Aug 10, 2020  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial-Organizational Psychology, M.S.

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Jeffrey Smith, Ph.D., Department Chair

William Attenweiler, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director


Program Description

Industrial and organizational (IO) psychology is the behavioral science that applies the principles, methods, and findings of psychological science to work settings. Industrial psychology examines topics in human resources management such as recruitment, selection, staffing, training and development, testing and measurement, performance evaluation, survey research, total reward systems, promotion, transfer, and termination. Organizational psychology addresses broader topics from social psychology and organizational behavior such as leadership, work motivation, organizational development, work teams, conflict management, work life quality, job design, organizational change, and workplace attitudes. The content and methods of IO psychology overlap with engineering psychology (human factors), vocational psychology (occupational interests), differential psychology (ability, attitudes, emotions, personality, skills, values), and consumer psychology (marketing).

Graduates with master’s degrees in IO psychology pursue career paths in human resources management as personnel generalists or specialists in recruiting, selection, and staffing; job analysis; performance appraisal; organizational planning; employee relations; training and development; compensation and benefits; human factors and workplace design; public and occupational health; organizational development and organizational consulting; marketing and consumer research; program assessment and evaluation; and quality control and assurance.

The graduate program in IO psychology has been designed to accommodate both working professionals and recent undergraduates pursuing part-time jobs or internship opportunities by offering courses during weekday evenings. The program requirements may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis, and may be changed depending on the changing needs and circumstances of the individual student.

Office of the MSIO Program

The IO program is administered by the Department of Psychological Science, located in 301 MEP. For additional information visit the IO Psychology program website at, call Dr. William Attenweiler, Graduate Program Director, at 859-572-1954, or e-mail questions to


Full/Regular Admission

To be considered for regular admission, applicants must have completed and submit evidence documenting:

  1. An online application for graduate admission at
  2. A bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester hours.
  3. Nine semester hours of undergraduate or graduate coursework in psychology.
  4. At least one undergraduate course in statistics with a grade of B or better.
  5. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.
  6. Scores from the general test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Scores of at least 150 on the verbal test and 150 on the quantitative test and a 3.5 on the writing test are expected.
  7. A current resume or vita.
  8. A statement of personal interest.
  9. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from writers who can comment on your academic performance.

Provisional Admission

Candidates whose application files are incomplete, because one or more required documents are missing (e.g., a final transcript, GRE scores, letter of recommendation, etc.), may be considered for provisional admission if, in the judgment of the program faculty, admission would be likely had the missing documents been received. The missing document must be submitted within one semester of admission.

Conditional Admission

Applicants with a bachelor’s degree who are missing some of the prerequisite qualifications may be admitted in conditional status as space availability in the psychology program permits.

Application Process

Submit all application materials directly to the Office of Graduate Education, 1 Nunn Drive, Lucas Administrative Center 302, Highland Heights, KY 41099.  Supplemental documents can also be submitted electronically to


Our priority deadline is March 1st for the fall semester. The absolute final deadline to be considered for each semester is listed below. These deadlines reflect the date before which all materials must be submitted.

To be considered for regular admission, all materials should be received by:

Fall semester (begins mid-August) - August 1

Summer semester (begins mid-May) - May 1

Spring semester (begins mid-January) - December 1

Note: Late applications for all semesters may be considered as space allows.

Transfer Credit

Students may transfer up to nine semester hours of appropriate, acceptable graduate coursework from other regionally accredited institutions. A student must have earned a minimum grade of B in such courses. These courses must be deemed appropriate to the student’s program of study at the time of admission into the program by the department chair on the advice of the graduate program director. Transfer of graduate credit must be accomplished before students earn 12 semester hours at NKU.

Academic Standing

A GPA of at least 3.0 must be maintained for all courses taken in the program. At most two C grades can be counted toward the degree. A course may be repeated only once, and only two courses may be repeated. Only courses with a grade of C or below can be repeated; only the repeat grade is used in GPA determination. Students whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on probation; those remaining on probation for more than nine semester hours of coursework will be dropped from the program.

Course Load

Because the program is designed to be completed on either a part-time or full-time basis, enrollment for more than six credit hours is recommended for full-time students only.

♦ Indicates prerequisite.

Academic Requirements


To earn the Master of Science degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, students are required to complete a core curriculum of 36 semester hours of classes and 9 semester hours of elective work for a total of 45 semester hours.

Intermediate Core Courses (required) (12 credit hours)

The following four courses are required if they have not already been completed, as electives, at the undergraduate level. These courses may be waived by the MSIO Admission Committee, after review of transcripts and consultation with the student.

Program Total: 45

Note: With the approval of both graduate program directors, classes in the Master of Business Informatics, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Arts in Communication programs may be taken by IO graduate students to satisfy elective requirements.

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