College of Natural Sciences Colorado State University Department of Psychology

Industrial Organizational Psychology FAQ

Application Material
Education Background
Applicants with a Master's Degree
Financial Support
Program of Study
Learning Climate
Student Life
After you have chosen to attend CSU
After Graduation
City of Ft. Collins

Application Materials

Is a terminal Master's Degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology available at Colorado State University? 
The on-campus CSU I/O program only accepts students who intend to obtain a doctoral degree. An online terminal master’s degree (i.e., intended for students who do not plan to go on to doctoral work) in Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) ( is available through CSU Online Plus. Although there is some overlap in faculty and course content, the two programs operate separately. Admissions deadlines and requirements vary, and courses from the MAIOP program cannot be transferred to the PhD program. 

Can the application materials be completed on the Internet? 
 Yes.  CSU’s graduate admissions system is fully online and allows nearly all materials to be submitted electronically.  Please visit the Application page for further application information.

What is the deadline for the application materials to be received by CSU? 
All materials are due on December 1 the year before you plan to enroll. 

When will applicants receive notification about selection decisions? 
The admission process takes between eight and ten weeks.  If you are accepted into the program, then you should be notified within the first two weeks of February.  However, if you are placed on a waiting list, it could take longer.

How many letters of recommendation are required to apply to the program?  Are forms available for those who will write the recommendations? 
We require three letters of recommendation.  There are no forms that letter writers need to use.

Is the selection of a specific faculty member as an advisor required to apply to the program?  If a specific faculty member is requested, how will it affect the selection decision? 
All faculty members associated with the program are involved in the selection decisions, and we encourage students to work with multiple faculty members over the course of their time at CSU.  As a result, you need not specify a certain faculty member in order to apply.  That said, we do consider how well applicants' interests will fit with the collective research being conducted in our program.  Consequently, it is often useful to indicate one or more faculty members whose research especially interests you.  Each faculty member's research interests are described in the brochure and on the psychology department faculty web page.

What is the average GPA of those applicants that are accepted into the program? 

The average undergraduate GPA of admitted applicants was 3.82 in 2016 and 3.92 in 2015.

Is the GRE Psychology Subject Test required to apply to the program?
 If you have an undergraduate or graduate psychology major, the GRE subject test is not required. If you do not have a previous degree in psychology, the GRE subject test is required to ensure that you have the minimum background in the field necessary to succeed in our core courses.  

What is the average GRE quantitative score of those applicants that are accepted into the program?
The average GRE quantitative score in 2016 was 158 and in 2015 it was 156. We recommend minimum scores of 146 or higher. 

What is the average GRE verbal score of those applicants that are accepted into the program? 
The average GRE verbal score in 2016 was 161 and in 2015 it was 160. We recommend minimum scores of 153 or higher.

What is the average TOEFL score of those applicants that are accepted into the program?  
We do not have an average TOEFL score. 

Is previous research experience considered when making the selection decisions?  
Yes!  Any research experience is of considerable value.  This is especially true when the work has led to a publication or presentation at a conference.  Regardless of the specific topic of investigation, research experience can demonstrate knowledge in research methodology and skills in statistics. Applicants we have admitted in the past few years have had substantial and relevant research experience, generally including conference presentations, manuscripts submitted for publication, and other high levels of involvement in scholarly research activity.

What other factors are considered during the admission process? 
Applicants should demonstrate that they possess a sound foundation in research methodology, statistics, and psychology.  In addition, they should describe their interest in I/O psychology and our program in particular.

What is the average number of applications received each year, and how many are usually accepted? 

In a given year we may receive anywhere from 65 to 115 completed applications.  Of these, we usually aim to admit a class of 4-5. We typically invite a group of 8-10 students for a recruitment visit in late February or early March. Following the visit, we will extend offers of admission to some students and place others on the wait list. In some years, we also maintain a short “second wait list” of students who are not invited to the recruitment visit but who may receive offers of admission later in the process (late March or early April), for example if funding or faculty availability changes.


