Ph.D. in Psychology: Industrial/Organizational (I/O)

The I/O psychology doctoral program at Wayne State University is a full-time program that prepares students by following the scientist/practitioner model to develop skills as both researchers and practitioners.

Our location in a metropolitan area, along with a research-intensive focus, allows Wayne State graduate students with opportunities to interact with practicing I/O psychologists in local business and industry, access data pertinent to their studies, and gain valuable field research and work experience.

An exciting aspect of our I/O doctoral program is the Applied Psychology and Organizational Research Group (APORG). APORG provides consulting services to local and national organizations, allowing students to gain experience in the real world.

About the program

The industrial/organizational psychology doctoral program:

  • Prepare students to be effective scientists and practitioners in a wide range of career settings
  • Contributes to the knowledge base of human behavior and interaction at work through research that is both practically and theoretically meaningful
  • Pursues these goals in a setting in which faculty and students teach and learn from each other through collaboration, discussion, classes, and other opportunities for interaction

The industrial/organizational psychology doctoral program has graduated well over 100 students. These graduates have accepted positions in business and industry, at colleges and major universities, in government agencies, and with applied research and consulting firms.

Faculty

Wayne State's faculty have been recognized for their teaching and mentoring through numerous awards such as the Outstanding Graduate Mentor in the Social Sciences, WSU President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the SIOP Distinguished Contributions in Teaching Award.

Affiliated faculty

Research

Wayne State University has a strong research orientation, adhering to Lewin's maxim that "There is nothing so practical as a good theory." Throughout their educational program, we encourage our doctoral students to become involved in research, both through collaboration with faculty members and through conducting their own thesis, dissertation, and other original research. Students are encouraged to present their findings at professional meetings and to publish papers in professional journals. The hard work of Wayne State students has been recognized in the form of awards and fellowships, including:

Curriculum  

The doctoral program in industrial/organizational psychology prepares students to be knowledgeable in all phases of I/O psychology. Our courses cover such topics as:

  • Research methods in I/O psychology
  • Job analysis
  • Criterion development 
  • Performance appraisal and feedback 
  • Personnel selection and placement 
  • Employee training and development 
  • Occupational health psychology
  • Work motivation and job attitudes 
  • Leadership 
  • Analysis of organizations 
  • Organizational change and development 
  • Organizational climate and culture 
  • International/cross-cultural issues in the workplace 

In addition, through a master's thesis and doctoral dissertation research, and both minor and cognate courses, students can specialize in a variety of areas within the realm of I/O psychology. Cognate offerings include social psychology, small group processes, the psychology of justice and fairness in the workplace, environmental psychology, consumer behavior, personality and interpersonal processes, cognitive psychology, and learning theory.

Quantitative courses cover such topics as meta-analysis, advanced statistics, psychometric theory and methods, advanced measurement, research design, advanced experimental design, multivariate analysis, structural equation modeling, and longitudinal data analysis.

Career insights

This tool provides a broad overview of how major selection can lead to careers and is provided without any implied promise of employment. Some careers will require further education, skills, or competencies. Actual salaries may vary significantly between similar employers and could change by graduation, as could employment opportunities and job titles.