Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Michigan
Michigan is one of the largest states in terms of land size and population, and its location in the upper midwest affords its residents many opportunities for travel and recreation both in and outside of the state’s boundaries.
Apart from these amenities, Michigan is home to many large cities, universities, and industries, all of which are prime employment areas for industrial-organizational psychologists. That makes Michigan an excellent choice for continuing your education in this field – you can attend a top university, get the education you need to find employment after graduation, and then get a job in a leading industry, all in the Wolverine State.
Below is a list of a few industrial-organizational programs you might consider. This is not a complete list – just a selection of some of the best options Michigan has to offer.
Industrial Organizational Psychology Programs in Michigan
Central Michigan University
Central Michigan University was established in 1892 as a teacher’s college. In the more than 100 years since, the University has expanded to be a nationally-ranked research institution with approximately 300 programs of study for undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and specialist students. This includes around 65 programs that are offered completely online.
The school’s main campus is in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, but the University maintains more than two-dozen distance education locations throughout North America.
Currently, the industrial organizational program is only offered on campus. However, the program will be offered online beginning in the fall of 2023 as well.
The industrial organizational master’s degree from Central Michigan University is a 30-credit, two-year program. The curriculum includes traditional coursework, discussions of current topics, and seminars on specific applications of psychology in the workplace.
Some of the courses you can expect to take include:
- Personnel Psychology
- Organizational Psychology
- Principles of Psychological Measurement
- Research Design
Additionally, you’ll complete a practicum experience. You can choose between a thesis option or a research option to complete your studies in preparation for your career. A full 98 percent of people that graduate from this program have a job within six months.
Michigan State University
Michigan State University is a public four-year college located in East Lansing. With nearly 50,000 students and a campus that covers 5,300 acres, it is one of the largest universities in the country. Michigan State is also a premier research university. In fact, it’s among the top 100 global universities.
The school offers more than 200 academic programs of study. Of these, 39 are ranked in the top 25 in the nation. There are many opportunities to study abroad as well, with more than 300 international-based programs.
As a top-50 research university, Michigan State spends hundreds of millions of dollars on research every year. That money is distributed among more than 100 research institutes and centers to advance student learning.
Michigan State’s doctoral degree in industrial-organizational psychology is a research-oriented program. With detailed studies in psychology and quantitative methods, you can pursue a career in education or research. Likewise, as a graduate of this program, you’ll have the knowledge to apply psychological principles in business settings.
In fact, the Department of Social Science (of which this program is a part) works closely with Michigan State’s Department of Management, the School of Labor and Industrial Relations, and the College of Business to provide you learning opportunities that blend psychology and business.
This program requires that you take two courses per semester until you begin your dissertation work. The initial coursework phase typically lasts two years, while the dissertation phase lasts three years.
Classes you might take as part of this program include:
- Psychometric Theory
- Organizational Psychology
- Psychological Statistics
- Test Construction
An internship is not required for this program. However, you’re encouraged to pursue relevant internships to expand your learning opportunities.
Wayne State University
Wayne State University was founded in 1868 in the heart of Detroit. Today, the University offers more than 350 academic programs for 25,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.
This university is a Carnegie Foundation classified school. In fact, Wayne State has the highest such ranking from the Carnegie Foundation.
Wayne State is also the most diverse college in Michigan. There are 1,100 students from 70 different countries from around the globe. The University also includes six satellite campuses for students that live outside the Detroit area.
The industrial-organizational psychology program at Wayne State University is a terminal master’s degree. This means that it’s the highest degree in this specific area of study. It does not prepare you for continued studies at the doctoral level.
The program specifically focuses on applied workplace psychology. As such, you’ll study concepts like:
- Employee evaluation systems
- Management training
- Improving employee morale
- Personnel selection and hiring
Additionally, many courses examine the role that psychology can play in improving the effectiveness of an organization.
This is a part-time program that requires completion of 30 credits. There is no thesis required for graduation. Most students complete the program in two years.
Western Michigan University
Western Michigan University is in Kalamazoo. It was established in 1903 as the Western State Normal School. In 1927, it became a teacher’s college, and in 1938, it began offering graduate degrees. In 1957, Western Michigan was designated an independent public university – the fourth such school in the state.
Today, Western Michigan University enjoys many accolades that place it among the best colleges in the country. For example, it’s among the top 11 percent of universities in the nation and has seven graduate programs that rank in the top 100 in the country. It’s also one of just 185 public colleges that are classified as a “high research university” by the Carnegie Foundation.
The University’s main campus in Kalamazoo is joined by seven satellite campuses throughout the state, which enables more students to take courses and earn degrees from WMU.
This master’s degree program is unique in that it’s specific to Industrial-Organizational Behavior Management (OBM). In fact, it is the longest-running M.A. program that focuses on OBM. Western Michigan also offers a Ph.D. program in OBM, the first of its kind.
There are two options for this graduate degree: a thesis or non-thesis track. The thesis track requires that you complete six credits of individual research that culminates in a thesis project with a defense. The non-thesis option includes a practicum instead, which focuses less on research and more on gaining practical skills for applying OBM strategies in the real world.
This is a 36-credit program. If you study full-time, you can complete it in two years.
Work Opportunities in Michigan
One of the sectors in which many industrial-organizational psychologists work is for Fortune 500 companies. These multinational organizations are in constant competition to retain the best employees, improve productivity, and gain a competitive advantage against other companies. Michigan is home to 17 such companies.
Many industrial-organizational degree programs in Michigan include practicum and internship experiences with small and large businesses alike, including members of the Fortune 500. With these experiences before graduation, you might be more likely to find employment after graduation with companies like Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Dow, Inc., the Kellogg Company, or other top businesses.
Of course, small businesses also employ industrial-organizational psychologists, and Michigan has plenty of these locally-owned organizations. There are more than 900,000 small businesses in the state, and small business development is growing faster than it has in the last 23 years. This bodes well for graduates of industrial organizational psychology programs in Michigan.