Best Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology Programs

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Badge (Online) with 2-Line TitleMaster'sin Organizational Psychology2017
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Online master’s in organizational psychology programs teach students how to analyze human behavior and its impact on the workplace. Coursework covers topics such as leadership development, workplace diversity, recruiting and retaining employees, training and development, researching what makes a good workplace, and assessing employee performance and satisfaction. Because businesses are increasingly eager to maximize human capital and efficiency, more businesses are hiring organizational psychologists. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for organizational psychologists will grow 19% by 2024.

WILL THIS PROGRAM PROVIDE ME WITH THE SKILLS I NEED TO ADVANCE MY CAREER?

The best online master’s in organizational psychology programs provide students skills needed to advance their careers and earn higher salaries. Students gain an understanding of the theories of organizational psychology and how to apply them in various fields and job settings.

HOW DO I FIND THE RIGHT ONLINE PROGRAM FOR ME?

An online program that is perfect for one person won’t necessarily be right for another person. You’ll need to decide which program traits are important to you. Consider cost, types of courses required, program length, accreditation status, class size, internship requirements, available specializations, and faculty.

CAN I WORK WHILE I COMPLETE MY ONLINE MASTER’S IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY?


Most students pursuing online degrees work while in school. That’s one of the major benefits of earning your master’s degree in organizational psychology online. Although you’ll still need to meet deadlines, studying online provides the flexibility to continue working while in school.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO EARNING MY ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY DEGREE ONLINE?


Earning your master’s degree in organizational psychology online allows flexibility in how you structure your time. Instead of attending classes at specific times, you can log on and complete coursework at your convenience. Other benefits include affordability and more program options.

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Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost % Enrolled Online Location Description
1 University of Southern California 72.99 1/5 2% Los Angeles, CA

USC, located in Los Angeles, offers nearly 90 online degree programs. These programs are designed to be flexible to accommodate students with busy schedules, while offering real-time discussions with other distance learners.

USC's master of science in applied psychology is offered completely online and combines elements of psychology and business. Students can choose between the organizational psychology and consumer psychology concentrations, and the curriculum includes a variety of business-related psychology courses, including principles of consumer psychology. Candidates can complete the 34-credit program in about 16 months. This organizational psychology master's online is selective, and students don't need to have studied a specific undergraduate major for admission. It's recommended that applicants have a GPA higher than 3.0 and have completed a statistics course. To graduate, students need to complete an internship and a treatise research project. Graduates are prepared for careers in marketing, social media communications, counseling, and more.

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2 Touro University Worldwide 70.76 1/5 68% Los Alamitos, CA

Touro, located in Los Alamitos, California, is part of a system of Jewish nonprofit institutions. The university is committed to serving military students and offers tuition discounts to reserve, veterans, and active-duty service members. The university offers many online programs, including the master of arts in industrial and organizational psychology.

Touro's online industrial organizational psychology degree is a 36-credit program. Students will learn how to foster employee satisfaction, and how it leads to a profitable business. Distance learners can choose from concentrations in coaching and consulting, human resource management, and occupational health psychology. Students in the program should expect to pay a tuition of $500 per credit hour. Applicants to the program must have a bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, while transfer students must have at least a 2.75 GPA. Learners are required to finish a capstone project in a professional setting relevant to their career goals.

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3 Missouri University of Science and Technology 61.32 1/5 35% Rolla, MO

Missouri University is located in Rolla, Missouri, and offers nearly 20 online master's degree programs and over 50 graduate certificate programs. The university's master of science in industrial-organizational psychology has a strong focus on how psychology can improve the wellbeing of individuals.

Missouri's psychology program includes non-thesis tracks in leadership in technical organizations, psychometrics, and human factors. Students can choose a thesis option, which is appropriate for research-focused careers. Classes are delivered as a live streamed video, but are also archived. This organizational psychology master's online program includes courses in leadership, motivation, and culture, which examine how leadership contributes to a positive workplace. The program recommends a specific list of prerequisite courses, such as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and a research methods class. Applicants who don't meet these requirements are still eligible for admission, but must complete extra coursework to graduate.

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4 Sacred Heart University 60.49 1/5 26% Fairfield, CT

Sacred Heart is located in Fairfield, Connecticut, and offers distance degrees in all states except Maryland, Minnesota, and North Carolina. Online courses are asynchronous and available 24/7. In addition to their online master's in organizational psychology, the university offers online degrees in nursing and social work.

Sacred Heart's master of science in applied psychology has three distinct tracks, including the business-focused industrial-organizational psychology concentration and the community psychology concentration, which prepares students to work in nonprofit organizations. The third concentration is an applied psychology degree that employs elements of both tracks. Students complete one course during 8-week sessions, and the program can generally be completed in 2 years. As part of their capstone project, students can choose to complete 100 hours of supervised field work. Applicants to the program should have at least a 3.0 GPA and have completed 12 undergraduate psychology credits.

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5 The Chicago School of Professional Psychology at Los Angeles 58.87 1/5 100% Los Angeles, CA

The School of Professional Psychology's Los Angeles wing is dedicated to community, innovation, and service. The institution's distance programs provide benefits, such as waived application fees and reduced tuition for affiliates of Kaplan International, Habitat for Humanity, and more. The Chicago School offers 35 online programs, including an online industrial organizational psychology degree.

The Chicago School's master of arts in industrial and organizational psychology applied research project track prepares students for leadership, training, and motivational roles in business. It also provides a supervised research experience with a faculty member. Some courses require limited on-campus or synchronous requirements. The Organizational Team Dynamics class requires students to meet with their teams in real time, in person and virtually. Applicants to the program must have earned at least a C in undergraduate courses in psychology, statistics, and research methods. Full-time students can earn their degrees in two years, while part-time students generally require four years to graduate.

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6 Colorado State University-Fort Collins 58.55 1/5 19% Fort Collins, CO

Colorado State offers a number of online graduate degrees in fields such as agriculture, business, engineering, and human resources and organizational development.

Colorado State's practitioner-focused master of applied industrial/organizational psychology provides students with the practical skills necessary for research in their respective fields. The degree prepares students for a variety of industrial/organizational psychology jobs in fields like human resources, training, organizational development, and academia. The degree can be earned in 38 credit hours, or two-years of study. The curriculum prioritizes active-learning and includes courses such as applied cross-cultural industrial/organizational psychology. While some online classes are recorded lectures and can be viewed at any time, others are synchronous classes that require real-time participation. Applicants should have a 3.0 undergraduate GPA, at least a B grade in an undergraduate psychology class, and scores for the GRE general and psychology subject tests.

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7 Adler University 57.09 1/5 22% Chicago, IL

Adler is focused on supporting communities and furthering the development of social justice. The university has expanded beyond its Chicago and Vancouver campuses through online programs. Students can earn online degrees in criminology, communications, psychology, and more.

Adler's master of arts in industrial and organizational psychology trains socially responsible and inclusive leaders. Students will develop Social Responsibility Action Plans to address relevant organizational problems in the workplace. Learners in the program can choose to complete courses entirely online or hybrid. Courses include executive coaching, research methods, talent management, and organizational theory. Graduates usually complete their degree in 24 months and can pursue organizational psychology jobs in recruitment, organizational culture and diversity, executive coaching, and more. Applicants to Adler's online programs should have bachelor's GPAs of at least 3.0. Graduates will be able to recognize business challenges and the key stakeholders involved.

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8 William James College 55.48 1/5 9% Newton, MA

William James, located in Newton, Massachusetts, is a graduate psychology school focused on cultural sensitivity. The college offers several graduate programs, including a doctorate in clinical psychology and a master of arts in organizational psychology.

William James' online master's in industrial organizational psychology is an accelerated, 11-month program that can be completed fully online, or with a combination of online and limited weekend classes. The online-only and blended formats include synchronous courses. The program trains students to create positive change in the workplace and address the needs of diverse stakeholders. Students can pursue a special concentration in talent management, which focuses on personnel development, or concentrations in African and Caribbean Mental Health or Global Mental Health. The program is geared toward working professionals, and most admitted applicants have at least five-years of work experience and a 3.0 undergraduate GPA.

