School of Psychology, Family, and Community

Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MA, PhD)

We are committed to helping you become a scholar-leader and an instrument of change through research, character development, and practice.

Students in Seattle Pacific University’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology master’s and doctoral programs have a vision for changing the world of work. We are committed to helping you become a scholar-leader and an instrument of change through research, character development, and practice. In this I-O program, you will be challenged to see the world from a broader prospective, surrounded by experiences that only a strategically placed urban campus has to offer.

At a Glance

  • check mark icon Accreditation Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities
  • check mark icon Expected Time to Completion Two years (MA)
    Four years (PhD)
  • check mark icon Format On campus
  • check mark icon Credits to Graduate

    66 credits (MA)
    168 credits (PhD)

  • check mark icon Application Deadline December 15

Program Overview

MA and PhD program distinctives

Both the master’s and doctoral programs are designed with a focus on the science and rigor associated with quality degrees in this field along with an equal emphasis on the practice of industrial-organizational psychology.

  • Develop a strong theoretical foundation for meeting real-world challenges through program curriculum.
  • Field-practicum experiences allow you to design and deliver interventions, conduct research, and develop leaders.
  • A wide variety of electives encourages you to tailor your coursework to meet your individual vocational and professional goals.

The curricula for these programs have been structured according to the guidelines for graduate training in industrial-organizational psychology published by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), a division of the American Psychological Association.

The curriculum for both the Industrial-Organizational Psychology MA and PhD programs satisfies the suggested areas of competence for graduates in industrial-organizational psychology, ensuring that you are fulfilling not only the expectations for master’s-level education, but also fulfill the expectations of experts working in the field.

The four pillars of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program:

  • Research: Scientific evidence for what could be.
    You gain the knowledge and skills to make evidence-based decisions in organizations, and learn to conduct, evaluate, and measure research. Knowledge of core theoretical models and their application is the foundation for our training.
  • Character: The imprint of past experiences and relationships.
    You learn to demonstrate awareness of self and others, as well as discernment, responsibility, and self-regulation. You’ll take responsibility for your own contributions, both good and bad. And you won’t just focus on your strengths, but also learn to offer and receive grace.
  • Practice: The integration of what you know and who you are.
    You learn to apply research, self-knowledge, and character to real-time work with organizations. You gain the foundation to learn and lead at the next level, applying evidence-based theory and strategies to the change efforts of organizations you’ll serve.
  • You: The instrument of change.
    You learn to work with and present to real-world clients, even as you come to understand how your own strengths and weaknesses impact your ability to bring about individual, team, and organizational transformation.
Back to top

MA

Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology Dr. Joey Collins teaches class

Master's program

The MA is a 66-credit program (56 credits required, plus 10 elective credits) and is designed to be taken over a two-year/seven-quarter or three-year/11-quarter sequence.

As a full-time student, you will typically take eight credits a quarter (two classes) in the first year and eight to 11 credits in the second year. You may take any of the approved graduate courses to fulfill your elective requirements.

Review targeted competencies in the master’s program.

In your final year of the program, you will complete a final master’s project and portfolio as part of your coursework.

Back to top

PhD

Doctoral program

The doctoral program is a 168-unit program (134 credits of required coursework and 34 credits of electives) and is designed to be taken over four years/16 quarters, with an integrated research and dissertation sequence. As a full-time doctoral student, you will take 8–14 credits each quarter.


Outside of the required coursework, you may complete electives from a variety of disciplines (Marriage and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology, Business Administration, Theology, and Education).

The doctoral program begins in autumn. You will complete a master’s level final project and portfolio in the second year and be awarded a master’s degree upon completion of the equivalent MA requirements.


Review targeted competencies in the doctoral degree program.

By the summer of year three, as a doctoral student, you are working full time on your dissertation. The fourth year in the program includes full-time dissertation work and professional placement credits. View this sample four-year course sequence for the program.

Back to top

Faculty

Faculty

Joey​ Collins

Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology
PsyD, Biola University

Email: collij2@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2819
Office: Marston 262

Dana​ Kendall

Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Director of Research
PhD, University of Central Florida

Email: kendalld@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2152
Office: Marston 122

​Robert B. McKenna

Chair and Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology
PhD, Claremont Graduate University

Email: rmckenna@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2629
Office: Marston 118

Paul​ R. Yost

Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Director of Applied Learning and Development
PhD, University of Maryland

Email: yostp@spu.edu
Phone: 206-378-5494
Office: Marston 121

Staff

Chloe Hays

Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program Coordinator

Email: chloehays@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2312
Office: Marston 125

Back to top

Costs

2019–20 tuition and fees

money icon

$825 (MA); $879 (PhD)

per credit

Average 8–11 credits per quarter for MA students; 8–14 credits per quarter for PhD students.
dollar icon

$75; $150

application fee; one-time matriculation fee

See additional fee details.
textbook icon

66 credits (MA); 168 credits (PhD)

to complete

All tuition, fees, and other charges stated here are payable in U.S. dollars ($US).

