Why This Matters

  • RANKED ONE OF THE TOP 5 BEST SCIENCE JOBS

    U.S. News and World Report recently ranked industrial/organizational (I/O) psychologist as the #2 science job and #69 best overall job, based on salary, job market, work-life balance, and more.

  • DEMAND FOR TRAINING PERSONNEL RISING 10%

    Many I/O psychologists work in training and development, a branch of human resources that is expected to see faster than average employment growth within the next few years.

  • EARN $20,270 MORE AS AN I/O PSYCHOLOGIST

    The average median wage for I/O psychologists is $97,260, compared to $76,990 for clinical, counseling and school psychologists. Human resources managers can earn over $100,000 a year.

Our Research

This list includes various types of degrees in organizational psychology, including Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), and Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degrees. Each type of degree has a somewhat different orientation. For example, MPS degrees focus mostly on practical skills, while MS degrees are research-oriented. Consider these different approaches when selecting the type of degree program you want.

All of the programs reviewed have regional accreditation, meaning they meet high standards of quality, and that coursework is more likely to be transferable to another institution. The programs on this list are delivered in a variety of formats, including online, in-person, and hybrid classes.

We ranked the programs by evaluating their course strength, overall program cost, faculty reviews, and reputation, and giving them an Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Our top picks for the best master’s in organizational psychology programs are flexible, affordable, and highly reputable.(For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.)

  • 57 hours to write this article
  • 186 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 259 education programs we compared

The Top 26 Master’s in Organizational Psychology Programs

badges
01

What You Should Know About This Degree

Within the field of psychology, industrial/organizational psychology is somewhat unique, as for most jobs, a master’s degree is a sufficient level of education. However, if at any point you want to become a licensed psychologist, you will need to obtain a doctorate degree in psychology. States issue clinical psychology licenses, and most states mandate that individuals have a doctoral degree as a prerequisite for licensure.

Many I/O psychologists work within the human resources departments of companies, or as independent HR consultants. There is overlap between I/O psychology and human resources, but the two fields have some key differences. As you consider your education options, it’s worth exploring whether an advanced degree in I/O psychology or human resources more closely aligns with your interests and career goals.

If you’re interested in enrolling in an online program, you should review the curriculum carefully, as some online programs still have in-person requirements for on-campus orientations, seminars, or practicum experiences. It’s important to be aware of any in-person commitments, and confirm that they fit into your schedule and budget.

There are no mandatory certifications for I/O psychologists, but students and professionals can join the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) for networking, career development, and scholarship opportunities throughout their education and career.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching Masters Organizational Psychology programs:

  • Does this program offer the concentration I want? Some programs offer more focused concentrations within the organizational psychology field, such as coaching and consulting, occupational health psychology, or international business. Consider whether you have an interest in specializing, and be sure to select a program that will allow you to do so.
  • Is this program available part-time? This is a particularly important consideration for in-person or hybrid programs, and individuals who are working or have other commitments. Carefully review the program’s schedule to ensure that it fits with your lifestyle and availability.

Also be sure to review the admissions procedures for programs, including eligibility requirements and deadlines. This will help make your application process go smoothly. Financing your master’s education is another important consideration. Talk to the program about scholarships, assistantships, and financial aid. If you are currently employed, find out if your employer offers any tuition assistance benefits.