Jul 13, 2024  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial-Organizational Psychology, M.S.

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Cecile Marczinski, Ph.D., Department Chair

Philip Moberg, Ph.D., Graduate Program Director


Program Description

Industrial/Organizational (IO) psychology is the behavioral science that applies the principles, methods, and findings of psychology to work settings. Industrial psychology underlies human resources practices such as selection and staffing, training and development, testing and measurement, job analysis and performance evaluation, compensation and reward systems, promotion, transfer, and termination. Organizational psychology focuses on group behavior and addresses broader topics from social psychology and organizational behavior such as leadership, work motivation, organizational change and development, work teams, conflict management, and workplace abuse, work life quality and balance, job attitudes and work design, and organizational climate and culture. The content and methods of IO psychology overlap with career paths in psychological testing and measurement (psychometrics), engineering psychology (human factors), counseling psychology (occupational interests), individual differences psychology (roles of ability, attitudes, emotions, personality, skills, values), scientific survey research and consumer psychology (marketing analysis), occupational health psychology, and organizational data analytics.

Graduates with master’s degrees in IO psychology pursue multiple career paths.  In human resources management, IO psychology graduates are employed as personnel generalists or specialists in recruiting, selection, and staffing, job analysis, performance appraisal, organizational planning, employee relations, training and development, talent analysis, and compensation and benefits.  Other IO graduates pursue careers in human factors and technology design, occupational safety and worker health and well-being, organizational development and consulting, testing and assessment, program evaluation, quality control and assurance, survey design and research, strategic planning and analysis, and marketing analysis/consumer research.

The graduate program in IO psychology is designed to accommodate both working professionals and full-time graduate students pursuing part-time jobs or internship opportunities by offering courses during weekday evenings. The program requirements may be completed on a full or part-time basis that may be changed to address the needs and circumstances of the individual student.

Office of the MSIO Program

The IO psychology graduate program is administered by the Department of Psychological Science, located in 337 MEP Center. For additional information visit the program website at https://inside.nku.edu/artsci/departments/psychology/graduate.html, call Dr. Philip Moberg, Graduate Program Director, at 859-572-1913, or e-mail questions to msio@nku.edu.


Full Admission

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

  1. An online application for graduate admission at http://apply.nku.edu
  2. A bachelor’s degree at a regionally accredited institution with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 semester hours completed.
  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. A current resume or vita.
  7. A statement of personal interest.
  8. Three letters of recommendation, preferably from writers who can comment on readiness for graduate study.

Provisional Admission

Candidates whose application files are incomplete, because one or more required documents or prerequisite qualifications are missing (e.g., a final transcript, 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 or requirements met. The missing documents or prerequisite qualifications must be submitted or met within one semester of admission.

Application Process

Submit all application materials directly to the Office of Graduate Education, 1 Nunn Drive, Lucas Administrative Center 302, Highland Heights, KY 41099.  Documents also may be submitted electronically to graduate@nku.edu. Application materials from international students should be submitted to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at isss@nku.edu.


Our priority deadline is March 1st for the fall semester. Applications received by this deadline will receive consideration for graduate assistantship funding, when available. 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 academic probation; those remaining on probation for more than nine semester hours of subsequent coursework will be dropped from the program.

Course Load

Because the program is designed to be completed on either a full-time or part-time basis, enrollment in six credit hours or more is considered full-time.  Most students enrolled on a full-time basis take three courses (i.e., nine credit hours) in each Fall and Spring semester and complete their program in two years plus two summers. 

♦ 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.

Required Core Courses (Intermediate) (12 credit hours)

The following four courses are required if they have not previously 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.

Elective Options and Courses (9 credit hours)

Students must take at least 9 credit hours of the courses below, or substitutes approved by the MSIO graduate program director.

Note: With the approval of both graduate program directors, classes in the Master of Business Administration, 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.

Graduate classes offered by colleges and universities participating in the Greater Cincinnati Consortium of Colleges and Universities “GC3” may be completed to satisfy elective requirements when the elective class is not offered by the home institution and when determined to be appropriate and approved by the Program Director. For additional information, see https://www.gccollegiateconnection.org/students/cross-registration/index. 

Program Total: 45 Credit Hours

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