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A business psychology student highlights their textbook Business Psychology

Ph.D. in Business Psychology

Industrial/Organizational Track

  • Online
  • Full-Time
  • 3 Years Full-Time (Post-Master's), 5 Years Full-Time (Post-Baccalaureate)

The Chicago School’s online Ph.D. Business Psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Program prepares graduates for leadership positions as industrial organizational psychologists in global organizations. By building a strong foundation in the principles of psychology, graduates of this online industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. program will be prepared to provide effective business solutions in today’s multicultural business environment. Aided […]

The Chicago School’s online Ph.D. Business Psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Program prepares graduates for leadership positions as industrial organizational psychologists in global organizations. By building a strong foundation in the principles of psychology, graduates of this online industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. program will be prepared to provide effective business solutions in today’s multicultural business environment.

Aided by the guidance and support of our practitioner faculty with years of experience in business and industrial organizational psychology, The Chicago School’s dissertation model ensures that students continue to reach key milestones in a timely fashion. Over the period of three semesters, students work one-on-one with faculty supervisors to complete their proposal, draft, and final dissertation with oral defense.

Industrial psychologists with an advanced business psychology degree are uniquely qualified to provide assessment and interventions to address and solve organizational conflicts, enhance performance, and manage cross-functional teams. Industrial organizational business psychologists can find work in nonprofit or for-profit organizations, working closely with:

  • Business owners
  • Human resource personnel
  • CEOs
  • Supervisors

Ph.D. in Business Psychology, Industrial/Organizational Track: Online Student Experience

Through the convenience of The Chicago School’s online Ph.D programs, your life remains intact as you earn your online psychology degree. Our online Global Student Dashboard is where you will find all of the components to successfully complete your industrial psychology graduate program. There, you’ll find your coursework and assignments, interact with fellow students, and ask questions of your instructor.

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Adult Development and Work

This course provides an understanding of career development theories and decision-making models; occupational, educational information sources and systems; assessment instruments and techniques relevant to career planning and decision making, career, lifestyle, and leisure counseling; guidance and education; career development program planning; resources; and effectiveness evaluation. (3 credits)

Systems Theory

Organizations are living systems. To work and improve organizations, we need to understand them as systems. This course focuses on the investigation and applications of Open Systems Theory. The importance of the input->throughput->output flow will be assessed within the scope of boundaries and the environment as well as feedback and interdependencies. Specific attention will be given to the different functions for internal operations that are necessary for maintenance and equilibrium. Organizations and teams will be the main focus but the obvious connections to any group or family will be addressed. (3 credits)

Virtual and Global Leadership

This course provides students with the techniques for structuring, managing, and motivating teams that reside in virtual environments. Topics include challenges of leading a virtual team with members in various geographical locations, virtual team structure, effective multi-cultural communication, motivation and performance considerations, and knowledge sharing in a virtual, distributed team.

Students who enter the program post-baccalaureate will complete two 300-credit hour internships (for a total of 600 hours of internship experience). The internship should involve the student in learning specific, transferable, I/O-relevant or HR-relevant professional skills. All internship must be pre-approved by the faculty internship supervisor.

Completion of the dissertation is an essential aspect of Business Psychology students’ academic experience and professional education. It provides the school the opportunity to evaluate the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about an applied issue in business psychology and to produce new research in the field. The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the research in a specific area of business psychology that relates to industrial organizational psychology. In the dissertation, will conduct empirical research using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods to produce new knowledge within the theoretical framework that comprises the Ph.D. Business Psychology curriculum.

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Business Psychology doctoral program is open to any person who has earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with 36 hours in psychology, behavioral science or management. Students applying to the Ph.D. in Business Psychology program must submit the following:

  • Application
  • Application Fee: $50
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Essay – Please answer the following two questions on separate sheets of paper (approximately 500 words each):
    • In what areas (e.g., selection and placement, organizational development, performance management) will you, as a business psychologist, affect or contribute to the business world? How will your contributions differ from those with an M.B.A. or other business training?
    • In your role as a business psychology student, you are likely to work and study with people from many backgrounds. Tell us what will be some of the challenges for you studying with people different from yourself, and what you would contribute in your interactions with them.
  • Official College/University Transcripts
    • Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. The Chicago School requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.
  • Previous Coursework
    • Bachelor or Master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Psychology, the Behavioral Sciences, or Management
      • Student’s entering post-masters must have a master’s degree equivalent to 36 semester hours, and:
      • 21 hours of the following IO Psychology graduate courses:
        • Principles of Industrial Psychology
        • Selection
        • Two internship courses or an Applied Project/Thesis equivalent
        • Performance Appraisal
        • Training
        • Surveys
      • 3 letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors.
      • Official GRE Score (Post-Bachelor entry point applicants only, not required of applicants holding a conferred master’s degree)
      • Generally, an undergraduate or graduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the school’s Business Psychology doctoral program.
      • Depending on the number of hours an applicant is missing, these prerequisite requirements can be fulfilled at the Chicago School prior to admission to the Ph.D. Business Psychology (I/O Track) program by enrolling in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Generalist Certificate.  Prerequisites for admission may also be fulfilled at the Chicago School by successfully completing comparable coursework following the policies outlined in the Student at Large section of the catalog.

Ph.D. Business Psychology: I/O Track Progression Requirements
This program requires applicants to have successfully completed (with a grade earned of “C” or better) at least two (2) undergraduate courses by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. One (1) course must be in statistics, and at least one (1) course must be an upper level undergraduate or master’s level organizational behavior or psychology course.  Students must successfully meet this progression requirement through the following options:

  • A grade of “C” or higher in TCS 380 Introduction to Psychology and TCS 390 Introduction to Statistics;
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course(s) at the Chicago School; or
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course(s) at another regionally accredited institution

Applicants accepted who are missing one or both of the two (2) courses will be required to register for the applicable TCS course(s) in their first ground semester or online term. All students must meet this progression requirement by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. Students who do not successfully fulfill this requirement will not be allowed to register in any future coursework in the program of study until this requirement is met. Extensions can be granted by the Program Chair or designee when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the requirement in the specified timeframe.  Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Program Chair for consideration.

The Chicago School is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone, regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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