Industrial/organizational psychology is a degree with many applications. The main focus of an online industrial/organizational psychology master’s degree is to train students to use a scientific approach to solving human problems in the workplace. This field is closely related to human resources, and those with an industrial/organizational psychology degree often end up working in or managing human resources departments.
This article is split into two rankings. One features the most affordable online industrial/organizational psychology master’s degrees. The other features the most affordable on campus industrial/organizational psychology degrees. Each format has considerable merits. The tuition listed for each school in the ranking is the full cost of the master’s degree program. None of the programs are accredited by the American Psychological Association, because the APA does not accredit bachelor’s- or master’s-level programs.
Ranking the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
#1. Southeast Missouri State University
Students who graduate from Southeastern Missouri’s online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program have worked in consulting firms, human resource departments, research and development programs, non-profit organizations, and government. Students take courses like psychometrics, design and analysis, program design and evaluation, advanced social psychology, personnel psychology, and job analysis/compensation.
#2. Touro University Worldwide
The 36-credit online industrial organizational psychology master’s at Touro University Worldwide is offered 100% online through eight-week courses, and it can be completed in as little as one year. The program offers concentrations in coaching and consulting, human resource management, and occupational health psychology. Students will take courses like organizational theory and behavior, facilitating organizational change, developing high-performance teamwork, and improving customer relations.
#3. Bellevue University
Bellevue’s online industrial/organizational psychology master’s degree is offered 100% online and is designed to fit into a busy schedule. Students will take courses like profession of industrial/organizational psychology, social psychology, job analysis and performance appraisal, organizational development, statistical methods II: multiple regression, and advanced industrial and organizational psychology practice.
#4. Eastern Kentucky University
This 100% online master’s in organizational psychology is offered in eight-week terms. This means the degree can be completed in roughly two years by taking one class at a time, or half of that by taking two classes at a time. The GRE is waived for students with a 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA. Students will take courses like performance management, organizational change and development, and training and development.
#5. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University offers an online Master of Arts in liberal studies with a focus on industrial/organizational psychology. The program can take up to two years to complete, and it offers courses like industrial and organizational psychology; psychological factors in selecting and growing organizational talent; unearthing and enhancing organizational talent; and the psychology of leadership, motivation, and teamwork.
#6. Baker College
At Baker College, the online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology takes an average of two years to complete. The 36-credit online master’s degree includes courses like psychology of leadership, individual and group factors in the workplace, statistics and data analysis, psychology of performance and motivation, and psychology of personnel management and human resources.
#7. Purdue University Global
An online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology is one of five concentrations Purdue Global offers in their online graduate psychology program. Students can also choose to earn a 30-credit graduate certificate in the subject. Classes take place over multiple 10-week terms. Students will take courses like industrial/organizational theory and development, organizational management and behavior, workplace motivation and attitudes, and human resources management. The program is 60-75 credits. The tuition we used is for a 60-credit program. More credits will add to the cost.
#8. National Louis University
Graduates from the online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program at National Louis University will have career opportunities in business, industry, labor, the public sector, the non-profit sector, and community and health organizations. The program can be completed in 20 months through its accelerated format, or at a slower pace if required. Students can also transfer up to nine credits from previous graduate work, as long as the work is relevant and fits required or elective course criteria.
#9. Johnson and Wales University
The online industrial/organizational psychology degree at Johnson and Wales is delivered through eight-week courses and can be completed in two years. The student-to-faculty ratio within the program is 16 to one, which is remarkably low for an online program. Students will take courses like general psychology, abnormal psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, leadership theory and practice, organizational theory and change, and coaching and consultation skills.
#10. Albizu University
The online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology at Albizu University is 48 credits and generally takes two years to complete. Students will take courses like small group theory and process, I/O statistics, advanced research methods, work motivation, employment law, organizational training and development, and psychological assessment techniques in organization.
Ranking the Most Affordable On Campus Master’s in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
#1. Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico-Ponce
This Roman Catholic University on the island of Puerto Rico offers all its courses in Spanish. It’s a very affordable program and perfect for students who speak Spanish as their first language, or for those who want to challenge themselves by taking a degree in their second language. We included the program because the price is a great deal and because it’s important to remember that the United States includes territories like Puerto Rico.
#2. Avila University
Avila University’s online master’s in organizational development educates students on how to motivate people and manage organizational change, become a self-aware manager of effective conflict resolution, enhance their listening and communication skills, and test their progress through applied research. Students can choose between concentrations in strategic human resources, leadership coaching, executive leadership, inclusion and belonging, psychology, workplace instructional design, and change management.
#3. Anna Maria College
The industrial organizational psychology MS program at Anna Maria College prepares students for careers in areas like organizational development consulting, mid-market organizational consulting, people analytics and engagement, learning and development, and talent management. Students will take courses like organizational theory/behavior, positive psychology, human resource management, workplace violence, labor management relations, and social psychology.