What undergraduate coursework is most useful and relevant for the program? 
A solid academic background is invaluable. We look to see if applicants have relevant coursework in I/O or business, but we understand that not all universities offer I/O courses at the undergraduate level. It is also valuable to take classes in mathematics and statistics. Of course, one should have strong grades in these classes.

Is an undergraduate major of psychology required to apply to the program? 

We accept students from diverse backgrounds. However, if you did not major in psychology, we ask that you take the GRE Psychology Subject Test to demonstrate a good working knowledge of the essentials of the field. I/O psychology regularly draws on theories, methods, and findings from other areas of psychology (e.g., social, cognitive, personality), and you will need to be conversant with these areas.

Can a person who already earned a Master's Degree at another institution apply to the program?
Yes.  In fact, about 10 - 20% of our new students come with Master's degrees from other schools. It is important to know, however, that that an external master’s degree will not necessarily meet the master’s-level requirements for the Ph.D. at CSU. Some or even many courses from other institutions may not transfer to the CSU program (see below).

Applicants with a Master's Degree

What credits earned for a Master's Degree at another institution will transfer into the program? 
If you enter with a master’s degree, we will carefully compare your previous coursework with our requirements to see where it may be appropriate to transfer credits or waive course requirements. However, it is uncommon for courses to transfer completely, as many courses are simply not comparable across programs.

The primary reason for this is that master’s degree programs and doctoral programs typically have different objectives, and therefore emphasize somewhat different sets of content and skills. For example, master’s degree programs are often designed to equip future practitioners, whereas doctoral programs have a much stronger research focus. At CSU, this research focus begins in first-year coursework and projects. Although some courses fulfill the M.A. checklist and other courses fulfill the Ph.D. checklist, all of them are part of our overall doctoral training model. Further, different programs have different models, processes, and emphases. A master’s degree from another program is not interchangeable with a master’s degree from CSU, regardless of the rigor or quality of the other program.

For this reason, we consider all entering students to be part of the same first-year cohort, regardless of previous degree status. It may occasionally be possible to use previous coursework to waive CSU course requirements, but this is more likely to be the exception than the rule due to the differences in emphases, etc., above. Although this may seem burdensome, it is ultimately for your benefit – we want to ensure that you have a solid foundation in I/O psychology with no major gaps.

At what level will a new student entering with a Master's Degree be placed in the program? 
This depends on the individual.  Usually, someone with a Master's Degree places into the first or second year of the CSU curriculum, depending on the previous coursework and whether or not the student has completed an empirical thesis. Again, you may or may not have to take all of our content courses, even after entering with a Master's degree. 

Can a new student entering with a Master's Degree waive or test out of courses? 
Sometimes. We determine course waivers on a case-by-case basis. Students should provide a class syllabus, readings, completed assignments or papers, and other relevant class materials. If the previous course overlaps substantially with the CSU course, you will be permitted to waive the CSU course. Waiver decisions for department core courses are made by the graduate curriculum committee, which has a faculty representative from each program. Waivers for IO program courses are made by the faculty member teaching the course.

Courses in our first-year statistics sequence can only be waived if you take and pass a statistics placement exam administered by the statistics instructor. Details of this exam vary from year to year; please contact us if you have questions about this process.

Will the program accept the Master's thesis of a new student? 
Again, we make these decisions on a case-by-case basis. We require an empirical master’s thesis, so if your master’s thesis was not an empirical one, you'll have to complete one here at CSU before moving to doctoral candidacy.  If you completed an empirical thesis in an area other than psychology, such as business, we will carefully consider whether your thesis fulfilled the same developmental goals as a psychology thesis.

Financial Support

What is the cost of tuition for the year? 
For the 2017/2018 academic year, the estimated cost of full-time tuition and fees in the doctoral program is $12,400 for in-state students, and $26,792 for out-of-state students.

What percentage of those applicants accepted into the program receive funding? 
As a rule, we do not “guarantee” funding beyond the first year, because our ability to fund students depends on state budgets and other somewhat unpredictable sources. Historically, however, virtually every student in the program who has requested financial support has received funding from the program, whether in the form of a teaching assistantship, research assistantship, internship, or other opportunity. Students are most commonly funded by department assistantships (teaching or research) in the early years of the program and take a more active role in their own funding (e.g., internships and other paid positions) as they develop greater skills and experience. All types of funding are intended to cover tuition, fees, and a monthly stipend toward living expenses.

