Organizational Psychology 101

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Course Description

Industrial and Organizational Psychology or I/O is a varied field of study filled with many career opportunities. The importance of this field has never been more prevalent than in the last decade. The use of I/O methods has been proven to increase productivity, profits and general workplace satisfaction by startling percentages. Most large and successful companies have implemented some or all of these methods into their workplace environment within the last several years.
I/O Psychologists may work within organizations, act as consultants to various organizations, or they may move into the area of academic research. The topics of this course primarily concern themselves with careers within organizations or as acting consultants. While there are numerous sub-fields within I/O, for the purposes of this course we will be focusing on the tools and methods that are common to all specialties. In the lessons contained herein you will learn about how to properly prepare for a career in I/O and what some possible specializations in the field are; additionally, we will cover some of the most important aspects of this profession including the use of various techniques and tools to help companies best utilize and motivate their most valuable resources--their employees.

Whether you choose to later enter into Training and Development, Employee Motivation or Diversity Coaching this course will teach you what you need to know in order to make the leap towards the growing field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Do you need a graduate degree for I/O?

While jobs still remain in this field that requires only an undergraduate degree, most have moved to higher expectations. It is possible to find entry level positions that seek individuals at the undergraduate level, however, if you want to move into a specialized, higher earning area, then you will, at some point, have to seek an advanced degree. If you desire to be an I/O "psychologist" then you must earn a master's degree and, in some cases, even a PhD in the field. 

However, if you are not sure what specialty you desire or would like to learn more about the field while getting "hands-on" experience before making the huge commitment to graduate studies there are some options. It is possible to "scope out" the field by taking a position closely related to it and in this manner discover if I/O psychology is something you would like to pursue further. There are also many companies who will provide tuition reimbursement to those seeking to advance their studies. These are fantastic opportunities as they allow you to work within the area of interest while earning your degree part-time. After your degree is earned it is likely that you will be offered a position in I/O within the company you have been working for. 

Some possibilities for undergraduates include retail management, human resource management, organizational development, industrial relations, ergonomics, personnel analysis, and marketing research. Generally speaking a master's degree will provide more I/O opportunities upon graduation then will a bachelor's degree.

Best undergraduate degree for I/O

The best bachelor's degree to have before pursuing a master's degree in I/O would be Psychology, of course! However, Psychology is not the only game in town, those with undergraduate degrees in English, Communication, Business, Computer Science, and even Education are all possibilities. Certainly it will be slightly more difficult for those who did not earn their undergraduate degree in psychology to move to the graduate level of study in psychology, however, with a strong inclination and a little hard work they can do just as well at the master's level as their psychology degreed counterparts. If you are now, or will soon be, a student earning your undergraduate degree it is highly suggested that you either switch your major to psychology or at the very least take several elective courses in that major if you have decided that I/O is the field you want to enter.
Preparing for graduate studies
Many students find that the leap from high school to college is quite a bit harder than expected, similarly, so is the shift from undergraduate to graduate student. While in some aspects things may be easier as you are focusing on your particular filed of interest, the work load is much heavier and much more difficult. The expectations of what you are able to produce in the form of papers and research on your own are much higher. 

You can expect a master's degree in Organizational Psychology to take two to three full years if attending school full-time, three to five if you are attending part-time. If you have not learned how to organize yourself efficiently and have found this to be a problem for you during your B.A. or B.S. studies you should take a course on proper organizational techniques before beginning your studies. By all means speak with those who are already enrolled in graduate studies for I/O at your college of choice and get a good understanding from the school staff of what will be expected of you during the application process. 

Just as you did for your bachelor's degree, you will want to research various universities and colleges to find the curriculum that best suits your current needs and future goals. As most spots in excellent I/O programs are limited you must be sure to keep your GPA as high as possible and prepare well for your Graduate Record Exam. To get into the best programs a GPA of 3.5 or higher for your junior and senior years is required. Graduate schools do not take freshman and sophomore GPA scores into consideration, so if you slacked in your first two years, there is still hope for you to reach your goals of attending a good to excellent I/O program! 

There are many fine courses available for GRE test preparation and you should begin looking into them by your junior year of college. Consult your student advisor to get the best information for you in regard to the best universities for your needs.

Below is a checklist for I/O graduate school preparation and application

  • Great to excellent Junior and Senior GPA, 3.5 and above is ideal.
  • GRE score of 1030 or better.
  • Very good to excellent Math Skills and grades.
  • Proficiency with Computer Technology.
  • Letters of recommendation from at least three professors at your current school.
  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


If you desire a high earning position in Industrial and Organizational Psychology then you must earn a master's degree in the field. Whether or not to pursue a PhD is a choice you will have to make as you advance in your educational or working career. PhDs on the whole earn more money; however, jobs for such highly educated individuals are fewer and more competitive. If you plan on entering the field of academic research then a PhD would be your best choice; for the private sector, however, a master's will serve you quite well. 

