Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in Pennsylvania [2024]

Last Updated: June 28, 2024

Getting a graduate education in industrial organizational (I-O) psychology in Pennsylvania has its advantages.

On the one hand, Pennsylvania is home to a large number of businesses and industries, including two dozen companies listed on the Fortune 500. These companies made it to the top of their respective fields in part because of a commitment to improving productivity, worker happiness, and communication between workers and their supervisors. These are skills you can enhance further as an industrial organizational psychologist.

On the other hand, Pennsylvania has many excellent colleges with graduate programs in this field. So, not only can you get a fantastic education, but you can go on to work for top companies in the world!

Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in Pennsylvania

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering industrial organizational psychology graduate programs in Pennsylvania:

  • Pennsylvania State University
  • West Chester University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • Capella University
  • Saint Joseph’s University
  • Purdue University

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University is one of the largest schools in the nation. It has more than 17,000 faculty members and more than 100,000 students. Penn State also has multiple campuses throughout Pennsylvania, as well as a robust online campus where students from around the world can get a high-quality education.

While Penn State got its start as a high school for farmers, it has grown into a well-respected university with highly-regarded academic programs. This is evidenced by numerous prestigious rankings, like ranking 31st in the country among national public universities. Penn State also has many bachelor’s and master’s degree programs that rank highly.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Program Information

Penn State’s Ph.D. in Industrial Organizational Psychology is one of the university’s highest-ranking programs – it consistently ranks among the five best in the nation.

This program offers a level of flexibility that many other programs don’t offer. For example, you can choose what courses to take. You can also choose the research projects in which you participate. And, rather than being mentored by one faculty member, you get to choose who you work with.

Additionally, Penn State provides you with varied opportunities to put your learning into practice. You will have the option of getting research experience, teaching experience, and practical experience using I-O principles in the workplace.

There is a significant practicum component to this program. You will participate in six semesters of practicum experiences, all occurring in the program’s first, second, and third years. These experiences help you decide the type of job you want to pursue after graduation. They can also be highly informative about the research you want to conduct as part of the program.

Applying to the program requires that you satisfy the following:

  • Submit an application for admission
  • Have relevant research experience
  • Have satisfactory GRE scores and a satisfactory undergraduate GPA
  • Submit letters of recommendation
  • Submit a personal statement

West Chester University

West Chester University, which is in Philadelphia, is a public research institution with more than 17,000 students. Even though it’s a fairly large school, it’s still only the fourth-largest university in Philadelphia. Still, the school offers amenities like nearly two dozen student sports clubs and more than 300 organizations for students. You can join a sorority or fraternity, be part of an honor society, or join a club ultimate frisbee team, to name a few options.

West Chester University also offers a lot of academic options. You can pursue a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or get your doctorate. All told, the university has dozens of degrees and programs in fields that range from business and marketing to science and technology.

West Chester also offers a well-regarded master’s program in industrial organizational psychology.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Program Information

If you are currently a bachelor-degree-seeking student and want to advance your education further, the Master of Science program in Industrial Organizational Psychology from West Chester University might be a great fit for you.

This program requires 39-42 credits to graduate, making it slightly longer than typical master’s degrees. You will complete 27 required credits and 12-15 elective credits, which enables you to explore specific topics of interest. For example, you might take electives in:

  • Workplace Stress and Health
  • Performance Assessment & Prediction
  • Psychology and Training
  • People Analytics
  • Systems Analysis

Additionally, you must complete a research report during the spring semester of your second year of studies. This report allows you to explore a topic of your own choosing while developing crucial psychological research skills.

This program also requires an internship during the summer or fall semester of the second year. The internship must be at least 300 hours and 12 weeks in length. Again, the internship is an opportunity to study specific applications of I-O psychology that interest you the most.

To apply, you must fill out a graduate application for admission. The basic requirements for admission are as follows:

  • Submit a written statement of professional goals
  • Provide official transcripts from each college or university you’ve attended
  • Provide two letters of reference

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is one of the oldest institutions of higher learning in the U.S. The first classes began in 1740, and Benjamin Franklin was the university’s first president. Today, Penn is a member of the elite Ivy League and is considered a top university in the nation.

