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College of Management and Human Potential - Doctoral Programs:
PhD in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology

Defined as the “scientific study of the workplace,” industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology explores the impact of individual, group, and organizational psychology on workplace health, productivity, and effectiveness.

The PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology degree is designed to prepare scholar-practitioners to apply evidence-based I/O principles to lead positive change in the 21st-century workplace as researchers, consultants, educators, or organizational leaders.

Through core coursework completed in a prescribed sequence, students develop an in-depth understanding of individual, group, and organizational behavior in the workplace; advanced research design and analytical skills; and expertise applying evidence-based I/O practices in diverse organizational settings. Optional blended coursework provides opportunities for in-person feedback and hands-on practice, while specializations allow students to gain additional expertise in areas consistent with their interests and career goals. Through their dissertation, students have the opportunity to explore in-depth a specific area of interest and contribute to the body of knowledge in the I/O field.

The curriculum in this doctoral program is designed to reflect the professional guidelines set forth by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP).

Note on Licensure

The PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is not a licensure-leading program and does not prepare an individual to become a licensed psychology professional.

Learning Outcomes

All graduates will be prepared to:

  1. Evaluate the role of industrial/organizational psychology issues in the workplace.
  2. Process/Apply current industrial/organizational psychology theory and research.
  3. Analyze factors contributing to performance on varied organizational levels.
  4. Apply the organizational consultation process to address change and development issues.
  5. Evaluate workplace dimensions using a variety of assessments.
  6. Assess the impact of the employee on workplace performance.
  7. Evaluate industrial/organizational psychology’s role in promoting positive social change through fostering a healthy and inclusive workplace
  8. Apply basic and advanced research principles to produce independent scholarly work.

Specializations

Tracks

There are two tracks in the PhD in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology

  • Track 1 For Those Entering With a Master's Degree in I/O Psychology
  • Track 2 For Those Entering With a GPA of 3.0 on Bachelor's Degree or Master's Degree in Another Field

Track 1: For Those Entering With an Master’s Degree in I/O Psychology

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Foundation course (3 credits)
  • Core courses (25 credits)
  • Specialization courses (15–17 credits; see each specialization for specific courses)
  • Research courses (10 credits)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 credits)
    • Dissertation writing courses (5 credits per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

Curriculum

Foundation Course (3 credits)

Core Courses (25 credits)

Research Courses (10 credits)

  • Students may take this a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this a non-degree course.

Specialization Courses (15–17 credits)

These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page

Residency Requirements

  • Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
  • Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.
  • Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
  • Residency 4 – Complete residency 4 after your prospectus is approved as follows:
  • Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during IPSY 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation

AND

Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred.

Course Sequence for Students Entering With an MS Degree

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
Quarter 1

IPSY 8004 - Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

3 credits

IPSY 8552 - Psychological Motivation at Work

5 credits
Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
Quarter 2

IPSY 8412 - Research Foundations

5 credits
Specialization Course* 5 credits
Quarter 3

RSCH 8260 - Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits

IPSY 8754 - Personnel Psychology in the Workplace

5 credits
Quarter 4

IPSY 8551 - I/O Tests and Measurement

5 credits
Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.  

RSCH 8360 - Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Quarter 5

IPSY 8702 - Dissertation Literature Review Lab

2 credits

IPSY 8579 - Job Attitudes, Measurement, and Change

5 credits
Quarter 6 Specialization Course* 5 credits

IPSY 8185 - Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology

5 credits
Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
Quarter 7+ Specialization Course* 5 credits

IPSY 9000 - Dissertation** 

5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion
Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during IPSY 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

* These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

** Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

Track 2: For Those Entering With a GPA of 3.0 on Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree in Another Field

Minimum Degree Requirements

  • Doctoral Writing Assessment
  • Professional Development Plan and Plan of Study
  • Foundation course (3 credits)
  • Core courses (40 credits)
  • Research courses (25 credits)
  • Specialization courses (15–17 credits; see each specialization for specific courses)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation
    • Dissertation support courses (7 credits)
    • Dissertation writing courses (5 credits per term for a minimum of four terms; taken continuously until completion)
    • Quarter Plans
  • Four PhD residencies

Curriculum

Foundation Course (3 credits)

Core Courses (40 credits)

Research Courses (25 credits)

  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this as a non-degree course.
  • Students may take this a non-degree course.

