. Courses cover:

  • consulting skills
  • employee testing
  • social networks
  • occupational health psychology

Students have joined the Roosevelt Industrial/Organizational Psychology Association, gaining access to professional development opportunities and additional skill development. Graduates are prepared to move on to doctoral studies or begin their career in consulting in HR or I/O psychology.

#12 – Central Michigan University – Mount Pleasant, Michigan

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master’s Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,354/year in-state and $18,964/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Central Michigan University features a top campus-based industrial/organizational psychology master’s program. The program is available to full-time students and includes coursework, independent and faculty-supervised research, and supervised applied projects. This two year program requires 39 hours of coursework, a practicum and a thesis. Courses cover areas like:

  • job analysis
  • work motivation
  • organizational development
  • teamwork

#11 – Montclair State University – Montclair, New Jersey

MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $12,188/year in-state and $17,876/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The campus-based master’s in industrial/organizational psychology at Montclair State University is a balanced program providing students with both theory and practical skills needed for success in the industry. Courses are taught by full-time, tenured, or tenure track faculty who are dedicated to the success of their students. Classes are held during the evening allowing students to work while completing their degree. Students can apply for graduate research assistantships and teaching assistantships which provide a full tuition waiver and a stipend. Graduates are prepared for doctoral study or to begin their careers with top ranked employers such as:

  • Prudential
  • Samsung
  • Unilever
  • Verizon.

#10 – University of Albany SUNY – Albany, New York

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Master’s program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,090/year in-state and $22,650/year out-of-state
Points: 7
The University at Albany, a State University of New York, offers a top campus-based I/O psychology master’s program that provides students with a comprehensive curriculum. Students are engaged in cutting edge research in laboratories that accommodate studies of both individual and group performance. The program consists of formal coursework, student-initiated research (or a thesis), and a supervised experience. Courses cover:

  • psychometrics
  • performance appraisal
  • diversity and discrimination
  • work motivation

All students are encouraged to complete a practicum during the fall of their second year to gain hands-on training in I/O techniques and practices. Graduates hold a variety of positions including:

  • consultant
  • client results manager
  • personnel psychologist.

#9 – See NKU at #3.

#8 – University of Georgia – Athens, Georgia

Master’s Program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 17:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,704/year in-state and $24,692/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia features a professional I/O psychology campus-based master’s program. This innovative two-year program is designed for working professionals and is delivered in a hybrid format. Students come to campus for five weekend sessions each semester. Most students can complete the program in two years. Students complete two courses each semester for six semesters. New students are admitted for the fall semester. All students must compete a capstone white paper during the second year of the program.

#7 – St. Cloud State University – Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.S.)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $7,975/year in-state and $12,116/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The I/O psychology campus-based master’s program at St. Cloud State University prepares students to find solutions in the workplace. Students are engaged in experiential learning opportunities, interacting with the local business community. Faculty and students are engaged in professional networking, attending both local and national conferences. New students are admitted to the program each fall.

#6 – Texas A&M University – College Station, Texas

Master’s Program in I/O Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 20:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $6,552/year in-state and $17,904/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The top master’s program in I/O psychology at Texas A&M University is a 16 month cohort based accelerated program. The program balances scientific discipline with professional practice. Faculty are experienced professionals, working closely with students to help them reach their personal and professional goals. This 33 credit hour program does not require a thesis. All students are required to complete an industry-based summer internship. Graduates are part of the Aggie I-O network, gaining access to mentoring and professional development.

#5 – Appalachian State University – Boone, North Carolina

Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management: Master of Arts (MA)

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,839/year in-state and $18,271/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The campus-based master’s in industrial-organizational psychology offered by Appalachian State University follows the educational guidelines set by both the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology and the SHRM. ASU offers the only cross-disciplinary I/O psychology and HR management master’s program in the U.S. New students are admitted each fall. All students complete an internship experience to gain valuable hands-on training and skills development. Students have the opportunity to complete a master’s thesis depending on their professional goals. Class size is kept small, providing  intimate classroom interaction. Students can save money by applying for scholarships, fellowships and assistantships available to eligible students.

#4 – University of North Carolina – Charlotte, North Carolina

Industrial Organizational Psychology Master’s Program

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $4,337/year in-state and $17,771/year out-of-state
Points: 8
The Department of Psychological Science at the University of North Carolina Charlotte features a top campus-based I/O psychology master’s program following the guidelines set by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Courses are offered during the evenings and weekends to accommodate working professionals. Courses cover areas like:

  • job attitudes
  • talent acquisition
  • measurement in organizations
  • organizational development and change

The majority of students have an applied focus, training to be scientist-practitioners. New cohorts are admitted in the fall of even years.

#3 -Northern Kentucky University – Highland Heights, Kentucky

Master’s degree in Industrial- Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 11:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,837/year in-state, $16,605 for OH and IN residents, and $21,218/year out-of-state
Points: 9

Editor’s note: Information provided by NKU after publication has changed their ranking from #9 to be tied for #3. 

The top campus-based master’s in industrial/organizational psychology at Northern Kentucky University is a flexible program that allows students to customize their coursework to meet their professional goals. Elective course offerings include:

  • organizational leadership
  • occupational health psychology
  • consumer psychology
  • workplace motivation
  • compensation and benefits
  • public health

Both full and part-time program options are available. New students are admitted for the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Graduates are working in areas like:

  • training and development
  • compensation and benefits analysis
  • organizational change and consulting
  • scientific survey research
  • institutional research
  • quality assurance
  • talent management and acquisition
  • testing and assessment
  • strategic planning and analysis
  • organizational development
  • quantitative analysis
  • occupational health

#3 – California Baptist University – Riverside, California

Industrial-Organizational Psychology Master of Science

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $13,420/year
Points: 9
California Baptist University features a top campus-based master’s in industrial-organizational psychology providing students with a strong theoretical foundation and practical experiences. This 45 credit hour program includes courses in:

  • leadership development and change
  • work motivation
  • job analyses and performance appraisal
  • program evaluation and organizational consulting

Students and faculty are engaged in research in areas like:

  • employee engagement
  • career development
  • cross-cultural variations in business psychology.

#2 – University of Nebraska – Omaha, Nebraska

Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $5,053/year in-state and $14,125/year out-of-state
Points: 10
The University of Nebraska features a top campus-based master’s and PhD in industrial/organizational psychology. Master’s students can choose from an MS or MA program depending on their professional goals. The MS program is a two year, 36 credit hour program for students planning to work in an applied setting like training and organizational development or HR. The MA program is for students who plan to eventually complete their PhD and includes an empirical research project. Most students are full-time,  although there are some part-time students. All courses are offered on-campus since the program values personal relationships and mentorships.

#1 – Salem State University – Salem, Massachusetts

Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $2,520/year in-state and $4,140/year out-of-state
Points: 10
Our top choice for a campus-based master’s in industrial/organizational psychology is offered by Salem State University. The program draws from the Bertolon School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences and includes both a case-based method of instructions and an emphasis on structured quantitative research. Courses cover:

  • managing human performance in organizations
  • organizational psychology
  • psychology of organizational development consulting
  • leadership studies

Courses are offered during the evenings, hybrid, or online. All students complete a customized 300 hour internship.

By OPD Staff
September 2019