Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I-O Psychology) is the fastest growing career in America according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I-O Psychology occupations had a median income of $104,570.00 in 2016, and has a high growth rate of 53% between now and the year 2022. The remarkable growth rate is higher than every other career field in the U.S. This is a ranking of the 32 Best Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Colleges.
I-O Psychology is a hybrid field of healthcare and business. It is the intersection of psychology and capitalism, and deals with the human element of industry and organizations. I-O Psychologists bring their psychology backgrounds to the study of the workplace, and make employee’s jobs and work environments better (safer, more healthy and satisfying, etc.) and thereby improve employee performance, which in turn makes the company more efficient and profitable.
It is “Science for a Smarter Workplace” according to the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists (SIOP). I-O Psychologists are hired by companies to work in-house, or as independent consultants. I-O Psychology programs are offered completely online at the Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degree levels. This is an updated ranking from the previous 22 Best Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Colleges ranking.
Table of Contents | Jump to a School
1. University of Southern California
2. Penn State World Campus
3. Florida Institute of Technology Online
4. Colorado State University
5. Kansas State University
6. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
7. Golden Gate University
8. William James College
9. Missouri University of Science and Technology
10. Thomas Edison State University
11. University of Liverpool (Liverpool, United Kingdom)
12. Austin Peay State University
13. Franklin University
14. Sacred Heart University
15. University of Hartford
16. Bellevue University
17. Southern New Hampshire University
18. Colorado Technical University
19. Adler University
20. California Southern University
21. University of the Incarnate Word
22. Northcentral University
23. Argosy University
24. Grand Canyon University
25. Baker College
26. Touro University Worldwide
27. Post University
28. Carlos Albizu University
29. Walden University
30. Capella University
31. Kaplan University
32. University of Phoenix
32 Best Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Colleges
1. University of Southern California, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences (Los Angeles, CA)
USC’s program in Applied Psychology has been consistently ranked in the top 25, and its graduate program is in the top 40 according to U.S. News & World Report.
USC’s online Master of Science in Applied Psychology program offers a concentration in Organizational Psychology, and has particular strength in Consumer and Business psychology. It also offers a Master’s degree that can be earned in a one-year intensive program consisting of 34 units (credits). Students can also partake in internships and a capstone project completed at the end of their studies, which of course lends itself nicely to further graduate work at the PhD level.
Online Master of Science in Applied Psychology: Learn both Consumer Psychology and Organizational Psychology. Only Master’s degree in Applied Psychology from a Top 25 institution.
2. Penn State World Campus (University Park, PA)
A Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a Business Option is provided for those students interested in I-O psychology. A total of 123 course credits are required for completion, each course running for 12 – 15 weeks in length.
Internships may also be taken for course credit, which require a minimum of 120 hours of field work, in addition to an academic component. As a minor, I-O psychology requires a mere 18 credits. At the Master’s level, the Professional Studies in Psychology program requires 33 additional credits after the Bachelor’s program.
Penn State also boasts of the first student founded, fully online Psychology Club. The club uses all forms of social media to keep in touch with members and to publicize networking opportunities and career availability.
3. Florida Institute of Technology Online (Melbourne, FL)
Consistently ranked as a Tier One Best National University by U.S. News & World Report, Florida Institute of Technology offers both Master’s and Doctoral level work in I-O Psychology. The 45 credit hours of the master’s degree can be completed in two years, with an independent research project that can be further developed in the doctoral program, if desired.
The doctorate focuses more on current research within the field. Specific research teams are formed, supervised, and lead by professors. Students are encouraged to write professional papers for publication or presentation at academic and professional conferences. The doctoral level requires 90 semester hours of credit.
The Center for Organizational Effectiveness is an excellent resource for students at any level to gain capital measurement and talent management strategies.
4. Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO)
One of the rapidly growing fields within the online community at Colorado State University is the Applied I-O Psychology online degree. Through CSU’s master’s program students learn to apply principles of psychology to the workplace. Students will research, analyze, and assess employee performance and satisfaction as well as workplace conditions, diversity, and policies.
This practical online degree can be completed in as little as two years. Students can jump start this degree by earning a certificate in Organizational Psychology before being admitted to CSU. This degree easily lends its self toward the budding Human Resources and Management careers.
5. Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS)
Consistently recognized as one of the top colleges in the U.S. by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report, Kansas State has provided a well-rounded, superior level of education since its founding in 1863.
