Industrial-Organizational Psychology Concentration

Catalog Year: 2023-2024

Banner Code: LA-PHD-PSYC-IO

The PhD in Psychology provides knowledge of the basic content areas in psychology and practical experience in applying this knowledge to solve human problems in relationships, work, and education. Core course requirements cover subject matter identified by the profession as essential to doctoral training. This includes biological, social, cognitive, and individual bases of behavior, as well as the history of psychology. The program offers the following concentrations: applied developmental psychology, clinical psychology, cognitive and behavioral neuroscience, human factors/applied cognition, and industrial/organizational psychology.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on program requirements and courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes. Requirements may be different for earlier catalog years. See the University Catalog archives.

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 72

Students should be aware of the specific policies associated with this program, located on the Admissions & Policies tab.

In addition to satisfying the requirements for all doctoral degrees, students must successfully complete 72 credits of required coursework.

Concentration in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (IO)


The industrial/organizational psychology concentration focuses on multiple aspects of behavior in organizational settings, including personnel selection, quantitative analysis, teams, leadership, work and family issues, and organizational health issues. Mason’s graduate work in this area emphasizes research as the key to knowledge in both academic and applied settings. The program fosters a peer-oriented environment whereby students collaborate on numerous projects in addition to working with faculty members, in many different areas of industrial/organizational psychology.

Students pursuing this concentration must complete 72 graduate credits comprised of coursework and at least 12 credits of dissertation research. The number of credits required may be reduced for a prior master's degree as described above.

Doctoral Coursework

Core Course

PSYC 703 Social Bases of Behavior 3
PSYC 668 Personality: Theoretical and Empirical Approaches 3
Total Credits 6

Required Courses in Statistics

PSYC 557 Psychometric Methods 3
PSYC 633 Evaluative Research in Psychology 3
PSYC 642 General Linear Modeling I 4
PSYC 643 General Linear Modeling II 4
Select two additional specialized statistics courses from the following: 6
Longitudinal Data Analysis  
Quantitative Methods IV: Multivariate Techniques in Psychology  
Structural Equation Modeling and Meta-Analysis  
Special Topics in Psychology (when topic is Specialized Statics)  
Total Credits 20

Survey of Content

PSYC 636 Survey of Industrial-Organizational Psychology 3
Total Credits 3

Specialized Content 

Students taking 18 credits of specialized content may take an additional 3 credits of PSYC 897 Directed Reading and Research.

Select six to seven courses of specialized content from the following: 18-21
Organizational Change and Development  
Industrial and Personnel Testing and Evaluation  
Training: Psychological Contributions to Theory, Design, and Evaluation  
Behavior in Small Groups and Teams  
Issues in Personnel Psychology  
IO Psychology and Legal Issues in Employment Discrimination  
Seminar in Industrial/Organizational Psychology  
Psychology of Work Motivation  
Behavior and Performance at Work  
Special Topics in Psychology  
Other graduate courses with permission of I/O faculty and psychology department.
Total Credits 18-21

Professional Development 

PSYC 890 Seminar in Professional Psychology 3
PSYC 892 Special Topics in Psychology 1 6
Total Credits 9

When topic is IO Learning Series.

Electives (1-4 credits)

Students complete the remaining credits required for this degree through additional coursework, within or outside the department in a content area, professional development, teaching practicum, or dissertation, with prior approval of the advisor.

Advancement to Candidacy

To advance to candidacy, students must complete all core courses required by the program. Students must also successfully complete and pass written and oral comprehensive exams.

Dissertation Research

The dissertation requirement is designed to demonstrate the student's ability to apply psychological principles to research problems. Once enrolled in PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation, students must follow the university's continuous registration policy as specified in AP.6.10.6 Dissertation Research. Students who defend in the summer must be registered for at least 1 credit of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation.

Students complete a minimum of 3 credits of PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and 3 credits of PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation. They must apply a minimum of 12 dissertation credits (PSYC 998 Doctoral Dissertation Proposal and PSYC 999 Doctoral Dissertation combined) to the degree. Because of the continuous registration policy, students may be required to register for additional credits of these courses.

Select 12 credits from the following: 12
Doctoral Dissertation Proposal  
Doctoral Dissertation  
Total Credits 12