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9 Kansas State University 54.27 1/5 16% Manhattan, KS

Located in Manhattan, Kansas, KSU is consistently recognized by The Princeton Review as one of America's best colleges. The campus is a leader in distance learning and offers more than 70 online programs at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral level, including the organizational psychology master's online. This 38-credit hour program can be completed in about three-years.

Kansas State's master of science in industrial and organizational psychology covers basic behavioral science principles and teaches students to use information technology to manage organizations and diverse populations. Students are required to visit campus during the summers to complete workshops. Topics covered during these workshops include ethics, legal issues, applied research methods, and more. Online classes mostly use an asynchronous format relying on archived material. Applicants should have a 3.0 GPA during their final two undergraduate years, and should have experience in a specific set of bachelor's classes, including psychology and management.

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10 Carlos Albizu University-Miami 53.48 1/5 7% Miami, FL

Carlos Albizu is the first school to focus on psychology graduate studies in North America and the Caribbean. The Miami campus was established in the 1980s and provides academic support on-campus and online. The university offers psychology-specific tutoring in an elearning format.

The master of science in industrial and organizational psychology at Carlos Albizu is offered online and on-campus. The online program can be completed entirely online and is designed for working adults. Distance learners in the program will learn to select, train, and measure the performance of employees, and also foster a healthy workplace environment. Graduates of the program are prepared to pursue degrees in multiple fields, such as human resources, education, government, and more. Students must complete 42 credit hours, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, and finish six research or capstone credit hours.

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11 Southern New Hampshire University 49.93 1/5 96% Manchester, NH

Southern New Hampshire is renowned as a leader in online education. The school has a residential campus in Manchester and offers over 200 distance learning degrees to more than 75,000 online students.

In Southern New Hampshire's online industrial organizational psychology degree, students learn to apply concepts of empathy, collaboration, and communication to a practical work setting. Students generally take two classes per ten week term, and can finish their degree in 15 months. Students complete class work asynchronously. Classes include Theories of Personality, which covers historical and contemporary psychological perspectives of personality. Applicants aren't required to provide GRE or GMAT scores, but they should have some experience in undergraduate psychology courses. Southern New Hampshire is committed to supporting transfer students by allowing as much as 90 transfer credits for previous class work. The program follows the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology standards.

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12 Austin Peay State University 47.49 1/5 48% Clarksville, TN

Austin Peay, located in Clarksville, Tennessee, is one of the state's fastest growing universities. The university hosts a number of online programs, and even offers a new reduced rate for out-of-state students taking all online classes.

Austin Peay State's master of science in industrial organizational psychology can be completed with about 34 credit hours (or about two years) of study. Graduate students need to be a resident of a SARA state in order to complete the program online. Most professors plan classes with some synchronous requirements, including live online discussions. Students will develop competencies in a variety of fields, including small group theory, work motivation, consumer behavior, and more. Applicants to the program must have completed 12 credit hours in psychology, an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5, and GRE verbal and quantitative scores of 143 and 138.

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13 University of Hartford 45.16 1/5 4% West Hartford, CT

UH is located in West Hartford, Connecticut. About a third of the university's student population is an international student or a minority. Hartford has graduate programs in nearly 40 subjects, including seven distance learning programs.

Hartford's master of science in organizational psychology utilizes asynchronous coursework. The program generally lasts two-years, and emphasizes working with organizations in a global environment. Students complete courses in the departments of psychology and communication, and in the school of business. Distance learners can take innovative and unique courses, such as experimental design, that are not offered in other organizational psychology master's online programs. Applicants with an undergraduate degree in a related field and a GPA of at least 2.5 are preferred, although students with undergraduate degrees in fields other than psychology are eligible for admission. Credits from two-classes taken at other institutions can be transferred.

