Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in South Carolina

South Carolina is a beautiful state with varied terrain ranging from white sand beaches to rolling hills and forests to soaring mountain peaks. The state’s colleges and universities are spread out amongst these varying environments, giving you the chance to get an education while exploring the natural beauty around you.

Though South Carolina doesn’t have many industrial organizational (I-O) psychology programs, what it lacks in numbers it makes up for in unique and high-quality offerings. Whether you want a master’s degree or a Ph.D., the schools in South Carolina have programs just for you.

Below is a list of the three South Carolina-based graduate programs recognized by the Society of Industrial Organizational Psychology for studies in I-O psychology and related fields. One of the programs results in a master’s degree, while the other two programs culminate with a Ph.D.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in South Carolina

Clemson University

School Information

Clemson University is a public, land-grant college in Clemson, South Carolina. The University’s location halfway between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, means you can attend school in a smaller city but have easy access to the amenities of major metropolitan areas.

Clemson has nearly 26,000 students, of which more than 5,500 are in graduate programs. The University offers more than 80 majors and 90 minors for undergraduate students, while more than 130 programs are available for graduate students.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 16:1, you’ll get individualized attention in your courses. Likewise, you can take advantage of robust funding for research in psychology – Clemson was awarded more than $160 million in external research funding in 2021.

Program Information

This M.S. program from Clemson University is in applied psychology with a concentration in occupational health psychology. It’s a two-year program that prepares you for work in this field upon graduation or continued studies in a doctoral program.

You can choose from three academic tracks:

  • Thesis track
  • Formal internship track
  • Research hours track

Each track requires six hours of study in addition to 33 additional semester credit hours of coursework. Regardless of which track you choose, your focus will be on occupational health and the application of psychological principles in improving and maintaining people’s health in the workplace. This might include:

  • Improving employee wellness
  • Improving employee productivity
  • Addressing health and safety concerns in the workplace
  • Altering the physical structure of the workplace to improve workflow
  • Changing the organizational structure of the workplace

This is one of only a handful of programs in the United States that’s funded by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health and the American Psychological Association for training programs in occupational health psychology.

The University of South Carolina

School Information

The University of South Carolina was founded in the state’s capital, Columbia, in 1801. It is the flagship institution in the University of South Carolina system.

With more than 300 degree programs and in excess of 35,000 students, the University of South Carolina offers a diverse learning community. You can pursue a degree in:

  • Psychology
  • Business
  • Education
  • Law
  • Medicine

Many other degree programs are available at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. No matter what you study, you can take advantage of top-ranked programs. In fact, the University of South Carolina ranks among the best in the nation for international business, nursing, and sports science, to name a few.

This school also distinguishes itself as a Carnegie Foundation R1 university, which designates it as a very high research activity institution. The R1 distinction is the Carnegie Foundation’s top classification level.

Program Information

This Ph.D. program from the University of South Carolina is in Organizational Behavior and Human Resources. The program is in the Darla Moore School of Business, not the psychology department. The purpose of the program is to develop your skills in preparation for conducting research and teaching at universities and other research institutions.

The program includes seminar courses in which you’ll study side-by-side with a small number of fellow doctoral students. These classes are led by distinguished faculty who mentor you and your classmates. Faculty members also guide you in your organizational behavior and human resources research. Courses include:

  • Survey of Social Psychology
  • Doctoral Seminar in Behavioral Sciences
  • Organization Theory

This is a full-time program that takes about five years to complete. During your tenure in the program, you’ll receive a stipend that includes a 100 percent supplement for tuition. A 100 percent subsidy for medical insurance is also included.

Clemson University

School Information

Clemson University got its start thanks to a significant gift from Thomas Green Clemson. He donated his fortune and his home to the state of South Carolina to establish an agricultural college.

Clemson Agricultural College opened its doors in 1893 as a military school for white males. In 1955, the school became a public, co-ed university, and eight years later, it was integrated with the admittance of the first African-American student, Harvey Gantt. The following year, the school became known as Clemson University, the name it bears today.

With just 446 students in its first year, Clemson has grown substantially over the years. Today, the school hosts tens of thousands of students from 48 states, the District of Columbia, and nearly two-dozen foreign countries.

Program Information

Clemson’s Ph.D. program in industrial and organizational psychology offers training and research opportunities for students who seek employment in industrial or academic settings upon graduation. The program requires four to five years of full-time study on campus at Clemson.

If you don’t already have a master’s degree, you can get one as part of this Ph.D. program. Either way, you must satisfy the requirements of the master’s program before you can complete your doctoral program.

Throughout your studies, you’ll learn about the industrial and organizational components of improving functioning in the workplace. Likewise, you’ll have opportunities to conduct research and apply what you’ve learned in industrial and organizational settings.

This program includes core coursework as well as studies in each of the four major areas of psychology:

  • Biological psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Cognitive-affective psychology
  • Individual differences

Additionally, you must complete 18 hours of dissertation research (including a defense) and pass a qualifying exam with a satisfactory score. An internship component gives you further opportunities to gain experience and demonstrate your expertise before being awarded your Ph.D.

Work Opportunities in South Carolina

South Carolina offers unique work opportunities for I-O psychologists because of its geographic location. Upon graduation, you might choose to stay in the state, which has large metropolitan areas, rural towns, and medium-sized cities in between. Each of these areas offer different opportunities for someone with an I-O psychology skillset.

For example, you might work for a shipping company in one of South Carolina’s ports and provide guidance on improving worker safety. Alternatively, you might work in the travel and tourism industry in one of the state’s many popular tourist destinations like Charleston and Myrtle Beach.

But the state’s location between Georgia and North Carolina means there are many opportunities for work across state lines. Atlanta is a short drive from the southern border of South Carolina, and as one of the largest cities in the U.S., I-O psychology jobs might be plentiful. The same is true of Charlotte, which is just across the border in North Carolina.

So, whether you choose to stay in South Carolina or pursue jobs in bordering states, the opportunities awaiting you are many and varied.

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