Keep reading to learn about common courses, completion times, skills gained, and career and salary outlooks for this degree.

What to Expect in an Online Master's in Organizational Psychology Program

When looking at prospective industrial organizational psychology master's programs online, remember that every department sets unique guidelines and course mandates. The following sections give readers a sense of general expectations, but they should look at individual plans of study to gain detailed information.

Sample Courses for an Online Master's in Organizational Psychology

The best industrial organizational psychology master's programs online prepare graduates to undertake meaningful roles by teaching them about emerging and established topics in the field. Some programs may also provide specializations in areas of consulting, forensics, leadership development, or organizational diversity to further hone their marketable skills.

Master's programs such as these offer greater opportunities than associate and bachelor's programs, which do not allow graduates to work as organizational psychologists. Most master's students complete an internship and a capstone or thesis project. We have listed some common courses below.

Applied Industrial Psychology

This introductory class provides students with the foundational theories and methodologies of the discipline, with specific emphasis on predicting and managing human behavior at the organizational level. Students learn about common predictive models used for performance management and training/development.

Organizational Development

Students in this class study how to intervene in and improve organizations. Students learn about common tools for maximizing growth and managing organizations through potentially difficult times of change.

Psychological Research Design

Created for those who plan to work in research-heavy roles, this course teaches students about the scientific method, validity of data projects, literature reviews, and controlled laboratory study.

Continuing Education and Workforce Development

Students in this class review important theories surrounding adult learning. Students look at how organizational industrial psychology can help identify training needs and learn how to design educational programs.


Taken during the final semester, this course calls on learners to take all that they have learned and distill it into a final, comprehensive project. Students may conduct case studies, design a portfolio, consult on a project, or write a thesis that evaluates a methodology of the discipline.

Online Master's in Organizational Psychology Completion Time

When considering potential online master's in industrial organizational psychology degrees, remember that several factors can affect the length of a distance learning program. Some students may feel confident enrolling on a full-time basis, but others may feel that their personal and professional responsibilities mandate part-time enrollment.

Some students may feel confident enrolling on a full-time basis, but others may feel that their personal and professional responsibilities mandate part-time enrollment.

Some colleges may provide accelerated programs, allowing degree seekers to move through coursework in a way that lets them graduate more quickly. Other programs may use a cohort learning model, meaning students must progress through each class alongside their colleagues.

The majority of full-time learners usually complete 36-48 credits and graduate within 2-3 years. Part-time students may need 3-5 years to graduate, depending on the program and the amount of time they can devote to their studies.

Skills Gained in an Online Master's in Organizational Psychology Program

Industrial organizational psychologists work in different professional arenas and must possess the skills to ascertain what is needed and meet expectations for deliverables. Online master's in industrial organizational psychology degrees work to ensure students possess these skills upon graduation by providing cutting-edge syllabi and building real-world experience through internships and field experiences. The skills below outline what to expect from a program.

  • Ability to Understand Human Motivations

    The psychological component of this degree gives learners the skills needed to understand what drives employees to work more efficiently and creatively, thereby helping companies bring out these skills in their workers.

  • Data Collection

    Since these programs emphasize the scientific method, degree seekers learn how to design, create, and implement data collection tools like surveys and questionnaires to gather information.

  • Data Leveraging

    After gathering employee data, industrial organizational psychologists know how to translate and leverage this raw information into actionable information and practical advice for companies looking to maximize growth and effectiveness.

Online vs. On-Campus Programs: What's the Difference?

Before committing to an online master's in industrial organizational psychology degree, many students want to understand the differences between online and on-campus programs. Put simply, little difference exists except for location. Distance learning programs follow the same curricula as their campus-based counterparts, with many courses taught by the same professors who lecture at brick-and-mortar locations.

Programs requiring internships work with distance learners to find a suitable location near their place of residence rather than requiring them to travel long distances. Some programs allow asynchronous learning -- meaning students can complete work when they want -- while others require them to log on at specific times.

Career and Salary Outlook for Online Master's in Organizational Psychology Graduates

After earning an online master's in industrial and organizational psychology, graduates can choose from several career paths. Some individuals may decide to pursue clinical research roles and complete a Ph.D., while others may work in education or administration. Regardless of path, graduates usually enjoy solving problems, identifying patterns, and seeking ways to improve existing processes. Learn more by checking out our Learn Psychology in-depth guide.

Survey Researcher

Survey researchers work in-house and as consultants to create surveys that collect data, seek opinions, or help clarify how individuals feel on a number of topics. Companies frequently use survey researchers to better understand employee happiness and motivations.

Median Annual Salary: $57,700


Sociologists seek to understand how societies function and thrive by looking at groups, organizations, social communities, and processes. They may work in research or client-facing roles to help companies build better cultures.

Median Annual Salary: $82,050

Market Research Analyst

These professionals study and collect data about market conditions to help advise companies on best practices in marketing strategies for specific services and products. They forecast trends, conduct surveys, poll opinions, and share this information with their clients to help them make informed decisions.

Median Annual Salary: $63,120

Human Resources Manager

HR managers work in myriad professional settings to oversee functions of the company that relate to employee services. They manage hiring, develop training strategies, oversee benefits programs, and work to build events that motivate employees to provide the company with their best work products.

Median Annual Salary: $113,300

Education and Training Beyond a Master's in Organizational Psychology

When looking at education beyond a master's in organizational psychology online, students should consider their end goals. Individuals looking to work in research, academia, or clinical settings usually need to complete a doctorate to qualify for these positions. Individuals hoping to work as consultants or in entry-level roles, however, do not.

Students must also decide whether or not to pursue licensure. The majority of industrial organizational psychology positions do not require licensure -- which is mandated on a state-by-state basis -- because they mostly work in organizational capacity building and employee relations.

That said, individuals who want to call themselves psychologists must obtain a license. To do so, degree seekers need to undertake a doctorate in organizational psychology, complete the minimum number of required clinical practicum hours, and pass an examination. To maintain licensure, they must participate in continuing education programs to stay current on research and methodologies in the field. Individuals looking to learn more about doctoral programs can browse our Learn Psychology Ph.D. in Psychology guide.