Industrial/organizational psychologists are in-demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in psychology (including industrial-organizational psychology) is expected to grow by 8% through 2030. Organizations need the skill set I/O psychologists bring to the table to hire and retain top talent, improve work life, and increase productivity in the workplace. Organizational leaders and business executives are increasingly aware of the impact that individual employees have on the overall success of the company. A master’s degree in I/O psychology provides the knowledge and skill set employers need to keep their employees satisfied and business profitable.
A master’s degree in I/O psychology online is a great way for students with an undergraduate degree in psychology to advance their career and enter this specialized field of psychology. Online programs provide flexibility that is attractive to working professionals and those striving for a healthy work/life balance. We created this list of the top 10 online master’ in industrial organizational psychology to showcase the best programs available to online students.
Using information gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator, accredited colleges were identified that offered an online Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology. We reviewed each program and determined that the top programs :
- held regional accreditation
- were taught by expert faculty
- made the majority of their coursework available online
- offered a relevant curriculum consistent with the demands of business
We then applied our ranking methodology to narrow our list further to the top 10 online master’s in I/O psychology.
- 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
Student to Faculty Ratio:
- 15:1 or less= 5 Points
- 16:1 to 20:1= 3 Points
- Greater than 20:1= 1 Point
10. Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, New Hampshire
Student to Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $18,810/year
Southern New Hampshire University features an affordable online industrial/organizational master’s degree taught by faculty with industry experience. Students gain workplace ready research and data skills to start making a difference in their organization on day one. The program aligns with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology standards, ensuring students receive a relevant educational experience. Courses prepare students to:
- manage and motivate individuals and teams
- influence organizational change
- enhance organizational performance
There are no set class meeting times and students have access to course material 24/7.
9. Capella University – Minneapolis, Minnesota
Student to Faculty Ratio: 32:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $14,767/year
The high value online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology from Capella University is a flexible and affordable program that provides students with a deep understanding of the workplace. Students will explore critical theory that builds healthy work environments. Courses are taught by scholar-practitioner faculty who know the latest in academic theory and applied practice. Specialized courses include:
- Consultation Psychology
- Psychology of Leadership
- I/O Psychology Practices in HR
The I/O psychology master’s program online is available in the FlexPath online self-paced learning format. Students can move through the program at their own pace and pay the same flat tuition rate every 12 weeks as they complete their degree.
8. Alliant International University – San Diego, C alifornia
Student to Faculty Ratio: 6:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $24,255/year
Alliant International University offers an MA in organizational psychology for students who want to master the human side of business. Students can prepare for a variety of career opportunities in areas like organizational leadership and training and development. This one-year organizational psychology master’s program can be completed online or on-campus to meet the needs of a diverse student population. Courses are taught by renowned industry experts who have earned their degrees at some of the top universities in the country. Students can gain experiential training through hands-on projects that include leadership development and talent assessments.
7. Colorado State University – Greenwood Village, Colorado
Student to Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,520/year in-state and $25,791/year out-of-state
Colorado State University online features a budget friendly organizational psychology master’s online providing students with practical knowledge and skills in research and consulting. Students will learn how to:
- attract and retain high-quality employees
- assess training and development needs
- navigate complex organizational issues like diversity and anti-discrimination policies
Courses are developed by expert faculty who understand the needs of the field. Online students complete a capstone course that allows students to gain hands-on experience through an applied research or consulting project with an actual organization.
6. Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla, Missouri
Student to Faculty Ratio: 19:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $10,452/year in-state and $29,958/year out-of-state
Missouri S&T features a best value online MS in industrial/organizational psychology that offers thesis and non-thesis completion options. Students will gain valuable training to develop job selection and placement assessments and create effective training programs for their employees. Students can apply for direct entry to the program or begin by earning a certificate and then applying to the master’s program. Certificate options include:
- Statistical Methods in Psychology
- Applied Workplace Psychology
Graduates have the skills needed to enhance the overall performance and well-being of the people within their organization.
5. Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, Tennessee
Student to Faculty Ratio: 18:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $8,100/year in-state and $13,086/year out-of-state
The high-quality online MS in industrial and organizational psychology from Austin Peay State University is a flexible program that’s a great choice for students planning to join the workforce at the master’s level as well as students planning to pursue their doctoral degree. Courses are offered in 15-week fully online semesters and most students take two years to complete their degree. The curriculum aligns with the Guidelines for Education and Training at the Master’s Level set by the SIOP. The program follows a scientist-practitioner model that prepares students for success in the workplace.