Over the years, Penn has garnered a reputation for excellent academic programs. Magazines like US News and World Report give Penn outstanding rankings, including 18th in the country for value, 59th for innovation, and seventh among national universities. Penn also has a large selection of individual programs that rank among the best in the nation. In other words, at Penn, you’ll get a top-notch education!

Industrial Organizational Psychology Program Information

One of the hallmarks of working as an I-O psychologist is focusing on organizational dynamics. While not an I-O psychology degree, Penn’s Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics offers you a comprehensive education in this field with a curriculum that includes advanced coursework, research, and field experiences.

If you have an undergraduate degree in psychology, this master’s program builds on your existing expertise in the areas of organizational structure, organizational function, organizational communication, and so forth. To do so, you will take courses in:

  • Applied Organizational Change
  • The Economics of Human and Organizational Life
  • Mastering Organizational Politics and Power
  • Group Team Dynamics: Understanding the Overt and Covert Dynamics That Support Effective Work
  • Influence and Persuasion

This program also includes a capstone that serves as a culminating experience in the program. You will blend your classroom studies with professional experiences that will prepare you well for your career after graduation.

This is a low residency format program, meaning you can take classes at night and on the weekends. This format gives you maximum flexibility for completing your degree.

To apply to this program, you must have an undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited institution. You must also have a 3.0 GPA or higher in your previous academic work. Furthermore, you must have five or more years of full-time, management-related work.

Saint Joseph’s University

Saint Joseph’s University is a private Jesuit Catholic university in Philadelphia. Founded in 1851, Saint Joseph’s focuses on preparing its students for success in work and in life. This is accomplished with rigorous academic work and traditional religious teachings of the Catholic Church.

Though Saint Joseph’s is a small school, it offers a wide range of academic programs. There are more than 130 undergraduate majors and more than 220 programs offered on campus.

As a student at Saint Joseph’s, you will learn from experienced faculty no matter what field in which you study. You will also enjoy programs from a school that ranks highly – according to US News and World Report, the university is among the top 10 regional universities in the north.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Program Information

The Organization Development and Leadership graduate program at Saint Joseph’s focuses on developing your ability to be a change leader in organizations. What’s more, you will develop the knowledge and skills to change the culture at businesses and organizations such that workers, managers, and other stakeholders benefit. With several concentrations to choose from, you can dial in your studies to something highly specific to meet your occupational desires. These include:

  • Talent Development and Leadership
  • Organizational Dynamics and Leadership
  • Organizational Psychology and Development
  • Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging

Of particular interest for our purposes here is the Organizational Psychology and Development concentration. This specialization explores the human component of businesses. You will learn about organizational behavior, personal growth, emotional intelligence, and power dynamics, to name a few.

This program is offered as an on-campus residential option or as an online option. This flexibility gives you the power to tailor your studies to fit your specific needs.

To apply to this two-year program, you must:

  • Submit a completed application packet
  • Hold an undergraduate degree from a regionally-accredited university

Industrial Organizational Psychology Work Opportunities in Pennsylvania

As noted in the introduction, studying I-O psychology in Pennsylvania offers the advantage of top-notch programs and many businesses and organizations in the state that can benefit from your expertise. As such, the work opportunities that lay ahead for you are extremely diverse.

For example, you might offer consultative services to a manufacturing company regarding how to improve workplace safety. Conversely, you might go into psychological research and help design more user-friendly workstations that help improve worker productivity.

As an I-O psychologist in Pennsylvania, you might also work for local or state governments. For example, you might help develop regulations for businesses that enhance the quality of the work environment for their employees.

Some I-O psychologists also become teachers. You must first get real-world experience as an I-O psychologist, but after a few years working in the field, you might explore academic posts at one of the state’s dozens of colleges and universities.

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