Industrial/Organizational Concentration


The Psychology Master's Degree I/O concentration integrates core graduate psychology courses, I/O Psychology and Behavior Systems Analysis. A one-year supervised field experience is available. The program provides students the option to continue their graduate work in a doctoral program or immediately seek employment as an internal or external organizational consultant. 

I/O Psychology is the application of behavioral science in organizations to improve employee performance and job satisfaction. The field has a projected growth of over 20% a year through 2018. The median salary in 2009 was $83,260 annually. Of I/O psychologists surveyed, 6% had a bachelor's degree, 53% a master's degree, and 41% a doctorate or professional degree. 

In 2008, 36% of I/O psychologists were employed by consulting firms, 16% were self-employed, and 48% worked for private and public organizations. That is, 52% served as external consultants to organizations while 48% served as internal consultants. 

A brochure containing information on the program can be downloaded here


Employee Performance Improvement Track

A three-course sequence in employee performance improvement is provided for students who do not seek the master's degree in psychology but wish to employ the knowledge and skills in their current organization.

660 Special Topics: Performance Systems. A comprehensive approach to designing performance measures, performance scorecards, and performance pay systems is presented.

660 Special Topics: Performance Analysis and Improvement. Learn to analyze performance trends to identify improvement opportunities. Learn to pinpoint performance constraints and implement plans to remove them.

660 Special Topics: Organizational Development. Learn how to implement stakeholder pay, continuous improvement, job enrichment, and self-managed teams to create an engaged, high performance employee group.


Applying for the Employee Performance Improvement Track. Applicants are only required to have a B.A. and are not admitted to the master's degree program. Course credits may later be applied if accepted to the program. Contact for more information concerning the track and registration.



Semester 1
575. Industrial/Organizational Psychology
635. Experimental Design and Analysis
614. Social Psychology
660. Special Topics: Performance Systems
Semester 2
636. Non-Experimental Design and Analysis
613. Physiological Psychology
660. Special Topic: Performance Analysis and Improvement
Semester 3
612. Learning, Memory, and Cognition
615. Psychological Assessment
660. Special Topic: Organizational Development
770. Thesis (Field Experience)
Semester 4
770. Thesis (Field Experience)
Registration and Faculty

Applicants for the I/O concentration master's degree should apply to the Psychology graduate program coordinator, Dr. Paula Varnado-Sullivan. Applicants must have a B.A. with a 2.50 overall, a 3.00 average for a minimum 18 hours of undergraduate psychology courses, and a minimum 950 GRE combined score. See the SLU web site, , for more information.


Dr. William B. Abernathy (Ohio State University) coordinates the concentration, supervises the field experiences, and teaches I/O Psychology and behavior systems courses. He has been an international organizational consultant for over thirty years and is the author of The Sin of Wages and Managing Without Supervising.

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