Industrial / Organizational Psychology

The Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology Program is designed to train psychologists who are qualified in the scientific study of human behavior in the world of work. We expect students to obtain a firm grounding in several basic areas of psychology and research methodology, as well as a thorough foundation in theory, research, and practical techniques specific to I/O psychology. Our program emphasizes the contributions of both industrial and organizational psychology to the understanding of workplace behavior. We train students to conduct both basic and applied research, and to apply of theory and research to organizational and human resource management problems in organizations.

Beyond the common core requirements, there are many opportunities to tailor the program to each individual student’s interests and objectives. For more information about the I/O psychology doctoral program, please see the program brochure.  Further courses in the department, electives in other departments, independent study projects, and research activities are selected by the student and his or her advisory committee. Seminars allow faculty and students to explore, in depth, topics of current mutual interest. Practicum arrangements in organizational settings expose students to some of the everyday problems of applying their research and professional skills. Each student is required to be involved in research and is encouraged to obtain supervised teaching experience in the course of his or her program.

The on-campus doctoral program admits only students interested in attaining the Ph.D. degree. If you are interested in a terminal master’s degree only, please see our online Master’s of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology program (which is entirely separate from the doctoral program).

Past graduates have moved comfortably into jobs in personnel research departments of industrial and governmental organizations, psychology departments and business schools in universities, consulting firms, and research institutes.

Occupational Health Psychology

The CSU Department of Psychology offers a training concentration in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) to students enrolled in the Ph.D. program. OHP is the application of psychological theories and research methods to protect and promote worker safety, health and well-being. OHP trainees are required to complete additional coursework in occupational health (Occupational Health Psychology, Principles of Ergonomics, and Prevention of Occupational Illnesses and Injuries) beyond the I/O psychology doctoral degree requirements. In addition to their coursework, OHP trainees conduct research in occupational health psychology, participate in multidisciplinary applied occupational health projects, and coordinate, deliver, and attend workshops and colloquia. Each student’s OHP program of study is discussed with and agreed upon by the student’s doctoral committee.​

The OHP program is funded by the Mountain & Plains Education and Research Center (ERC), one of only two NIOSH ERCs to support a graduate training program in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP).

For more information about the CSU OHP Program, click here.

George C. Thornton, III Graduate Scholarship

Through the generous donations of alumni and friends of the program, we have established the George C. Thornton, III Graduate Scholarship award through the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Foundation. This scholarship recognizes a doctoral student in I/O Psychology who epitomizes the scientist/practitioner model in his or her training, research, and practicum experiences. For more information and to make a tax-deductible donation to grow the scholarship fund, please visit SIOP’s foundation website.

The I-O doctoral program is accepting new students for Fall 2024.

We only accept applications for the Fall semester.

Application due date is December 1st.

The I-O doctoral program requires general GRE scores in the admissions process. For applicants who do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology, it is recommended to have taken at least 12-15 credits in college level psychology courses, including Research Methods. The Psychology GRE can also be used to demonstrate knowledge of psychology for those without an undergraduate psychology degree.

Application instructions and links are located here.

Our faculty list for this program is located here.

Affiliate Faculty

Murphy, Kevin R
Thornton III, George C.

Where are CSU alumni employed?

Examples of applied placements for CSU graduates include:
Bank of America
Citizens Bank
Development Dimensions International (DDI)
Personnel Decisions Research Institute (PDRI)
First Data Corporation
Dow Chemical
Hewlett-Packard Company
Home Depot
Kaiser Permanente
Pacific Research & Evaluation
Procter & Gamble
SAP SuccessFactors
Target Corporation

Academic positions are held by CSU graduates at Louisiana State University, James Madison University, University of Wisconsin – LaCrosse, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, San Francisco State University, Washington State University, Dominican University of California, Cornell University, Fort Lewis College, St. Rose College, University of Pennsylvania, University of Oklahoma, Purdue University, Georgia State University, Oklahoma State, Penn State University, 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

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology Association of Colorado (IOPAC) is the I/O graduate student organization at CSU. IOPAC’s Mission Statement is to promote professional development and growth within the field of I/O psychology, and to provide an arena for students in CSU’s graduate program to voice their ideas and concerns.IOPAC –