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A business psychology student highlights their textbook Business Psychology

Ph.D. in Business Psychology

Industrial/Organizational Track

  • Washington, D.C.
  • Full-Time
  • 3-Years Full-Time (Post-Master's), 5-Years Full-Time (Post-Baccalaureate)

The Ph.D. Business Psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Program at The Chicago School’s Washington, D.C. Campus offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the community as they receive hands-on experience working with our local partners. By establishing a solid foundation in psychological principles, graduates of this industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. program will be prepared for leadership positions as […]

The Ph.D. Business Psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Program at The Chicago School’s Washington, D.C. Campus offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the community as they receive hands-on experience working with our local partners. By establishing a solid foundation in psychological principles, graduates of this industrial organizational psychology Ph.D. program will be prepared for leadership positions as industrial organizational psychologists, providing solutions to the needs of for-profit or nonprofit organizations.

The Chicago School faculty are leading practitioners with valuable real-world experience in the field of business and industrial organizational psychology. The industrial psychology graduate program culminates in a dissertation, preparing students to become active scholar practitioners. Our dissertation model emphasizes continued assistance in helping students maintain timely goals and resource management. The dissertation process, three semesters in length, allows students to work individually with faculty supervisors as they complete their proposals, as well as their final dissertations with oral defense.

More organizations are seeking industrial psychologists with an advanced business psychology degree to fill key senior-level positions as they are uniquely qualified to assess and intervene in organizational challenges—solving conflicts, enhancing performance, and managing cross-functional and multi-national teams. Business psychologists with a concentration in industrial organizational psychology may find rewarding careers in the following areas:

  • Consulting
  • Human resources
  • Senior-level management
  • Organizational development

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

Surrounded by much of the nation’s historical and cultural riches, students will have the opportunity to benefit from a location essential to much of the United States’ political, governmental, and multi-national affairs.

Expanding on the success of the Chicago, Los Angeles, and Orange County, Calif. campuses, the Washington, D.C. campus reflects The Chicago School’s commitment to diversity and effort to expand mental health services to multicultural and underserved communities.

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Business and Financial Literacy

This course is designed to give students the basic terminology, logic, and framework to understand business thinking and decisions. The goal is to teach students to look at the ‘vital signs’ of a business. The first part of the class will look at what information a business collects and how it uses that information. Students will learn to use a financial lens to look at an income statement and balance sheet to determine the health of an organization. Students will learn the importance of interest rates as a key to understand corporate planning and valuation. The second part of the course will help students understand how companies make operational decisions. Using the lens of micro-economics, students will learn how supply and demand, costs, and prices effect output decisions. The course will also consider they ways this impacts marketing through the marketing mix, segmentation, and branding decisions. (3 credits)

Change Management

This course will help students advise organizations on to how restructure, reposition, or revitalize itself. This course will be a summary course. The objective is to integrate strategy and organizational due diligence with consultation and change strategies. Within the frame of community development, students will learn to consider the process of change and the techniques of change to various types of organizations. There will be a dual focus. One will focus on the project change management. The second will emphasize psychological change management. Upon completion the student will be able to understand the corporate conditions and change options available to consult on and facilitate transitions ranging from innovation and new technology, merger and acquisition integration, business succession planning, corporate reorganizations, to board governance. (3 credits)

Individual Interviewing and Assessment

This course introduces the principles of individual assessment and its role in workplace psychology. It includes frameworks for conceptualizing the assessment process, specific strategies for assessing individual personality style, cognitive ability, and workplace relevant behaviors (such as leadership skills, managerial styles, teamwork and other interpersonal skills, etc.). The emphasis is on how to develop an ethical, individually-focused assessment process; choose appropriate, valid, and reliable instruments; incorporate non-test assessment strategies such as interviewing and behavioral analysis; interpret and integrate assessment data; and write useful and informative assessment reports for the consumer. (3 credits)

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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