How many years of funding are available to students? 
Students who are making good progress toward completing the doctorate can usually count on at least four years of financial support. We make every effort to obtain funding for all students in the program who are making acceptable progress; as noted above, more senior students often take an active role in obtaining their own funding.  

How are funding decisions and assistantship assignments made? 
Funding decisions and assistantship assignments are determined by considering what teaching and research assistantships are available, which students need funding, and the skills and abilities of the students (e.g., advanced students differ from incoming first years). We do solicit student preferences each semester regarding funding preferences, but must balance these against the opportunities available and the needs of the program as a whole. Funding assignments change from year to year and semester to semester; it is quite rare for a student to have the same funding assignment throughout their time in the program.

What types of assistantships are available? 

There are two main types of assistantships: Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) and Graduate Research Assistant (GRA). The exact responsibilities of GTA and GRA positions can vary considerably. 

What are some tasks associated with the GTA and GRA assistantships? 
GTAs' tasks are to assist faculty with class management, prepare exams, maintain records, help students understand class materials, etc. Some GTAs teach a lab associated with a large section of a psychology course. GRAs' tasks include assisting faculty with designing and conducting research.

Can students request a particular assistantship? 
Students' preferences are solicited and are balanced with the needs of the faculty and of the program as a whole. Wherever possible, we try to match students with assistantship opportunities that fit their interests and/or their developmental needs. 

What is the average stipend for an assistantship? 
For the 2016/2017 academic year, the stipend for an entry-level GTA or GRA position is $1,548 per month before taxes. A full tuition waiver is included with each assistantship; however, graduate students are responsible for some fees as well as purchasing their own books. Detailed information about required fees and costs can be found here:

Are fellowships available? 
There are fellowships available to advanced graduate students such as the Graduate School Fellowship or the Psychology Department Teaching Fellowship. Organizations such as the National Science Foundation provide competitive fellowships to graduate students as well. Students are encouraged to apply for NSF awards before entering graduate school as many are slated for incoming graduate students rather than established ones.

Do students usually need to take out loans or seek outside employment? 
Some students are able to live on the financial support provided by the I/O program, but some students do take out loans or seek family support in order to achieve a higher standard of living than program support allows. Since the financial support provided by the program is usually only for 9 months (GRAs funded by grants can receive supports up to 12 months), many students take internships or other forms of summer employment to supplement their income. Summer consulting work or paid research assistantships through the program faculty members are sometimes available. Advanced graduate students are also occasionally able to find funding during the summer as a paid instructor of an undergraduate course.

Program of Study

Is the emphasis of the program research or practice?
The educational philosophy of our doctoral program at Colorado State University is based on our special conception of the field of industrial/organizational psychology. Historically, the field of I/O psychology has been described on two dimensions, each with two facets. Figure 1 shows that the content dimension consists of industrial psychology which emphasizes individual differences OR organizational psychology which emphasizes contextual influences on behavior. The second dimension describes the way we do business, including science OR practice. Training programs in these areas can be labeled with simple terms: cell 1 is the “measurement model,” cell 2 is the “human resource (HRM) management model,” cell 3 is the “organization behavior (OB) model,” and cell 4 is the “doctor of psychology (PsyD) model” often followed in professional schools of psychology.



Industrial Psychology

Measurement model

HRM model

Organizational Psychology

OB model

Psy D model

Figure 1. Traditional Models of Education in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

At CSU, we believe that there has been an unhealthy bifurcation on both these dimensions. Our conception of the field of Industrial/Organizational Psychology and our educational model are quite different, as represented in Figure 2 . Relevant to the content dimension, we believe that most real-life problems of people in work organizations require an understanding of BOTH the individual differences that people bring to organizations AND the impact of structures and groups on work behavior. In the true sense of the old adage, work behavior is a function of the interaction of people AND environments. We take seriously the notion of the interfaces and interactions of people and organizations.


Figure 2. CSU's Model of Education in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

On the second dimension, we believe there is a healthy interchange between science and practice in the field of I/O psychology. In many ways, “science” is our “practice.” The contribution of I/O psychology over other fields is the rigorous empirical study of work in organizations. Thus, one core of our training is the development of strong empirical research skills, including research design, measurement methodologies, and statistical analyses. We believe science and practice can and should influence each other: science informs practice, and practice informs science. CSU students are involved in organizational settings to see “real life” problems. These experiences (a) show the applications of our science to effective organizational functioning and (b) enrich our science by making research more realistic, relevant, and valuable.

Our educational model, and the training which follows from it, involves both I and O psychology and both science and practice. A Ph.D. from CSU prepares students for a variety of roles in the field. All students are expected to develop a wide array of research skills: design of research, measurement skills, data management, statistics, computer skills, etc. Consequently, they move successfully into jobs in education, research, consulting, or organizations.

What courses does the program require?
Degree requirements are listed in our program brochure.

Students who wish to waive the first and/or second course in statistics (i.e., PSY652, PSY653) should follow these steps. 
1.  Contact the instructor of record for statistics prior to the fall semester to arrange taking the PSY652 waiver test.  Students will be required to get a C (70%) on the test to be able to waive the course.
2.  Contact the instructor of record for statistics prior to the spring semester to arrange taking the PSY653 waiver test.  Students will be required to get a C (70%) on the test to be able to waive the course.
Things students should know before, during, and after the tests:
1.  Students can only take the waiver tests once at the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters, respectively.  A pre-requisite for taking the PSY653 waiver test is to pass the PSY652 waiver test.
2.  Students receiving grades lower than a B (80%) will be strongly encouraged to consider taking the class.
3.  Students will receive the result and will not receive their answers or be allowed to keep the questions.  Their results will also be passed to their advisors for reference.
4.  Students can bring whatever books and notes they wish, though no programmable calculators or handheld computers, to their testing sessions.

How long does it normally take to complete the program? 
It will take about 5 years for a student with a Bachelor's degree, and 3-4 years for a student with a Master’s degree. Students who take full-time or off-site internships often take longer, but such internships are not required. 

What percentage of students complete the program?  What are some reasons why students do not complete the program? 
The ratio of completion is about 90-95%.  Typical reasons for not finishing, according to the exit interviews, are poor match of interests with program emphases or family considerations. 

How is Colorado State University's program different from programs at other schools? 
We emphasize the importance of industrial AND organizational psychology, and we emphasize the importance of science AND practice. 

What is the typical workload for a student in the program? 
Typically, students enroll in 12-15 hours of credit and hold a 20-hour per week assistantship. Students are expected to engage in research continually throughout their graduate training and to participate at least occasionally in applied practicum projects. 

Can students work with faculty members from other departments or take classes from other departments? 
Definitely yes! As the matter of fact, you are encouraged to do so. 

What opportunities are available to publish, teach, consult, and present at conferences? 
Students regularly present their research at conferences such as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Academy of Management, and often publish at least one or two articles from their research projects before graduation. The ultimate goal of all research projects is publication and presentation. We encourage our students to publish, teach, and present. Students consult on projects with faculty or in internships. It should be emphasized that all students are involved in field/practicum projects as a required part of the program. Occasionally, students teach a course in the summer term (e.g., Organizational Psychology, Testing and Measurement). Selected students who are awarded the Psychology Department Teaching Fellowship teach Introductory Psychology, or another large class for the department.


Is an internship required to complete the program? 
No. It is not required, although many students elect to take an internship in their graduate training. 

Will the faculty assist a student in obtaining an internship? 
Yes. The faculty regularly provide both local and national internship opportunities to the program. 

What are some examples of organizations where students have worked as interns? 

Students work for different sizes and types of companies including Sun Microsystems, IBM, and various consulting organizations such as DDI, PDI, and SHL (in Boulder). 

Are there any other opportunities to work with local organizations?
Yes. In conjunction with the required skills course, students work with faculty on various practicum projects around the community. Recent examples include HP, Coors, New Belgium Brewery, Fort Collins Utility, Local 208, The City of Fort Collins Police Department, CH2M Hill Waste Management, Poudre Valley Hospital, and Colorado State University Human Resources.

Learning Climate

What are each faculty member's research interests? 
The research interests of the faculty members affiliated with the I/O program at CSU are wide-ranging. For more information on faculty's current research projects, visit the faculty web site.

Do I/O faculty conduct research and engage in projects with faculty in other psychology sections or in other departments? 
Yes! Our faculty often collaborate with others in the psychology department and around the university, and students are encouraged to do so as well. 

What is the typical relationship between faculty members and students? 

Faculty and students in the I/O program possess a unique collegial relationship. Faculty members often engage in discussions beyond I/O psychology, as well as attend social events with students. A weekly seminar, consisting of the faculty and 2nd and 3rd year students discussing a recently published journal article, demonstrates the mutual respect between the faculty and students. In essence, the I/O faculty at CSU provides the invaluable opportunity of informal mentoring to graduate students, in addition to formal teaching and advising. Students have an advisor but work closely with all I/O faculty. 

How are students assigned to advisors? 
Students are initially assigned a temporary advisor, usually one of the I/O program directors. Within the first few weeks of the students' first semester, the faculty members make short, informal presentations of their current research interests. By the end of the first month of the semester, after the students have held discussions with all members of the IO faculty, the students indicate their preferences for an advisor. The final assignment of an advisor is a result of a mutual agreement between the faculty member and student.

Can a student pursue a different research interest than his/her advisor? 
It is not required that students pursue the same research interests as their advisor; however, a similarity between the two interests is beneficial for the advisor to provide optimal guidance.  It is up to the advisor whether he/she is capable of and interested in advising a research topic outside of his/her primary area; therefore, students wishing to pursue interests different from their primary advisor should discuss the nature of the matter with their advisor.  

Can a student change his/her advisor in the process of graduate study? 
Often the research interests of students will evolve as they receive their graduate training. As students' interests may be better aligned with different faculty, it is perfectly fine, and in many cases beneficial, for them to change advisors. Sometimes, students may complete their Master’s degree under one advisor and change advisors for their Ph.D.

Can students work with other faculty members besides their advisors? 
It is common for graduate students to work on both research and consulting projects with faculty members other than their primary advisor.  

Are faculty members willing to share authorship with students on publications and special projects? 
Faculty members are extremely generous when offering opportunities to work on publications and special projects.  They recognize the invaluable experience of both of these activities during graduate training as well as appreciate the assistance that motivated students can provide.  Authorship of publications is determined by rules advocated by the American Psychological Association.

Student Life

What is the typical age range of the students in the program? 
Most students are between the ages of 21 and 35, although some are in their early 40's. 

Can I know more about your graduate students? 

Please visit our graduate student association (IOPAC) website.  Additionally, current graduate students and their contact information is listed here.  You are welcome to contact any of the students to learn more about their research interests and perspectives on the program. 

What are some of the regions and schools that students come from? 
CSU students represent every region of the United States. Currently, there are students who moved to Colorado from Oregon, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, Utah and there are several from Colorado. Students also come from a variety of different schools, including some of the top universities in the country as well as from smaller schools.

Are there special considerations for international students?
Yes.  As noted above, we normally provide tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend to all funded graduate students.  If a U.S. student from outside the state of Colorado attends, the Psychology Department pays their out-of-state tuition for the FIRST year. The student would establish state residency after one year, and the department covers their in-state tuition as long as they have an assistantship.
The problem is that an international student can NEVER establish residency in Colorado.  This is a Colorado law, not a CSU or department policy.  We are able to pay for an international student’s tuition in the first year, but in subsequent years, the student must pay the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition if they hold an assistantship with CSU.

About how many new students enter into the program with a Master's Degree? 
In the past few years the percentage of incoming students with Master's degrees has ranged from 0 to 50%. 

