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MBA in Organizational Psychology: Degree Overview

Research organizational psychology master's degree programs. Get information about courses, program requirements and job options to make an informed decision about your education.

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Master's Degree in Organizational Psychology Overview

Organizational psychology programs that lead to the MBA degree are rare. Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MS) degree programs in industrial/organizational psychology are more common. Graduates may begin careers as industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologists, focused on improving workplace quality.

Throughout the curriculum, students learn about occupational safety and organizational systems. They receive instruction on working with human resources to pre-screen and test job applicants. Issues related to motivation, productivity, stress reduction and job satisfaction are explored, and effective management and leadership practices are examined. Coursework regarding the evaluation and resolution of work-related issues enhances students' analytic and problem-solving skills.

Educational Prerequisites

Those who apply to master's programs must have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Individuals who majored in psychology may have stronger applications. At the least, several undergraduate courses in psychology and an undergraduate statistics class are typically required. Since graduate psychology programs tend to be competitive, applicants with high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and GPAs have better admission prospects.

Course Topics

Students in an MS program in I/O psychology may have a more research-oriented curriculum than those in an MA program. An original thesis or practicum experience is generally a graduation requirement. Students in these programs may take courses in:

  • Workplace attitudes
  • Human resources management
  • Personnel selection
  • Performance evaluation
  • Behavioral analysis
  • Research methods
  • Organizational training
  • Professional ethics

Popular Career Options

Organizations that would like to achieve higher productivity from workers, retain quality employees, create a more diverse workforce and implement non-discrimination policies can benefit from the help of an I/O psychologist. Graduates from a master's degree program may hold job titles such as:

  • Consultant
  • Executive coach
  • Psychological research assistant
  • Workplace trainer

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates the employment of all types of psychologists will increase by 12% from 2012 to 2022 (www.bls.gov). Based on May 2012 data from the BLS, the median yearly salary of industrial-organizational psychologists was $83,580.

Continuing Education Information

Individuals interested in pursuing research careers or faculty positions at universities can pursue a doctoral degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Students focus on conducting research and performing quantitative meta-analysis and multi-level analysis of the data. Gaining real-world experience via internship is also emphasized. Students are expected to contribute to the field by writing a dissertation and presenting original research findings at professional conferences.

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