St. Mary's University 1 Camino Santa MariaSan Antonio, TX 78228 +1-210-436-3011 St. Mary's Universitylogo William Joseph Chaminade St. Mary's University, Texas
The Catholic and Marianist University

Master of Industrial/Organizational Psychology

About the program

hss-graduate-industrial-organizational-psychologyThe program follows a scientist-practitioner model that combines a strong foundation in the science, theories, and concepts of Industrial/Organizational Psychology with practical application of these components to quantify human behavior and address organizational needs.

Students completing the program are prepared to develop and use tests for selection of employees, conduct job analysis and evaluation, identify training and development needs of organizations and groups, evaluate the effectiveness of organizational interventions, facilitate organizational change and development, and maximize the effectiveness and qualify of work life for individuals and work groups in organizational settings.

Students can pursue one of the following program options:

  • Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • Master of Science in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Both programs require the same number of credit hours in order to graduate. All students enter the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Graduate Program under the Master of Arts option. Individuals may transfer to the Master of Science option after 15 to 18 hours of graduate credit, if recommended by the graduate faculty in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and approved by the Graduate Council. The programs are designed to develop general competence in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, a behavioral science, and to prepare students for advanced academic studies, research or industrial careers.

Comprehensive Exam, Practicum and Thesis Options

Comprehensive Exam
In addition to regular course examinations, each student must pass a general comprehensive examination before the degree is conferred. Students are required to demonstrate breadth of knowledge in the discipline, depth in specific areas, and the ability to integrate what has been learned. Additional detail about the comprehensive exam and examination policies in each program will be provided to students in the semester when they are eligible to take the exam.

Students must pass a written comprehensive examination, which is offered twice a year, in the fall and the spring semester. Fall testing dates are usually scheduled for the week immediately after undergraduate mid-semester break. Spring testing dates are usually scheduled for the week immediately after Spring Break. No examinations are offered in summer sessions.

To be eligible to sit for the examination, students must be in good academic standing (i.e., not on academic probation or suspension), been admitted to candidacy, completed all prerequisites, have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher, have a “B-” or better in all required courses, and have at least a “B-” average in all core courses at the mid-term grading period in that semester.

During the semester in which a student schedules his or her comprehensive examination, a final core course may be taken and the student is responsible for all material covered in the course. All other core courses must have been completed in prior semesters. Program requirements for practicum, internship, and elective courses may occur after a student takes his or her comprehensive examination if permitted by the respective Graduate Program Director.

The 225 hour practicum experience is a very important component to the degree program. Students will have the opportunity to use the skills that they have developed in their degree program at their placement site(s). Practicum placements are made in collaboration with the Graduate Program Director and the student candidate.

Placements vary depending on student interests and aptitudes, available supervision, student demand, and programmatic factors that may be out of the immediate control of the University.

Students in our program are encouraged to cultivate practicum placements in the community provided these are approved in advance by the Graduate Program Director. Additional, program specific, practicum requirements may be obtained from the Graduate Program Director.

In the past, students have completed their practicum at organizations such as: Valero, Optech Inc., City Public Service (CPS), Professional Service Industries, Inc. (PSI), United Services Automobile Association (USAA), and many others.

Thesis and Non-Thesis Option

Students can select to either participate in a thesis or non-thesis option to graduate. For many students, the primary reason to pursue a thesis is to obtain an independent research and writing experience prior to entry into a doctoral program. For some, it is a means of acquiring greater depth of knowledge in a subject of interest, or preparation for employment in a specialized field.

Although reasons for writing a thesis vary, the purpose of the research is to discover new knowledge or enhance existing knowledge in the field of interest. A project that helps to solve a practical problem may also be acceptable. The thesis is a cumulative experience, which provides a record for student achievement in the program.

The technical and grammatical quality of a thesis is an index of the professional abilities of the student, the supervising professor, and committee members. Moreover, it is representative of the quality of graduate education of the University.

Program Highlights

It emphasizes the quantification of human behavior and industrial activities including the areas of personnel selection and testing, job analysis and evaluation, performance appraisal, organizational behavior, training systems, and survey technology.

Our program revolves around the scientist-practitioner model. This model, integral to our field’s discipline, involves an equal emphasis in training for both scientific study and practical application. Using the scientist-practitioner model in our Industrial/Organizational graduate program allows for a well-rounded, competitive knowledge of the field upon graduation.

Generally we enroll around ten students each fall. The small class size allows for more personalized attention and feedback. In all of our required courses, students are assigned projects which enable them to utilize the scientific knowledge learned in class through practical application.

We are conveniently located in San Antonio, Texas, a hub for various corporate headquarters. Our proximity and rapport with organizations in the area provide many valuable practicum and networking opportunities.


Students who expect to earn a degree must be admitted to candidacy for the degree. Candidacy indicates the student has demonstrated a general knowledge of psychology and the ability to do graduate work. In addition to completing the application for candidacy, to be eligible, a student must have:

  • Completed all prerequisites with a minimum grade of C;
  • Completed 12 graduate credit hours in their degree program;
  • Maintained a B- average in all coursework in their degree program;
  • Earned a minimum grade of B- in all required (non-elective) courses;
  • Acceptable GRE scores on file in the Graduate Office;
  • Successful completion of assessment center and development plan; and
  • Satisfied other specified departmental requirements.

Students will not be permitted to acquire more than 19 graduate credit hours without satisfying the requirements for candidacy.

Learn more about the St. Mary's Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program


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