Accredited Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs in Chicago [2024 Guide]

Last Updated: May 27, 2024

Chicago is one of the most vibrant, diverse, and exciting cities in the United States. The city affords many opportunities to pursue business interests, go to school, and live near many attractions and recreational opportunities.

Given Chicago’s size and importance to the business world, it’s no surprise that there are so many industrial organizational (I-O) psychology programs in the metropolitan area. In fact, there are more I-O psychology programs in Chicago than there are in some states!

Getting an education in I-O psychology in Chicago makes sense, given that there are more than 100,000 licensed businesses in the city. As a student, you can connect with business owners in retail, finance, or manufacturing. Then, after you graduate, you might find employment with one of the companies you worked with as a student.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs in Chicago

Following is a list of popular schools offering industrial-organizational psychology graduate programs in Chicago:

  • DePaul University
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Illinois Institute of Technology
  • Capella University
  • National Louis University
  • The University of Chicago

DePaul University

School Information

DePaul is a private Catholic school in Chicago that has a long-standing reputation for academic excellence. It’s the largest Catholic university in the country and one of the largest private schools in the nation as well.

As a DePaul student, you’ll enjoy the location of the campus – in Lincoln Park – where you can quickly and easily explore all Chicago has to offer. As for academics, you can choose among bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in ten different colleges.

No matter what major you choose, you’ll find small class sizes with a student-to-teacher ratio of 17:1. That kind of individualized attention can help you succeed in your academic pursuits.

I-O Psychology Program Information

DePaul’s industrial organizational psychology program is a unique one. It’s a combined master’s and doctoral program that takes four years to complete. The master’s degree is non-terminal, so to apply, you must be willing to get the master’s and doctoral degrees.

The master’s component is 72 quarter credit hours in length. The coursework during this phase of the program focuses on topics such as:

  • Perception and cognition
  • Language
  • Personnel psychology
  • Organizational consultation
  • Psychology of work and motivation

There is also a required thesis component.

The doctoral portion of the program builds on the advanced studies during your graduate years and builds on them with ample research opportunities. You must also pass a comprehensive examination and write and defend a dissertation before the degree is conferred.

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

School Information

As the name indicates, the Chicago School of Professional Psychology specializes in preparing you for a career in psychology and related behavioral health fields. The school got its start four decades ago, and in the years since, has grown beyond its original Chicago campus. Today, the Chicago School has campuses in:

  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Los Angeles
  • San Diego
  • Anaheim
  • Washington, D.C.

The Chicago School also offers programs and degrees online.

No matter which campus you attend, you can offset the cost of your studies at the Chicago School with generous financial and scholarship packages. Fellowships, paid employment, and student loans are also available.

I-O Psychology Program Information

Suppose you already have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related field. In that case, the M.A. degree in industrial and organizational psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology is a great choice to advance your education.

This is a two-year program if you study full-time. Part-time students need three years to complete the degree requirements.

Whether you study full-time or part-time, you’ll explore topics related to motivation, training, and leadership, to name a few. Likewise, you can complete a thesis, which allows you to conduct detailed and thorough research on an I-O topic that interests you.

If you’d rather get real-world experience than write a thesis, you can opt to take part in an internship experience at a University-approved location. You might even be able to do your internship at your current place of work, with the approval of the program, of course.

Illinois Institute of Technology

School Information

Illinois Tech is a private institution focusing on technology and research-based programs. You can study psychology, law, architecture, and many other topics with students from around the world. In fact, more than half of Illinois Tech’s students are from abroad.

There are seven colleges at Illinois Tech, each of which offers rigorous degree programs. They include:

  • Armour College of Engineering
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law
  • College of Architecture
  • College of Computing
  • Lewis College of Science and Letters
  • Institute of Design
  • Stuart School of Business

Illinois Tech also has the distinction of being named the 42nd-best school in the nation in terms of value by US News & World Report.

I-O Psychology Program Information

This master of science in industrial organizational psychology is a 36-hour program that takes two years to finish. Your studies are primarily during the fall and spring semesters, though a few classes are necessary during the summer session to graduate in two years.

During your studies, you’ll learn about concepts related to:

  • Productivity
  • Psychological statistics
  • Training, development, and performance management
  • Well-being in the workplace

An interesting feature of this program is that the curriculum is designed for Ph.D-level students. You’ll attend classes with doctoral candidates. Evaluations of your progress are based on Ph.D.-level criteria as well. It’s a challenging program, but one that prepares you well for furthering your studies in a doctoral program.

National Louis University

School Information

National Louis University has campuses in Illinois and Florida. Yet, despite having multiple locations, it’s still a small institution with just over 3,500 undergraduate students. The small-school environment is often helpful because of smaller class sizes and greater individual interaction between students and professors.

Just because it’s a small school doesn’t mean National Louis University doesn’t have a lot to offer. It’s a highly diverse school with many minority students and students from abroad. National Louis also has a wide range of academic programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral studies, as well as certificate programs and professional licensure programs available.

The school has many recognitions, too. This includes accolades for affordability, social mobility, and innovation, to name a few.

I-O Psychology Program Information

This M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology is a 100 percent online program. Learning online gives you much greater flexibility to accomplish your academic goals. In fact, you can complete this program in as few as 20 months, provided you can study full-time.

If you like, you can also pursue a double master’s degree. Pair the I-O program with the M.S. in human resource management and development, and you’ll be doubly prepared for a career working with businesses and organizations to improve their operations.

As part of your studies, you’ll take courses in:

  • Social psychology
  • Psychological statistics and analysis
  • Measurement of individual differences
  • Psychology of organizational leadership
  • Research methodology and writing

A capstone project, which is a form of summative assessment meant to gauge your learning throughout the program, is also required.

I-O Psychology Work Opportunities in Chicago

One search of job listing websites reveals that the Chicago area needs industrial organizational psychologists. For example, at the time of this writing, nearly 500 I-O psychology-related jobs were listed on LinkedIn.

This fits in with what the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts regarding job growth in this field. The BLS estimates that I-O psychology jobs will grow by four percent through the early 2030s. This growth rate is about average, but since I-O psychologists can work in many different settings, there’s a good likelihood that you will find employment after you graduate.

For example, industrial organizational psychologists in Chicago work in academics, scientific research, and for government agencies. Additionally, you might work in employment services, manufacturing or other industries, or work for yourself as an independent I-O consultant.

Whatever your career goals, the industrial organizational psychology programs described above will help you develop the knowledge and skills you need to find work in Chicago and other locations further afield. You might find that your skills and talents even take you abroad to work as an I-O psychologist.

Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes can vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.