4. Carlos Albizu University – Miami, Florida
Student to Faculty Ratio: 12:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $11,774/year
Albizu University in Miami offers a flexible online MS in I/O psychology that prepares students to be culturally competent practitioners. Courses cover areas that include:
- selection and placement
- training and development
- performance measurement
The 48-credit hour curriculum takes students two years to complete. The low student/faculty ratio allows students to develop their critical thinking skills while interacting with faculty and peers. Courses are taught by I/O professionals who share their professional experience with their students and work to prepare them to transition their knowledge from the classroom to the workplace.
3. Eastern Kentucky University – Richmond, Kentucky
Student to Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,900/year in-state and $13,950/year out-of-state
The online master’s in I/O psychology from Eastern Kentucky University can help you improve performance and productivity in your organization. Courses are available in a flexible, 100% online format with no on-campus residency requirements. Accelerated eight-week terms allow students to move thru the program quickly. The curriculum aligns with the training guidelines set by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Applicants with at least a 3.0 undergraduate GPA can waive the GRE requirement. A variety of experiential learning opportunities are available through the Center for Applied Psychology and Workforce Development. Students complete an integrated capstone project at the end of the program.
2. Touro University Worldwide – Los Alamitos, California
Student to Faculty Ratio: 10:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $9,000/year
Touro University Worldwide offers a low-priced online master’s in I/O psychology with three unique concentration areas. Students can focus their studies by choosing a concentration in:
- Coaching and Consulting
- HR Management
- Occupational Health Psychology
The 12-course program includes a hands-on capstone course that allows students to address an organizational or career-related situation relevant to their specific industry. Applicants should have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a minimum GPA of a 2.75 to be considered for full admission.
1. Salem State University – Salem, Massachusetts
Student to Faculty Ratio: 14:1
Average Graduate Tuition Rate: $2,520/year in-state and $4,140 out-of-state
Salem State University offers our top choice for an online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology. The program draws from the strengths of the Bertolon School of Business and the College of Arts and Sciences and includes a case-based method of instruction and an emphasis on quantitative research. The curriculum follows the guidelines set by the SIOP, so students can feel confident they are getting a relevant educational experience. Courses include:
- Personnel Selection and Placement
- Organizational Psychology
Students can choose electives to customize their degree. With permission from the program coordinator, students can take advantage of unique opportunities through directed study and a psychology master’s thesis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is an industrial/organizational psychology master’s a good degree?
Industrial/organizational psychology is a specialized field of psychology that studies human behavior in the context of the workplace. I/O psychologists use the principles of psychology to solve problems at work and in organizations. They develop solutions to problems in areas like:
- Selection and Placement
- Training and Development
- Performance Measurement
- Quality of work life
Effective I/O psychologists have specialized knowledge in organizational development and human performance. They understand ethical considerations and employment laws related to workplace activities. Their unique skill set makes them a valuable business partner. I/O psychologists can help their organization:
- Develop and implement training programs and assess their effectiveness
- Evaluate the performance of individuals and organizations
- Optimize quality of work life
- Identify and respond to training and development needs
While a master’s in I/O psychology can be considered a terminal degree, it can also provide students with a strong foundation for doctoral study for professionals interested in a career in academia or research. Students planning to pursue their doctoral degree in I/O psychology can gain research experience and advanced knowledge through a master’s program, strengthening their application.
How much money can you make after earning an industrial/organizational psychology online master’s degree?
Industrial/organizational psychology can be a lucrative career. According to payscale.com, the average base salary for master’s level industrial/organizational psychologist is $68,000/year. As with most professional roles, salary is commensurate with experience. Some of the best paying jobs in industrial/organizational psychology according to payscale.com include:
- Organizational Development Manager: $79,516/year (average salary)
- Recruiting Manager: $74,761/year (average salary)
- Senior Learning and Development Specialist: $70,638 (average salary)
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the demand for psychologists (including industrial/organizational psychologists) is expected to grow by 8% through 2030.
How much does it cost to get an master’s in industrial/organizational psychology?
Earning an online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology is a considerable investment of both time and money. According to the Education Data Initiative, the average cost of a master’s degree in the United States is $66,340.
I/O psychology master’s programs are offered by both public and private schools. Typically, the cost of a master’s degree at a public university is more affordable ($54,500) than private school ($81,100) and in-state tuition rates are lower than those charged to out-of-state students.
Industrial/organizational master’s programs online can save students a considerable amount of money. Online programs provide an increased level of flexibility that supports the needs of adult learners.
