Master’s in Psychology With an Emphasis in Industrial Organizational Psychology

Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Offered By: College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Median annual wage for industrial-organizational psychologists, as of May 2022.1

Psychology Master’s Program With IO Psychology Emphasis at GCU 

The success of any organization is reliant upon the knowledge and skills of its employees. To further the long-term objectives of the company, it’s essential that employees have a blend of soft skills. These should include conflict resolution, communication and interpersonal management skills. With their advanced knowledge of human behavior and motivations, IO psychologists can improve organizational efficiency and operations. 

The Master of Science in Psychology with an Emphasis in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree program at Grand Canyon University (GCU) is preparing the next generation of IO psychology specialists. The curriculum is aligned with the standards and recommendations of the American Psychological Association (APA).

Benefits of Earning Your Master’s in Psychology With IO Psychology Emphasis

Offered by GCU’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, this psychology master’s degree with IO psychology emphasis provides students with a thorough grounding in scientific principles, research methods and consulting techniques. Throughout this emphasis program, you will be taught to produce usable data and apply their findings to enhance the workplace environment and optimize productivity and efficiency.

The Master of Science in Psychology with Industrial and Organizational Psychology emphasis requires 36 credits to completion and is offered online so you can complete your graduate coursework with added convenience and flexibility. As a student in the IO psychology emphasis program, you are taught by experts in the psychology, business and research fields. The online learning platform allows you to stay connected with faculty and peers throughout the program.

The master’s in psychology with IO psychology emphasis offers insights into why people behave the way they do in the workplace and how employee behavior can be predicted. As a future IO psychology specialist, you learn to apply research-based methods to produce data that leads to actionable recommendations for management. There is an emphasis on contemporary and ethical issues in psychology. At GCU, students are encouraged to gain a deeper appreciation of the Christian worldview by applying Christian principles of servant leadership to enhance work life. 

Through intensive coursework and engaging discussions with peers and instructors, you have the opportunity to acquire foundational knowledge in the advanced principles of IO psychology. Courses in this master’s in psychology with industrial organizational psychology emphasis program develop your knowledge in these core competencies:

  • Consulting and management strategies for achieving personal, group and organizational goals
  • Social and organizational methods and principles for business and industry
  • Psychological principles related to personnel and human resource management in physical and virtual work environments
  • Theoretical foundations for organizational development, including the psychology behind the way organizations function

All students in the psychology master’s program with an IO psychology emphasis are required to complete the Professional Capstone. During this course, you will develop original research ideas and explore occupational opportunities within the industrial and organizational psychology specialization.

Careers for Graduates With a Psychology Master's Degree With IO Psychology Emphasis

Graduates of the Master of Science in Psychology with Industrial Organizational Psychology emphasis acquire knowledge that is needed in:

  • Private corporations
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Research facilities

IO psychology professionals are also valuable to those who recognize the importance of effective management systems and interpersonal skills for long-term profitability. Other employers who may utilize the expertise of an IO psychologist include: 

  • Community organizations
  • Healthcare providers
  • Nonprofit entities 

Some of the common responsibilities of an IO psychologist may include:

  • Identifying employee training and development needs
  • Designing and implementing training programs, and evaluating program effectiveness
  • Providing coaching and mentoring to employees
  • Consulting on the optimization of work-life balance and quality of work life
  • Conducting leadership training for management personnel

Some graduates may choose to pursue additional certifications to teach or work as consultants. Pursuing a doctoral degree is another way to enhance your career qualifications in the industrial organizational psychology field. 

Master’s in Psychology Degree With Industrial and Organizational Psychology Emphasis FAQs

If you are interested in pursuing a career in IO psychology, read through our answers to the popular questions below and get started on your Master of Science in Psychology with Industrial Organizational Psychology emphasis degree.

When you earn a master’s in psychology with an IO psychology emphasis, you gain valuable skills in the areas of psychology, business, leadership and research. Job possibilities for industrial-organizational psychologists can include:

  • Human resources manager
  • Recruiting manager
  • Team development manager
  • Project manager
  • Organizational consultant
  • Postsecondary psychology instructor

If you are just getting started on your educational path, you should begin by learning the necessary foundational concepts and skills through a bachelor’s in psychology program. To work in the field of IO psychology, you will need to earn a master’s in psychology with industrial organizational psychology emphasis. This graduate degree will give you the advanced skills in organizational behavior, ethics, research methods and human resource management so you can help individuals, teams and businesses succeed. Earning a doctoral degree is ideal for those who want to advance into academia, research or scientific fields. 

While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report job growth for industrial-organizational psychologists specifically, it does report an estimated 6% employment increase for psychologists in general from 2021 to 2031.2

Earning a master’s in psychology with industrial organizational psychology emphasis is worth your consideration as it offers a great range of variety and opportunity. As an IO psychologist, you can benefit from helping people and organizations work smarter and more productively. You can work in almost any industry, based on your unique skill set, so you can find a job that fits your expertise and your career goals. Industrial organizational psychologists also have good earning potential, with an annual median salary of $139,280 in May 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.1

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Industrial-Organizational Psychologists as of May 2021, retrieved on Feb. 9, 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 industrial-organizational psychologists. 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. 

2 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, Psychologists, retrieved on Feb. 9, 2023. 

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Total Credits: 36
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

36 credits
Degree Requirements:
36 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in the liberal arts. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course serves as the foundation for advanced graduate study in the field of psychology. Professional skill development, such as critical thinking, scholarly writing, and literature reviewing are covered, as well as contemporary ethical issues in the field of psychology, including issues in research, writing, psychotherapy, forensic psychology, and animal research.

Course Description

This course is a study of social, group, and multicultural factors affecting individual behavior. Attention is given to the development of attitudes, leadership roles, group thinking, sources of conflict, altruism, attraction, effects of competition and cooperation, analysis and evaluation of propaganda techniques, and the influence of mass communication on social awareness and control.

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 provides a study of theories of probability, descriptive and inferential analyses of data, and testing of statistical hypotheses. Practical experience is provided in the application of statistical methods. This course requires the use of SPSS software via the Citrix Workspace to complete assignments, please ensure your device is compatible with this software prior to the start of your course.

Course Description

This course emphasizes both the theoretical and applied aspects of experimental design and research methodology at the graduate level, including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed designs. Prerequisite: PSY-520.

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.

Course Description

This course prepares students to enter their prospective career and/or continue their education in psychology. Students will explore occupations and leaders in the various psychological fields, formulate and compile their experiences and achievements, and construct a roadmap for success. Original research ideas will be solidified and presented. Prerequisite: PSY-550.


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.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* 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.