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Top 9 Most Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology 2018

Top 9 Most Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology 20182019-07-01T23:30:41+00:00
Most Affordable Organizational Psychology

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Welcome to our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

The field of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, including human resource managers, educators, employment counselors, and industrial psychologists, continues to grow, as businesses look for ways to improve the quality of life for employees and thus the efficiency of businesses.  As the emphasis shifts toward creating more dynamic and welcoming workplaces, colleges are meeting this need with a variety of certificate and degree options. Those who attain these degrees are finding their homes in mental health agencies, schools, advertising firms, and business offices of all kinds. Each of the following 10 schools are accredited, several offer an online option, and all can help you reach your potential. Keep reading to find the right program for you and begin an application today.


Using information gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, accredited colleges were identified that offered a masters in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Of the 86 colleges that offered an advanced degree in industrial/organizational psychology, the colleges were then ranked to find the 10 most affordable. Information regarding student population, student:teacher ratio, and courses/specializations were noted.

Ranking Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

9. Capella University

Master of Science in Psychology with a Specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Minneapolis, Minnesota


Tuition: $13,998

School Profile

Capella University, located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers an online Master of Science in Psychology through the Harold Abel School of Psychology with a Specialization in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. The curriculum emphasizes core principles that help to restructure companies to gain organizational effectiveness.  The program is available online with a FlexPath available, and includes four core courses, six specialization courses, and one integrative project. Some sample courses include Principles of Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Survey of Research Methods, Consultation Psychology, Psychology of Leadership, Industrial/Organizational Psychology Practices in Human Resource Management.

8. CUNY Brooklyn College

I/O Group Processes and Organizational Behavior M.A.

Brooklyn, New York

Tuition: $13,920


School Profile

The City University of New York, Brooklyn campus offers two different specializations, one in Group Processes and Organizational Behavior and one in Personnel and Human Resources.  The curriculum emphasizes systematic, scientific, and empirical research to help solve problems in organizations and enhance organizational functioning. Both programs share a common core of five courses.  Some sample courses include research methods, statistics, and area-specific psychological research and theory.  With a student teacher ratio of 15 to 1, class sizes are optimal for maximum student success.

7. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles

M.A. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Internship/Thesis Track

Los Angeles, California

Tuition: $13,050

Chicago School of Professional Psychology Los Angeles Affordable Master's in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

School Profile

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California offers programs in a multiple degree formats with a variety of concentrations: Certificate in Industrial & Organizational Psychology – Online, Dual Degree M.A. Industrial-Organizational Psychology: Dual Degree M.A. Industrial/Organizational Psychology: Internship Track and Master of Legal Studies – Los Angeles, CA, Dual Degree: M.A. Forensic Psychology: Non-Licensure Track and Master of Legal Studies – Online, M.A. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Internship/Thesis Track – Los Angeles, M.A. in Industrial & Organizational Psychology, Applied Research Project Track – Online. Some sample courses include Organizational Leadership, Training: Theory, Design and Evaluation, and Organizational Attitudes and Survey Development. The Chicago School boasts an exciting five to one student/teacher ratio, so students are sure to feel supported throughout their studies.

6. National University

Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

La Jolla, California

Tuition: $13,016

National University Affordable Master's Industrial Organizational Psychology

School Profile

National University in La Jolla, California’s Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program is practice-oriented, research-based, and advocates the highest levels of personal and professional integrity.  This degree is a great fit for students who are currently working in fields such as human resources management, employee development and general management and are looking to advance their careers. National University is also a great fit for those finishing their military careers.

5. Walden University

MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tuition: $12,075


School Profile

Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota offers an online MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program that is designed to meet the growing demand for I-O practitioners within corporations, government agencies, educational institutions, and other types of organizations. The program examines topics such as assessment, selection, performance management, motivation, work attitudes, leadership, and organizational behavior.  This master’s program can be completed online in as little as 15 months and can also provide a faster, more affordable path to your doctoral degree, with up to 40 credits applicable toward Walden’s PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

4. Carlos Albizu University-Miami

M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Miami, Florida

Tuition: $12,384


School Profile

The Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program at Albizu University is offered on campus as well as fully online.  The program specializes in the areas of selection and placement, training and development, performance measurement, organizational development, and quality of work life. Carlos Albizu University focuses on being adaptable to cater to students who may also be holding full or part-time jobs by hosting afternoon and evening classes, as well as online, to make the adaptation to academic life less difficult. The small student-faculty ratios encourage students to engage in critical thinking to meet the needs of diverse organizational settings upon graduation.

3. Franklin University

M.S. in Business Psychology

Columbus, Ohio

Tuition: $11,881


School Profile

Franklin University in Columbus, Ohio offers a M.S. in Business Psychology, which focuses on equipping students to motivate behavior, resolve demanding managerial issues and leverage the latest psychological and neuroscience research for on-the-job success. Sample classes include Behavioral Economics and Neurofinance, Psychology of Creativity, and Psychology of Organizational Coaching. With a small student population and 13 to 1 student-teacher ratio, masters students can easily gain a theoretical foundation that translates into practical innovation.

2. Purdue University Global

Graduate Certificate Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Tuition: $11,601-$14,325



School Profile

Purdue University Global, formerly Kaplan University, with campuses in Augusta, Maine, Davenport, Iowa, Hagerstown, Maryland, Indianapolis, Indiana, Portland, Maine,  and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offers affordable industrial/organizational psychology graduate programs. These programs focus on the principles related to workplace productivity, morale, management, and employee working styles. Program certificate and degrees will help students with employee selection and development, understanding and apply job motivation initiatives, and helping companies and their workforce through organizational change.

