Organizational - Industrial Psychology

Prospective Students: Doctoral

Download the Prospective Student Informational Packet


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.
  • Is a 168-credit program (134 credits of required coursework, 34 credits of electives, and an integrated research and dissertation sequence) designed to be taken over four years/16 quarters.
  • Allows electives from a variety of disciplines: marriage and family therapy, clinical psychology, business administration, theology,and education.
  • Involves eight 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 program curriculum targets each area of competence suggested by the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), which ensures that our graduates are fulfilling not only the expectations for master's-level education but also the expectations of experts working in the field.

Review the targeted competencies (PDF, 42 KB) in the doctoral degree program.


Admission Process


The doctoral program begins in Autumn Quarter and admits students once a year. The application deadline is December 15.

The Industrial-Organizational Psychology program admissions committee conducts a preliminary screening process. Finalists for the doctoral program are invited to campus for personal interviews after February 7.

Admission depends upon recommendation by the program faculty members and approval from the department chair. This process is usually completed within eight weeks after the final application deadline.


Admission Requirements for

the Ph.D. Degree

  • A bachelor's degree. Applicants must have a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution, and have completed a minimum of one business or social science statistics course and three courses in psychology at a regionally accredited institution.
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE). The test must have been administered within five years of the deadline date for application to the program. A combined score of 1100 or a 300 (new GRE) on the verbal and quantitative sections is preferred.
  • Personal statement. A typed statement that demonstrates writing and grammatical skills; addresses career objectives and the rationale for seeking the degree and choosing SPU; and indicates personal qualifications, experience, and other insights as deemed appropriate by the applicant.
  • Recommendations. Three letters of recommendation — one personal, one professional, and one academic — on the forms provided.
  • Language competency. If English is not an applicant's first language, the minimum score for a doctoral student on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is either 600 on the paper-based test or 250 on the computer-based test.
  • Statement of financial support. If an applicant is not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States, then an official confidential statement of financial support covering each year of intended enrollment is required.


Transfer of Credit

Applicants who have taken graduate work at a regionally accredited institution may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter units.

Applicants who have been granted a master's degree* in psychology, organizational psychology, business administration, or a related field from a regionally accredited university may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credits.

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

Each transferrable course must be

A minimum of 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” will be required for transferred work. Any transfer credit petitions should be submitted only after formal admission to the doctoral program.

*Seattle Pacific graduates who have been granted a master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology from SPU and who wish to pursue their doctorate must apply to the Industrial-Organizational Psychology doctoral program.


More Options

Apply: Begin your journey by filling out the graduate application form.

Course Schedule: See a sample two-year course sequence.

Costs/Financial Aid: Get insights into costs and the ways to pay for them.


Apply Now! Organizational Psychology

Deadline Dec. 15th



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