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Degree Overview: Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Organizational Psychology

Majors Overview April 8, 2015

Industrial and organizational psychology focuses on human behavior in the workplace. Students may look into Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree programs in Applied Psychology concentrating on industrial and occupational psychology or B.S. degree programs in Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Information on Organizational Psychology Program

Students enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program complete coursework that combines classes in psychology and business management to explore workplace strategies and behavior related to leadership and motivation. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma. The multidisciplinary character of the field reflects itself through the courses required in organizational psychology programs.

Instruction in the business aspect focuses on marketing strategies, managerial economics, and public relations; cognition and abnormal psychology dominate psychology courses. They tie these subjects together through lab work and research projects.

Participation in internships in businesses is a requirement of many programs. Those who successfully graduate from the program can pursue entry-level careers in numerous fields, such as marketing research and human resources management. Graduate degree programs, either in psychology or business, are pursued by many students that opt for continuing education.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Programs in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Students interested in management and entrepreneurship often pursue a major in industrial and organizational psychology with its close integration to the study of business practices. Students enrolled in bachelor’s degree programs in the field are usually trained in the recruitment and management of personnel, motivation of employees, development of business organizations and strategies, optimization of workplace resources, and understanding of workplace diversity.

Aside from practical training, theoretical background instruction is also imparted in applied psychological research, statistics, group dynamics, and ergonomics. Students enrolled in many bachelor’s programs in industrial and organizational psychology are required to participate in laboratory projects and to complete internships.

Education Requirements

As in the case of other bachelor’s degree programs, admission criteria typically require incoming students to an Industrial and Organizational Psychology B.S. program to hold a GED certificate or a high school diploma, in addition to submitting related transcripts. Some schools also require applicants to have achieved a minimum ACT or SAT score, in addition to a specified GPA.


While interdisciplinary coursework in industrial and organizational psychology includes core components in the form of topics in applied and basic psychology, students are allowed to use elective options to study specific issues in business and industry, leading to a diverse, though interrelated, set of topic areas:

•Leadership and motivation
•Human resources strategies
•Experimental psychology
•Public relations
•Cognition and learning
•Business accounting
•Abnormal psychology
•Marketing strategies
•Managerial economics
•Management theories

Career Choices

Those who graduate from the bachelor’s degree program can seek entry-level positions in human resources, consulting, and business. They can aspire for titles such as:

•Human resources director
•Personnel recruiter
•Employee training manager
•Business consultant
•Marketing researcher

Continuing Education Choices

Armed with a bachelor’s degree in industrial and organizational psychology, students may seek continuing education by earning advanced degrees. Given the field’s interrelationship with the business world, some may opt to enroll in a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program aiming to boost their business acumen. Within the field of psychology, doctoral degrees in industrial and organizational psychology would also serve the needs of individuals seeking advanced degrees.

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