Graduate Industrial Organizational Psychology Certificate

Graduate Certificate of Completion in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Make an Impact in Workforce Psychology With an IO Psychology Certificate

Much of the average person’s life is devoted to the workplace. The study of human behavior within the workplace and other organizations is known as industrial and organizational (IO) psychology. IO psychology certificate programs are an ideal pathway for working professionals who want to expand their qualifications. You can earn your Graduate Certificate of Completion in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Grand Canyon University (GCU).

Study the complexities of human thought and behavior in the workplace and explore how organizations function. Acquire key management and consulting competencies necessary to support organizations as they work toward their long-term objectives. This graduate industrial-organizational psychology certificate, offered by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, challenges you to evaluate evidence-based research and explore practical applications of psychological principles in the workplace.

As a modern university, GCU recognizes the need of adult learners for online IO psychology programs that provide flexibility and convenience. With our online learning platform, you can connect with an engaged community of peers and instructors, and study from anywhere at any time. Online courses are eight weeks in length. A total of 16 credits are required for completion. If your learning style prefers an in-person setting, this graduate IO psychology certificate also offers in-person evening courses to accommodate working professionals.

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Course Topics in This Graduate Industrial Organizational Psychology Certificate

The curriculum and core competencies for this IO psychology certificate program was developed to reflect objectives of the American Psychological Association (APA). You will develop a solid base of knowledge in psychological principles and scientific inquiry. There is an emphasis on ethical and social responsibility in the 21st century workforce. Graduates of this industrial organizational psychology certificate have been taught to communicate effectively, think critically and pursue professional excellence by exploring the following topic areas:

  • Social and organizational methods and principles for the enhancement of industry and business
  • Strategies for designing and implementing training programs
  • Psychological principles as they relate to personnel and human resource management, including both virtual and physical work environments
  • Techniques for designing interventions to address organizational problems
  • Consulting and management strategies to achieve personal, group and organizational goals
  • Theoretical foundations for organizational development, including the psychology behind how organizations function
  • Ethical considerations related to confidentiality and informed consent

You are encouraged to apply the Christian worldview to your coursework. The IO psychology certificate at GCU emphasizes the role of ethical decision-making and servant leadership in the workplace.

Career Opportunities for IO Psychology Certificate Program Graduates

IO psychology certificate graduates can build a personally fulfilling career that supports the success of organizations and the productivity of individual workers. Some of the typical job duties of an IO psychology specialist may include:

  • Training and motivating the workforce
  • Assessing job performance
  • Improving organizational structure and business efficiency
  • Implementing programs to enhance quality of life for employees
  • Helping employees and executives cope with major transitions, such as mergers
  • Designing and implementing performance appraisal and feedback systems to evaluate employee performance and identify areas for improvement
  • Conducting research studies to assess the effectiveness of organizational policies and procedures

The skills and knowledge you have the opportunity to learn in this program can help prepare you to improve employee satisfaction, productivity and performance. The graduate industrial organizational psychology certificate online or evening prepares you to work in a variety of settings. These may include:

  • Government agencies
  • Private corporations
  • Human resource firms
  • Consulting firms
  • Private practice

While many IO psychology certificate program professionals may decide to pursue a career as a manager or psychologist, others choose to focus their careers on research and academia. Some specific careers may require additional qualifications. IO psychology certificate graduates may be prepared to pursue advanced psychology degrees from GCU.

This industrial organizational psychology certificate program does not lead to clinical licensure. Clinical psychology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders, whereas the graduate IO psychology certificate is focused on applying psychological principles and methods to improve organizational effectiveness. To practice clinical psychology, you must complete extensive clinical training and obtain a license to practice in your state, which is not required in this IO psychology certificate.

Industrial Organizational Psychology Certificate FAQs

Whether you are a recent graduate, a working professional looking to enhance your skills or someone considering a career change, we’ve gathered a few frequently asked questions about the graduate industrial organizational psychology certificate. Review the questions below to help you gain a better understanding of what IO psychology certificate programs entail.

Most IO psychology certificate programs consist of a short series of courses that specialize in the scientific study of human behavior within businesses and workplaces. The IO psychology certificate is an earned credential that signifies a level of expertise in the field of organizational, workplace and occupational psychology. If you choose to obtain this industrial organizational psychology certificate online, you will not receive a license to practice psychology, but you can gain the additional expertise to improve productivity, well-being and overall effectiveness of individuals and organizations.

A graduate IO psychology certificate can be beneficial if you are interested in pursuing a career in the field of human resources, organizational development or consulting. Earning this IO psychology certificate can be worth your efforts, as job growth for human resources managers is projected to grow by an estimated 7% from 2021 to 20311 and human resources managers had a median annual wage of $126,230 in May 2021.2 Depending on your individual circumstances, career goals and priorities, it may also be helpful to speak with professionals in the field to gain a better understanding of its value and potential benefit.

The graduate IO psychology certificate requires a total of 16 credits for completion. Most of the classes are eight weeks in length. Fill out the form on this page to speak to a university counselor to better understand how long it takes to earn your industrial organizational psychology certificate online or in-person through evening courses.

1 COVID-19 has adversely affected the global economy and data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well. Accordingly, data shown is effective September 2022, which can be found here: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Human Resources Managers, retrieved on April 17, 2023.

2 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Human Resources Managers as of May 2021, retrieved on April 17, 2023. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 and 2021 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as human resources managers. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

Total Credits: 16
Online: 8 weeks
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The University will accept one course of the total certificate requirements in transfer.
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

16 credits
Degree Requirements:
16 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course applies social and organizational methods and principles to business and industry as it applies to Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Course Description

This course examines the theoretical foundations for organizational development and explores how organizations function and the psychology behind it.

Course Description

This course examines methods for achieving personal, group, and organizational goals through effective consulting and management strategies.

Course Description

This course examines psychological principles related to personnel and human resource management in both physical and virtual work environments.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.