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Industrial/Organizational Psychology

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Degree Overview Open Accordion
Online Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Online master's in industrial/organizational psychology from CSU

Study the behavior of individuals in businesses and organizations to determine how to improve performance and productivity. Students in the online I/O psychology graduate program learn how to use research and measurement skills to solve practical workplace issues and to apply the principles of psychology to human resources and leadership challenges within an organization. This degree is practitioner-oriented, providing practical knowledge and skills focusing on research and consulting. Industrial/organizational psychology master's programs are considered terminal degrees in this field.

What you learn

CSU's core curriculum is grounded in quantitative analysis coursework that prepares you to conduct research and analyze data that drives meaningful and lasting change in organizations. Through the online master's in I/O psychology, you will learn how to:

  • Recruit, select, and retain high-quality employees.
  • Identify training and development needs.
  • Create, implement, and manage employee and leadership development programs.
  • Address complex issues such as workplace diversity and anti-discrimination policies.
  • Design and manage employee opinion and job satisfaction surveys.
  • Analyze the effectiveness of workplace programs.
  • Assess employee performance.
  • Research and improve the quality of work environments.

CSU's expert faculty have developed the program's unique curriculum. You will gain real-world perspectives from faculty with an average of 15 years of experience in the field. They each have their own areas of research in addition to a wealth of knowledge and experience in topics such as:

  • Assessment centers
  • Performance appraisal instruments
  • Corporate culture and climate
  • Workforce diversity
  • Employee engagement and retention

Take advantage of opportunities in a growing field

Employers are increasingly recognizing the need to efficiently hire and retain employees, create productive work environments, and make their organization a place people want to work. As a result, the industry's demand for industrial/organizational psychologists is expected to grow 19% by 2024. Positions in this field are not only plentiful, they are also well-paid, ensuring your investment is worth it. Organizations need I/O psychology graduates to fill positions in:

  • Human resources and personnel selection
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis
  • Training and training evaluation
  • Organizational development
  • Succession planning and leadership development
  • Instructional coordination
  • Research and academia

Upon completion of your online master's in industrial/organizational psychology, you will have the tools to meet the needs of employers throughout these different positions.

Explore Careers Open Accordion

With a Master of Applied Organizational/Industrial Psychology, you will find outstanding employment prospects in fields such as:

  • Human resources and personnel selection
  • Compensation, benefits, and job analysis
  • Training and training evaluation
  • Organizational development
  • Succession planning and leadership development
  • Instructional coordination
  • Research and academia

The job market in this field is strong. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the field of industrial/organizational psychology has growing demand and offers well-paid opportunities.

Industrial/organizational psychologists do not require licensure to practice allowing you to immediately utilize your knowledge after obtaining your M.A.I.O.P. degree.

First destination employers for M.A.I.O.P. graduates (last four years):

  • ABB
  • Baha'i World Centre
  • Bisk
  • Canadian Armed Forces
  • Center for Creative Leadership
  • Cimarex Energy
  • City of Lawrence
  • Comcast
  • Concho
  • CONMED Corporation
  • Covance
  • Edison Electric Institute
  • Empower Retirement
  • Farm Credit Canada
  • Foxdale Village Retirement Community
  • Fullscreen
  • Historic Hudson Valley
  • Jack in the Box
  • Kamps Pallets
  • Mammoth HR
  • Menards
  • New Beginnings - A Home for Mothers
  • Omakai Sushi
  • Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
  • Pfizer
  • PharmaLex
  • Professional Employment Group
  • Pro's Closet
  • San Antonio International Airport
  • SC Consulting
  • Star2Star Communications
  • State Farm Insurance
  • State of Nebraska
  • Strata Leadership
  • Threewire
  • TradePMR
  • University of Washington
  • UPS
  • Yankee Alliance
Hear from Our Students Open Accordion

Hear what students say about the online master's in industrial/organizational psychology, and how CSU's online programs help them work toward their career goals, from wherever they are.

Kristin Durrance

By taking classes online and applying her knowledge in the workplace, Kristin not only earned a master’s degree but also advanced within her company, eventually moving from an entry-level position into a senior management role.

Andrew Carpenter

Andrew was able to sail the gulf coast and hike through the Rockies while earning his master’s. Hear more about his story.

Guy Campbell

See how studying online with CSU gives Guy the flexibility he needs to spend time with his family while developing his knowledge and skills to improve at his job.

Course Descriptions Open Accordion
PSY 605 – Applied Measurement Theory

Provides a broad grounding in classical test theory, as well as modern test theory including generalizability theory and item response theory. The course addresses reliability, validity, and utility as criteria for evaluating the quality of any psychological measurement tool.

PSY 647 – Applied Industrial Psychology

Industrial psychology is the study of theory and techniques related to understanding, predicting, and managing human behavior within organizations. Key methodologies emphasized in the course include: job analysis and competency modeling, recruitment, selection and validation, performance management, and training and development.

PSY 648 – Applied Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology is the scientific examination of how human cognition, attitudes, and behavior is affected by the context of leaders, co-workers, and organizational policies, structure, culture, etc. Core topics include motivation, leadership, group and team performance, job attitudes, organizational climate and culture, and organization development.

PSY 660 – Applied Cross-Cultural Industrial/Organizational Psychology

This course will examine cultural differences in the application of individual differences and organizational-level interventions to improve the utilization of human capital and organizational effectiveness. Research strategies and applied tools covered in earlier courses will be re-examined through a cross-cultural perspective.

PSY 661 – Applied Organizational Development

This course is an in-depth study of organization-wide interventions designed to improve the organization and to implement change in the organization. This course will include techniques for developing and improving the organization through organizational diagnosis, planned change, and survey feedback.

PSY 662 – Applied Psychological Research Methods I

This course features an introduction to psychological research emphasizing hypothesis testing and simple research designs, and an introduction to general linear modeling, including ANOVA and multiple regression.

PSY 663 – Applied Psychological Research Methods II

Students will learn advanced statistical techniques such as logistic regression and canonical correlation used for planning research studies and analyzing data.

PSY 665 – Applied Psychological Research Design

The course is designed to provide practical knowledge and skills to Masters-level practitioners. Course topics include an overview of the scientific method, threats to internal and external validity, how to conduct a literature review, and how to design both well-controlled laboratory studies and a variety of field studies that are common in industrial/organizational psychology.

PSY 666 – Succession Planning and Leadership Development

This course focuses on the examination of modern theories of effective leadership and design of strategies for succession planning and leadership development through training, coaching, mentoring, and professional development.

PSY 667 – Competency Modeling and Criterion Development

This course will cover fundamentals of conducting job analyses and competency modeling within organizations, as well as the application of the results of those processes to criterion development (e.g., development of performance appraisal or 360-degree feedback systems). Students will learn how to conduct competency modeling projects, design rating and evaluation instruments, create rater training programs, and provide constructive performance feedback.

PSY 668 – Workforce Training and Development

This course provides an overview of adult learning theory with an emphasis the role industrial/organizational psychology plays in identifying training needs, designing effective learning programs, promoting transfer of training, and evaluating training effectiveness.

PSY 669 – Capstone: Practicum and Skills Development

This capstone course refines the applied industrial/organizational consulting skills through one or more applied research/consulting projects with actual organizations. Virtual teams will be used and guided with the support of a faculty mentor.

Faculty Open Accordion

Our faculty are responsible for curriculum development and have considerable experience teaching and practicing industrial/organizational psychology (IOP), with an average of 15 years of experience in the field. The faculty provide direct support to advanced doctoral students who facilitate the online courses. What does this faculty experience mean to you? Built by true IOP experts, the faculty-designed courses featured as part of this degree program are designed to help you meet industry demands.

Jeanette (Jan) Cleveland, Ph.D., Professor

Dr. Cleveland is the Director of Industrial and Organizational Psychology Doctoral program. Dr. Cleveland specializes in personal and contextual variables in aging as well as work and family interfaces including program assessment, performance appraisal and management, workforce diversity, and international implications for HR practices, family, and diversity issues.

Zinta S. Byrne, Ph.D., Professor

Colorado State University, 2001
Dr. Byrne specializes in organizational justice and politics, organizational behaviors and attitudes, technology in organizations, and employee engagement and retention.

Alyssa M. Gibbons, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007
Dr. Gibbons specializes in assessment centers, safety climate and safety culture, and measurement issues.

Frequently Asked Questions Open Accordion
I have not been admitted to the M.A.I.O.P. degree program. Is it possible for me to enroll in courses anyway?

Yes, you are permitted to enroll in a maximum of 9 credits (3 courses) prior to admission to the degree, but only with the permission of the program director. The course(s) count towards completion of the degree if you choose to apply for admission, per University transfer policy; however, successful performance in your course(s) does not ensure admission to the program.

Is it possible to transfer credit from another institution into the M.A.I.O.P. program?

All requests for transfer credit must be submitted to the Department of Psychology and will be reviewed by an academic advisor. 29 of the 38 credits required for the degree must be completed after you are admitted.

Do I have to write a thesis?

No, a thesis is not required. In this coursework-only program, you will spend your time refining your industrial/organizational consulting skills through applied research and consulting projects with real organizations.

Do I need to take the GRE?

Yes. Both the GRE General and Psychology Subject Tests are required. Learn more about admission and application requirements »

I've taken the GMAT but not the GRE. Does the GMAT meet admission requirements for this program?

The GMAT does not meet the admission requirements for the M.A.I.O.P. program. Prospective applicants for the M.A.I.O.P. program must take the GRE General and Psychology Subject tests.

How difficult are the M.A.I.O.P. courses?

The courses are designed to keep you actively learning through assignments and student interaction, so you will have a lot to do! However, much care is taken to ensure that the assignments are relevant to learning the material with high applicability to your future career and educational aspirations.

Does this industrial/organizational psychology degree prepare me for a Ph.D.?

No, this is a terminal master's program and is not intended to be a precursor to a doctoral program.

However, students enrolled in our M.A.I.O.P. program are eligible to apply to the on-campus CSU industrial/organizational psychology Ph.D. program. While consideration for admission is based on your performance at the master's level and participation in research, the CSU doctoral program will place a strong emphasis on GRE scores, prior research experience, and your personal statement. Those considering enrollment in the M.A.I.O.P. degree and considering doctoral studies are encouraged to contact program faculty to explore research opportunities while in the program.

Is the industrial/organizational psychology degree program accredited?

Yes. All Colorado State University degrees are accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, a Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Since accreditation is primarily an issue for health care practitioners, and the primary "client" of an industrial/organizational psychologist is an organization, the American Psychological Association (APA) does not accredit graduate programs in industrial/organizational psychology.

How will this program help me find a new job?

This program combines extensive curriculum in industrial/organizational psychology with applied projects to provide experience in a field in which the job market is very strong. Also, industrial/organizational psychologists do not require licensure to practice allowing you to immediately utilize your knowledge from the degree. Learn more about career opportunities »

Where can I learn more about the field of industrial/organizational psychology?

A good resource for occupational information is O*NET. The O*NET database provides a list of expected tasks, knowledge required, wage and employment trends, and typical work activities that will help you better understand the field of industrial/organizational psychology.

The Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology website also has many helpful resources.

Why is the program called a Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology and not a Master of Arts in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology?

The degree classification of "applied" designates this as a practitioner program and is meant to distinguish it from other more research-intensive programs.

Why Choose CSU? Open Accordion

CSU's industrial and organizational psychology program was ranked #5 in best online master's degrees in organizational psychology for 2023. As a student in this master’s program, you have the flexibility of taking courses at times and locations that fit your life. Additionally, you can expect:

  • An Active Learning Experience: This hands-on program is structured around active learning. Through real-world projects and applied research, this program's practical approach will help refine your skills as an internal or external consultant.
  • A Curriculum Developed by Expert Faculty: Take coursework developed by faculty whose wealth of knowledge and experience in topics such as assessment centers, performance appraisal instruments, corporate culture and climate, workforce diversity, employee engagement and retention, and more, transfers directly into the curriculum.
  • Training in an Industry with Opportunity: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in i/o psychology are growing in both demand and well-paid opportunities. The industrial/organizational psychology master’s at CSU was built by industry experts and prepares you to meet this demand with coursework designed to build the skills valued in the profession.
  • Tools to Enact Change: Help create a quality workplace environment by utilizing research and data analysis to enhance your ability to understand workplace behavior, recruit and retain quality employees, improve efficiency, and make an impact in your organization.
  • Preparation in Data-Driven Decision-Making: Our core curriculum is grounded in quantitative analysis coursework to prepare you to conduct research and analyze data that drives meaningful and lasting change in organizations.

Learn more about CSU's rankings and accolades.

Curriculum Open Accordion


The Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.A.I.O.P.) program requires you to complete 38 graduate credit hours. It can be completed in two or four years, although program duration may vary depending on your previous coursework, intensity of study, and course availability. Summer courses are required to complete the program.

This is a coursework-only degree and does not require completion of a thesis.


The courses in this program provide a comprehensive curriculum in industrial/organizational psychology with a strong emphasis on quantitative research methods. You may also have opportunities to tailor additional coursework to meet your individual objectives and future employment or educational plans.

Multiple courses are offered each semester to provide flexibility in your program of study. Need to plan your program of study? Courses for each semester are numbered based on priority. As an example, PSY 647 should be your first fall course as it is a prerequisite for other classes in the program. You would then enroll in PSY 662 as your second fall course or in your second fall term.

View example programs of study to see how you can complete your degree in either two years or four years.

Fall courses

Spring courses

Summer courses

Example Programs of Study

Two-Year Plan

Four-Year Plan

Read all of the course descriptions.

The Learning Experience

The M.A.I.O.P. program is structured around an active learning model with real and embedded simulations to provide critical core industrial/organizational psychology knowledge and skills development.

You and your fellow students are grouped into virtual consulting teams and, with the support of course facilitators, complete a series of projects each semester. For example, your team may design a leadership development program or conduct an organizational diagnosis. The applied projects, assignments, and courses are uniquely designed to prepare you for a career in industrial/organizational psychology.

Although the online format of this degree offers flexibility, it still requires the same amount of work and time as an on-campus program. Depending on your learning and studying style, expect to spend at least nine to twelve hours per week on a three-credit course.

This self-paced online program allows you to earn your degree while maintaining your busy work and family schedules. Is online learning right for you?

How to Apply Open Accordion

Application Deadline

Fall semester April 1

Start your application online and upload materials directly into the online system. You can save your progress and return any time.

Apply Now

1 Review Admission Requirements

The industrial/organizational psychology (M.A.I.O.P.) degree requires applicants to have the following:

  • A bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited institution
  • A 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework
  • A grade of B or higher for an undergraduate course in industrial psychology, organizational psychology, human resource management (business), or organizational behavior (business)
  • A grade of B or higher for an undergraduate course in statistics
  • GRE scores required (This requirement is for all applicants and can be arranged for remote testing through the Educational Testing Service, even during the pandemic)
  • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores (The Educational Testing Service is not offering subjects tests at this time). Those who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology are required to submit documentation of prior academic experience with contemporary psychological concepts, theories, methods, and approaches. You may demonstrate this experience via any of the following:
    • An undergraduate degree or minor in psychology.
    • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores (note that the Subject Test will not be offered again until April 2021, but if you have existing scores you may submit them).
    • Three or more undergraduate or graduate courses in any area of psychology above the 100 level (or equivalent) with grades of B or higher.
    • Other evidence that you provide to demonstrate relevant knowledge or experience (e.g., independent study; substantial and relevant work, internship, or volunteer experience, etc.). Please explain, in detail, in your personal statement what your prior experience with psychology consists of and why you are confident that you can work comfortably with psychological terms and concepts at the graduate level. Provide documentation where available and appropriate (you can upload “Other Supplementary Materials” as part of your application).

Note: Meeting the minimum department standards does not ensure admission to the program. Admission to Colorado State University graduate programs is based on a number of factors, including prior academic and professional experience and the personal statement.

