I/O Psychology FAQ

Questions About I/O Psychology

What is I/O psychology?

Industrial/Organizational psychology is the branch of psychology that applies psychological theories and principles to organizations. The overall goal of the field is to study human behavior in the workplace. As such, I/O psychology studies issues such as work-life balance, effective leadership, worker motivation and morale, recruitment, selection, and training of personnel.

We have listed additional I/O psychology resources.

What does an I/O psychologist do?

An I/O psychologist wears many hats. In general, they develop and apply psychological techniques to improve efficiency and effectiveness of workers, organizational units, and organizations. You will find I/O psychologists performing many of these work behaviors:

– Developing interview techniques, rating scales, and psychological tests to assess competencies in selection, placement, and promotion.
– Applying principles of learning and individual differences to design and evaluate the utility of training programs.
– Conducting surveys and research studies to assess organizational climate affecting worker morale and motivation.
– Advising management on personnel policies and labor-management relations.

What career opportunities are available with a graduate degree in I/O psychology?

Graduates from this program can follow a number of career paths in I/O psychology or related fields such as human resources. Students will find themselves marketable in human resources or training positions in private industry and government. Many students also seek jobs as consultants within an organization or at a management consulting firm. The skills developed in UMBCs graduate program prepare students for a wide range of positions in the fields of human capital management and talent development.

To learn more about which of our courses can assist with pursuing different interests, use our I/O Psychology Career Pathways guide.

Is I/O psychology right for me?

Due to the consultative nature of I/O psychologists, it is not surprising that I/O psychologists are relationship-focused, skilled in developing and maintaining interactions with others. They are data-driven, detailed-oriented, problem focused, and critical thinkers. I/O psychologists are persistent in their efforts and are also comfortable guiding and leading others. Good oral and written communication skills are essential to communicating ideas to others.

Questions About The Graduate Program

Is your program more applied or more research-oriented?

As part of The Division of Professional Studies, the MPS degree in I/O psychology is an applied graduate program. It is intended to provide students with coursework and practical experience in human resources, organizational behavior management, human factors, and talent development. While we emphasize the scientist/practitioner model, our courses do not focus on research in the same way a traditional MA program would.

Is the program full-time or part-time?

We are mainly a part-time program, with students taking 6 credits a semester. The exception would be international students who are on a student visa and need to be full-time students taking 9 credits a semester.

How long does the program take to complete?

To meet the requirements of the MPS degree, you must complete 30 credits. The degree is designed to be completed in 2 years. However, students may complete the program at their own pace. To get the most out of the program, we encourage students to complete the program within 3 years.

When are classes held?

The MPS in I/O psychology is a part-time program and is geared toward early/mid-career professionals. The program is flexible in that it offers evening and weekend courses to accommodate the working student.

Do you offer online courses?

At this time, we offer only one online course. Classes are held on campus in face-to-face format.

Is funding available?

Departmental aid is not available through this program. Visit Program Costs for more information about tuition and financial aid.

Are there internship opportunities?

The Capstone project is an internship opportunity. In this 3-credit course, students work in a supervised business-type setting for a minimum of 9 hours per week. While UMBC faculty and staff will help place all qualified students in internships, they cannot guarantee that the internships will be paid.

In addition to the work experience, students will meet on a regular basis and will complete a portfolio of their work-products. The course will culminate with an in-depth written analysis of the experience and a formal presentation.

What courses are offered?

Visit I/O Psych Courses for a listing of required core and specialty courses.

Our curriculum was designed to meet the “Guidelines for Education and Training at the Master’s Level in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.”

What are the students like?

Our typical students work full-time, are achievement-oriented, motivated, and think critically about the world around them. They enjoy sharing their work experiences and value the relationships they develop with their cohort.

Questions About Applying

Where can I find information about applying to the I/O psychology graduate program?

Visit the “How To Apply” page on our website for detailed information on applying to the program including admission requirements and the application process.

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