#4. Minnesota State University-Mankato
The master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program at MSU Mankato strives to foster a collaborative educational environment where students are constantly working together. Great emphasis is given to applied experience, making sure students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience outside the classroom. Every two years, students from the program take an international trip in order to provide an international perspective on industrial/organizational psychology.
#5. Louisiana Tech University
Graduates from this master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program will have developed a deep understanding of topics like employment law, training and development strategies, leadership and decision making, and organizational psychology theory. This is achieved through courses like leadership and decision making, research and statistical methods, and training and development.
#6. Meredith College
89% of graduates from the Meredith College master’s in industrial/organizational psychology program have an I-O related job within three months of graduation. This includes jobs like consulting, human resources, and managerial/supervisory roles. Students will take courses like leadership and global communication, ethical and legal employment issues, managing reward systems, advanced statistical methods and research design, organizational psychology, and data analytics in organizations.
#7. Saint Cloud State University
Graduates from this master’s in organizational psychology degree will have the opportunity to work in popular careers like those of a talent manager, staffing and recruiting coordinator, psychometrician, organizational relations associate, and leadership development coordinator. The program offers a limited number of graduate assistantships, which can go a long way toward helping pay for the degree.
#8. Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus
Fairleigh Dickinson’s master’s in industrial/organizational psychology follows the scientist-practitioner model, which includes both theory and concept in the coursework. Not only are internships available in the program, they are required. Students will take courses like psychological statistics, group dynamics and team leadership, organizational psychology, behavioral consulting, lifestyle and career counseling, and human resource development.
#9. Colorado State University
This 38-credit master’s in industrial/organizational psychology can be completed in two to four years, and it does not require the completion of a thesis. Students in the program will take courses like applied industrial psychology, applied organizational psychology, applied cross-cultural industrial/organizational psychology, workforce training and development, and succession planning and leadership development.
#10. Salem State University
Salem State University offers their on campus industrial/organizational psychology master’s courses during the evenings for the convenience of working students. Additionally, while the program is mostly on campus, there are some hybrid and online courses worked into the program to make it a little easier on working professionals. It’s typical for full-time students to complete the program within two years.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with my online master’s in industrial/organizational psychology?
There are many jobs available to those with an industrial/organizational psychology degree. Graduates from programs like the ones featured in our ranking work as human resources managers, workforce insight analysts, professional business development consultants, organizational effectiveness managers, executive coaching, internal and external management consulting, team development managers, change management professionals, staffing and recruiting managers, behavioral analysts, and policy officers. These are just a few examples of the kinds of jobs available to I/O psychology professionals.
Essentially, your job is helping businesses, nonprofits, or government agencies run in ways that are both efficient and healthy for their employees. Striking this balance reduces turnover, and therefore training costs, for companies, and studies have shown that fulfilled employees who believe their job is valuable and are given the time to become good at the job are more efficient.
How much can I make with a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology?
The most common positions for industrial/organizational psychologists are human resources management and management consulting. These professionals work in a variety of fields, so we’ve listed the median wage of the highest-paying fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, below.
- Scientific Research and Development: $150,910
- Local Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals: $112,020
- Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools: $104,470
- Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting: $98,840
- State Government, Excluding Schools and Hospitals: $86,460
How do I pay for my master’s in industrial/organizational psychology?
As always, your first stop for financial aid should be FAFSA. This will get you the funds available from the federal government and from your school. While FAFSA aid is generally less in graduate programs than what students receive for undergraduate work, and while it will be based on how much you earn in your job, it’s still your best resource for funding.
Another resource is your company, especially if your company has a need for industrial/organizational psychologists in management positions, human resources positions, or in operations management. Companies generally offer continuing education funds for professional development, but they also might offer even more for somebody getting training that the company really needs. Definitely talk to your HR department about the possibilities.
Except under rare circumstances, the above resources probably won’t cover the full cost of the degree. In this case, you will be paying the rest of your tuition with student loans or out of pocket. This makes cost a much larger factor for graduate degrees than undergraduate degrees, which is why we choose to shine the light on the cheapest online and on campus degrees you can find. And remember, even though these are the cheapest online or on campus industrial organizational psychology degrees you can find, that doesn’t mean their quality is any lower. Some of the top public universities in the country are featured in our ranking.
Should I get my master’s in industrial/organizational psychology online or on campus?
This is a good question. Not every program or style of learning will fit every person. The greatest advantage of an online degree is the flexibility. It makes earning your degree while working full time more possible than ever. Additionally, it doesn’t require you to move, which means no job transfers or having to find a new job to be able to get your degree. You can also choose the most affordable programs available from across the country, instead of being limited by your location. However, you might prefer an on campus learning environment with live, interactive lectures and discussion. If you have a college or university near you offering the program you want, then on campus might be a better choice for you, even if it costs a little more. If you’re concerned about your ability to thrive in an online learning environment, then I would suggest trying out one of the many free online courses offered by colleges across the country. It won’t earn you college credit, but it could help you determine whether or not an online degree is a match for you.
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