The school’s Industrial and Organizational Psychology program started in the 1960’s and has been successfully preparing students for numerous career choices from private consulting to public agencies ever since. The department created the primarily online 38-credit-hour master’s program in 2000, which takes two and a half years to complete. There are eight classes and a practicum required, including:
- Applied Research Methods I and II
- Professional Ethics and Legal Issues
- Personnel Training, Selection, Performance Appraisal and Organizational Psychology
- Practicum: Job Analysis, and the final Practicum Report.
The last semester of the program consists of students conducting a research practicum in their own organization under the supervision of faculty.
6. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (Chicago, IL)
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a not-for-profit school with more than 4,200 students (both on campus and online). It has over 20 degree programs to choose from. The institution utilizes the Engaged Professional Model of Education.
This emphasizes the need for in-the-field training along with classroom and research experience. There are over 500 organizations across the country who network with the school to provide such opportunities. The online Master’s degree in I-O Psychology can be completed in 22 months, which includes an applied research project. Along with the core curriculum, electives to choose from include:
- Consumer Psychology,
- Human Capital Development
- Consulting Skills
- Process Improvement
A certificate program in I-O Psychology is also available online for as little as nine credit hours which can be completed in about five months.
7. Golden Gate University (San Francisco, CA)
Golden Gate University offers the online Master of Arts in Industrial Organizational Psychology. This program is also offered at their campus in San Francisco. The course is 42 units total, with 36 being required courses, and six courses in electives.
Required courses include Applied Psychological Research, Group Dynamics in Organizations, and Organizational Change. There is a Writing proficiency requirement for admission, and a Math requirement in Statistics. These proficiency requirements are to help the student succeed. The Math requirement may be waived if the student has taken a similar course at an accredited college.
This programs is especially suited for working adults, since the course work is flexible, and can be completed on the student’s schedule. All programs are done on the web, which doesn’t require plug-in or downloads, which is helpful.
8. William James College (Newton, MA)
William James College is the new name and home of the prestigious Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology–which was a graduate college of Psychology founded in 1974. The institution averages 600 students per year. It utilizes an educational model which combines class lecture with clinical experience.
The school manages the Organizational and Leadership Psychology department. Here students can enroll in the Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology or the Leadership Psychology Doctorate Program (PsyD).
The MA program is offered as an 11-month accelerated degree which can be completed in one to two years. The 30 credits of graduate work also include a six-credit, 80-hour field project. The PhD program requires 98-credit hours of doctoral work. Students have up to six years to complete all requirements.
9. Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, MO)
The Master of Science in I-O Psychology distance learning program at Missouri University of Science and Technology has been ranked second in the nation for affordability and quality. Students enrolled in this 36-credit hour graduate program will find a thorough curriculum that emphasizes the application of theories to real-world situations. Both thesis and no-thesis tracks are offered. Some examples of core classes include:
- Small Group Dynamics
- Job Analysis and Performance Management
- Employee Affect and Behavior
- Personnel Selection
- Advanced Leadership Theory and Practice
Upon graduation students will feel confident in their ability to manage personnel within increasingly complex technological environments.
10. Thomas Edison State University (Trenton, NJ)
The Heavin School of Arts and Sciences at Thomas Edison State University offers a 36-credit online Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degree with five areas of concentration from which to choose:
- Digital Humanities
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology
- Online Learning and Teaching
- Professional Communications
Of the 36 total credits, 12 credits, or four courses, must be dedicated to the chosen specialization. For I-O Psychology those courses are:
- Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Psychological Factors in Selecting and Growing Organizational Talent
- Unearthing and Enhancing Organizational Talent Through Psychology
- The Psychology of Leadership, Motivation, and Teamwork
The majority of students take two courses per term and are able to complete all requirements within six terms.
11. University of Liverpool Online Programs
Founded in 1881, the University of Liverpool is a member of the UK’s Russell Group of research-led universities. It has 23,000 students, over 400 programs, and 190,000 alumni. The University boasts an impressive nine Nobel Prize winners and is the birthplace of the Fab Four. Its library offers two million books and 40,000 electronic journals in two facilities.
The University of Liverpool is also one of Europe’s largest providers of online education with 8,000 post-graduate students studying online. The University works in partnership with Laureate Online Education to provide more than 30, 100% online, post-graduate degree programs. The Master’s in Organizational and Business Psychology is taught in eight modules, and culminates in a dissertation.
12. Austin Peay State University (Clarksville, TN)
Austin Peay State University offers over 56 majors and 63 different concentrations. There are 300 full-time faculty members teaching on three main campuses and within a growing online community.
