What Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Program?

Students in an online master’s in organizational psychology program can expect the same academic quality as an on-campus program in a more flexible format. By eliminating the need to commute to campus, online programs provide you with more time for meeting work and family responsibilities. Online programs also allow you to attend schools outside your area without the cost and inconvenience of relocating. Many online programs are available for earning a master’s in organizational psychology, so be sure to carefully review each of your options to find the best match for your personal needs and professional goals. 

Available concentrations

Organizational psychology is often offered as a concentration in a master’s in psychology or applied psychology program. When organizational psychology is presented as its own master’s program, you may be able to specialize in a particular area within this field, such as:

  • Coaching and Consulting: Learn how to take on internal or external consulting roles, conduct needs-based evaluations, and coach employees effectively.
  • Human Resource Management: The HRM concentration combines business and psychology principles to prepare graduates for challenging leadership roles that directly impact employees and the workplace environment.
  • Occupational Health Psychology: With this concentration, students learn how to evaluate the well-being of employees, design initiatives for improving work-life balance, and address workplace stress and frustration.

Common degree curriculum

Online master’s in organizational psychology programs sometimes have in-person requirements, such as an internship or practicum. A thesis may also be required, especially if you are attending a program designed for those who plan to continue their education and earn a Ph.D. As for the coursework, here are a few of the classes you may be able to take:

  • Foundations of Professional Psychology: A core psychology course that covers the application of psychology in workplaces and professional environments.
  • Theories in Personality: Exploring different personality types and how these attributes can impact an individual’s workplace experience.
  • Motivation in the Workplace: A deep dive into how differing work environments and work-related benefits contribute to an employee’s level of effort.
  • Applied Statistics for Psychology: A quantitative learning experience reviewing how the collection and interpretation of data can be used to improve organizational psychology practices.

Certification and license preparation

After earning your master’s degree, you should consider furthering your education through professional certification programs. These additional credentials will help you bolster your resume and advance your career. Some of the most valuable certifications for organizational psychologists include:

  • Certified Management Consultant: The Institute of Management Consultants confers this certification in three levels: basic, experienced, and management. Applicants must meet work experience requirements, pass both a written and an oral exam, and have five or more clients endorse their capabilities.
  • Society for Human Resource Management Certification: Candidates with a graduate degree in human resources, including organizational psychology, can sit for the written test for this certification. New graduates can earn basic certification, while those with leadership experience in the field can earn senior-level certification.
  • Professional in Human Resources: The Human Resources Standards Initiative offers a variety of certifications that you can use to demonstrate your experience level.
  • American Board of Professional Psychology: The ABPP awards certifications to psychologists in various specialty areas, including Organizational & Business Psychology. Certification requires passing oral and written exams as well as professional endorsements.

Program accreditation

Only apply to institutions approved by a DOE-recognized accrediting organization, such as the New England Commission of Higher Education or Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Otherwise, you may have trouble accessing financial aid or transferring credits to another institution if needed. In addition to institutional accreditation, the best options for earning a master’s in organizational psychology also have programmatic accreditation from an industry group such as the Masters in Psychology and Counseling Accreditation Council.

Program completion timeframe

M.S. in organizational psychology programs typically require 38 to 51 credit hours of coursework, while M.A. programs require 30 to 36 credits. The number of courses you take per semester, whether you select a concentration, and whether you’re able to transfer in credits from another master’s program will affect the amount of time it takes to earn your degree as well. Also, programs with extra requirements, such as an internship or thesis, will take longer.

Employment Outlook for Master’s in Organizational Psychology Graduates

A master’s degree in organizational psychology should provide strong job security. Most occupations in this field are growing relatively fast, making it easier for you to get hired and negotiate pay raises.

This degree should also allow you to earn a significant income. Most workers make at least $90,000 annually in this field, and there’s the potential to make much more — the top 10% of HR managers earn over $224,360.

Of course, you should adjust your salary expectations according to where you plan to work. Areas with a higher cost of living tend to offer higher pay. For example, the average salary for management analysts in New Jersey is over $40,000 higher than in Kansas.

Job Title Job Description Median Yearly Salary Projected Growth Rate (2022 – 2032)

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

These professionals use psychological principles to address workplace issues, such as employee training and overall organizational development.

$144,610

N/A

HR Manager

Human resources managers oversee daily HR operations and staffing needs, develop workforce strategies, and optimize workplace environments.

$130,000

5%

Management Analyst

Management analysts with a background in organizational psychology partner with various internal departments and external resources to develop best practices and improve operational efficiency for their employers.

$95,290

10%

Professional organizations

Organizational psychology is an ever-evolving field. Joining a professional organization will help you keep up with emerging trends and the latest in thought leadership. These organizations offer valuable resources such as continuing education courses, research grants, and networking opportunities. 

Financing Your Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Degree

Online programs are usually more affordable than on-campus programs, but you still may need help paying for your degree. Remember to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year, as this will determine your eligibility for federally funded grants and loans. You may also be eligible for various scholarship opportunities from nonprofit organizations and private companies.

Student Finance Resources and Guides

There are so many options available for funding your college education that it can be challenging to determine what you should do next after submitting your FAFSA. The resources listed below will help you sort through all this information and save as much money as possible.

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Interested in a degree?

Learn more about online degrees, their start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.