Online students can complete their degree around their work schedule and achieve a healthy work/life/school balance. Online students save money by eliminating expenses like on-campus housing and pricey meal plans when they complete their degree from home. Many online industrial/organizational master’s programs offer online textbooks to keep costs low for their students.
It is important for students to complete the FAFSA to determine what financial aid awards they may qualify for. The cheapest I/O psychology master’s programs offer scholarships, grants, and assistantships to further reduce the cost of education.
How long does it take to complete a master’s in I/O psychology?
Master’s degrees typically take two years to complete, although part-time students may take longer. Master’s degree students spend their time:
- taking classes
- conducting research
- building their professional portfolio
Universities offering master’s in industrial/organizational programs may provide students with an accelerated option. Accelerated programs are a great choice for students who want to complete their degree as quickly as possible and can handle the demands of an increased course load. Accelerated programs allow students to complete their degree in 12 to 18 months. These programs may offer additional savings to their students by shortening the amount of time it takes to complete their degree.
What are the requirements for a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program?
Industrial/organizational psychology programs typically accept a limited number of students each year and admission can be extremely competitive for some of the top programs. To be considered for admission, applicants should have earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field and have a minimum undergraduate GPA of a 3.0. If their undergraduate degree is in an unrelated field, students should be prepared to complete prerequisite coursework. Applicants should be prepared to submit GRE scores. Programs may also require applicants submit:
- a professional resume
- a summary of related work or volunteer experience
Will I need to complete an internship to get an industrial/organizational psychology master’s degree?
Each program will have their own requirements for practical, hands-on training. Some programs require an internship. Internships for online students can usually be completed in the students’ own community. These exciting experiential learning opportunities allow students to gain professional experience under the guidance of a seasoned I/O psychologist. Internships can be paid or unpaid and typically last a full semester.
Programs that do not have an internship requirement usually offer alternative hands-on learning opportunities.
Applied projects are a popular choice for students completed an online capstone course. These projects allow students to apply their knowledge and skills obtained from their coursework to solve an industry problem for a real-world client. This valuable hands-on training prepares students for a successful transition to the workplace.
What are some examples of courses needed for an master’s in industrial/organizational psychology?
Popular course offerings for industrial/organizational psychology programs include:
- Personnel Selection and Placement
- Organizational Theory and Behavior
- Performance Assessment and Program Evaluation
Some I/O psychology master’s degree programs offer specialized concentrations. Popular concentration areas include Human Resource Management and Organizational Development.
Will I need any licenses or certificates to get a job in I/O psychology?
I/O psychology professionals do not need a license or certificate to work in the field.
Are there any professional organizations for people with a career in industrial/organizational psychology?
Industrial/organizational psychology professionals are supported by several different professional organizations.
- American Psychological Association:
The American Psychological Association is the premier scientific and professional organization for psychologists in the United States. They represent over 133,000 psychology professionals working in areas like:
- clinical practice
The APA is dedicated to the advancement, communication and application of psychological science.
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) is a professional association for the science and practice of I/O psychology. They represent Division 14 of the APA and are an affiliate of the Association for Psychological Science. SIOP’s mission is to improve organizational and work settings by promoting the science, practice, and teaching of I/O psychology. Members have access to:
- subscriptions and professional development resources
- networking opportunities
- career advancement incentives
Marian University – Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
MS in I/O Psychology Online
The flexible online master’s in I/O psychology from Marian University emphasizes relevant global and social perspectives that reflect the current standards and guidelines. Marian provides students with 12 start dates per year and non-sequential courses so students can set their own pace and create a personalized completion plan. Students will be prepared for I/O psychology roles in a variety of industries including healthcare and manufacturing.
Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, Arizona
MS in Psychology with a concentration in I/O Psychology Online
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University offers a comprehensive online I/O psychology master’s degree program that aligns with the standards and recommendations set by the American Psychological Association. Students will learn how to influence effective workplace behavior using advanced scientific principles of human behavior. Core courses include:
- Social and Cultural Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Development
- Strategies for Effective Leadership and Consultation
Courses are offered online or on-campus during the evening hours to meet the needs of adult learners and working professionals.
Adler University – Phoenix, Arizona
MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology Online
Adler University offers an online I/O psychology master’s program that prepares the next generation of socially responsible I/O psychologists. The program places a unique emphasis on social justice and inclusion through intensive online coursework and real-world experiences. Concentrations are available in:
- Data Science
- Training and Development
- HR Management
The 36-credit hour curriculum takes just 12 months to complete. Asynchronous courses allow students to complete their degree around work and family obligations. Graduates are prepared to work in a variety of industries including biotechnology and manufacturing.
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