The Masters of Science program provides the training in research methods of I-O Psychology. Skills from this program can be applied to many areas such as performance evaluations, motivational speaking, team performance, and leadership. Students must complete 12 courses (34 credit-hours) entirely online, including a comprehensive exam or thesis. Core courses may include:
- Performance Management
- Personnel Assessment and Selection
- Training and Development
- Leadership and Organizational Change
All of this can be completed in under two years.
13. Franklin University (Columbus, OH)
Franklin University’s Master of Science in Business Psychology is offered both online and on campus. No GRE or GMAT scores are required to apply. In a total of 36 semester hours students will gain an in-depth understanding and practical experience in applying psychological principles to business performance. the majority of students are able to complete all requirements in as little as 14 months. Tuition is currently set at $659 per credit. Course examples may include:
- Individual and Organizational Intelligence
- Managerial Psychology
- Psychology of Creativity, Innovation, and Change
- Behavioral Economics and Neuro-Finance
Most courses are weighted at a total of four credits.
14. Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)
Sacred Heart University, the second-largest independent Catholic university in New England, offers more than 70 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs on its main campus in Fairfield, Conn., and satellites in Connecticut, Luxembourg and Ireland. More than 8,500 students attend the University’s five colleges: Arts & Sciences; Health Professions; Nursing; the Jack Welch College of Business; and the Isabelle Farrington College of Education. It offers an array of online degrees including its master’s in applied psychology, which offers concentration in I-O Psychology.
The degree requires a minimum of 26 credits of core curriculum and 12 elective credits, totaling a minimum of 38 credits to graduate. The I-O Psychology curriculum emphasizes the study of behavior, thoughts, attitudes, and feelings of humans while they relate to each other, their material surroundings, and the events that they encounter in the workplace. Courses may include:
- Personnel Psychology
- Organizational Behavior
- Job Analysis, Competency Modeling, and Criterion Development
15. University of Hartford (West Hartford, CT)
Through the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Hartford, students may enroll in the online Master of Science in Organizational Psychology. No GRE scores are needed for admittance. The total 36 required credits are comprised of five core courses, including a capstone project, and seven electives in organizational psychology, management and general psychology.
The online program mirrors the on-campus MSOP offered at UHart. Students typically take 2 to 4 courses per semester. Full program offerings are available in Spring, Summer, and Fall, allowing students to graduate in as little as 18 months or spread out over multiple years depending upon the student’s goals and desired work-life balance.
16. Bellevue University (Bellevue, NE)
Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Bellevue University offers a comprehensive online Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The curriculum is set up in a cohort format where students will progress through a set group of courses with the same peers fostering a greater sense of companionship. A total of 36 credits should be completed for graduation. Some course examples may include:
- Social Psychology
- Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal
- Organizational Development
- Personnel Selection
- Practicum and Skill Development
- Measurement and Design
Tuition is currently set at $565 per credit hour with the majority of courses being weighted at three credits each.
Southern New Hampshire University has offered online programs since 1996. There are no GRE or GMAT scores required for admission to the program. Students are accepted to the Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in I-O Psychology on a rolling basis. This degree can be completed in as little as 15 months if two classes are taken per 10-week term. A total of 36 credits should be completed, including a seven-course online psychology core and a capstone and seminar course. Some examples of core courses are:
- Social Psychology
- Cognitive Processes
- Theories of Personality
- Motivation in the Workplace
- Ethical Practices in Psychology
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SNHU’s Online Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology
18. Colorado Technical University (Colorado Springs, CO)
The online Bachelor of Science in Psychology program at Colorado Tech covers more than just mental health and counseling. The curriculum for the concentration in Organizational Behavior focuses on leadership development and problem solving for the cooperate world. Students will analyze employee behavior and develop strategies to improve work ethics and time management through classes such as:
- Motivation and Emotion
- Theories of Personality
- Group Dynamics
- Abnormal Psychology in the Workplace
A total of 182 credits are required for graduation with courses weighted at four to four and a half credits each. Students who have graduated from this program have found careers in teaching, business, government, and private consulting.
19. Adler University (Chicago, IL)
Alfred Adler, the school’s namesake, was one of the first community psychologists who pioneered the idea that positive social changes would improve community health and individual well-being. Adler University was founded in 1952 and is the oldest independent psychology school in North America
Organizational Psychology is offered as a Master’s degree, which has a strong focus on social responsibility. It is a 46-credit hour program, and can be completed in as little as two years. Practicums, or supervised field placements, are required throughout the courses and start in the first year with a minimum of 150 hours in a community service setting. Adler has partnered with over 700 agencies providing internship sites for students to apply their knowledge.
