I-O Graduate Program
Important Admissions Information
Admission to the I-O Psychology graduate program is based on a global assessment of the prospective student’s capability to complete the program successfully. We use several types of evidence to evaluate the student in order to make the best possible prediction about their performance, should s/he be admitted. Below is a list of materials utilized in our decision-making process.
The following materials are required of ALL candidates:
- A formal application submitted to the College of Graduate Studies and Research, accompanied by the appropriate application fees (consult the Graduate School for information about those fees).
- A formal written statement concerning how you believe our program will help you achieve your career and personal goals. This statement should be submitted in line with College of Graduate Studies and Research requirements and should be no longer than 500 words.
- Official transcripts from ALL colleges attended at any level. Nine (9) hours of undergraduate psychology or related coursework is STRONGLY recommended for admission. Every college must be represented, regardless of how many credits you took there. If you claim a degree from a college, that degree must be represented on the transcript from the university that granted that degree.
- Three (3) letters of recommendation to support the application for admission. Ideally, these letters would be from individuals who know you either in an academic setting or as an employee. The letters must be accompanied by the reference forms, available from the College of Graduate Studies and Research.
- A face-to-face interview with students who pass the initial screening for admission. If possible, the interview will be conducted in person with the candidate and the I-O faculty. In extenuating circumstances (i.e., travel distance, cost, work constraints, etc.), the interview can be conducted using a web-based video chat service (i.e., Skype). The interview itself is structured (which means it can be scored objectively), but subjective evaluation of the candidate will also be conducted during the interview process.
The following materials are contingent on certain criteria. Those criteria are listed alongside the description of the item:
We may require the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) as supporting evidence for your admission request. The GRE will be required if you do not possess a degree in psychology. The GRE will also be required if you have a psychology degree but do NOT possess an OVERALL undergraduate GPA of 3.15 or greater AND/OR a psychology undergraduate degree of 3.40 or greater.
We recommend that you visit ASU for the interview process. This allows you to get a complete picture of the city and the school, as well as providing an opportunity to meet fellow students. We understand that costs may be too great – therefore, the decision to conduct the interview online WILL NOT negatively affect your application.
We recommend that students take the GRE, even if it not required for you. The GRE can only help you – if you take the test even though you did not have to do so, and the scores are low, IT WILL NOT affect your application negatively. So why take it? First, the more information we have about you, the better we can assess your “fit” with the program, and second, a good GRE score may elevate your standing relative to other applicants.
We recommend that you spend a good amount of time on your personal statement. It should be the best-written paper that you can produce at this time, both in what you write and how you write it. Don’t deprioritize this requirement.
Curriculum for I-O Graduate Program
The graduate program requires 42 credits of work divided into three categories:
- I-O Core Courses - 24 credits
- Core Psychology and Electives - 12 credits
- Thesis/Internship - 6 credits
Our courses are organized into four content-based dyads:
- Statistics and Methods (6313/6358)
- Seminars (6362/6363)
- Organizational Psychology (6350/6360)
- Human Resource Management (6352/6356)
Furthermore, PSY 6313-6362, PSY 6352-6356, and PSY 6350-6360 are temporally linked.
By “temporally linked,” we mean that the courses are offered on the same night, and that they overlap with each other.
For example, PSY 6313 is populated by first-year students and begins at 4 p.m., while PSY 6362 is populated by second-year students and begins at 7 p.m. The courses overlap during the 6-7 p.m. hour, and during that time we may have special group projects, guest speakers, and other content area discussions that both cohorts can experience together.
There are a number of benefits to this model for both students and faculty, and we have found that the more concentrated exposure to course material enhances learning.
Students complete the curriculum as indicated in the table below. Internship (PSY 6672) or thesis (PSY 6699) credits are taken either in the intermediate summer term or in the second year of the program.
I-O Curriculum Semester 1 PSY 6313 PSY 6352 elective Semester 2 PSY 6358 PSY 6350 elective Semester 3 PSY 6362 PSY 6356 elective Semester 4 PSY 6363 PSY 6360 elective
Course descriptions for each class are below, organized by content dyad. (Note: Course titles may vary from the printed ASU Bulletin)
PSY 6313 (Statistics I) — This course is the first of two courses in statistics. It focuses on the basics of statistical analysis in psychology, beginning with the characteristics of data, sampling and probability theory, and then progressing through descriptive analysis, basic hypothesis testing, and simple inferential methods. This course addresses all the essential univariate statistics, such as t-tests, ANOVA and correlations (parametric and non-parametric).
PSY 6358 (Statistics II) — This course is the second of two courses in statistics. It focuses on advanced concepts in statistical analysis in psychology, especially all types of regression, including multi-level techniques.
PSY 6352 (Personnel Psychology - HRM I) — This course is the first of two courses in what is usually referenced as “human resource management.” The course includes core concepts in HRM, emphasizing all aspects of personnel selection. This encompasses strategic planning, recruitment, selection theory and techniques, legal and ethical issues, benefits, and other germane topics.
PSY 6356 (Training and Performance Evaluation - HRM II) — This course is the second of two courses in human resource management, focusing primarily on what to do with employees after they have been hired. With respect to training, concepts such as learning theory, training design and techniques, training transfer, and training evaluation will be discussed. Regarding performance evaluation, both issues central to performing these evaluations and issues concerning the use of performance evaluation for various organizational purposes will be discussed.
PSY 6350 (Organizational Psychology I) — This course is the first of two courses in organizational psychology. The course includes a variety of core concepts, including socialization, job attitudes, motivation, organizational theory and structure, organizational culture, and the nature of job performance.
PSY 6360 (Leadership - Org Psy II) — This course is the second of two courses in organizational psychology, focusing exclusively on topics central and peripheral to leadership. Concepts such as the history of leadership theories, practical approaches to leadership, creativity and innovation, social exchange theory, and leadership measurement will be addressed.
PSY 6362 (Seminar I) — This course is intended to provide second-year students with training in literature reviews and problem solving in organizations. Students will be instructed on the core skills and techniques of qualitative literature review and problem solving using cases.
PSY 6363 (Seminar II) — This course is intended to provide second-year students with the opportunity to discuss pertinent topics in I-O psychology and to prepare a comprehensive literature review on the topic covered during their time in the program. These reviews are used as preparation for the oral comprehensive examination.
Other courses that are included as electives in the curriculum, such as Personality and Social Psychology, are described on the main psychology web page.
All I-O students have the option of completing one of two capstone projects during their time at ASU. One option is to participate in a minimum 150-hour internship (called a practicum in the formal ASU bulletin) on-site in a business. This internship accounts for 6 of the 42 credits necessary for graduation. To be eligible to begin the internship, the student must have completed their first year of work in the program. The internship is optional but strongly recommended.
If you choose to forego the internship, then you must begin thesis work in the intermediate summer term. Students typically enroll for the internship in the summer and spend 6-8 weeks on site. It is possible that you will need to travel to another city to do the internship, so consider that when preparing. Your responsibilities during this time may include: completing an organizational assessment on a particular I-O topic utilizing data collection and analysis, completing projects as needed by the host organization, working with the management staff to learn about and assess current I-O related practices in the organization, and/or reporting orally and in writing about your experience and the organizational assessment that you completed.
For more information on the program, contact an I-O faculty member.