The advantage of getting a graduate degree in industrial organizational (I-O) psychology in Tennessee is that higher education in Tennessee is generally less expensive than in other states. In fact, public universities in Tennessee are currently in a tuition hold to ensure affordability for students like you.
Another advantage of studying I-O psychology in Tennessee is the diversity of programs and schools from which to choose. By and large, I-O programs are available at the state’s larger schools.
Still, these schools vary in terms of their overall student population, the psychology department size, and the school campus setting. This allows you to tailor your education more specifically to your needs.
Below is a short list of some of the best I-O psychology programs in the state that will help you decide which program is best for you.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Programs in Tennessee
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a public, four-year university with more than 11,000 students. The University includes five colleges:
- Health, Education, and Professional Studies
- Engineering and Computer Science
- Arts and Sciences
- Honors College
Within these colleges, nearly 90 undergraduate degrees and 52 graduate programs are available, so you have plenty of choices regarding your major.
UT Chattanooga is an inexpensive university, too. In-state students pay less than $10,000 per year in tuition and fees.
The M.S. program in industrial organizational psychology from UT Chattanooga is one of the oldest terminal I-O degrees in the nation. With a long and rich tradition of academic excellence, this program will prepare you well for entering the world of work.
This is a cohort program, meaning you’ll progress through your studies with the same classmates from start to finish. Cohort programs begin each fall, and it takes two years to complete the program.
- Organizational Psychology
- The Uses of Groups in Work Organizations
- Essential Business and Analytics Skills for I-O Psychology Professionals
This program also includes a practicum component and a thesis. The practicum lets you get real-world experience by observing I-O psychologists on the job and perhaps even assisting with I-O psychology-related tasks.
Meanwhile, the thesis requirement helps you combine the concepts you’ve studied throughout the program to present a comprehensive research project to a committee of psychology faculty.
Middle Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University is a public, co-ed school in the central Tennessee city of Murfreesboro. The University was established in 1911 as Middle Tennessee State Normal School. Today, MTSU has approximately 22,000 students who can choose from more than 300 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels.
MTSU ranks among the top 300 national universities in the U.S. and is number 156 among top public schools, according to U.S. News and World Report.
The University is also recognized for being an affordable option for Tennessee students – there are hundreds of awards available to offset the costs of attendance for students with good grades and/or financial need. In fact, MTSU has the lowest tuition rate of any major university in Tennessee.
The Master of Arts program in industrial organizational psychology from MTSU requires the completion of 43 semester credits to graduate, which takes two to three years of study. As a student in this program, you’re expected to understand psychological concepts and principles thoroughly before enrollment. If not, you’ll need to complete prerequisite courses.
This program explores typical I-O psychology subjects, including:
- Psychological Statistics
- Literature Review and Reading in Psychology: Industrial and Organizational
- Advanced Personnel Selection and Placement
- Psychological Research Methods in Human Resource Management
- Performance Appraisal and Job Analysis
Likewise, you must successfully complete and defend a thesis to a committee of psychology faculty members. A satisfactory score in a written I-O psychology exam is also required for graduation.
Austin Peay State University
Austin Peay State University is a four-year, doctoral-level institution that gets its name from former Tennessee governor Austin Peay. The school is in Clarksville, the fifth-largest city in the state and the city with the youngest population in the state as well.
With fewer than 10,000 students, Austin Peay is a small school compared to other universities on this list. However, the University offers big-time opportunities for learning at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level.
The University offers more than 125 undergraduate degree programs and 50 graduate programs which are organized into six colleges:
- College of Arts and Letters
- College of Business
- College of Behavioral Health and Sciences
- College of Education
- College of Graduate Studies
- College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Austin Peay has nearly 400 full-time faculty members in the six colleges listed above. Approximately 90 percent of the University’s faculty has a doctorate or another terminal degree in their field.
The IO Psychology program at Austin Peay is a 100-percent online program. The 34-credit-hour program, which takes two years or less to complete, culminates in a master of science degree.
Austin Peay’s program follows the scientist-practitioner model. This means your coursework is specifically designed to prepare you for implementing IO psychology principles in the workplace. You’ll learn how to do so by taking courses in:
- Performance Management
- Personnel Psychology
- Foundations of Applied Psychology
- Training and Development
- Leadership and Organizational Change
This program offers two academic tracks: one with a comprehensive final exam and another with a thesis. The exam track requires a satisfactory score on a proctored essay exam to graduate. The thesis track requires you to complete a thorough research project with an oral defense to a committee of psychology faculty.
The University of Memphis
The University of Memphis got its start in 1912 as West Tennessee State Normal School. In the more than 100 years since, Memphis has grown to a four-year, doctoral-level university with more than 21,000 students.
The University offers more than 250 areas of study at the bachelor’s level, in addition to master’s degrees in more than 50 subjects. There are more than two dozen doctoral and education specialist degrees as well.
The school is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The University’s location in Memphis makes it a desirable school with a multitude of opportunities to experience music and other arts, as well as outdoor recreation activities. The city of Memphis is also one of the most inexpensive places to live in the United States and is one of the most diverse cities in Tennessee.
The Master of Science program in general psychology at the University of Memphis offers you a broad-based learning experience in which you gain skills related to a variety of subject areas, including industrial organizational psychology.
This program offers terminal-level training, so if you choose to enter the workforce after graduation, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to do so. However, you can also use this program as a springboard for further studies at the doctoral level.
You have two options for completing this program. First, you can choose the thesis track, which is 33 credit hours. Alternatively, you can choose the specialty review paper track, which is 36 credit hours. This track focuses your research on gaps in current scholarship in a specific area of your choosing.
You must also take traditional courses to fulfill graduation requirements. This includes classes in research design, psychological statistics, and psychopathology, to name a few.
Work Opportunities in Tennessee
With a graduate degree in I-O psychology, there are many employment options in Tennessee and beyond. This is especially true if you get your graduate degree from a university that offers a terminal program.
I-O psychologists in Tennessee work in various organizational and business settings. In cities like Nashville and Memphis, these psychologists work in the manufacturing, retail, and education sectors. In smaller cities and towns, I-O psychologists might provide their services to small and medium-sized companies, non-profits, and government agencies.
Opportunities might be available at large, nationally-known organizations, too. For example, organizational psychologists work for FedEx, whose headquarters are in Memphis, to help streamline workflows and maximize employee productivity. I-O psychologists also work in the medical field at large hospitals like St. Jude’s.
While job opportunities change over time, the services of I-O psychologists will be in demand as competition between businesses for customers continues to grow. Your education in this field can make your services in high demand and take you very far in this field.