Western Kentucky University

Department of Psychology

Master of Arts in Psychology, Industrial / Organizational Concentration


Course Requirements

There are categories of courses required for all graduate students in Psychology and specific course requirements for the I/O concentration. The required courses follow sequentially, arranged by the semester in which the course is typically offered/taken. For some courses, students are required to enroll in sections specifically designated for the I/O concentration. A total of 45 credit hours, as specified below, are required.

Fall: First Semester

  • PSY 570 Job Analysis and Compensation: This course provides an introduction to job analysis, job evaluation, compensation and benefits.  The course acquaints the students with different methods and techniques of job analysis used in a variety of personnel applications.  Compensation and benefits are topics many of our graduates have found to be relevant to their human resource management jobs.
  • PSY 504  Advanced Research Methods in Psychology: Examination of methodological concepts and issues in the conduct of psychological research.
  • PSY 513  Advanced Statistical Analysis: The focus of advanced statistics is regression analysis. Time permitting, related multi-variate procedures including factor analysis, cluster analysis, and multiple dimensional scaling are reviewed.

Spring: Second Semester

  • PSY 571 Personnel Psychology: Personnel Psychology focuses on employee selection procedures with an emphasis on performance appraisal, testing, criterion development, and validation. There is direct involvement in data analysis and typically in the collection of data as well.
  • PSY 572 Organizational Psychology: Organizational Psychology covers theories of motivation, leadership, job satisfaction, organization theory, and OD. There is an emphasis on organizational skills that employers/graduates may find useful, e.g., behavioral improvement programs utilizing goal setting and feedback, application of group decision-making techniques.
  • PSY 563 Statistics and Psychometric Theory: Psychometrics covers topics such as assessment or reliability and validity, test construction, measurement theory, and scaling.
  • PSY 512 Experimental Design and Analysis of Variance: Principles of experimental design including single factor and multiple factor between and within subjects designs, mixed designs, and statistical methods with an emphasis on analysis of variance.

Summer Following First Year 

Typically students take this time to gain practical experience with an internship. An internship is not required, but does allow the student to earn three to six hours of internship course credit, as well as experience in the real world. An internship is highly recommended. Those students who do not participate in an internship and those students who earn only three credit hours for their internship must complete additional course work to meet the hours required for completion of the program. One option for doing this is to take a class or classes during the summer sessions. However, there typically are very few appropriate graduate level courses offered at WKU during the summer term. 

Fall: Third Semester

  • PSY 673 Advanced Training in Business and Industry: Training focuses on conducting training needs analysis; designing, developing, and implementing training programs (technical and managerial); and evaluating the effectiveness of training programs in relation to productivity and satisfaction criteria.
  • PSY 541 Professional Issues and Ethics in Psychology: Professional Psychology covers ethics, legal issues, current professional issues (e.g., confidentiality, areas of competency), and some methodology issues including organizational assessment and feedback techniques.
  • PSY 599 Thesis Research: The I/O-Social faculty and students meet weekly for colloquium presentations of individual research. First-year and second-year students are required to attend. Typically faculty will present first followed by second-year student presentations of the thesis proposal. Students work with their thesis chair and committee in preparing the proposal. Any student that does not have his/her thesis proposal ready to go to committee by the end of the Fall semester (as confirmed by the committee chair) may have his/her assistantship terminated for the Spring semester.

Spring: Fourth Semester

  • PSY 670 Equal Employment Opportunity, the Law, and Ethical Considerations: EEO covers issues relevant to providing equal employment opportunity, the Uniform Guidelines regarding selection practices, a review of the relevant major court decisions and their implications for the personnel specialist, and professional and ethical considerations in the practice of I/O psychology.
  • PSY 552 Advanced Social Psychology: Advanced Social Psychology covers interpersonal perception, group dynamics, intergroup relations, attitude formation and change, social influence, gender issues, and other topics relevant for industrial/organizational psychologists.
  • The other three hours of thesis credit (PSY 599) are usually taken during this semester. The additional three hours required for graduation will be met by taking either practicum (PSY 662) or additional course work.
 Last Modified 11/15/13