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14 Franklin University 43.32 1/5 85% Columbus, OH

Franklin is a pioneer in online education. It's located in Columbus, Ohio, and all of the university's degree programs are offered entirely online. A variety of evening classes are available. The school offers classes at satellite locations in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Franklin's online master's in organizational psychology program is a master of science in business psychology. The program emphasizes studying the human side to marketing, finance, economics, and more. Classes are specialized, focusing on topics like behavioral economics and neurofinance, the psychology of creativity, and more. Students can earn their degree in 14 months, and students can transfer eight-hours for credit. Applicants enjoy a flexible admission policy: there are no prerequisite classes, and applicants only need to provide GMAT/GRE scores if their GPA is below 2.75. Graduates are prepared for careers in business consulting, management, human resources, teaching, and more.

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15 Baker College 32.10 1/5 15% Flint, MI

Baker is the largest independent college in the state of Michigan, and its campus in Flint has offered quality education for more than a century. The college offers more than 100 degree programs on-campus and online, prioritizing degrees in career-focused fields like agriculture technologies, business management, nursing, and more.

Baker's online industrial organizational psychology degree is a 57-credit hour program. Classes are offered completely online and can be accessed 24/7. Students can choose to complete a residency requirement geared toward providing hands-on learning with industrial and organizational psychology professionals. Distance learners are required to complete a three-week, online orientation course before taking program-specific classes. These classes include psychology of cognition and learning and history and systems in psychology. Applicants to the program should have an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5, and GRE/GMAT scores are optional.

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The best online master’s in organizational psychology programs help students understand how human behavior impacts business successes and failures. Students use psychological theories to identify, evaluate, and solve business problems. Specific coursework and program structures vary by school.

CURRICULUM FOR AN ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREE IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY

The types of courses offered in online master’s in organizational psychology programs vary by school. Some programs focus on psychological theory and practice, while others spend more time covering business principles. Outlined below is a sample curriculum for a master’s in organizational psychology online program.

  • Applied organizational psychology: This course covers topics such as leadership, group performance, motivation, organizational culture and climate, job attitudes, and organization development. Students apply these concepts to real-world problems in preparation for careers as organizational psychologists.
  • Applied industrial psychology: This course introduces key methodologies such as training and development, competency modeling, performance management, and selection and validation. This course prepares students for careers as management analysts.
  • Workforce training and development: This course addresses adult learning theory and how organizational psychology helps identify training needs to create learning programs. This course prepares students for careers as human resource managers.
  • Leadership development: This course outlines theories of effective leadership—coaching, training, mentorship, and professional development—providing skills required for training and development managers.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET AN ONLINE MASTER’S IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY?

The amount of time required to complete an online master’s in organizational psychology program depends on factors such as number of courses taken per term, amount of time off, and concentrations or specializations. Required internships or work experience may also increase the amount of time necessary. When researching prospective schools, consider whether the program offers courses year-round and if all required courses are offered each term.

Some programs organize students into cohorts; students complete programs in small groups, which fosters a sense of community. Cohorts usually finish their programs together, at predetermined times. Individually paced programs offer more flexibility. Most students take two years to complete an online master’s in organizational psychology.

CERTIFICATIONS AND LICENSES A MASTER’S IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY PREPARES FOR

Certified Management Consultant: This certification improves job opportunities for management analysts by demonstrating a candidate’s education and commitment to ethical standards. There are three levels of qualification, based on work experience. Applicants must submit documentation and answers to test questions, take an online ethics exam, and pass an oral exam.

Society for Human Resource Management Certification: Although not required for human resource managers, some businesses will only hire those with this certification, and most prioritize certified candidates. Applicants must meet certain educational work experience criteria.

Students should look for an online master’s in organizational psychology program at an accredited college or university. Accreditation ensures a certain level of quality in an institution’s educational programs.

U.S. colleges and universities may be regionally or nationally accredited. Regional accreditation agencies focus on geographic regions, whereas national accreditation groups accredit schools anywhere in the country. Generally, regional accreditation is more highly recognized; coursework from regionally accredited schools is more likely to be accepted as transfer credit. Choosing an accredited program helps students ensure they are receiving a quality education.

No industry-specific organization accredits organizational psychology programs. However, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology has a set of guidelines for education and training in industrial-organizational psychology to assess potential master’s programs in organizational psychology.

