2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) 
    May 26, 2022  
2016-2017 Walden University Catalog (September 2016) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PhD in Industrial and Organizational (I/O) Psychology

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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).

Learning Outcomes

As graduates of this program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain behavior using current theory and research in industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology.
  2. Discuss the history of industrial and organizational psychology, how the specialty of I/O psychology is unique, and how to develop an I/O psychology identity.
  3. Critically examine how key industrial and organizational issues impact organizations (i.e., issues such as selection, performance management, performance measurement, job analysis, individual behavior, leadership, motivation, organizational culture, work teams, and/or job attitudes).
  4. Correctly utilize principles of basic and advanced research methods to produce independent scholarly research.
  5. Evaluate research in the area of industrial and organizational psychology.
  6. Develop empirically based organizational intervention practices.
  7. Evaluate the effectiveness of organizational interventions.
  8. Use ethical research and intervention practices.
  9. Evaluate the influence of diverse populations on individual, group, and organizational behavior.
  10. Apply principles of industrial and organizational psychology to scholarly and/or professional activities to promote lifelong learning.
  11. Engage in research practices that result in positive social change.


Each program consists of 16 core courses (75 quarter credits) and 3 specialization courses that will differ among the specializations (15 quarter credits). Each program of study is 110 credits taken over 13 11-week quarters. Four residencies are also required.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start their doctoral program at Walden University in 2016 will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment on a rolling basis. 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. For more information, click here.

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