What are some examples of students' research interests? 
The students possess a variety of research interests, which strongly represent both industrial and organizational topics. Some examples include assessment centers, training, online research methods, selection, work-family balance, discrimination in the workplace, organizational support, leadership, motivation, occupational health psychology, leadership development, recruitment, gender studies, employee engagement, coaching, job insecurity, unemployment, mentoring, organizational development, performance evaluation, and special worker populations. The current student website has detailed information about students' current research interests.

What is the climate of the program? Do the students work collaboratively or in isolation? Are the students encouraged to compete or cooperate? 
Any graduate student will tell you that one of the most distinctive features of our program is the cooperative environment. Students are supportive of each other in completing courses and research. For course exams, students may hold study groups and lab meetings or "brown bags" to discuss research interests and results. Students also invite speakers from the I/O community to discuss research and consulting opportunities. In sum, the graduate students find it much more productive and rewarding to cooperate rather than compete. Faculty encourage students to collaborate.

Do the students spend time together outside of the classroom? 
Yes, all students participate in a few events each semester such as the annual I/O banquet, picnics, and holiday celebrations. Students always get together to celebrate each other's achievements such as a thesis defense or completion of the written comprehensive exam. In addition, Ft. Collins and the surrounding area have much to offer groups of students who want to unwind from a stressful school week. For example, students will often go hiking, skiing, or barhopping together during the weekends. 

What are the major predictors of whether a new student will fit in and like the program? 

The students brainstormed about this question and came up with a few predictors (most of which are predictors of success in graduate school): achievement motivation, tolerance of ambiguity, stress management, and cooperation with fellow students and faculty members.  Also, interests in research and the I/O field in general are also a good indication of overall motivation and success in the program.

After you have chosen to attend CSU

How can I find housing in Fort Collins? 
Fortunately, housing is plentiful in Fort Collins, and there are several ways to choose your new home. The local newspaper, The Coloradoan ( ) has classified listings, in addition to Fort Collins’ Craigslist ( Services such as Housing Helpers ( ) and Roommate Shop ( can also be helpful. The Office of Off-Campus Student Services ( has online rental listings as well as other helpful resources, like a worksheet for estimating the cost of living in Fort Collins, renters' resources, a budget workbook, etc. However, your best resource is current students, particularly if you are attempting to find a roommate. Our students have lived in a variety of locations and used many different rental companies and can help you find the best home for your needs. If you accept an offer of admission at CSU, we can send out an email to all of the current and incoming graduate students in the Psychology department to find potential roommates if you like. Alternatively, if you are interested in a place but hate to commit without seeing it or knowing about the neighborhood, one of the current students is generally willing to drive through the area and let you know if it appears to be safe and desirable.

What should I be doing the summer before I begin classes at CSU? 
Enjoy yourself!  Read novels and lay in the grass.  There will be plenty of time for learning and reading pertinent literature once you arrive at CSU.

When would I need to arrive in Colorado to begin the Fall semester? 
You need to arrive early enough to obtain all of the documentation required for residency (lease, driver's license, etc.) before classes officially begin. Because gathering this information will require some time, we suggest that students arrive in CSU three weeks to a month before the start of classes. However, coming to Colorado and obtaining the documents you will need to establish residency does not preclude you from returning to your state of departure for the remainder of the summer. For example, you could come to Colorado, register your car, register to vote, get a driver's license, sign a lease, etc., and then return home to pack, move, etc. You will certainly want to return at least two weeks before classes, though, in order to participate in various department and section orientations and the University Teacher's Assistant training. One other note: arriving early gives you time to acclimate to the higher altitude. Fort Collins is just under 5000 feet. Some folks experience headaches and fatigue for a week or two before fully acclimating.

When should I register for classes? 
The only requirement is that you register before classes begin, which can easily be done though RAMweb ( ). RAMweb also contains useful information such as your current financial aid status and your unofficial transcript, so you will certainly want to establish this account. When you are accepted to the program, you will be assigned a temporary advisor until you choose your own advisor about a month into the Fall semester. The temporary advisor will tell you which classes you should be taking. Current students also have a good idea of what courses you can take and what constitutes a reasonable course load, so don't be afraid to approach them.