The Department of Education (DOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation both play important roles in accreditation. The DOE establishes educational policy and manages federal financial assistance programs, such as student loan and grant programs. The DOE also publishes a list of nationally recognized accreditors. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, a group of American colleges and universities, ensures that the accrediting agencies are trustworthy.

To see a list of accredited schools in the U.S., visit the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

MASTER’S IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY CAREERS

Graduates of online master’s in organizational psychology programs work in a variety of fields and positions. Many job opportunities require good interpersonal, communication, decision making, and leadership skills, as well as the ability to effectively analyze human behavior.

Industrial Organizational Psychologist

Industrial organizational psychologists identify and solve workplace problems using psychological theories and tools. Most psychologists need a PhD to practice, but industrial organizational psychologists only need a master’s degree. They may be involved in training and development, organizational development and analysis, and employee selection.

Median Annual Salary – $82,760
Projected Growth Rate – 19%

Human Resources Manager

Human resource managers oversee the administrative functions of an organization, including recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and firing staff. They serve as intermediaries between managers and employees. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s degree garners higher salaries and leads to more advancement opportunities.

Median Annual Salary – $106,910
Projected Growth Rate – 9%

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers are in charge of planning, directing, and managing programs to improve employees’ knowledge and skills. They work in nearly every industry, and some positions require a master’s degree.

Median Annual Salary – $105,830
Projected Growth Rate – 7%

Management Analyst

Often called management consultants, management analysts create ways to make organizations more efficient and profitable. Most management analysts have at least a bachelor’s degree. Companies typically hire management analysts as consultants.

Median Annual Salary – $105,830
Projected Growth Rate – 14%

Market Research Analyst

Market research analysts figure out what products people want. Almost all industries use market research. A bachelor’s degree is usually required, but a master’s degree provides more career opportunities and is necessary for some higher positions.

Median Annual Salary – $62,560
Projected Growth Rate – 19%

MASTER’S IN ORGANIZATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY SALARY

Salaries for graduates of master’s in organizational psychology programs vary depending on work experience, geographic location, and the individual workplace. The type of industry substantially impacts organizational psychologists’ earnings. One career path for graduates, human resource manager, has very high earning potential. The table below breaks down data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine expected salaries for human resource managers.

Median Annual Salary for Human Resource Managers by Top Industries

Concentration Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises $121,390
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $120,980
Manufacturing $103,200
Government $95,950
Healthcare and Social Assistance $91,250

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Joining professional organizations allows students and graduates of online master’s in organizational psychology programs to network with established professionals, learn about organizational psychology job openings, and take professional development courses. Membership also keeps professionals current with the newest discoveries, theories, and practices in organizational psychology.

You have plenty of options to fund your master’s degree in organizational psychology. First, fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help you understand federal funding options such as student loans, scholarships, grants, and work-study opportunities. Private organizations and individuals also offer scholarships and grants to organizational psychology students. The APA provides a guide to help students research funding, scholarships, and awards.

AN OVERVIEW OF FINANCIAL AID

Approximately two-thirds of today’s college students rely on loans to fund their education, but there are plenty of overlooked financing options you can use to reduce your overall student debt.

UNDERSTANDING THE FAFSA

Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial first step for any student with financial needs. Our FAFSA guide features a step-by-step rundown on the process and answers to several frequently asked questions.

FINANCIAL AID FOR ONLINE STUDENTS

Financial aid for online learning is equivalent to what you’ll find for campus-based learning, but that hasn’t always been the case. Learn about the changes that have taken place, as well as the different funding opportunities available to online students.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SINGLE PARENTS

Online college programs can be a flexible, affordable option for single parents who are interested in earning a degree and securing their family’s financial future. We’ve compiled a list of scholarships, grants, and other financial aid options geared toward single moms and dads.

FINANCIAL AID FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE MILITARY

Millions of dollars in free money is available to U.S. military personnel, but much of it goes unused. Learn more about grants, scholarships, and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, active-duty service members, and reservists.