Courses and Sequence

The master of arts in industrial/organizational psychology at Elmhurst requires the successful completion of 12 courses for a total of nine credits, or 36 semester hours.

The master’s degree requires four terms (32 semester hours) of formal coursework and one credit (four semester hours) of an internship/experiential component (or PSY 580, PSY 590-593 OR PSY 599) for a total of nine (9) credits (36 semester hours). Students can complete the internship/experiential component or thesis during their two years of coursework unless they choose to pursue a component that takes more than two years.

Students enter as a cohort and move through 12 courses in two academic years as a group. Courses have been developed as sequenced learning; thus, students who cannot complete a course during any term must drop out of the cohort.

One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

Course Sequence

Year One

Fall Term

.50 credit

An overview of foundational aspects of the field in industrial/ organizational psychology through the lens of the scientist/ practitioner model. Ethical guidelines and legal issues that affect the professional will be discussed. Other topics of I/O psychology will also be discussed. Students will analyze and design presentations and discuss research reports, case studies and application readings.

1.00 credit

The course presents the descriptive and inferential statistical techniques for problem-solving and decision making used in I/O applications. Students will apply these statistics using computer programs designed to fulfill the needs of an I/O practitioner. The course will focus on statistics up to and including multiple regression. Students will gain familiarity with a number of multivariate methods. This last feature is to insure that students can interpret the more complex research literature in the I/O field. This course complements the Research Methods in Industrial/Organizational Psychology course of this program and builds on the prerequisite of undergraduate statistics.

.50 credit

Small group theory, research, and practice will be closely examined and evaluated for the purpose of understanding and improving students’ ability to interact in work groups. Group activities in class will focus on problem-solving and simulation of workplace situations. Topics to be covered include: group leadership, power, conformity, conflict resolution, and group decision-making.

Spring Term

.50 credit

This course presents problem-solving research methods currently used in I/O psychology. The topic areas include ethics in research, issues of validity, proper use of research designs, and evidence-based practice. Coursework relies heavily on analysis of articles published in I/O psychology. This course is designed to be a companion course to Statistical Analysis in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

1.00 credit

This course focuses on criterion theory, which is the framework for developing standards used to indicate the effectiveness of individuals, groups, and organizations. To do this, students will acquire an understanding of the techniques that identify the tasks performed and the knowledges, abilities and skills of successful job performance. These techniques of job analysis and competency modeling form the bedrock of all I/O interventions. Performance appraisal, which examines the methods of constructing and evaluating various scales for measuring work performance, will also be presented.

.50 credit

This course provides an examination of the design and implementation of effective training programs in organizations. It addresses critical areas such as needs analyses of the organization, the job, and the individuals performing the job. Students will learn and apply modern learning theories and principles of adult learning. Also, they will develop their ability to assess the ethicality and effectiveness of training, especially the transfer of training to the workplace. Examples of actual training programs will be examined by student work teams.

Year Two

Fall Term

1.00 credit

This course acquaints students with the wide variety of selection procedures used to assess individuals for hiring, promotion and other employment decisions. The course examines the lawful, ethical, and professional basis of such procedures as interviews, ability tests, personality inventories, and other less structured methods. Each method will be examined by exploring recent research and the evidence for reliability and validity. Students will learn decision theory and apply this theory to simulations consisting of data sets from actual organizations.

1.00 credit

This course will cover a variety of methods of measurement, including the development and use of questionnaires and surveys. Students will also evaluate standards of psychological testing that are the foundation for the ethical and professional assessment of individual difference through existing tests, as well as, the evaluation of emerging testing methodologies.

Spring Term

.50 credit

This course focuses on the joint influence of organizations and individuals. It will examine the structures and social systems of organizations through current theories and case studies. Topics will include: organizational power and politics, organizational roles and norms, and policy formation. Emphasis will be placed on the topic of organizational justice or the fair treatment of employees in organizations.

.50 credit

An examination of the theories, research, impact and practice of organizational change, particularly the effects of such changes on employees. Students will gain experience at formulating change strategies through work with case studies and research reports.

.50 credit

This course will review theories of work motivation including need-motive-value theories that focus on person-based determinants of behavior, cognitive choice research such as expectancy-value approaches, and self-regulation approaches that include areas of goal setting and social learning. The course will emphasize the integration and application of these theories.

.50 credit

An advanced seminar course designed to address a specific current topic in I/O Psychology. The topic will vary each year based on student input and faculty experience/knowledge.

And, choose from one of these three options:

This course fulfills the final requirement of the graduate program. Students must engage in either an applied or research-oriented project in I/O psychology. The project may be a single project for the class, several team projects or individual projects. Students are expected to utilize the literature base from the coursework as well as seek out new information as needed. Students will study cases of problems in organizations and develop solutions based on science.

This course is the nexus of the program. Students will work interactively with the faculty and the internship organization to choose a topic area that is acceptable to all concerned. Three alternatives are available to students: 1) internship in a new organization, 2) intern project in a current work setting, and 3) intern project with work brought to Elmhurst by I/O faculty. Students will prepare a proposal and submit it to the Department of Psychology for approval. When the project is completed, students will submit a manuscript suitable for a departmental symposium. More information, including the criteria for evaluation, is available from the program director.

Optional

Although this program is designed for students desiring I/O practitioner oriented training, it is possible to go from this program into doctoral training if the student does an original research thesis. I/O psychology is a field of applied psychology, even at the doctoral level; therefore, this would be the only accommodation needed for students desiring postmasters education. Thesis completion is in addition to all other course work requirements.

Elmhurst University reserves the right to modify courses, schedules and program format without advance notice to students.

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