Master of Professional Studies in I/O Psychology

UMBC’s Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is designed to provide advanced education to early/mid-career professionals in the areas of human capital functions, personnel selection, and training and organizational management.

The two-year program provides students with the knowledge, tools and techniques to evaluate and explore organizational behavioral management, human factors, and human resource practices based on the needs of the current job market. Upon completing the program, students will have also completed a professional capstone experience, developing a professional portfolio while building relationships with those in industry.

Program Requirements:

Students must complete a total of 30 credits as follows: 5 core courses (15 credits), 4 electives (12 credits), 1 capstone project (3 credits).

Required Core Courses (15 credit hours)

PSYC 670: Industrial/Organizational Psychology

This course covers a general survey of industrial psychology, including such topics as personnel selection and evaluation, job satisfaction, environmental factors, and current research on individual behavior in complex organizations.

*Note that this course serves as a pre- or co-requisite for all M.P.S.: I/O Psychology courses.
Starting Fall 2024, this course may be taken at either the UMBC-Shady Grove Campus in Rockville, MD or the UMBC Campus in Catonsville, MD.

PSYC 672: Research Methods and Statistical Data Analysis

This course gives students the background and the basic understanding of statistical theory and techniques required in the field of industrial / organizational psychology. The course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential statistics, with emphasis on statistical techniques used in the practice of industrial / organizational psychology, including analysis of variance and multiple regression. Students are also introduced to the advanced topics of analysis of covariance, factor analysis, reliability analysis, discriminant analysis, and path analysis.

Starting Fall 2024, this course may be taken at either the UMBC-Shady Grove Campus in Rockville, MD or the UMBC Campus in Catonsville, MD.

PSYC 710: Research Methods in Psychology

Examination of various methods and models of research in developmental and human services psychology and the applications and assumptions associated with them. Students critique research studies and complete a research proposal.

Required fall of second year.

Core Courses – Choose One

PSYC 664: Organizational Behavior

The purpose of this course is to enable students to understand the individual, group, and external dynamics that influence management and performance at all levels of the organization. Students will learn about the various systems, subunits, and functions within organizations such as communication, leadership, organizational culture, and teams that impact critical outcomes at the individual, group, and organizational level. Students will apply this knowledge to analyze and solve complex and ill-defined organizational problems to increase organizational effectiveness.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670
Prior to Spring 2022, PSYC 669: Organizational Behavior Management was accepted in place of PSYC 664

PSYC 674: Methods of Assessment in I/O Psychology

This course provides an I/O-oriented introduction to intellectual and personality assessment of individuals working in organizations. In addition, it gives an introduction/overview of basic measurement theory; essentials of test evaluation including reliability, validity and utility; methodology of test and survey construction, development, and analysis; and the utilization and interpretation of test scores.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670 and PSYC 672

Core Courses – Choose One

PSYC 671: Seminar in Applied Social Psychology

Class sessions involve regular discussions and exchanges of information among students and the faculty member on topics of social psychology. Discussion topics include perception and attribution, attitudes, self-identity, interpersonal attraction, close relationships, social influence, persuasion, prosocial behavior, aggression, group behavior, job satisfaction and work, quality of life and mental health, and forensics. Particular focus is on how the content of these topics can be applied to real-world situations for increased individual and group well-being and productivity.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 677: Professional Human Resources Practices

This course gives an overview of personnel selection from an I/O prospective in terms of theory, practice, and research. Topics include needs analysis, personnel selection and placement, interviewing (research and techniques), and performance appraisal, training and development. In addition, validity and utility of predictors of job performance will be addressed as will Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws and their implications in terms of personnel selection, retention, training, and management.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

Elective Courses – Choose 4

PSYC 601: Special Topics in Psychology: People Analytics

Consideration of selected topics in psychology for advanced graduate students. Some of these topics include qualitative methods, clinical interventions in behavioral medicine, seminars in cognitive psychology and applied developmental psychology.

