In the competitive global economy, it’s not enough to focus on the short-term bottom line. Organizations of all types are increasingly focused on management policies that are designed for sustainable, long-term success. That’s a primary reason why industrial/organizational psychology (I/O)—the scientific study of how people shape businesses and organizations, and how these entities shape individual and community behavior—is one of the fastest-growing specialties in the field.
Adler University’s online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology program produces socially responsible leaders who use the core principles of I/O to reshape organizations and establish psychologically healthy environments and policies that improve the day-to-day lives of employees and the community at large—and help boost productivity, encourage innovation, and add to the bottom line.
Experienced faculty members guide students through a rigorous online curriculum that combines academic knowledge with effective, strategic insights and training. Each course also emphasizes Adler’s commitment to social justice, inclusiveness, and socially responsible practices. The tangible result is a Social Responsibility Action Plan that each student develops to address a real-world organizational problem.
All of our online programs are delivered with the academic rigor and personal attention that has distinguished Adler University for more than 60 years. Graduates of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program are prepared to make an impact in a wide variety of I/O roles, including roles in recruitment and staffing, organizational culture and diversity, instructional design and training, executive coaching, team dynamics, and more.
This leadership-focused master’s program can help graduates advance their professional standing in the field; our schedule-flexible online approach means students can balance existing professional and personal responsibilities and complete this degree program.
Earn your Industrial and Organizational Psychology master’s degree fully online from an institution that shares your values of social justice and community-based solutions.
Graduates of Adler University’s online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology program are equipped to take on leadership roles that shape organizational success. With this graduate degree, you will be able to perform the following critical functions in both small and large organizations:
- Recognize underlying business challenges and key stakeholders involved.
- Integrate social justice to recognize and acknowledge individual differences and how they influence organizations.
- Identify and assess organizational efforts toward social responsibility and corporate citizenship.
- Use data- and evidence-based practices to inform ethical decision-making.
- Develop legally defensible talent management systems.
- Apply I/O and psychological theories to deliver solutions that promote organizational effectiveness.
- Deepen self-awareness and personal growth for lifelong learning as an I/O practitioner.
Adler University’s fully online Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a 37 credit-hour program. Courses are eight weeks in length, and this program can be completed in just over two years with scheduled breaks.
The Industrial and Organizational Psychology M.A. is offered in the following sequence of classes, including a final Action Plan course:
The course provides students with a thorough understanding of the role of a training and development practitioner. It will include an analysis of current best practices, including adult learning theory, instructional design/strategy, and program evaluation. The course provides practical opportunity for students to design their own training program and develop instructional strategies appropriate for training programs that are delivered in various formats. Students take a big-picture perspective by understanding the value of training to meet strategic organizational needs and individual employee development needs.
Drawing on content across the curriculum, students will further their research on the social justice problem selected in the Research Methods course and propose alternative, socially responsible solutions. Students will prepare a white paper and brief presentation to communicate the problem, analyze existing research and practices, and present their unique contributions and solutions.
Well-trained industrial organizational psychologists are in high demand in the corporate, nonprofit, and public sector. The following are just a sampling of the potential careers available to graduates of Adler University’s Master of Arts (M.A.) in Industrial and Organizational Psychology online program:
- Corporate Recruiter
- Hiring Manager
- Performance Manager
- Executive Coach
- Instructional Designer
- Organizational Management Consultant
- Change Management Consultant
- Diversity and Anti-Discrimination Consultant
- Survey Designer
Michelle Dennis, Ph.D., PGCE, MATD
- Ph.D., Clinical Psychology, Marquette University
- M.A., Clinical Psychology, Roosevelt University
- M.A.T.D., Training and Development, Roosevelt University
- PGCE, Online Teaching in Higher Education, Roosevelt University
- B.S., Psychology, University of Wisconsin at Parkside
- Adjunct Faculty, Roosevelt University
- Interim Program Director, Nonprofit Management Program, Adler University
- Adjunct Faculty, Cardinal Stritch University
- Counselor, Catholic Charities
- Associate Lecturer, University of Wisconsin
- Associate Lecturer, Strayer University
- Statistician, U.S. Census Bureau through Sabre Systems Inc.
- Research Assistant, Medical College of Wisconsin
Areas of expertise, academic & research interests
- Leadership development
- Interpersonal styles
- Personality assessment
- American Psychological Society
- Chicago Industrial Organizational Psychologists
- The Organizational Development Network of Chicago
- World Association for Online Education
What background do you bring to this field?
I hold a doctorate in clinical psychology, a graduate credential in online teaching in higher education, and a master’s degree in training and development. I have completed specialized training in corporate business management, coaching, and instructional design. I have worked as a statistician, researcher, and business analyst, and I have worked as an educator for the past 16 years.
What career enhancement does the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program offer prospective students?
This program offers students the opportunity to develop and enhance their skills in the areas of human resource management, talent management, talent selection and recruitment, executive coaching, consumer behavior, research methods, statistics, organizational analysis, organizational change, and training and development. Additionally, students have multiple networking opportunities and the opportunity to do independent research under the supervision of faculty members if they have an interest.
Graduates of the program have earned promotions in areas such as human resources and talent management following the completion of their degrees.
How do the concepts of social justice and social responsibility apply to I/O Psychology?
The majority of life is spent at work, and social justice is of particular importance on the job. Practitioners of industrial and organizational psychology address issues of inequality by encouraging fair hiring practices, increasing diversity and raising cultural competence, and advocating for ethical and empathic behavior.
Each course includes a discussion of social justice issues as they relate to the subject matter. Students develop a social responsibility action plan during their final course.
What is an advantage of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program?
The courses in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program focus on practical applications and social responsibility. This program is comprehensive and can be completed while working full time. Our emphasis on socially responsible practice helps graduates stand out and make impacts in their communities.
Is there one specific course you’d like to highlight?
The final course in the program, Social Responsibility Action Plan, provides students with the opportunity to investigate an issue about which they are passionate, describe the impact of the issue on the community, and propose socially responsible solutions.
What stands out in terms of the online student experience?
Many students report feeling more engrossed in their studies than they expected in an online program. This is due in part to our emphasis on student engagement. There is a student engagement coordinator and an active networking group for students. Additionally, faculty are very responsive and hold regular virtual office hours.
What excites you about what you teach?
I was drawn to Adler University because my values are consistent with the mission of this learning community, and I aim to inspire my students to realize opportunities for advocacy in their day-to-day work. My goal is to assist in the training and development of agents of social change who will implement socially just practices within their communities. Through our example and instruction, Adler University faculty have the opportunity to impact the next generation of socially responsible professionals who will go on to improve communities and increase equality.
I enjoy sharing opportunities for advocacy within the field of industrial and organizational psychology with my students. I am also passionate about sharing ways to demonstrate socially responsible practice in professional coaching. Exploring ethical dilemmas as they relate to the field also allows me to demonstrate the many real-world applications of the concepts that are taught in this program.
Program FacultyBill Karmia
Delinda Howard Terry