​Prospective Students: Doctoral

The doctoral degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology:

  • Prepares students for higher-level academic, consulting, and leadership positions.
  • Provides graduates with the training to work within human resources, organizational development, and training fields.
  • Equips organizational leaders with an education that relates directly to their practice as leaders.
  • Emphasizes theory, methodology, and research.

Program requirements

  • Includes 168 total credits (134 credits of required coursework, 18 credits of electives, 16 credits of Topical Seminar, and an integrated research and dissertation sequence) designed to be taken over four years/16 quarters.
  • Electives may be fulfilled through any of the approved graduate courses.
  • Involves 8 to 14 credits per quarter for a full-time doctoral student.
  • Requires participation in a faculty-led Research Vertical Team (RVT) as well as completion of a dissertation and a field placement during the final year of the program.

Targeted competencies

The doctoral degree program is designed to meet the industry standard for graduate programs in industrial-organizational psychology.

Our curriculum targets each area of competence suggested by the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), which ensures that graduates fulfill not only expectations for graduate-level education but also the expectations of experts working in the field.

Review targeted competencies in the doctoral degree program.

Program tuition

For the 2017-18 academic year:

  • The doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is $845 per credit.
  • To graduate with the PhD, you must complete 168 credits.

Review additional information about costs and financial aid.

Admission process

Students are admitted and begin the program in Autumn Quarter.

Application deadline is December 15.

An admissions committee conducts the preliminary screening process. Finalists are invited to campus for personal interviews.

Admission depends on faculty recommendations and approval from the department chair. This process is usually completed within 10 weeks after the final application deadline.

Admission requirements

• Bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA from a regionally accredited institution.

• A minimum of one statistics course in business or social science.

• A minimum of three courses in psychology must be completed (at a regionally accredited institution) prior to admission to the program. One course in business, political science, or sociology (completed at a regionally accredited institution) may be substituted for one of the three required psychology courses. 

• Graduate Record Exam (GRE) taken within five years of the deadline date for application to the program. A combined score of 1100 or a 300 (new GRE) on verbal and quantitative sections is preferred.

• Resume that highlights your educational and professional experiences. You may also choose to include a curricula vitae for a more detailed listing of your areas of interest and accomplishments regarding research, publications, presentations and awards.

• Personal statement that explains why you’re seeking the degree and choosing SPU. Include career objectives, personal qualifications, experience, and other insights.

• Three letters of recommendation — personal, professional, and academic. Use the forms provided.



International students

If you are an international student, in addition to the above admission requirements, you must also show:

Language competency

  • If English is not your first language, the minimum score required on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is either 550 on the paper-based test or 213 on the computer-based test.

Statement of financial support

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you must provide an official, confidential statement of financial support covering each year of intended enrollment.

Full application details are in the latest graduate catalog, including an explanation of how credit can be transferred.


Transfer of Credit

You may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter units of graduate work from a regionally accredited institution.

If you have earned a master’s degree in psychology, organizational psychology, business administration, or a related field from a regionally accredited university, you may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credits.

A maximum 20 elective credits may be transferred. You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi for any courses you wish to transfer.

Each transferable course must be:

  • At least three graduate quarter credits
  • Equivalent to courses taught in SPU’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology programs
  • Completed within seven years of admission

A minimum grade of “B” is required for transferred work. Submit any transfer credit petitions only after formal admission to the program.

If you earned a master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from SPU and wish to pursue a doctorate, you must apply to the Industrial-Organizational Psychology doctoral program.

More Options

Contact I-O Psych

Email: iopsych@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2312
Office: Marston Hall, First Floor

Interested in I-O Psychology?

Check out this article titled "Interested in I-O Psychology? Here's What You Need To Know" published by the American Psychological Association 

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