In addition to direct instructional costs, Seattle Pacific University’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology tuition covers academic and student support services. Other benefits include use of athletic facilities (e.g., gym, locker room, and fitness rooms), and the SPU Library.

Scholarships and financial aid

Scholarship and other financial aid is available to newly admitted and continuing students in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. For more information, visit Graduate Students Resources in Student Financial Services.

Resources available to graduate students to offset costs may include:

  • Student loans. Includes amounts that exceed tuition and provide for living expenses.
  • Graduate research fellowships. Department and grant-funded research and administrative assistant positions are offered to a limited number of graduate students each year. Selection is based on established criteria within each graduate department.
  • Graduate teaching assistantships. Department-funded teaching assistantships are offered to a limited number of graduate students each year. Selection is based on established criteria and course need within each graduate department.
  • Merit scholarships. Offered by the University as an offset to tuition.
  • Department scholarship and awards. Selection is based on established criteria within each department. May not be distributed every year.
  • The Dickinson Fellowship. Provides training and tuition to undergraduate and graduate students who have a calling to work with persons and their families who are impacted by chronic mental health conditions.

Student employment

For part-time student employment opportunities on or off campus, explore these options:

Back to top

Application Info

Hacking Photos

Applying to the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Programs

To be considered for admission into the Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MA) program or the Industrial-Organizational Psychology (PhD) program, you must apply online. Find the help you need with the admissions process of the program of your choice through Graduate Admissions

If you are an international student, also refer to International Graduate Students information about additional admission requirements. 

Master’s degree admission requirements

For admission to this master’s degree program, the following are required:

  • Online application and $50 processing fee
  • A bachelor’s degree
    • The degree must be from a regionally accredited institution, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate work.
    • Completion of at least one business, math, or social science statistics course from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Completion of at least two courses in psychology, from a regionally accredited institution. One course in business, political science, or sociology (completed at a regionally accredited institution) may be substituted for one of the two required psychology courses.
  • Graduate record exam (GRE)
    • Administered within five years of the deadline date for application to the program.
    • A combined score of 295 (or 950 on the older version of the test) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is preferred.
  • Personal statement, typed
    • Demonstrating your writing and grammatical skills
    • Addressing your career objectives, personal qualifications, experience, and other insights as deemed appropriate by you
    • The rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend Seattle Pacific
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Three letters with (1) one from a person who has experienced you in a professional setting (i.e., a current or former employer); (2) one academic reference from a former professor or instructor; and (3) a personal recommendation (not a family member).

Admission process

The Admissions Committee of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program will conduct a preliminary screening process.

  • Finalists will be invited to come to campus for personal interviews.
  • Admission to the master’s program depends upon recommendation by the I-O faculty and approval from the I-O chair.

The entire process is usually completed within twelve weeks after the final deadline date for applications.

Transfer of credit

If you have taken graduate coursework at a regionally accredited institution, you may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter credits.

You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi. Each course must be at least three graduate quarter credits, equivalent to courses taught in the Organizational Psychology program at Seattle Pacific University and completed within seven years of admission. A minimum grade of “B” will be needed for transferred work. Any transfer-credit petitions should be submitted only after formal admission to the master’s program.

Doctoral degree admission requirements

For admission to this doctoral program, the following are required:

  • Online application and $75 processing fee
    • A bachelor’s degree, minimum
    • From a regionally accredited institution, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate work.
    • A minimum of one statistics course in business or social science. 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)
    • Administered within five years of the deadline date for application to the program.
    • A combined score of 300 (or 1100 on the older version of the test) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is preferred.
  • *If you have significant qualifications and exceptional recommendations but fail to meet the GPA or GRE minimum scores, you may still be considered for admission to the doctoral program.

  • Personal statement
    • Demonstrating your writing and grammatical skills.
    • Addressing career objectives, personal qualifications, experience, and other insights as deemed appropriate by you.
    • The rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend SPU
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • (1) One from a person who has experienced you in a professional setting (i.e., a current or former employer); (2) one academic reference from a former professor or instructor; and (3) one personal recommendation (not a family member).

Admission process

The Admissions Committee of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program will conduct a preliminary screening process.

  • Finalists will be invited to come to campus for personal interviews.
  • Admission to the doctoral program depends upon recommendation by the I-O faculty and approval from the I-O program director.

