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What is Industrial / Organizational Psychology?
Industrial organizational psychology is the study of human behaviors within organizations and workplaces.
Industrial psychology focuses on management and organizational efficiency, it is concerned with the individual differences in behavior and job performance by measuring and predicting the differences found.
A few areas of focus are selection and placement, performance management, and training and development.
Organizational psychology focuses on the individual employee by gauging employees attitudes and behaviors, job stressors and supervisory practices. A few areas of focus are organizational development and quality in work-life.
What makes this program unique?
- Mentors: All first-year students are paired with an alumni mentor who can share their experiences in our program.
- Job Analysis: Students have the opportunity to work with outside organizations of their choosing to conduct a real world job analysis.
- Multivariate Statistics Course: Students have the opportunity to work alongside businesses and run statistical analysis for companies.
- Survey Development Course: Students have the opportunity to work alongside companies and develop surveys that will be used by these companies.
- Small Class Size: Smaller classes allow for more personalized attention and feedback.
- Scientist-Practitioner Model: We place equal emphasis on 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.
Students have several optional opportunities when pursuing this degree:
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.
Internships and Projects
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.
See the full degree plan:
I/O Psychology Courses
Industrial / Organizational Psychologists study human behavior in organizations and the workplace. An example of courses in this program include:
- Statistical Computing and Data Visualization
- Survey Development
- Personnel Psychology and Talent Management
- Group Dynamics in Organizations
For a full list of course names and descriptions, please see the catalog:
I/O psychologists quantify human behavior and industrial activities. Students who complete the program are prepared to do the following, but not limited to:
- Develop and use tests for selection of employees
- Conduct job analysis and evaluations
- Identify training and development needs of organizations
- Evaluate the effectiveness of organizational interventions
- Facilitate organizational change and development
- Maximize the effectiveness and quality of work life for individuals and work groups in organizational settings.
Many of our graduates have gone on to pursue a Ph.D. in Industrial / Organization Psychology at other universities or to work at companies such as:
- United States Air Force
- Booz Allen Hamiliton
- Zachry Group
- Fors Marsh Group
Potential job titles might include: President, Vice President, Director, Manager, Principal, Staff Member or Consultant of:
- Organizational Development
- Organizational Effectiveness
- Organizational Capability
- Talent Management
- Leadership Development
- Selection Systems
St. Mary’s program ranks among the top in the nation out of all master’s programs affiliated with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).
Our program ranks among the top 20 list for several dimensions. St. Mary’s program scores higher overall than any other masters-level program evaluated.
St. Mary’s SIOP Overall Ranking by Category
5th – Applied Experiences for Students
15th – Curriculum
11th – Overall
I/O Psychology Mentor Program
Finding a mentor to provide graduate students with advice, support and guidance can be instrumental to long-term career success.
The Industrial / Organizational Psychology graduate program offers an alumni mentor program to enhance the professional development of our graduate students. The program matches first-year graduate students with Industrial / Organizational alumni who are working in the San Antonio area to develop an exchange of information. Mentors provide students with advice and guidance while our mentees can share current research and emerging trends with their mentors.
St. Mary’s offers various scholarships, grants and assistantships to graduate students. Military, their dependents and Department of Defense employees may be eligible for a tuition discount.