Industrial-Organizational Psychology (M.S.)
Gain the knowledge necessary to lead thriving organizations as a professional in a fast-growing field by earning your Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology.
You’ll learn the critical skills needed to apply psychology principles to the workplace in a high-demand industry. US News and World Report ranks Industrial Psychologist as the No. 4 best science job in 2023, highlighting the field’s projected growth.
Discover how to lead an effective, productive, healthy, and unbiased organization using methods like:
- Understanding human behavior and effectiveness in the workplace
- Managing change, promoting productivity, and cultivating leadership
- Making sound decisions and evaluate effectiveness using statistical methods
- Learning critical human resources content areas, such as training and development, and performance management
Our one-of-a-kind Elevate program guarantees students real-world experiences, personalized mentorship, and career readiness.
This degree program is unusual among master's degrees in I-O psychology or human resources management programs in that all of the classes are designed for Ph.D.-level students. Both master's and Ph.D. students attend the same classes and are evaluated on the same criteria. You will take part in a rigorous, exciting, and comprehensive Ph.D.-quality curriculum.
Advance your professional career by learning how to help organizations – and people – achieve their full potential by studying human behavior and effectiveness, learning to manage change and promote well-being to lead an effective, productive, and healthy workplace.
Upon graduation, you’ll be well-positioned to attend a Ph.D. program or lead workplaces in corporate, nonprofit, government, and academic settings. Students choosing to enter the workforce are well-prepared for jobs including:
- Industrial-organizational consultant
- Talent management specialist
- Behavioral analyst
- Human resources officer
- Research scientist
Disclaimer for prospective students, please read.
The Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is a 36-credit hour degree program. While most of the coursework in this M.S. program is covered in the fall and winter semesters, you will be expected to take one or two courses in the summer. All students are required to complete internships during the academic year on a part-time basis or during the summer full-time. Most students are able to earn their master's degree in two years; however, students may extend their studies for up to six years.
You will complete three credit hours of internship, which corresponds to three months of part-time field work. You may choose to intern at a consulting firm or in the training division of human resources or personnel department of a major organization. From Fortune 500 corporations to consulting firms and nonprofit organizations, the Chicago metropolitan area will provide you with ample choices for your internship experience.
Although no research requirement is included in the I-O psychology program, you will be exposed to research through your coursework and you may also have the opportunity to assist faculty in their research if you wish.
The I-O psychology program also has an international component for interested students through the Erasmus Mundus European program. Through this agreement, I-O psychology students admitted to this part of the program can collaborate with an international team of students in Europe and spend a month in Valencia, Spain, in the winter.
The Department of Psychology accepts Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology applications for fall entrance only. Priority will be given to applications that are submitted with supporting documents by February 15; applications received after this date will be considered on a rolling basis through May 1. Minimum requirements for admission include:
- Bachelor's degree, including evidence of familiarity with the field of psychology such as research methods and statistics; for those without this background, we offer pathways to obtain proficiency prior to starting this program
- Minimum grade-point average of 3.0
- Two to three letters of recommendation that provide evidence of aptitude for learning, communication skills, time management, and motivation. This will commonly involve at least one letter from an instructor or academic mentor familiar with your work in a classroom and/or research setting
- Professional statement—tell us your future plans and why you want to enroll in the I-O psychology program
- Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions (applications must be uploaded into the online application system)
All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, grades in relevant courses, recommendations, and the professional statement.
Limited funding opportunities are available for students, including teaching and graduate assistantships, and scholarships.
The industrial-organizational psychology division awards one-year, partial-tuition scholarships to a number of students based on merit.
Students can apply for teaching assistantships after the first year. Teaching assistants receive partial tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend. These positions are quarter-time (10 hours per week) and are based on students’ performance academically and their engagement in the program.
The Center for Research and Service has many opportunities for students to work and gain experience. Project-based funding is available for students who work at the center.
"The curriculum designed for MS-level students and various opportunities offered by the faculty and the program laid a strong foundation in I-O psychology and statistics while offering flexibility through elective courses. The internship requirement of the program really forced us to figure out our interests in different career paths and think about our future after graduation. The alumni were another very helpful resource. After graduation, I spent a year in market research, 10 years as a psychometrician in the certification and licensing industry, and I'm now a program manager in people analytics."
"I am currently a management consultant for KPMG. Prior to this I was a data analyst for Bridgestone Americas. I love the collaborative nature of our I-O alumni network; it has provided opportunities that give me a lot of confidence in the workplace. We have a very tight-knit alumni community that understands that being a student at Illinois Tech indicates that you have the ability to succeed at an organization. They are willing to vouch for students and there are typically very meaningful opportunities that arise."
"Because of my experience at Illinois Tech, I was able to get a job at a Huge, a digital design agency where they asked me to build out their learning and development function. And because of the research I conducted with Scott Morris [as a graduate student], I was able to work at LifeLabs Learning, where I work as a leadership trainer and director of people operations. The rigor of the I-O program prepared me for my work today."
"I have been working in corporate compensation for Aon since December 2012; as of February 2015, I have been working on our internal executive compensation team. I feel that the courses and curriculum of the MS program did benefit me and help prepare me for my career thus far. The guest lectures from alumni were very valuable and helpful for students seeking internships and work opportunities. The rigor of the program seemed appropriate to me as well. I found it challenging but was able to succeed by working hard."