Will I have to become a Colorado resident to attend CSU? 
No, you are not obligated to become a Colorado resident, but the consequences of not becoming a resident are severe. So, in practice the answer is yes. The general funding package includes out-of-state tuition for one year only. From your second year on, if you are not a resident, you will be responsible for the price difference between in-state and out-of-state graduate tuition.

How do I establish Colorado residency? 
Establishing residency is something you should think about from the moment you cross the border into Colorado. As evidenced by the response above, becoming a Colorado resident is essential to your financial well-being. You will be responsible for gathering documentation that shows your intent to remain in Colorado permanently, including: a signed lease, a voter's registration card, vehicle registration, and a driver's license. (While it isn't required for residency, it is also suggested that you obtain your student identification card in the Lory Student Center at the same time. This will assure your library privileges, access to the gymnasium and other facilities, and tickets to special events.) During your first year at CSU, you should also be sure to pay your state taxes for Colorado. The actual process to establish residency will then begin during your first spring at CSU. The Financial Aid office will offer seminars on how to fill out the residency form, and you should determine early in the Spring semester which seminar you will attend. The last seminar dates are in April, and you are required to attend one of these sessions. You will be required to write an essay to prove your intent to remain in Colorado, and while you are certainly free to go following graduation, it is strongly suggested that you word your essay to suggest that you will remain in Colorado for life. Be sure to keep copies of all forms and documentation for your own records, and the residency packet has to be returned to the Financial Aid office before mid-summer, usually a date in late June. Submitting your documentation early will be to your advantage as residency requests are processed in the order in which they are received, and if your resident status is not approved by the beginning of the Fall semester, you will be responsible for the out-of-state portion of your tuition. This is a real threat, and we have seen this actually happen to students!!! Once again, current students can usually help you through this process.

Does CSU offer health insurance? 
Yes, CSU does offer health insurance, but purchasing it is optional. All graduate students that are full time (over 5 credits) are required to have health insurance (see here for more info on the requirement). You can choose a CSU plan, or a comparable plan through another insurance agency. If you are a full-time graduate student with a graduate assistant position and are enrolled in CSU’s health insurance plan, you will receive a health insurance contribution as a bonus in your paycheck to cover the cost of your health insurance bill each semester. Even if you do not choose the CSU health insurance program, you still retain access to the Hartshorn Health Center, which offers a range of medical services (e.g., general practice, physical therapy, dental clinic, optometry) at a very low cost. Procuring some type of health insurance is mandatory if you are a full time student (over 5 credits a semester) and is still strongly suggested if you are part time to cover more substantial accidents or injuries. Spouses, domestic partners, and dependent children can be added to the health plan if you pay the premium.

If I am coming in from a Master's program, what do I need to do to ensure that courses from that program count toward the CSU requirements? 
Equivalency is determined on a case-by-case basis at CSU.  Requests to waive department core courses are determined by the graduate curriculum committee; requests to waive most other courses (except Statistics) are determined by the program. In either case, you should provide a copy of your syllabus, reading list, and ideally any major writing assignments you completed in the course. Course waivers are generally granted when it is clear that the previous course covered similar content at a similar level of depth. Courses may differ considerably in content even if they have the same name; the most common reason for denial of course waiver requests is a lack of common content. This is not meant to be punitive or a disparagement of your previous course; rather, we want to ensure that you have the same thorough grounding in key areas as other students in the program. If the committee or faculty member approves your request, they will sign a memo to that effect. You should keep a copy of the memo and ensure that one is placed in your student file.

Courses in our first-year statistics sequence can only be waived if you take and pass a statistics placement exam administered by the statistics instructor. Details of this exam vary from year to year; please contact us if you have questions about this process.

What else do I need to know about getting started at CSU? 
Isn't that enough???  Please feel free to call on any of the current graduate students for help with ANYTHING, or the program director. Faculty e-mail addresses are on the faculty page, and graduate student email addresses are listed the IO Students page. Also, once you arrive in town, please contact us so we can show you around and help you to settle in.  Most of us love Fort Collins and relish an opportunity to get to show it off.  We're also very anxious to get to know you!