1. South Dakota State University

Industrial/Organizational psychology (I/O) MS program

Brookings, South Dakota

Tuition: $11,403


School Profile

South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota offers a two year Industrial-Organizational psychology (I-O) MS program. The program includes 44 credits of coursework, an internship between the 1st and 2nd academic year, and a Master’s thesis. Using the cohort model, SDSU students progress through the program together and take the same courses at the same time. The program adheres to the scientist-practitioner model, which balances the training of research and applied skills, and is the basis of training in the field of I/O psychology.


Other Affordable Masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology Degree Offerings

Alliant International University-San Diego
San Diego, California
Tuition Net Price*: $19,190

Salem State University
Salem, Massachusetts
Tuition Net Price*: $16,556

Touro College
New York, New York
Tuition Net Price*: $18,928

University of Akron Main Campus
Akron, Ohio
Tuition Net Price*: $16,568

William Carey University
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Tuition Net Price*: $14,717

Wright State University-Main Campus
Dayton, Ohio
Tuition Net Price*: $14,464

*Net price is the total cost of attendance; the sum of published tuition and required fees, books and supplies, and the weighted average for room and board and other expenses

What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

According to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology is the scientific study of working and the application of that science to workplace issues facing individuals, teams, and organizations. The scientific method is applied to investigate issues of critical relevance to individuals, businesses, and society. In layman’s terms, Industrial-Organizational psychology is the study of work, and, more importantly, how to make work a better experience for employees, and thus more successful in business, as well.

What Can You Expect During the Degree?

The Master of Science in Psychology focuses on the scientific study of human behavior including cognition, motivation and emotion. The program provides training in four core areas: biological bases of behavior acquired or learned bases of behavior, social, cultural and systemic influences on behavior and individual differences in behavior. Students will learn how the science of psychology is advanced through research. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, problem-solving and the application of knowledge to problems and issues related to the human experience.

What Should You Consider When Choosing a Degree Program?

While all of the degrees listed here are great options, there are some nuances that should be considered when making a choice. For instance:

Does the Degree Program Require a GMAT or GRE Score?

The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) and the Graduate Record Examinations(GRE) are standardized tests intended to assess certain analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English. Many graduate programs require students to take this assessment as part of the admissions process. Some colleges, however, will waive this added time and expense. If you are nervous about standardized tests or anxious about getting started as soon as possible, this may be something that you want to consider.

Are There Any On-Campus Requirements?

Many students, especially graduate students, are looking for degree options that will fit into already busy lives. For this reason, online education has grown immensely in the past decade. If you are one of these students who needs to consider how you are going to fit college into an already hectic schedule, you may want to research colleges that limit travel to campus, avoid residency requirements, or take place largely or even exclusively online. Many colleges will offer both on campus and online options for instate tuition prices. If you prefer to take classes in person, will your college of choice offer classes in the evenings or on weekends to adapt to your schedule? All of these are issues that you may want to consider when choosing a college that works for you.

What Requirement Must Be Met for Degree Completion?

In order to attain a master’s degree, many colleges require students to participate in some sort of culminating prior to graduation. Whether this activity comes in the form of an internship, thesis, practicum, or project, your comfort level with these things may influence your decision as to which colleges you are most interested in. This could also influence your decision if you have concerns about traveling to campus, as some colleges will require you to come to campus for these activities even if most of the coursework that you have completed has been in a distance learning environment.

What Does This Degree Offer in Licensure?

Licensure of the title psychologist and/or the practice of psychology  is restricted in almost every state in the U.S. and province in Canada. However, every state varies in the license requirements for psychologists, and even what type of psychologists require licenses to practice. In almost all cases, licensing is dependent on having a doctoral degree, at least one required examination, and supervised practice.

Even though licensure will not be a direct result of receiving a master’s degree, many master’s candidates do have this as a long term goal. Many programs understand this, and can offer coursework that will apply to and can guide the students toward this achievement. Researching a college’s course offerings can give you an idea if this is something you can expect.

What Type of Careers Can You Expect?

According to a 2014 report by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions in industrial and organizational psychology are expected to increase by 53.4% from 2012 to 2022, placing trained I/O professionals in high demand.

I/O practitioners typically find employment in public and private industries, educational institutions, and government agencies in the following areas:

  • Human Resources

    • General management
    • Employee training and development
    • Employee relations
    • Compensation and benefits
  • Government

    • Labor law
    • Affirmative action
    • Union relations
    • Research and development
  • Research

    • Personnel selection
    • Work motivation
    • Talent development
    • Organizational change
  • Education

    • Research
    • Consulting
    • Teaching

Job Titles

Here are some possible job titles that you may qualify for after achieving your Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology:

HR Practice Leader * Behavioral Analyst * Behavioral Scientist * Talent Management Specialist * HR Organizational Development Specialist * Executive Coach * Career Coach * Leadership Coach * Employment Testing Professional * Testing Specialist * Tests and Measurement Specialist * Assessment and Selection Specialist * Employment Law Expert * Research Analyst * Organizational Development * Organization Effectiveness * Organizational Capability * Talent Management * Management Development * Workforce Insights * Human Resources * Human Resources Research * Employee Relations * Training and Development * Professional Development * Leadership Development * Selection Systems * Evaluation & Assessment * Testing Programs * Leadership Research * Assessment * Applied Behavioral Research * Optimization * Managing * Leadership * Learning & Performance * Career Planning



College Websites

Bureau of Labor Statistics

Classes and Careers

O-Net OnLine

The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology

This concludes our list of the 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology for 2018.

OPD Staff
January 2018