Industrial-Organizational Psychology

What is Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology?

Industrial-Organizational psychology is the scientific study of human behavior in organizations and the workplace focusing on deriving principles of individual, group and organizational behavior and applying this knowledge to the solution of problems at work. (APA)


Why do we need I-O Psychology?

Productivity is key to a country’s strength and sustainability. We spend many of our prime years working. I-O psychologists can help the employees be happier and more productive; and the organizations become healthier and more successful.

Industrial-organizational psychologists apply psychological principles and methodologies to solve problems and improve the quality of life in the workplace. They study issues such as productivity, management, employee working styles and morale. They also work with management on matters such as policy planning, organizational development, as well as employee screening and training.

I-O psychologists work with organizations in a variety of areas such as selection and placement, training and development, organizational development and change, performance measurement and evaluation, quality of work life, consumer psychology, and engineering psychology. Specializing in human behavior in the workplace, the expertise of I-O psychologists results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover, and lower labor costs. (SIOP)

Applying psychology to help individuals have more satisfying work lives and organizations succeed is a fulfilling vocation. (SIOP)


Features of the B.A. degree program in I-O Psychology at USF:

  • A well-rounded curriculum
  • An integrative, cross-disciplinary approach
  • Small faculty/student ratio
  • Experiential learning in business settings (internships)


Program Description and Outcomes:

Housed in Psychology Department, the B.A. program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is designed to help students acquire the knowledge foundation in the field of I-O Psychology and develop competencies/skills needed in the contemporary workplace. They are expected to demonstrate a basic understanding of the major psychological theories/principles and know how to apply those in organizations and work life. They will be prepared for entry-level job positions and graduate-level training.

Program Outcomes:
Upon graduation, students who major in I-O Psychology will be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge of major psychological theories and their application in human resources (e.g., employee selection, training and talent development, performance appraisal, motivation and work satisfaction) and organizational development (e.g., organizational communication, organizational change and development, team building and leadership, culture and diversity, safety of the workplace, human-machine systems);
  2. knowledge of basic research (methods, designs) and assessment (instruments, processes) in the field;
  3. good skills in (primarily) literature-based research, problem solving, oral and written communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and independent, effective learning;
  4. knowledge of and commitment to values and ethics in doing research and business, with respect, integrity, compassion, and service; and
  5. a level of accomplishment sufficient to gain admission to graduate programs and/or obtain employment.