After Graduation

Where are CSU alumni employed?
Examples of applied placements for CSU graduates include:
Bank of America 
CH2m Hill
Personnel Decisions Research Institute (PDRI) 
Development Dimensions International 
First Data Corporation 
Dow Chemical 
Hewlett-Packard Company 
Home Depot
Academic positions are held by CSU graduates at University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, Cornell University, St. Rose College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Oklahoma, Purdue University, Georgia State University, Oklahoma State, Penn State, University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Kennesaw State University, University of North Texas, University of California - Irvine, Framingham State College, Monash University in Australia, Arizona State University, and Colorado State University, to name a few.

What typical positions are held? 
Some titles and placements of our graduates include the following:
Director of Training and Education 
Executive of Organizational Effectiveness 
Management Consultant 
President (of a company) 
General Partner
Principal Scientist
Vice President and Managing Director 
Senior Vice President
Vice President of Assessment Technology 
Director, Human Resources Division 
Director of Organization and Management 
Associate Director, Corporate Research 
Manager, Competency and Assessment 
Vice President of Human Resources 
Senior Research Scientist 
Principle Consultant 
Associate Consultant 
Senior Consultant 
Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor

Do more students seek academic or non-academic jobs upon graduating? 
About 20% go into internal consulting, 30% into external consulting, 25% into university faculty positions, 15% are working with the government, and 10% work in other I/O psychology positions.

City of Fort Collins

What is Fort Collins like? 
For a broad overview of the town, see Fort Collins has many amenities including top-notch restaurants, shopping, parks, and recreational facilities.  It's also in close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, many national parks, and the major metropolitan area of Denver.  Overall, residents enjoy a moderate, four season climate with an average of 300 days of sunshine and 14.5 inches of precipitation a year. 

What is the size of the town? 

The population of Fort Collins is about 158,600 people. There are about 32,236 students enrolled at Colorado State University, so a large portion of the town is comprised of college students and university faculty and staff.

What is the typical age range of the people in the town? 

Fort Collins has an interesting mix of residents with diverse backgrounds. Being a college town, there are naturally many young people in their early twenties. However, Fort Collins has several large, high-tech organizations such as Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, and Advanced Energy, which attract slightly older (mid 20's to 40's) residents and their families. Other notable organizations found in Fort Collins include New Belgium and Otterbox. Lastly, Fort Collins is also somewhat of a farming community and some residents still make their living this way. Overall, the average inhabitant of Fort Collins is young and well educated. Statistically, the median age of residents is 29, and approximately 51.5% of the population has completed four or more years of college. Here are some links for more facts and figures about CSU and Fort Collins residents.

What is the cost of living in Fort Collins? 
The cost of living is slightly higher than the national average. For example, it's much cheaper to live here than Southern California or the East Coast. However, it's likely more expensive than the Midwest and parts of the south. To compare the cost of living in Fort Collins to where you live, check out

What do people in Fort Collins do for fun? 

Outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping, boating, biking, snow-shoeing, movies, and skiing, are major pastimes for Fort Collins residents. Some individuals enjoy bowling, skating, or rock-wall climbing. Ft. Collins also has several museums, theaters, and a historical old town shopping district. Additionally, the many local bars and pubs offer enjoyable evening entertainment.

What activities are available in the surrounding areas of Fort Collins? 
Within a 15 minute-drive, there are many hiking, running, and mountain biking trails. Some of the most famous ski resorts (e.g., Aspen, Vail, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and Purgatory) are within short driving distances. For example, it is about a 2-3 hour drive to Vail and about 5 hours to Aspen and Purgatory from Fort Collins. Other ski resorts, such as Loveland and Arapahoe Basin (which are still great and usually less crowded), are about 1½ hours from Fort Collins. Also, within a 45-minute drive are Denver, Boulder, Estes Park, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Many activities, such as shopping, hiking, sightseeing, and (good!) eating, are available there. Fort Collins features many shopping and dining opportunities and is known for its numerous restaurants, craft breweries, bike-friendly trails, and a thriving live music scene. Our students have little difficulty filling their non-working hours!


Apply | Brochure | Faculty | IOPAC | IO Students | FAQ

Online Psychology Degrees and Courses Support our College by Donation