Adler University's innovative doctoral curriculum puts Adler’s social justice mission and the core concepts learned in an I/O master’s program into real-world practice, preparing students to work with organizations addressing some of today’s most pressing issues.

Adler’s Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology trains students to be forward-thinking organizational experts who draw on scientific research and deep understanding of motivation to maximize human potential. Our graduates bring expertise in psychology, decision making, leadership, statistics, and research methods to workplaces, offering fiscally and ethically guided recommendations to shape culture and drive performance.

Our curriculum is taught by experienced faculty members who guide students through a groundbreaking online curriculum that includes individualized mentorship to develop leadership capacity, a collective act that requires personal mastery and cultivation of high-quality relationships.

Our fully online program is designed with working professionals in mind and can be completed on your timeline from anywhere in the world—the program is 100% online, with no residencies. All the while, you will receive the academic rigor and personalized attention that has characterized Adler University for more than 60 years.

Graduates of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology program go on to foster psychologically healthy environments in fields as diverse as consulting, corporate enterprise, nonprofits, academia, and the public sector.

Earn your Industrial and Organizational Psychology Ph.D. degree fully online from an institution that shares your values of social justice and community-based solutions.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of Adler University’s online Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology program are equipped to take on leadership roles that shape organizational success. Upon completion of this degree program, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate respect and understanding for human capital related issues.
  • Apply legal and ethical codes specific to industrial and organizational psychology.
  • Apply academic knowledge, business, and consulting skills to solve complex business challenges.
  • Use interpersonal skills to integrate diversity and various perspectives in a professional setting.
  • Leverage data input and analysis to identify business problems and propose thoughtful, well rounded solutions.
  • Analyze theories and concepts related to the value of individuals and groups in the workplace.


Adler University’s fully online Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology is a 75 credit-hour program, including a minimum of 12 credits toward dissertation. Coursework is in key I/O areas, as well as two advanced research courses.

Program Prerequisites

Applicants are expected to have adequate coursework in the areas listed below. Applicants who did not graduate from Adler University’s Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology or an equivalent program will be assessed to determine whether they have adequate coursework in the following master’s-level course areas, with a letter grade of B or better. Students who have not completed prerequisite coursework will need to complete additional master’s-level courses within the first two course periods of the doctoral program.

Course Areas and Equivalent Courses at Adler:

  • MIO-502: Organizational Theory or MAOP-570: Foundations of Organizational Psychology
  • MIO-504: Organizational Development and Change or MAOP-580: Organizational Development and Change
  • One graduate-level statistics course (MIO-506: Statistics or MAOP-525: Statistical Methods at Work)
  • One graduate-level research methods course (MIO-503: Research Methods or MAOP-546: Research Methods in Organizational Psychology)

Successful completion of this program includes the following coursework:

  • History and Systems of Psychology in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues
  • Advanced Organizational Theory
  • Advanced Organizational Development and Change
  • Advanced Statistics in I/O Psychology
  • Job and Task Analysis
  • Advanced Consulting Skills
  • Attitude Theory, Measurement, and Change
  • Advanced Research Methods and Design I: Qualitative Methods
  • Advanced Research Methods and Design II: Quantitative Methods
  • Advanced Human Factors
  • Assessment of Individual Differences
  • Advanced Talent Management and Motivation
  • Leadership and Management
  • Advanced Performance Management and Feedback
  • Advanced Recruitment, Selection, and Placement
  • Advanced Group Dynamics
  • Advanced Training and Development Training
  • Doctoral Qualifying Examination Seminar
  • Socially Responsible Practice Seminar I
  • Socially Responsible Practice Seminar II
  • Dissertation

Find course descriptions and more information in the Adler University Course Catalog at


Our program prepares specialists in industrial and organizational psychology to work as internal and external consultants or full-time professionals in a variety of fields, including:

  • Human Resources
  • Occupational health and wellbeing
  • Talent management consulting
  • Organizational change
  • Instructional design and training
  • Group dynamics and facilitation
  • Employee relations
  • Leadership development and coaching
  • Academia
  • Nonprofits
  • Private practice
  • Public sector

Michelle Dennis

Michelle Dennis, Ph.D., PGCE, MATD
Program Director


  • 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

  • Coaching
  • Statistical analysis
  • Research
  • Educational administration
  • Leadership development
  • Interpersonal styles
  • Personality assessment
  • Instructional methods
  • Student engagement

Professional memberships

  • 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.