PSYC 624: Consulting for I/O Psychology

This course examines the roles, functions, and processes used by human capital consultants to solve organizational problems. Students will acquire a broad perspective of internal and external consulting practices and experiences in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology. Active learning techniques will be used to introduce soft skills such as communication and conflict resolution as well as processes in business development and project management.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670, second year standing, and consent of instructor

PSYC 667: Total Rewards

The course provides and overview of contemporary organization’s total rewards programs. We will cover and discuss compensation, benefits and other reward and recognition programs in the context of an organization’s business strategy. We will review and discuss the roles and challenges of managing a total rewards program in today’s organizations.

PSYC 668: Leadership & Talent Development

This course provides a strategic and a tactical look at how talent change management to development functions are established, managed, and sustained. Employee development will be presented as a critical part of an organization’s investment and performance strategy. Additionally, this course will cover a variety of leadership theories and contexts, particularly as related to Talent Development.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 673: Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in I/O Psychology

This course addresses ethical issues involved in the practice or application of psychology in promoting employee and organizational physical and mental health and well-being. In addition, students will discuss legal issues, such as EEO, affirmative action, ADA as well as issues relating individuals of different ages and cultures, health status, organizations and local, national, and international communities; the legal system; and policy-making. Also highlighted are issues of ethnic and cultural sensitivity, and sexual harassment.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 676: Human Factors

This course provides background in the areas of Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction as they relate to the design and use of information systems in the workplace. In addition, this course addresses the importance and interdisciplinary nature of information systems, computer science, psychology, and sociology as they relate to the design of usable systems. Quantitative and qualitative methods for analyzing usability will be discussed and conducted, including task analyses, usability tests, and expert reviews, as well as ongoing assessments of installed products by interviews and surveys. Students learn about the design lifecycle and guidelines that are involved in developing professional-level, high quality user interfaces. Students also learn to address the needs of disabled users in terms of accommodation and accessibility.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 678: Group Decision Making

This course is designed to help the student develop an understanding of decision-making behavior and processes that occur in organizations. It will present students with an overall understanding of individual and group dynamics in organizations, and the processes that support group work and decision making from management and executive points of view.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 679: Survey Design and Development

This course provides an overview of surveys used for purposes such as needs analysis, market research, program evaluation, assessing employee attitudes or opinions and strategic planning. The course includes instruction and practical application on how to : translate client and stakeholder concerns into questions answerable through surveys; develop survey objectives; develop survey research questions; make decisions on survey design; develop survey questions; develop a sampling strategy; pilot test and evaluate a survey; identify and report the precision of survey-based estimates; analyze and interpret survey data; and report findings to clients and stakeholders.

Prerequisite: PSYC 672

PSYC 681: Human Performance Technology

This course introduces the student to the literature, tools, and techniques of performance technology. The performance technologist analyzes and solves human productivity and efficiency problems in the workplace. Students will examine major theories, models, methods and techniques of analyzing and solving individual and organizational performance problems that call for solutions and interventions that go beyond training. Students learn and apply performance analysis and improvement strategies such as feedback and incentive systems, professional development plans, and workplace and job design. This highly participatory seminar is a natural complement to graduate courses in instructional design and instructional technology.

Prerequisite: PSYC 672

PSYC 682: Change Management

This course is an integrated approach to large-scale change in organizations. Change is analyzed from three levels: top management, where leadership and vision are critical, middle management, where implementation is the focus, and lower levels where receptivity and upward influence are the emphases. Cases will provide opportunities to develop diagnostics skills and intervention plans, while experiential learning and a team project is used to develop a tool box of specific intervention technique and skills.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 683: Advanced Statistics

This course is designed to provide knowledge base of higher-level statistics in research and practice. The course assumes that the learner has a solid knowledge base of the theory behind and SPSS application of basic inferential statistics. The procedures covered will provide the student with a portfolio of references and examples to guide them through future analytic questions in the applied setting.