20. California Southern University (Costa Mesa, CA)
At California Southern University, the School of Behavioral Sciences maintains a strong online presence with the help of dedicated faculty and experienced professors. Students who attend the Master of Science in Psychology program with an emphasis on Industrial and Organizational Psychology may take full advantage of this personalized support and flexible scheduling.
A total of 42 credits are required for graduation which can be completed in two years for students enrolled full-time. Core courses will be supplemented with 15 credits of electives such as:
- Interpersonal Conflict in the Workplace
- Consulting in Business, Education, and Mental Health
- Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy
- Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
21. University of the Incarnate Word (San Antonio, TX)
Online instruction at the University of the Incarnate Word began in 2000. The I-O Psychology degree is offered at the Bachelor’s and Master’s levels. Students will develop analytic skills through class work and be able to apply the skills learned through their in-the-field experience.
At the Bachelor’s level 38 hours of core course material and 15 hours of concentration work is required. The Master’s level requires an additional 15 hours of core course work and 15-18 hours of concentration work. A three to nine hour comprehensive exam or master’s thesis is required to complete the degree. The Master’s level work blends easily into the Doctoral level program for anyone wishing to complete their PhD.
22. Northcentral University (Scottsdale, AZ)
Using the Oxford Learning Model of one to one teaching, Northcentral University has created a personalized learning experience for its students. The school was founded in 1996 as a fully online university. Its School of Psychology offers Bachelor through Doctoral level studies, including post Baccalaureate and Master level certifications.
Within the I-O Psychology program, the Master’s level requires 36 credit hours beyond the Bachelor’s degree. The curriculum’s courses are eight weeks long. A post master’s certificate requires six courses, or 18 credit hours. The university allows two years to complete these six courses. The PhD is an additional 60 credit hours beyond the Master’s level. Students are expected to complete graduate studies within seven years while taking courses 12 weeks in duration.
23. Argosy University (Orange, CA)
Argosy University was formed in 2001 with the merging of three separate academic institutions—the American Schools of Professional Psychology, the University of Sarasota, and the Medical Institute of Minnesota. It now has 28 campus locations across the United States, 8 colleges, and a number of degree programs online, including one in I-O Psychology.
Students in the I-O Psych program will study many subsets of the field, including applied subjects like job task and analysis or employee selection, as well as theoretical fields like ethics. Practice and theory combine in the senior capstone project. The program trains students for successful careers in a variety of settings including data analysis, consultation, leadership, and human resource management.
24. Grand Canyon University (Phoenix, AZ)
Grand Canyon University has been consistently recognized for its excellent online education from numerous sources including Fortune, Small Business, Technology & Learning Magazine, Fox.com, and others.
The University offers a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in I-O Psychology. Students will use problem solving and the principles of psychology for improved employee/employer relationships. Course material will include ethics in behavior, statistics, and research and development. Students must complete a final research project before graduating. Grand Canyon lets its students create and propose their own research topics. When completed the topic must be presented and discussed with fellow students and professors.
25. Baker College (Flint, MI)
At Baker College, the Center for Graduate Studies and the College of Business offers the online Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The required 38 credit hours include comprehensive courses such as:
- Psychology of Leadership
- Psychology of Performance and Motivation
- Tests, Measurements, and Assessments in the Workplace
- Individual and Group Factors in the Workplace
- Psychology of Personnel Management and Human Resources
All courses have been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Students in this program are trained to apply theories and principles of psychology for organizational success, it is not intended to prepare for or grant licensure.
26. Touro University Worldwide (Los Alamitos, CA)
Founded in 1971 to serve the Jewish population in New York City, the Touro College and University System is a nonprofit institution of higher learning with over 19,000 students enrolled. Touro University Worldwide was established recently in 2008, and offers a number of successful programs from undergraduate to graduate and Doctorates, including the Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology. This program features concentrations in Coaching and Consulting, Human Resource Management, and Occupational Health Psychology. This wide range of offerings lets TUW’s students tailor their degrees to match their career goals more than a typical online Industrial Organizational Psychology degree. Online students interested in Organizational Psychology may enter either the Master’s or Doctorate programs.
