According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology is expected to be the fastest-growing area of psychology in terms of job opportunities for the foreseeable future. Specifically, I/O job opportunities are expected to increase by 26% between 2010 and 2018. This fact prompted the Wall Street Journal to include I/O psychology in its 2010 article on the “Hot Jobs of 2018.”

Students in the M.A. program in I/O Psychology will complete coursework in four core areas: I/O psychology, social psychology, research methods/statistics, and ethics. Each student will also be required to complete either a thesis project or an internship in order to graduate. Thesis students will be expected to conduct an original research project related to I/O psychology, whereas internship students will gain experience applying I/O principles in the field within a specific organization.

The Department of Labor notes that I/O psychologists will be in demand for a variety of skills, many of which relate to improving worker productivity and retention in the midst of a struggling economy. In addition, I/O psychologists will play a significant role in helping businesses deal with issues related to workplace diversity and discrimination. Their knowledge of research design and analysis will also be useful to companies seeking to develop tools related to employee selection and program and/or market evaluation.

With these ideas in mind, our curriculum is balanced in a way that prepares students for either academic or applied careers. Those interested in primarily academic careers are encouraged to exercise the thesis option, whereas those interested in primarily applied careers are encouraged to exercise the internship option.

The M.A. program in I/O Psychology is designed to take two years for full-time students to complete. Enrollment on a part-time basis will require more time to complete the curriculum. The first year of graduate study consists of traditional coursework; the second year involves some additional coursework and also completion of either a master’s thesis or an internship. A minimum of 42 credit hours are required for graduation.

Students admitted to the I/O Psychology graduate program are expected to have a basic knowledge of I/O and/or Social Psychology as well as a background in statistics. Typically such knowledge comes from undergraduate courses related to these topics. Absence of such courses on an undergraduate transcript may require remediation prior to graduate studies or a demonstration of proficiency.

To apply to the I/O Psychology program, you will need to submit official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended, scores from the GRE General Test, three (3) letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. The application process is conducted online through the graduate school website. Please visit for more information.

Return to M.A. in I/O Psychology page


Scully 404
Department of Psychology
One University Plaza, MS 5700
Cape Girardeau, Missouri 63701