Industrial / Organizational Psychology
Department of Psychology
University of Oklahoma
M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
The Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program (I/O) at the University of Oklahoma follows a scientist-practitioner model. The program provides students with the knowledge and research skills needed to study human performance in the workplace. Students are also provided with the opportunity to work on real-world projects, in both academic and industrial settings, that examine the application of psychological principles and findings to workforce management.
The primary objective of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program is to train individuals seeking the Ph.D. degree to conduct research/practice in the areas of industrial psychology and organizational behavior. Students receive state-of-the-art training in the theories and methods of I/O psychology and management. This integrated program relies on the expertise and dedication of both Psychology and Management faculty members. Topics addressed within the program should enable students to work with organizations in the areas of:
- Employee Selection and Placement
- Leadership Development
- Performance Management & Feedback
- Team Building
- Employee Motivation and Productivity
- Group Dynamics and Decision Making
- Organizational Design and Development
- Human Resources Planning
- Training and Development
- Job and Task Analysis
- Complex Skill Acquisition
- Employee Satisfaction
- Career Development
- Occupational Health and Well-being
- Compensation and Benefits
- Industrial and Labor Relations
- Emotions in the Workplace
- Innovation in Organizations
- Diversity and Discrimination
The approach we take to student development is based on an active learning model. As part of their education, students are expected to apply what they learn in the classroom in faculty-directed research or consulting projects. Students receive training in:
- Designing and conducting research studies
- Preparing and presenting research proposals
- Working with clients in organizational settings
- Developing and implementing new techniques for human resource management
In this active learning model students often work as part of a team addressing a broader organizational or research problem. With experience, students are given the opportunity to take responsibility for a significant aspect of a project. Some examples of work currently being done by students include:
- Developing new procedures for assessing organizational leaders
- Designing studies to examine small group dynamics and group decision making
- Conducting analyses to identify the skills needed by information technology workers in the future
- Examining how values influence decision making
- Investigating the roles of emotion and personality in the workplace
- Exploring individual and situational factors in workplace aggression and counterproductive work behavior
- Identifying the determinants of expertise
- Exploring the cognitive mechanisms in rater appraisals of performance
- Examining the role of integrity in science
- Understanding the process associated with innovation in the workplace
- Investigating the effectiveness of collaborative learning protocols in training complex skills
- Assessing the determinants of long-term skill retention
Post Graduate Employment
Students who have earned I/O degrees at OU have been very competitive for jobs in academia, consulting, and research. They have been immediately employable when they complete or near completion of their dissertations, and roughly equal numbers of recent graduates have obtained academic and applied jobs. Some examples of consulting and research companies that have employed OU graduates in I/O include:
- Shaker Consulting Group
- State Farm
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
- Developmental Dimensions International
- Office of Personnel Management
- Army Research Institute
- SkillsNet Corporation
- Office of Naval Research
- Tinker Air Force Base
- Frito Lay
- Federal Aviation Administration
- Oklahoma Health Care Authority
- Devon Energy
Although we cannot guarantee every student funding, over the past five years most of our students have been supported through research assistantships, teaching assistantships, or internships. Stipends range between $12,000 and $17,000 a year, and these stipends include tuition waivers.
OU does not offer a formal terminal master's program in I/O and generally only accepts students who intend to earn a Ph.D. Under certain circumstances we will consider students who apply for a master's degree and have high potential to continue their graduate education to the Ph.D. level. Students generally earn the M.S. as part of the Ph.D., although we do accept students who have earned a master's degree elsewhere. Normal time for completion of the M.S. degree is two years while normal time for completion of the Ph.D. is five years. Students are expected to be actively involved in research and field work throughout their time in the degree program.
M.S. Coursework: M.S. Coursework: A total of 30 credit hours are required for the M.S. degree. Twenty-six hours are typically devoted to courses commonly taken by all I/O students, while four hours are devoted to thesis research.
Ph.D. Coursework: Requirements for the Ph.D. follow those established by the Graduate College and the Department of Psychology. A total of 90 credit hours are required. Generally, students consult with a faculty committee to design a course of study that matches the student's interests and career aspirations. Successful completion of all coursework, the Ph.D. general exams, and the dissertation is required for the Ph.D. The M.A. degree, with the thesis option described above, is typically completed en route to the Ph.D.
Recommended coursework for the M.S. and Ph.D. are shown at http://www.ou.edu/cas/psychology/_assets/grad_info/ATTACHMENT%201.pdf, along with an example of what a Ph.D. course schedule would look like over the course of five years.
How to Apply
To apply, simply complete the required application process of the Department of Psychology, which can be found in the accompanying brochure or at our WEB site.
The program draws on the expertise of faculty members in Psychology and Management. Some of the key faculty members involved in the program include:
Michael Buckley, Professor, Management. Dr. Buckley earned his Ph.D. in 1985 from Auburn University in the area of industrial/organizational psychology. Dr. Buckley’s current interests include the validity of the interview process, compensation satisfaction, research methods, and feedback
Shane Connelly, Professor of Psychology, Associate Director CASR. Dr. Connelly earned her Ph.D. from George Mason University in 1995. Her research interests focus on leadership, emotions in the workplace, communication and ideological groups, and research ethics.
Eric Day, Professor of Psychology. Dr. Day earned his Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in 1998. His research interests include assessment center technology, training and development, complex skill acquisition, high-level cognitive processes, and team dynamics. Dr. Day has experience conducting funded research for such groups as the Navy, Air Force, Army, and National Science Foundation.
Jorge Mendoza, Professor of Psychology. Dr. Mendoza earned his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Oklahoma in the area of quantitative psychology. Dr. Mendoza’s current interests include the topics of selection, validation, validity generalization, and multivariate statistics.
Michael Mumford, Professor of Psychology. Dr. Mumford earned his Ph.D. in 1983 from the University of Georgia in the area of industrial/organization and psychometrics. His current interests lie in the assessment and development of high level talent, specifically identification and measurement of creative thinking skills; skills that leaders must possess to perform well in dynamic organizational settings; work place structure as it relates to skill growth; and potential applications of life history data as a tool for understanding career development.
Lori Anderson Snyder, Associate Professor of Psychology, earned her Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 2004. Her research interests focus on Occupational Health Psychology and workplace diversity and discrimination.
Robert Terry, Associate Professor of Psychology. Dr. Terry earned his Ph.D. in 1989 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the area of quantitative psychology. Dr. Terry’s current interests include the measurement of individual differences, test construction and evaluation, and interpersonal perception.