To graduate from the Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology, students must complete a total of 36 credits, no matter their concentration. TUW aims for maximum flexibility in its programs, utilizing asynchronous learning and allowing students to choose full-time or part-time paths of study. The Doctorate of Human and Organizational Psychology includes several steps. First, students take basic courses on theory and research. They then enter the pre-dissertation/proposal stage. Finally, their work culminates in a dissertation.
27. Post University (Waterbury, CT)
Founded in 1890 Post University has been offering online programs since 1996. The online student body has grown to over 15,000 online adult learners acquiring an education through courses offered in eight-week modules throughout the year.
The Bachelor’s online Psychology degree is extensive and challenging with a total of 120 credit hours required. From general education and core psychology classes to the elective concentration classes, the Bachelor’s in Psychology prepares students well for higher level education.
The interactive online courses are offered in eight-week modules, six times a year. Students within the I-O Psychology track will take courses in subjects such as:
- Social Psychology
- Drug Use Behaviors
- Multicultural Psychology
Students will have access to the University Writing Center and to one-on-one online tutoring services 24/7.
28. Carlos Albizu University (Miami, FL)
Carlos Albizu University offers its Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology both on campus and fully online. The required 42 graduate credits cover a variety of essential topics for student success in the field including:
- Selection and Placement
- Training and Development
- Performance Measurement
- Organizational Development
- Quality of Work-life
Students will receive extensive practical training in these areas throughout the curriculum and specifically through six credits of applied research or capstone projects. Many students have gone on to publish their research findings in professional journals. To successfully graduate, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00.
29. Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
Master of Science in I-O psychology – Requires a total of 48 credits, up to 40 of which may be applied towards the PhD program. There are seven areas of specialization:
- General Practice
- Consulting Psychology
- Evidence-Based Coaching
- Forensic Counseling
- Human Resource Management
- International Business
- Organizational Diversity and Social Change
All requirements can be completed in as little as 15 months. Tuition is currently set at $535 per quarter hour.
PhD in I-O Psychology – Requires 90 credits for course work and 20-115 credits for the dissertation. The same areas of concentration are offered in addition to an eighth Research and Evaluation specialization. Students have up to eight years to complete all requirements. Tuition is currently set at $585 per quarter hour.
Capella University offers 43 degree programs with 142 specializations. It was founded in 1993 as an online university for working adults, so from its inception Capella wanted to be a leader in distance learning education. Capella uses competency-based education which includes a professionally designed curriculum taught by experienced professors who encourage hands-on experience within their fields.
Master’s and Doctoral levels are offered for I-O Psychology. FlexPath helps students keep classes organized and work at their own pace. Students need 55 course credits for graduation. The majority of students participate in one or two courses within a 10-week time frame, which require 10 to 12 hours of study per week. The Doctoral level requires not only the online course work, but also residencies, comprehensive exams, and a final dissertation.
Well known for its innovative approach to education through test preparation and professional training, Kaplan University uses a blend of online and campus-based classes to reach out to more students every year. Currently there are over 40,000 degree seeking students with the majority, 94%, completing coursework online.
I-O Psychology is offered as a fully online Certificate program or Bachelor’s degree and can be pursued further to the Master’s level. A total of 30 credits are required for the Certificate, 180 for the Bachelors and an additional 70 credits are required to complete the Master’s level program. Programs include a practicum for hands-on experience in the field. Numerous start dates are available for each level in an effort to enhance flexibility.
32. University of Phoenix (Tempe, AZ)
The following degrees are offered through the College of Humanities and Sciences:
Bachelor of Science in I-O Psychology -This traditional undergraduate degree requires 120 credits for completion with tuition currently set at $398 per credit hour. Online students will take one five-week course at a time. Courses for the major may include:
- Group Dynamics
- Organizational Cultures
- Motivational Process in Human Psychology
- Diversity and Cultural Factors in Psychology
Master of Science in Psychology with a concentration in I-O Psychology – This program requires a total of 51 graduate level credits for graduation. Tuition is currently set at $698 per credit. Course examples include:
- Developmental Psychology
- Multicultural and Social Issues in Psychology
- Personality Theories
- Work Motivation and Job Attitudes
32 Best Online Industrial Organizational Psychology Colleges
Students may also be interested in our 17 Best Communication Management Programs ranking article.
Successful Student ranks schools and programs for students, taking into consideration factors that are important for the student and their education. The ranking factors were academic reputation, variety of course offerings, access to professors and online resources, relevancy to I-O Psychology occupations, and psychology clubs and alumni networking.