Specialization Courses (15–17 credits)

These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

Residency Requirements

  • Residency 1 – Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
  • Residency 2 – Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.
  • Residency 3 – Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
  • Residency 4 – Complete residency 4 after your prospectus is approved as follows:
  • Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during IPSY 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register.

Completion of the Doctoral Dissertation

AND

Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred.

Course Sequence for Students Entering With a BS Degree

Students undertake courses in the following sequence.

Quarter Course Credits
Quarter 1

IPSY 8004 - Foundations of Graduate Study in Psychology

3 credits

IPSY 8252 - Themes and Theories of I/O Psychology

5 credits
Complete Residency 1 as soon as you begin your program; should be completed in Term 1 or Term 2.
Quarter 2

IPSY 8480 - Psychology of Organizational Behavior

5 credits

IPSY 8214 - Consulting for Organizational Change

5 credits
Quarter 3

RSCH 8110 - Research Theory, Design, and Methods

5 credits

IPSY 8552 - Psychological Motivation at Work

5 credits
Quarter 4

RSCH 8210 - Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Complete Residency 2 at the beginning of your second year, around the time of second research course.  
Specialization Course* 5 credits
Quarter 5

IPSY 8551 - I/O Tests and Measurement

5 credits

RSCH 8310 - Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits
Quarter 6

RSCH 8260 - Advanced Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits

IPSY 8754 - Personnel Psychology in the Workplace

5 credits
Quarter 7

IPSY 8579 - Job Attitudes, Measurement, and Change

5 credits

IPSY 8202 - Survey Research Methods

5 credits
Quarter 8

RSCH 8360 - Advanced Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis

5 credits

IPSY 8702 - Dissertation Literature Review Lab

2 credits
Quarter 9 Specialization Course* 5 credits

IPSY 8185 - Writing a Quality Prospectus in Psychology

5 credits
Complete Residency 3 once you have a prospectus in Walden’s review system.
Quarter 10+ Specialization Course* 5 credits

IPSY 9000 - Dissertation** 

5 credits per term for a minimum of 4 terms; taken continuously until completion

Complete residency 4 after your prospectus is approved as follows:

Optional: Complete a dissertation intensive (DRWI 8500) during IPSY 9000. Contact Student Success Advising to register

* These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

** Students take this course for a minimum of four quarters and are continuously enrolled until completion of their dissertation with final chief academic officer (CAO) approval. In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation course shell.

To complete a doctoral dissertation, students must obtain the academic approval of several independent evaluators including their committee, the University Research Reviewer, and the Institutional Review Board; pass the Form and Style Review; gain approval at the oral defense stage; and gain final approval by the chief academic officer. Students must also publish their dissertation on ProQuest before their degree is conferred. Learn more about the dissertation process in the Dissertation Guidebook.

Master of Philosophy (Embedded Degree)

Walden awards the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree to recognize PhD students for academic achievement leading up to their dissertation. With an MPhil, students will be able to demonstrate to employers and others that they have an advanced knowledge base in their field of study as well as proficiency in research design and evaluation.

  • Students are eligible to apply for this credential while continuing their PhD program once they have completed:
    • All required PhD core courses (or KAMs)
    • All required PhD specialization courses (or KAMs)
    • All required doctoral research and advanced research courses
    • Program prospectus development course
    • Residencies 1, 2, and 3
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is mandatory.
  • The MPhil requires a minimum of 45 quarter credits. Maximum transfer of credit varies by program but is not to exceed 50% of the overall, or embedded, program requirements.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start or readmit to doctoral programs at Walden University in the university catalog for academic year 2017 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level.

8-Year Maximum Time Frame

In general, students are continuously registered in the dissertation/doctoral study course until they complete their capstone project and it is approved. This usually takes longer than the minimum required terms in the dissertation/doctoral study course shell.

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements (see Enrollment Requirements in the student handbook). Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum time frame, but an extension is not guaranteed.