Be sure to prepare well for your graduate studies well before you take that step. Preparation should come in the form of keeping your GPA as high as possible and by earning a score of at least a 1030 on your GREs. It would also aid you considerably to take a course or read several books on organizing yourself and maintaining your schedule to increase your chances of making it through graduate school successfully.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
  • Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

    Course Lessons

    Average Lesson Rating:
    4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
    "Extraordinarily Helpful"
    (602 votes)

    Lesson 1. Preparation for a Career in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

    In this lesson we will talk about preparation for a career in industrial and organizational psychology and the possible career paths you have at your disposal once you have established that you have, or intend on obtaining, the required credentials. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 1 Video
    • Take Poll: Poll
    • Take Survey: Reasons for Taking this Course
    • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

    Lesson 2. Specializations in Organizational Psychology

    In this lesson we will be covering the most popular specializations within the field of I/O and what each entails. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 2 Video
    • Review Article: What Are the Functions of Industrial Organizational Psychology?
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

    Lesson 3. Motivation and Leadership

    This lesson will focus on Motivational and Leadership concepts. If I/O psychology is your goal, then you should have a solid understanding of these theories. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 3 Video
    • Review Article: Tips for Leading Change
    • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

    Lesson 4. Employee Selection

    This lesson will focus on the methods of finding and keeping the right employees for a company. The I/O psychologists, by the very nature of their training and education, are perfectly suited for helping companies hire employees that will reap long term b 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 4 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

    Lesson 5. Training and Development

    Training and development is a very wide area within the field of I/O psychology as continually improving the skills of the company's work force is essential for staying updated in the fast moving business world. This lesson will focus on the coaching, tra 9 Total Points
    • Lesson 5 Video
    • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

    Lesson 6. Organization Development and Guided Change

    Organization Development (OD) has been used for years to help organizations solve problems and reach goals. In this lesson we will discuss the most prevalent applications of OD and why they are important to business success. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 6 Video
    • Review Video: Gleicher's Formula for Change
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

    Lesson 7. Organizational Behavior

    Organization behavior is an important aspect of I/O psychology; this area is quite large and provides insights that will lead to positive change within an organization. 12 Total Points
    • Lesson 7 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Models of Organizational Behavior; Behavioral Organizational Theories
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

    Lesson 8. Work, Stress, and Family Issues

    The benefits of incorporating stress eliminating programs and culture into any organization far outweighs any costs that may be incurred. This is still a growing area it is a great direction for I/O psychologists to aim their career objectives. This lesso 11 Total Points
    • Lesson 8 Video
    • Review 2 Articles: Job Stress; Family-Friendly Workplace Practices
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
    • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

    Lesson 9. Job Analysis

    Many I/O psychologists choose to set their efforts in the area of job analysis because of its diversity and connection with other areas of the field such as leadership identification and executive development. In this lesson we will be discussing in great 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 9 Video
    • Review Article: Job Analysis Methods
    • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

    Lesson 10. The Use of Psychometric Testing

    Psychometric tests including personality, interest, and ability tests can help to find suitable candidates for a position. 10 Total Points
    • Lesson 10 Video
    • Review Article: Psychometric Testing
    • Take Poll: Course Conclusion Poll
    • Take Survey: Survey: Course Comments
    • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
    • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam
    Total Course Points

    Learning Outcomes

    By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
    • Describe preparations for a career in industrial and organizational psychology.
    • Describe specializations in organizational psychology.
    • Summarize motivation and leadership.
    • Summarize techniques for employee selection.
    • Describe procedures for training and development.
    • Define organization development and guided change.
    • Summarize organizational behavior.
    • Describe work, stress and family issues.
    • Summarize conducting job analysis.
    • Describe the use of psychometric testing, and
    • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

    Additional Course Information

    Online CEU Certificate
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    Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
    Course Title: Organizational Psychology 101
    Course Number: 33430
    Course Requirements: View Course Requirements
    Lessons Rating: 4.7 / 5 Stars (602 votes)
    Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
    Course Type: College Level (Self-Paced, Online Class)
    CEU Value: 0.6 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
    CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
    Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
    Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
    Instructor: Dr. Dennis Mithaug
    Syllabus: View Syllabus
    Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
    Course Fee: $85.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $110.00

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