The entire process is usually completed within eight weeks after the final deadline date for applications.

Transfer of credits

Students who have taken graduate work at a regionally accredited institution may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter credits, and students who have been granted a master’s degree from a regionally accredited university in psychology, organizational psychology, business administration, or a related field may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credits. A maximum of 20 credits may be transferred toward the elective requirement.

You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi for any course you wish to transfer. Each course must be at least three graduate quarter credits, equivalent to courses taught in the Organizational-Psychology programs at Seattle Pacific University, and completed within seven years of admission. A minimum grade of “B” will be needed for transfer work. Any transfer-credit petitions should be submitted only after formal admission to the doctoral program.

Industrial-Organizational Psychology students participate in a group discussion

Doctoral degree admission requirements

For admission to this doctoral program, the following are required:

  • Online application and $75 processing fee
    • A bachelor’s degree, minimum
    • From a regionally accredited institution, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate work.
    • A minimum of one statistics course in business or social science. 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)
    • Administered within five years of the deadline date for application to the program.
    • A combined score of 300 (or 1100 on the older version of the test) on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE is preferred.
  • *If you have significant qualifications and exceptional recommendations but fail to meet the GPA or GRE minimum scores, you may still be considered for admission to the doctoral program.

  • Personal statement
    • Demonstrating your writing and grammatical skills.
    • Addressing career objectives, personal qualifications, experience, and other insights as deemed appropriate by you.
    • The rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend SPU
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • (1) One from a person who has experienced you in a professional setting (i.e., a current or former employer); (2) one academic reference from a former professor or instructor; and (3) one personal recommendation (not a family member).

Admission process

The Admissions Committee of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program will conduct a preliminary screening process.

  • Finalists will be invited to come to campus for personal interviews.
  • Admission to the doctoral program depends upon recommendation by the I-O faculty and approval from the I-O program director.

The entire process is usually completed within eight weeks after the final deadline date for applications.

Transfer of credits

Students who have taken graduate work at a regionally accredited institution may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter credits, and students who have been granted a master’s degree from a regionally accredited university in psychology, organizational psychology, business administration, or a related field may be allowed to transfer up to 30 credits. A maximum of 20 credits may be transferred toward the elective requirement.

You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi for any course you wish to transfer. Each course must be at least three graduate quarter credits, equivalent to courses taught in the Organizational-Psychology programs at Seattle Pacific University, and completed within seven years of admission. A minimum grade of “B” will be needed for transfer work. Any transfer-credit petitions should be submitted only after formal admission to the doctoral program.

International students

In addition to the SPU general and the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program’s additional admission requirements, international students must also submit:

  • An official confidential affidavit of financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
  • Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities and/or seminaries located outside the U.S. are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPFC can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to a SPFC degree.
  • If you earned an undergraduate degree in a country other than the United States, or your degree is in progress, an official course-by-course credential evaluation must be submitted from a NACES member-recognized credential service. Acceptable credential services include, but are not limited to, World Education Services (WES) and Foundation for International Services (FIS).
  • In addition to the evaluation report, we also require official transcripts and diplomas to be submitted, in English. International applicants are responsible for all costs associated with this service.
  •  English language proficiency: If you do not speak English as your first language, you must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL paper or 250 on the TOEFL-CBT, or 100 on the TOEFL-iBT is required. ACE scores will not be accepted.
Back to top

Career Opportunities

Industrial-Organizational Psychology students sit at a conference table

Career Opportunities

Both the Master of Arts (MA) and Doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology programs seek to develop scholars, professional practitioners, and leaders who will actively engage the community and businesses around them, improving organizations and developing people as part of their jobs.

Master’s degree graduates receive a theoretical foundation for addressing a broad range of behavioral issues in the workplace.

  • They are professionals in the human resources, organizational development, and training fields.
  • They are also organizational leaders who have earned a graduate education that relates directly to their practice as leaders.

Doctoral degree graduates become scholars possessing the necessary tools, theoretical knowledge, and analytical skills to launch their academic or consulting careers.

  • They are practitioners managing change, applying scientific methodologies, and improving the organizations around them.
  • And they are leaders guiding organizations, motivating and building teams, and developing future leaders.
  • This degree prepares graduates to take on higher-level academic, consulting, and leadership positions.

Job leads

Supporting the careers of our I-O students and alumni is a high priority for the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. The following career resources are available:

  • The Center for Career and Calling has Resources for Current Graduate Students, which offers online vocational resources and résumé tips, workshops, and events. 
  • Job leads through SPU’s job posting board Handshake and SPU Switchboard, the online community where you can engage and connect with the SPU network.
Back to top