2022-2023 Catalog 
    
    Nov 27, 2022  
2022-2023 Catalog

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology


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School: California School of Professional Psychology

Modality(ies): On-ground, hybrid, online

Calendar(s): 8-week term

CIP Code: 42.2804

Program Description/Overview


The program prepares graduates for a variety of practitioner careers on the human side of organizations and for teaching. Career practice areas include management consulting, organizational development and change, people analytics, and organizational leadership - any area where principles of industrial and organizational psychology make a difference. This post-master’s degree can also support careers in diversity and inclusion, talent management/human resources, talent development, strategic planning facilitation, talent assessment, and employee engagement analytics.

This program is an intensive, year-round, three-year (15-term) program where students have the option to attend part-time and take longer than three years to complete.

Program Learning Outcomes/Goals


PLO1: Explain and apply industrial-organizational psychology principles, concepts, models, theories, and methods.

PLO2: Explain and apply ethical and legal principles to situations in industrial-organizational psychology.

PLO3: Demonstrate a positive, pro-active, and non-judgmental attitude towards diverse cultures and identities.

PLO4: Design culturally competent professional services in respective areas for diverse populations.

PLO5: Analyze data, evaluate results and communicate findings using applied and academic research methods.

PLO6: Explain and apply research, psychometric, and people analytics concepts to problems in industrial-organizational psychology.

PLO7: Critically evaluate and synthesize the industrial-organizational psychology and related literature.

Training Model


Coursework emphasizes higher levels of critical thinking in a sequential and developmental manner for both practical organizational diagnosis and critical evaluation of research literature and making an original contribution to existing research. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven throughout the program. An emphasis on needs analysis and organizational diagnosis drives the practitioner courses.

Critical thinking is developed through the integration of discipline-specific theories, models, concepts and methods in the development of both practitioner and research skills. 

  1. Practitioner skills are developed through increasingly challenging practical situations: Students are first presented with literature, then case studies and other instructional methods that evoke the practitioner context, and after that practical exams or project-based learning, and finally applied projects. 
  2. The progression of learning research skills involves critically evaluating existing studies in theory courses right from the start and learning statistical, research, and people-analytics methods followed by production of a dissertation. Both research and practical skills are assessed in a three-part doctoral comprehensive exam where each part is embedded in a course.

Consistent with contemporary work environments, students work both individually and in groups (virtual groups for online students) in their coursework. By working in groups, students develop advanced skills in business communication, working with people who have different working styles than themselves, and learn through experience the importance of valuing diversity and appreciating multicultural issues.

Professional Behavior Expectations/Ethical Guidelines


As professionals-in-training, students in the program are required, in addition to all university-wide conduct requirements, to comply with the ethics code of the American Psychological Association and be familiar with professional guidelines and standards appropriate for practitioners in a business setting. Any ethical or professional behavior problems may be referred to the SERC and Program Director for action.

Internship, Practicum, and/or Dissertation Information


A three-course sequence for professional skills development and applied projects will enable students to apply industrial and organizational psychology competencies to prepare for practical experience in a practice area of their choosing and in a way that aligns with the stage in their career.

One option in the applied project courses enables students to take on an internship. The availability of an internship outside of California is based on the state in which the student is located and requires prior approval.

The other options are virtual, practical projects or virtual, applied research projects. A virtual project in a company could include writing up a past project from the student’s experience as a case and conducting a reanalysis of the case based on theories, principles and methods from coursework and proposing a better solution than was actually implemented.   

The dissertation sequence starts with literature reviews in first-year theory courses, a workshop in the first year to guide students to use a literature review from a theory course as the core of their dissertation, methods courses in first and second years, and the dissertation courses from term 8 through 15. This design incorporates successful practices that have reduced time-to-degree in other programs.  

Credit Units


Total Credit Units: 66

Total Core Credit Units: 66

Total Elective Credit Units: N/A

Total Concentration Credit Units: N/A

Degree Requirements


Pass all three parts of the doctoral comprehensive exam.

Prerequisite Courses


  1. Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  2. Preparation in Psychology, the Social Sciences, or Management Sciences - courses with a grade of B or better:
    1. Two undergraduate or graduate courses in the social sciences (e.g., psychology, social psychology, I-O psychology, sociology, anthropology, organizational behavior, or leadership) or human resources management.
    2. One undergraduate or graduate course in statistics.

Curriculum Plan


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