Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology is...
the scientific study of how people function within work organizations. As a primarily applied subfield of psychology, I-O practitioners and researchers utilize the best in behavioral science techniques when addressing issues that matter to business organizations of all varieties. These issues include identifying and developing top talent within organizations, improving leadership and management effectiveness, assistant organizations through periods of change and challenge, improving performance appraisal/evaluation practices, understanding the interaction between personal and environmental factors at work, and improving and managing the occupational health and safety of workers in all industries (see www.siop.org for more details).
The mission of the industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology concentration is to provide students with the training necessary to pursue a variety of I-O related careers. These include, but are not limited to, positions in human resources departments in work organizations (e.g. job analyst, testing specialist, trainer, compensation analyst, organizational development specialist, generalist), and human resource management consultant. In addition, the I-O program can be used as a preparation for the pursuit of doctoral training in I-O or related fields of study. As with any educational program, many graduates have found work in other fields based on some combination of their interests and circumstances.
The fundamental educational philosophy of the program is to train students to think in a logical and critical manner. This skill is useful to anybody in any endeavor. The curriculum is organized around specific core knowledge domains particular to I-O psychology. Two of these, the industrial domain and the organizational domain, are evident in the program label. The industrial domain includes content such as job analysis, selection, tests and measurements, and training. The organizational domain includes content such as work motivation, organizational development, culture, and conflict management. The third domain, research methodology, includes content such as univariate and multivariate statistical analysis, experimental design, survey research and scale construction. In summary, the I-O concentration promotes learning objectives that include critical reasoning, ability to apply and effectively share scientific knowledge in diverse situations, formal scientific methods and thinking, and advanced statistical analysis.