Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs and Schools in California [2024 Guide]

The well-run California network of colleges and universities has a good reputation for offering high-quality psychology education in the U.S. So, graduates of California universities can expect recognition for the importance of their degrees upon graduation, nationally and abroad.

One of the largest workforces in the United States is in California, making industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology programs more essential to maximize the employees’ potential.

I-O psychology studies how human behavior influences work, explores various ways workplace issues can be resolved, and helps businesses build a stronger culture.

If you have set your sights on a career in I-O psychology, a master’s degree in psychology is an entry-level requirement. And you will have to take classes in research methodology, statistics, and specifically industrial-organizational psychology as part of your graduate study.

A master’s in I-O psychology can serve as a stepping stone for a Ph.D. or serves as a terminal degree.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs in California

Below is a list of popular schools offering industrial-organizational psychology graduate degree programs in California:

  • California State University, San Bernardino
  • California State University, Sacramento
  • Grand Canyon University
  • San Jose State University, California
  • Capella University
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

California State University, San Bernardino

Students interested in the I-O psychology program can enroll at this University for a Master’s degree. The curriculum provides a comprehensive range of IO-specific courses designed to equip students for immediate entry into careers in applied settings.

Students holding a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a similar field are eligible to apply for the I-O program. Before admission, students must fulfill the following prerequisites: an experimental psychology course, an introduction to psychology and psychological statistics, and a minimum grade point average (G.P.A.) of 3.0.

On graduation, a student is expected to have taken a minimum of 45 semester units of approved graduate-level courses and completed the Master’s thesis under the supervision of a faculty member.

California State University, Sacramento

The I-O psychology program at this University is for students who want to obtain valuable career skills that can help them utilize psychological concepts to work-related problems.

The University’s curriculum in I-O psychology is designed based on local employment market demands. As a result, the courses cover the industrial side of I-O psychology. Therefore, it focuses on human resource planning and development and general analytical skills.

An overall G.P.A. of 3.0 in undergraduate psychology courses is recommended for applicants to become eligible for admission. And the University also considers the candidate’s recommendation letter, hands-on research experience, and GRE score.

The University’s requirement for a Master’s degree in I-O psychology is 34 – 36 units, and all courses must be completed with at least a grade of “B.”

Interestingly, the University encourages hands-on experience in the workplace through temporary employment of I-O psychology students in the University.

San Jose State University, California

The two-year Master of Science (M.S.) program in industrial-organizational psychology at San Jose State University aims to equip students with a solid foundation in theory, research, and their applications.

The curriculum intends to instill scientist and practitioner values in the students to prepare them for professional practice. The location of San Jose University at the heart of Silicon Valley is also an advantage for students of I-O psychology to apply their knowledge to real-world settings.

To be eligible for admission to this M.S. program you must complete an undergraduate degree in psychology with a minimum G.P.A. of 3.0.

A student must complete 30 graduate-level and elective work units to earn the M.S. certification. The two years span of the program features a sequence of courses, including Seminar in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, Applied Psychometrics, Seminal in Personal Psychology, Multivariate Analysis, and Supervised research work.

As a culminating experience, each student of the I-O psychology program is expected to complete a thesis under the supervision of the faculty committee.

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

This University offers a 34-credit hour online Master of Science in Applied Psychology with a special focus on industrial organizational psychology. The rigorous program integrates the study of psychology theory with world-class business practices and research.

This 16-month program features courses and seminars in applied psychology and human behavior and electives in strategic business relationships, psychology of organizational changes, and group dynamics.

The program is concluded by an internship and a formal scholarly paper written under the guidance of an assigned faculty member.

For the quality of the education, most program alumni have found employment in industry, have progressed within the organizations where they work, or have been accepted into Ph.D. programs.

I-O Psychology Work Opportunities in California

Industrial-organizational psychologists are of utmost relevance to businesses in California. One reason is that in-depth knowledge of how human behavior impacts the workplace and vice versa is vital to choosing and retaining employees and boosting their satisfaction. In many professional settings, industrial-organizational psychologists utilize scientific research to solve various workplace related problems.

An I-O psychologist might work as a director of human resources, training and development expert, manager of employee relations, or in organizational development.

I-O Psychology Salary in California

As of January 2023, the average organizational psychologist pay in California is $146,869, although the typical range is between $119,087 and $165,350. Salary ranges might vary significantly based on the city and other important factors, such as education, credentials, supplementary talents, and years of professional experience.

As mentioned above, I-O psychologists can find employment in various fields, but health practitioner offices, research labs, development services, and business and enterprise management pay the best salaries.

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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.