Industrial and Organizational Psychology Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

Program of Study and Research

The general aim of the doctoral program is preparation of students to become productive scholars in the psychological sciences through coursework and research experience leading to the doctoral dissertation. It is the aim of this graduate program to provide a course of study which provides a foundation in psychology and to meet individual objectives in an area of specialization.

Departmental Requirements

Total credits needed: 62 (minimum)

  1. Departmental and University Required Courses (14 credits)
    1. Statistics/Method Courses (8 credits):
      • Psy 510 Statistical and Experimental Methods I
      • Psy 511 Statistical and Experimental Methods II
    2. Two out of area courses (6 credits). 

      Students are expected to gain knowledge of psychological research by taking courses in more than one of the department's specializations. Breadth of knowledge in these areas is accomplished with courses recommended by the student's advisor. Each student is required to take a minimum of two courses outside her or his own specialization. The two courses must be selected from two different areas of specialization within Psychology Ph.D. programs. Each area of specialization may identify particular courses for its students to take.

      All graduate students must maintain a B average among the two courses outside their own specialization. If a student earns less than a C in one of these courses, and is still retained in the program, the student will repeat the course regardless of the student's overall average. Examples of such courses from within the Psychology Department are:
      • Psy 601 Survey of Biopsychology
      • Psy 602 Survey of Learning and Conditioning
      • Psy 603 Survey of Cognitive Psychology
      • Psy 604 Survey of Developmental Psychology
      • Psy 605 Social Psychology I
    3. Initial Research Project

      Graduate students will demonstrate basic research competency in the student’s subfield of Psychology by generating a novel hypothesis, statistically analyzing appropriate data to test the hypothesis, and submitting a manuscript to the faculty advisor to be approved prior to the beginning of the fall semester of the student’s third year.
  2. Requirements Specific to Industrial and Organizational Psychology (48 credits)
    1. Required Courses (24 credits) In addition to meeting department and university requirements for the Ph.D., students in the Industrial and Organizational (I/O) area are required to complete the following courses within their first four years of study:
      • Psy 613 Multivariate Analysis (3)
      • Psy 641 Survey of Organizational Psychology (3)
      • Psy 738 Applied Research Methods in Psychology (3)
      • Psy 750 Foundations of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (3)
      • Psy 752 Personnel Psychology (3)
      • Psy 753 Psychometric Theory and Research (3)
      • Psy 781 Topics in Industrial and Organizational Psychology (1 credit per semester for each of the first 6 semesters)
    2. Advanced I/O seminars: choose four seminars (12 credits)
      At least 1 from each of the following groups:
      • Group 1: Organizational psychology seminars:
        • Psy 751 Work Motivation
        • Psy 668 Group Dynamics
        • Psy 759 Occupational Health Psychology
        • Psy 760 Workplace Diversity and Discrimination
        • Psy 780 Selected Topics in Psychology (seminar in organizational psychology topic)
        • Mgt Leadership course
      • Group 2: Industrial psychology seminars
        • Psy 754 Training and Development in Organizations 
        • Psy 757 Performance Appraisal and Management
        • Psy 780 Selected Topics in Psychology (seminar in personnel psychology topic)
        • Mgt 733 Seminar in Human Resource Management
    3. Advanced statistics (3 credits)

      Students must take at least one advanced statistics course beyond multivariate, or additional research credits in the form of an independent study.
      • Advanced Statistics Courses:
        • Research Methods II: Advanced Linear Models
        • Structural Equation Modeling
        • Latent Growth Curve Modeling
        • Psy 614 Meta-analysis
        • Advanced course in other department (Educational Psych, Sociology) subject to approval by advisor and Area Head.
        • Psy 897 Independent Study (must focus on an advanced statistical technique)
    4. Electives (9 credits)

      Students must take 9 credit hours in elective coursework. These electives include APSY 894 Directed Reading, APSY 897 Independent Study and Research, APSY 756 Supervised Internship, or graduate level courses in either Psychology or another area. All electives must be approved by the student’s advisor.
  3. Other Requirements
    1. Tool requirement

      Every student must present evidence of the satisfactory completion of the research tool requirement. Only one tool is required. The department defines the following as appropriate for completion of the Research Tool.
      • Pass a foreign language test. Various tests are offered each semester. In accordance with the university rules, foreign students may take the language test in their native language.
      • Take a course. In accordance with the psychology guidelines, students may take courses in computer programming, mathematics, electronics, biochemistry, histological techniques, foreign language, pharmacology, or advanced statistics. A student must earn at least a B in a course intended to satisfy the research tool requirement. Course credits taken in conjunction with completing the Tool Requirement do not count toward credit hours required for the degree. Furthermore, any course used toward the research tool requirement may not be included in the out-of-area courses.
      • Master a technique, statistical or otherwise, in the process of conducting the Initial Research Project or another research project. Structured and supervised projects or experiences are possible (e.g., specific interventions, or assessment technologies). This technique can be self-taught, taught by a faculty member, or taught in a course. However, the research project cannot be part of a course (otherwise, the course cannot be counted towards graduation – see above) but must be independent of a course. The technique should be advanced. Thus, statistical skills taught in the mandatory first year statistics sequence cannot be used to fulfill the tool requirement.
    2. Qualifying Examinations

      Before the end of the fourth year of study, a student must have completed the doctoral qualifying examination. The specific format will be determined by the student's Qualifying Examination Committee, which must include at least three area faculty. It is the student's responsibility to consult with his or her advisor about examination format, committee membership, and time line. If a student fails the qualifying examination, he/she may take it once more. Failure on the second occasion constitutes a basis for dismissal from the program. It is strongly recommended that all course requirements specific to area are finished before taking the qualifying examination.


Students must submit an acceptable dissertation which demonstrates that they are capable of doing independent scholarly work and are able to formulate conclusions which should modify or extend previous knowledge. Students must be formally admitted to candidacy before the dissertation proposal can be accepted and approved.

Full Time Study in Residence

Each student in a doctoral program must engage in full-time study beyond the master's degree or equivalent at the University in at least two sessions after admission to the advanced program. This requirement is designed to insure for each doctoral student a sustained period of intensive intellectual growth. For this purpose, a student will enroll in full-time study (9 credits) taken in each of two sessions, or in a regular session and a summer session, not necessarily consecutive, which must be completed satisfactorily.

Admission to Candidacy

A student is admitted to candidacy for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy upon the following:

  1. Satisfactory completion of the research competency paper;
  2. Satisfactory record in course and seminar study;
  3. Satisfactory completion of the research tool requirement;
  4. Completion of university residence requirements;
  5. Satisfactory completion of the doctoral qualifying examination.

Statute of Limitations

All courses used to satisfy degree requirements (other than Psy 899) must have been completed no more than eight years prior to the semester in which the degree is officially granted by the University. This limitation also applies to all courses taken at other institutions for which transfer credit has been granted by the University.

Please note: This program requires an internship, field experience, study abroad component, or clinical experience requirement. Students who have previously been convicted of a felony are advised that their prior criminal history may impede their ability to complete the requirements of certain academic programs and/or to meet licensure requirements for certain professions. If you have concerns about this matter please contact the Dean’s Office of your intended academic program.