Why This Matters

  • I/O PSYCHOLOGIST RANKS AMONG THE TOP 5 SCIENCE JOBS

    U.S. News and World Report rankings list industrial/organizational psychologist as the number two job in science and 46th overall. The job market, salary, work-life balance, and educational requirements for this career are good.

  • SUSTAINED JOB GROWTH OF 3% IS EXPECTED

    Psychology jobs are forecast to grow 3% through 2029, and industrial/organizational psychologist jobs are expected to grow at the same rate.

  • I/O PSYCHOLOGISTS EARN OVER SIX FIGURES PER YEAR

    The median annual wage for industrial/organizational psychologists is $111,150, and the top 10% in the field earn $197,700 or more each year.

Our Research

We reviewed many master’s in organizational psychology degrees, including master of science (MS), master of arts (MA), and master of professional studies (MPS) programs. These degrees have slightly different emphases, which you’ll want to consider as you evaluate programs. For instance, MS degrees tend to be more research-heavy, while MPS degrees have a stronger practical skills curriculum.

All of the degrees listed are regionally accredited, and some have additional accreditation through the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), or a similar body.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 77 hours to write this article
  • 167 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 231 education programs we compared

The Top 50 Master’s in Organizational Psychology Degree Programs

Best Master's in Organizational Psychology Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

I/O psychology holds a unique place within the field of psychology, both in its subject matter and educational requirements. A master’s degree is sufficient for most jobs in this particular discipline, but the master’s degree won’t qualify you to become a licensed psychologist. Should you wish to practice as a clinical psychologist in the future, you’ll have to continue your education with a doctoral degree. Clinical psychologists must be state-licensed, and most states require a doctorate for licensure.

I/O psychologists frequently work closely with human resources professionals because there’s some overlap between the two fields; however, there also are some points of distinction. Before enrolling in a master’s program, consider carefully whether you’d rather focus more on the psychology or the personnel management side of helping employees.

The coursework for online degrees normally can be completed remotely, but many programs have in-person requirements for orientations, seminars, or practicums. Make sure any in-person obligations that come with a program fit your budget and schedule.

Though I/O psychologists don’t have to be certified, many of the field’s top professionals become members of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP). This organization helps with career development, networking opportunities, and scholarships.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when considering organizational psychology degree programs:

  • Are courses offered synchronously or asynchronously? Most degree programs include a combination of synchronous and asynchronous courses. The former are conducted at a set time and attended by all students in a class, while the latter have work requirements that can be completed on your own schedule.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? Master’s in organizational psychology degrees typically take two years to complete if you study full-time. Going part-time will extend this time frame, and a few schools offer accelerated programs that are shorter.

Once you know what programs you’re interested in, get the admissions details for each one, such as the required admission materials and deadlines, by checking a program’s webpage or contacting the program directly.

Also, consider how you’ll cover the cost of tuition. Ask schools about scholarships and other financial aid, and check with your employer to see if it offers tuition reimbursement.