Chuks Agada, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Business Organizational Management with an emphasis in Human Resources Management, Capella University
  • M.A., Industrial and Organizational Psychology with an emphasis in Human Resources, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • B.A., Psychology, Oral Roberts University


  • Principal Talent Acquisition Partner, Executive Recruitment, GE Healthcare
  • Adjunct Faculty, Strayer University
  • Adjunct Faculty, DeVry University
  • Adjunct Faculty and Curriculum Developer, Adler University
  • Human Resources Talent Solutions Consultant/Project Manager, LinkedIn Corporation
  • Human Resources Consultant/Owner, Pivotal Consulting Group
  • Human Resources IT Recruiter, Platinum Consulting Services
  • Human Resources Recruiter, CDW Corporation
  • Human Resources Recruiter, Career Education Corporation
  • Human Resources Recruitment Sourcing Strategist, HSBC North America Holdings
  • Technical Recruiter, Sapphire Technologies
  • Recruiting Assistant, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology

Dawgelene Sangster, M.A.


  • Ed.D. Pending, Organizational Leadership, Argosy University
  • M.A., Industrial and Organizational Psychology, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • B.A., Business Administration, Chicago State University
  • Certified Professional Coach, Fowler Wainwright International Institute of Professional Coaching


  • Adjunct Faculty/Course Designer, Adler University
  • Principal/Consultant, Sangster Consulting
  • Adjunct Faculty/Alumni Advisory Board Member, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  • Independent IT/Organizational Consultant
  • Global IT Manager, Diamond Management Technology Consultants
  • Digital Strategist, SBC Media
Delinda Howard Terry

DeLinda Howard Terry, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial/Organizational, Capella University
  • M.S., Psychology with an emphasis in Industrial/Organizational, Capella University
  • B.A., Psychology, Rollins College


  • Adjunct Faculty, Southern New Hampshire University
  • Adjunct Faculty, University of Phoenix
  • Online Facilitator, Brevard Public Schools, Viera, Florida
  • Teacher, Language Arts, Eau Gallie High School, Melbourne, Florida
  • Teacher, Fifth and Sixth Grades, Sabal Elementary School, Melbourne, Florida
  • Teacher, Reading, Southwest Middle School, Palm Bay, Florida
  • Teacher, Career Research and Decision Making/Reading, Satellite High School, Satellite Beach, Florida
  • Teacher, Title I Reading, Meadow Woods Middle School, Orlando, Florida

Susan Adams, Ph.D.


  • Ph.D., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • M.S., Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology
  • B.A., Psychology, Villanova University


  • Adjunct Faculty, Northeastern Illinois University
  • Adjunct Faculty, Elmhurst College
  • Consultant, Illinois Institute of Technology Leadership Academy
  • Project Assistant, Rush University Medical Center
William Karmia

William “Bill” Karmia, M.A.


  • M.A., Human Relations Services, Governors State University
  • B.A., Psychology, Northeastern Illinois University
  • A.A., Liberal Arts and Sciences, Morton College
  • L.C.P.C., Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor
  • C.S.A.D.C., Certified Addictions Supervisor and AODA Counselor


  • President, Partners in Counseling Ltd.
  • Education Specialist for Chapter 13 Debtor Education Programs, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Superintendent of Auxiliary/Part-time Police, Public Safety Division, Berwyn, Illinois, Police Department
  • Adjunct Faculty, Lewis University
  • Former Employee Assistance Program Administrator, Brach Candy Corporation
  • Former Director of Addiction Services, Loretto Hospital, Chicago