2 Prepare Application Materials

Prepare the materials below and upload when you apply online.

  • Resume or vita
    Indicate your education, training, and work experience.

  • Statement of purpose
    The statement of purpose should be about two pages double-spaced, although this is a loose guideline. It should describe:
    • How you became interested in industrial/organizational psychology.
    • What you want to gain from our graduate program.
    • Why you are interested in pursuing a career in industrial/organizational psychology.

  • GRE scores
    As soon as you receive your scores from the Educational Testing Service, you can self-report your scores in the online application. If recommended for admission, you must submit your official test scores through the Educational Testing Service.

  • Psychology Subject Test scores (if applicable)
    If you have an undergraduate degree in psychology OR three or more undergraduate or graduate psychology courses (above the 100 level or equivalent) with grades of B or higher, the psychology subject test is not required. You can self-report your scores in the online application. If recommended for admission, you must submit your official test scores through the Educational Testing Service.

  • Writing sample
    The writing sample should include a sample of your scientific writing ability such as a senior honors thesis, term paper from a psychology course, laboratory report from an experimental course, or some similar material. Should you not have an existing writing sample, you can submit a 6-8 page double-spaced paper on an I/O psychology-related topic, such as an empirically-supported position paper or an I/O psychology-related literature review.

  • Two letters of recommendation
    Two professional recommendations are required. Recommenders should write about your abilities and potential for graduate study. You will provide information about your recommenders in the online application. CSU will contact them with instructions and a link to a secure form they will submit on your behalf.

3 Complete Online Application

Complete the online graduate application and pay the nonrefundable application processing fee (payable online). As soon as you have completed the required information, please submit your application. Your application will not be reviewed until it is complete and all required materials have been received.

  • Select "Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (M.I.O.P) – Distance" when choosing the program of study.

4 Submit Test Scores

GRE General scores
Submit official GRE General Test scores through the Educational Testing Service (select institution code: 4075, leave the department code blank). Scores are typically received by the University 4-6 weeks after your testing date.

  • GRE General scores must be provided before the deadline.

GRE Psychology Subject Test scores
If you have an undergraduate degree in psychology OR have taken any three IOP courses from CSU (and received a grade B or higher), the psychology subject test is not required.

  • GRE Subject Test scores can be provided after the application deadline.

5 Request Official Transcripts

Request one official transcript of all collegiate work completed from all institutions attended. Transcripts from Colorado State University are not required. Transcripts must be received directly from the originating institution to be considered official.

Electronic (preferred):
Digital Transcripts must be submitted by the originating institution using a secure service such as parchment, eScrip-Safe, the National Student Clearinghouse, or e-Quals. Transcripts received via emails are considered unofficial.

Use institution code 4075 for Colorado State University or if the secure service requires an email address.

Mail (if necessary)
Graduate Admissions
Colorado State University – Office of Admissions
1062 Campus Delivery
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1062

Check Your Application Status

View your application status at any time to ensure your application checklist is complete or to check on updates.

Once your complete application, including supporting materials, is received, the department admission committee will review your application and notify you of their decision.

For International Applicants

Proof of English language proficiency is required for applicants from countries or United States territories where there are official languages other than (or in addition to) English. This includes the U.S. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico.

Learn more about English language proficiency requirements.


We love learning about your goals and answering any questions you have.

Alex Broz
Prospective Student Support Coach
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Program Details

$770 per credit
Same in-state tuition for all.
Learn more about financial aid and scholarships Tuition/fees are just part of the cost to attend CSU. Learn more about the full Cost of Attendance
Degree Awarded
Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Time Frame
Can be completed in 2 or 4 years
Admission Reqs.
  • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores
  • GRE Psychology Subject Test scores
  • 3.0 GPA on all undergraduate coursework
  • A grade of B or higher in an undergraduate course in statistics
  • A grade of B or higher in the following undergraduate courses: industrial or organizational psychology, human resource management (business), or organizational behavior (business)
  • Math Entrance Exam scores recommended for applicants who have not taken the required prerequisites within the past 10 years

Application Dates

Fall semester
April 1

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