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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.

One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

Course Sequence

Year One

Fall Term

.50 credit

An overview of the foundational aspects of the field of industrial/organizational psychology through the lens of the scientist/practitioner model. Ethical guidelines and legal issues that affect the profession 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.

An overview of descriptive and inferential statistical techniques for problem solving and decision making in I/O applications. Students will use Excel spreadsheet and SPSS software to gain familiarity with various univariate and multivariate statistics.

.50 credit

Introduces and demonstrates small group theory, research and practice. Emphasis is on improving students’ ability to interact in work groups through simulations of workplace situations. Topics to be covered include: group leadership, power, conformity, conflict resolution and group decision making.

Spring Term

.50 credit

A seminar on problem-solving research methods used in I/O psychology. Topics include: ethics in research, quasiexperimentation design, program evaluation, use of appropriate statistical method and workplace applications.

A study of the methods used to develop measures that evaluate the performance of individuals, groups and the overall productivity of organizations. Students will gain experience conducting job analyses and constructing performance appraisal measures.

.50 credit

An examination of the design, implementation and evaluation of effective training programs in organizations based on modern learning theory and principles of adult learning.

Year Two

Fall Term

A survey of job selection procedures used to assess individuals for hiring, promotion and other employment decisions. Topics include decision theory and the lawful, ethical and professional basis of such procedures as interviews, ability tests, personality inventories and other less-structured methods.

1.0 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

An examination of the structures and social systems of organizations through current theories and case studies. Topics include: organizational power and politics, organizational roles and norms, policy formation, and 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

A study of the major theoretical areas of work motivation: need, cognitive and social learning. Emphasis is on the application of these theories to an increasingly diverse workforce.

.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:

Supervised fieldwork in an industrial/organizational work setting. 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. Topics and sites are to be developed with I/O faculty and submitted to the Department of Psychology for final approval. Upon completion of this component, students will submit a manuscript that conforms to department criteria for experiential component papers. Students must complete all four courses.

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.


An independent research project conducted under the guidance of an I/O faculty member, with the approval of the departmental committee, and conforming to departmental criteria for thesis.

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

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