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PhD Organizational Psychology

The PhD in organizational psychology has been designed to further the students’ knowledge of organizational behavior by introducing them to various psychological and organizational theories, and a research based curriculum. This PhD program will provide in-depth knowledge to students on various topics such as group psychology, adult psychology and social psychology. In addition to this, the PhD in organizational psychology will also train you in various statistical techniques and teach you several methods to conduct research and testing.

Most colleges and universalities offer PhD in organizational psychology as a scientist-practitioner model. In addition, students are also given information on human performance, statistical methods, task analysis, work motivation theory, program evaluation and design, and performance appraisal. Typically, students successfully complete this doctoral program in five years.

Admissions Requirements for a PhD in organizational psychology

If you choose to pursue a PhD in organizational psychology, the university or college that you intend to apply to may ask you to fulfill certain requirements before they consider giving you admission. These prerequisites may vary from university to university but normally include the following:

  • A master’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • An acceptable GPA, a GPA of 3.0 is preferable
  • GRE or GMAT test scores are nor normally required
  • Interview with a faculty member
  • Official transcripts from all previous academic institutes attended
  • Proof of proficiency in the English language in some cases, such as in the case of international students
  • Personal statement
  •  A resume or CV

Some universities or colleges may give preference to students with previous psychology related coursework or professional experience in a related field, during the admission process.  

Coursework and curriculum

The curriculum of the PhD in organizational psychology is research oriented and is designed in such a way that it enhances and develops certain skills required to be an efficient organizational psychologist. These skills include trustworthiness, communication skills, people skills, analytical skills, observational skills, patience and problem solving skills.

The coursework is drawn up in such a way that it prepares and trains students in various aspects of practical organizational psychology, such as business and consulting skills, measurement, change and attitude theory, systems and history of psychology, consumer behavior, work motivation, organizational development, management of human resource, task classification and analysis, data analysis, stress and health in an organization, and work motivation. This doctoral program expands the students’ knowledge of various psychological theories in relation to an organization. The program also focuses on the practical applications of these theories.

Coursework may vary from university to university but normally includes the following core courses:

  • Orientation to doctoral learning in psychology
  • Lifespan development
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Psychology of leadership
  • Psychology and quantitative research methods
  • Measurements and tests
  • Psychological theories for human and personal resource management
  • Advanced inferential statistics
  • Systems and history of psychology
  • Principles of organizational theory
  • Multicultural and ethical issues in psychology
  • Leadership, performance and motivational psychology
  • Data analysis with SPSS and IBM
  • Psychology of group dynamics
  • Introduction to business practices for psychologists
  • Stages of professional development

 Almost all of the colleges and universities that offer this doctoral program include a dissertation project in addition to a written examination and a residency requirement, in their curriculum. The primary aim of this dissertation topic is so that the students may advance their knowledge in a chosen topic, in addition to learning techniques to apply various theories learnt in the classroom to real-world scenarios.

Licensure and certifications

Most of the states require psychologists to acquire a license or a certification. Organizational psychologists can obtain certification from the American Board of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology, a member board of The American Board of Professional Psychology.
To acquire this certification, psychologists must have a license and pass an examination administered by the board.

Career outlook and statistics

Careers related to a PhD in organizational psychology include post secondary teachers and organizational psychologists.

  • Organizational psychologists

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the annual median salary of organizational-industrial psychologists was $83,580 in 2012. BLS also projected that the demand for  psychologists would grow by 12 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is almost as fast as the average of all occupations.

  • Post secondary teachers

According to the official BLS website, the annual median salary of post secondary psychology teachers was $68,020 in 2012. The labor department projected that the number of people generally working as post secondary teachers would increase by 19 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average of all occupations.

BLS also noted that these growth rates will depend upon the specialty of the psychologist or the post secondary teacher.


States with the highest employment level in this occupation:



Employment per thousand jobs

Location quotient

Hourly mean wage

Annual mean wage

California 16600.111.2618.1337720
Florida 11300.141.6817.9737370
Illinois 9600.161.9217.937240
Texas 7600.070.7816.6234570
New York 6500.070.8520.1241840


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:Can I get a doctoral in organizational psychology online?

A:Indeed. There are a number of schools listed on our website which offer the Doctoral In Organizational Psychology program in their online courses. Interested candidates can browse through our website and find the appropriate institute to get enrolled. Online institutes offer students a number of benefits over the campus based institutes.

Q:Will and organizational psychology PhD help me with my career?

A:Obtaining a PhD will send a strong message to any prospective employer that you are very dedicated to your career path. Organizational psychology is mainly academic, not only in its study but its application too. Therefore employers will appreciate such employees, as they will be able to apply their knowledge to the workplace without any difficulty.

Q:Is an online PhD organizational psychology more difficult than a classroom-based program?

A:Undertaking an online program involves the student studying at his/her own pace and at their own convenience. Many students find that they have difficulty in managing their time and self-motivating themselves to study. Even if you undertake your program in a traditional classroom format, you will still be challenged with time management and self-motivation, so there is no real difficulty between the two.

Q:I am thinking of undertaking a PhD in organizational psychology. Will I be able to undertake the same while still working?

A:Undertaking a PhD is a rarely a full-time taught program; as doctoral programs often involve undertaking comprehensive research and producing a thesis as a result. Therefore, if you are able to juggle you work/family commitments with your study, it should be possible to undertake your PhD whilst working full time.

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