Prerequisite: PSYC 672

PSYC 684: Program Evaluation for I/O Psychology

This course introduces the student to the literature, theories and approaches to evaluating organizational programs, policies and procedures. Students will acquire a broad perspective on types of program evaluation, including formative and summative evaluation, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. Students gain practical experience through exercises and assignments involving the design and development of a program evaluation plan. Topics such as experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs are introduced in the context of a variety of settings, including schools, welfare agencies, mental health organizations, criminal justice settings, environmental programs, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.

Prerequisite: PSYC 672

PSYC 687: Job Analysis

This graduate level course is an elective which will reinforce students’ previous exposure to Job Analysis. In many ways, Job Analysis (JA) is the building block of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. JA contributes to performance measurement, selection system development and other core Human Resources functions. In the course, the theoretical underpinnings of JA will be reviewed. A significant component of the class will be performance of Job Analyses by students individually and collaboratively. In addition, the JA information will be applied to the development of performance management and employee selection system.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670 and PSYC 672

PSYC 689: Strategic Planning

This course introduces students to the theories, tools, and processes for strategic planning. The course is highly applied and will provide students the opportunity to plan, conduct, and finalize a strategic plan for an actual organization. This will include preparing interview/focus group protocols, researching industry trends, reviewing historical documents, and conducting interviews/focus groups with an actual client and their leadership team. The final project for this class will be a presentation of the strategic plan to the organization’s leadership.

Prerequisite: PSYC 670

PSYC 690: Practicum

The Practicum for I/O Psychology is a specialty course offering within the UMBC I/O program. The overall goal is to provide students with an opportunity to accrue applied experience in the fields of I/O or HR under the mentorship of an I/O or HR executive or highly accomplished and degreed professional. The Practicum context must be carefully selected a priori in order to provide a meaningful experience that is worthy of the three academic credits in the program. This will include an assignment consisting of 16-20 hours per week. This course is graded as Pass/Fail.

LAPT/EDUC 602: Instructional Systems Development

Online (Fall, Spring & Summer)

This course includes the elements of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation. An emphasis is placed on micro-level design issues including analysis, design and evaluation. Learners work through the ISD process to assemble a training or education project that is ready for implementation. A design plan and lesson plan is constructed to allow learners real-world experience in the ISD process. The online section of this course is taught using an asynchronous delivery format.

Prerequisite: Consent of the LAPT department.

LAPT/EDUC 648: Consulting for Learning and Performance Technology

Online (Spring only)

Students examine the various roles, functions, skills and knowledge needed of internal and external consultants to help solve human performance problems.

Prerequisite: LAPT/EDUC 602 and consent of department.

LAPT/EDUC 671: Principles of Training and Development

Online (Fall and Spring)

This course examines key principles relevant to training and development. They include: the role of training in an organization, adult learning theory, needs assessment, training methodology, organizational support, resources and constraints, evaluation of training, and managing the training function. Issues that influence training implementation, such as ethics and interpretation, are also addressed. The online section of this course is taught using an asynchronous delivery format.

Prerequisite: LAPT/EDUC 602 and consent of the LAPT department.

Capstone Experience for I/O Psychology (3 credit hours), Required Last Semester

PSYC 698: Capstone Experience

This course serves as the capstone experience for M.P.S.: I/O Psychology graduate students and provides those students with practical experience in the field. UMBC faculty and staff will help place students in relevant, supervised internships. Alternatively, for students currently working in I/O, faculty and staff will help students find or design an enriching internship experience within their own company. In addition to the work experience, students will complete a portfolio of their work-products and will culminate the course with an in-depth written analysis of the experience and a formal presentation. The course, taken during the student’s final semester requires a minimum of 9 on site work hours per week.

Prerequisite: At least 24 credits and consent of Graduate Program Director.

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