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​Prospective Students: Master of Arts

The MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology:

  • Provides a theoretical foundation for addressing a broad range of behavioral issues in the workplace.
  • Develops professionals within human resources, organizational development, and training fields.
  • Equips organizational leaders with a graduate education that relates directly to their practice as leaders.

Program requirements

This program also:

  • Includes 66 credits (56 credits required, plus 6 elective credits and 4 Topical Seminar credits) designed to be taken over a two-year/seven-quarter or three-year/11-quarter sequence.
  • Allows electives to be fulfilled from any approved graduate courses.
  • Involves 8 to 12 credits per quarter for full-time students.
  • Requires a master’s project in which you apply your research skills within an organizational setting (to be completed in the final year of the program).

Targeted competencies

The master’s degree program is designed to meet industry standards for graduate programs in industrial-organizational psychology.

Our curriculum targets each area of competence suggested by the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology (SIOP), which ensures that our graduates are fulfilling not only the expectations for master’s-level education but also fulfilling the expectations of experts working in the field.

Review targeted competencies in the master’s degree program.

Program tuition

For the 2018-19 academic year:

  • The MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology is $825 per credit.
  • To graduate with the MA, you must complete 66 credits.

Review additional information about costs and financial aid

Admission process

Students are admitted and begin the program once a year and begin in Autumn Quarter.

Application deadline is December 15.

An admissions committee conducts the preliminary screening process. Admission depends upon recommendation by program faculty members and approval from the department chair.

This process is usually completed within 12 weeks after the final application deadline.

Admission requirements for the master’s degree

To apply, the following is required:

A bachelor's degree

  • With a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 from a regionally accredited institution.
  • Completion of an undergraduate level statistics course, from a regionally accredited institution, in social sciences, business or math.      
  • Completion of at least two courses in psychology, from a regionally accredited institution. One course in business, political science, or sociology (completed at a regionally accredited institution) may be substituted for one of the two required psychology courses.

Online application and $50 application fee

Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

  • The test must have been administered within five years of the deadline date for application to the program.
  • A combined score of 950 or 295 (new GRE) on the verbal and quantitative sections is preferred.


  • A chance to highlight your educational and professional experiences.
  • You may also choose to include a curricula vitae for a more detailed listing of your areas of interest and accomplishments regarding research, publications, presentations and awards.

Personal statement, typed and demonstrating writing and grammatical skills

  • Addressing your career objectives and the rationale for seeking the degree and choosing SPU.
  • Indicating your personal qualifications, experience, and other insights that you deem appropriate.

Three letters of recommendation

  • One personal, one professional, and one academic — on the forms provided.

International students

If you are an international student, in addition to the above admission requirements, you must also show:

Language competency

  • If English is not your first language, the minimum score required on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is either 550 on the paper-based test, 213 on the computer-based test, or an 80 on the internet-based test.

Statement of financial support

  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you must provide an official, confidential statement of financial support covering each year of intended enrollment.

Additional information for international students

Transfer Credits

You may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter units of graduate work from a regionally accredited institution.

You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi for any courses you wish to transfer.

Each transferable course must be:

  • At least three graduate quarter credits
  • Equivalent to courses taught in SPU’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology programs
  • Completed within seven years of admission

A minimum grade of “B” is required for transferred work. Submission of transfer credit petitions are accepted after formal admission to the program.

Full application details are in the latest graduate catalog, including an explanation of how credit can be transferred.

More options

Contact I-O Psych

Email: iopsych@spu.edu
Phone: 206-281-2312
Office: Marston Hall, First Floor

Rob McKenna

Why I Teach at SPU

Robert McKenna, Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology

“I teach at SPU because every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future. I have always found that SPU is a place where both sinners and saints can wrestle with the most challenging questions of life, faith, education, and work, and be seen for who they are as beloved children of God.”

What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

What is I-O Psychology? Check out this video from The Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology