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M.S. in Applied Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology Concentration

Graduate students outside of Maryland pay in-state tuition.

UB is now offering in-state tuition to graduate students who live in Washington, D.C.; Northern Virginia (Arlington, Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William counties and Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park); Pennsylvania (Adams, York and Lancaster counties); and all Delaware counties.

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The 42-credit Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Psychology Concentration prepares students for careers as practitioners and researchers by emphasizing a curriculum of evidence-based practice and course activities that enhance student experiential learning. You'll focus on preparing yourself to facilitate effective leadership within organizations and to help those same organizations hire, train and motivate employees.

Why I-O psychology?
I-O psychology applies psychological principles developed from rigorous scientific research to enable problem-resolution in the workplace. As half of adults' waking lives are spent in the workplace, I-O psychologists contribute to aligning organizations' missions with its people. We do that by focusing on the essential human components that create high functioning organizations, including selecting the right job applicants, training employees and measuring their performance, designing professional growth and motivation strategies, assessing organizational climate and facilitating change management. Due to the important role that I-O psychologists play in organizations' success, job opportunities in the field continue to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has labeled I-O psychology the fastest growing occupation, with a median pay of over $77,350.  

What's the difference between an M.S. and an M.P.S.?

The I-O psychology concentration in our M.S. in Applied Psychology program prepares students to rigorously and methodically address organizational issues. An M.S. (Master of Science) is not the same as an M.P.S. (Master of Professional Studies): 

  • The M.S. emphasizes psychological ethical principles around freedom and autonomy of the individual, privacy and confidentiality, public representation, honest brokering (record keeping & fees), training, research and dissemination of information, and assessment and evaluation. These essential principles are integrated in all UB classes. 

  • The emphasis of the M.S. in UB's I-O psychology program is developing students' competencies that far surpass basic knowledge and research. Students gain the advantage of not only “doing” I-O psychology, but understanding the essential “why” behind the practices. This fundamental knowledge ensures ethical and relevant interventions and engagements that fulfill organizational missions.  

  • We require our students to enter the M.S. program with a psychology background.

  • UB students who graduate with an M.S. in Applied Psychology, I-O psychology concentration are prepared for careers as organizational contributors, independent consultants and researchers.

Conversely, an M.P.S. degree is aimed at the early to mid-career professional who desires credentialing and basic competencies in I-O psychology. It is also not regarded the same by industry professionals and academics.

We are proud to have been graduating hundreds of M.S. students for over 30 years. 

What competencies do I-O psychology students develop?
The I-O psychology curriculum develops student competencies in all domains recommended by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP, Division 14 of the American Psychological Association). Our students engage in real-world and simulated experiential learning activities, such as conducting job analyses with real clients, preparing personnel assessment reports and developing organizational surveys.

The I-O psychology concentration also offers students opportunities to prepare for the global workforce through relevant coursework and international collaborative projects (both virtual and in-person), such as the European Erasmus Mundus Winter School program.

Where do UB's I-O psychology graduates work?
Our graduates are employed in numerous industries and settings, including:


  • FBI
  • OPM
  • U.S. Customs & Border Protection
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency


  • Kennedy Krieger Institute
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb


  • Maryland Aviation Administration
  • Maryland Transit Administration


  • Booz Allen
  • Grant Thornton
  • PDRI (a CEB company)
  • Deloitte
  • Kaisen


  • Loyola University
  • IMPAQ International


  • Under Armour
  • McCormick & Company, Inc.

Learn more about your career and internship opportunities.

Helping pay for your degree.

To help you learn while putting your skills into practice, and to offset the cost of your education, consider applying for a graduate assistantship .

The Schaefer Center for Public Policy offers selective fellowships for full-time students to work on applied research projects. In addition, there are opportunities for students to work as student assistants or as research assistants on various center projects. Deadlines are April 15 (fall semester) and Oct. 15 (spring semester).

Our Students: A Profile

  • Attendance: Most of our students attend full time (9 credits/semester) and most graduate within two years.
  • Hometowns: A large percentage come from out of state and a number come from other countries such as Thailand, India and those in Central and South America.
  • Age: Ages range from approximately 22 (after completing their bachelor's degree) to 45. The median age is approximately 26.
  • Diversity: I-O psychology concentration students are predominately female (about 80 percent), and about 15 percent are minorities, primarily African American.
  • Experience: Most students come to the program having just completed their bachelor's degrees in psychology, but some come with considerable work experience in a variety of occupations. 

Who are the I-O psychology faculty?

The Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences hosts three full-time faculty with backgrounds in industrial and organizational psychology:

We also have three regular adjunct faculty who bring I-O psychology field experience to further enhance your classroom learning:

I-O Psychology Spotlights

PTCMW competition  2017

Industrial-Organizational Psychology graduate student Jay Souder (2nd from the right) and his teammates from other universities (pictured) took 1st place in the Personnel Testing Council Metropolitan Washington's annual graduate consulting competition held on Nov. 8, 2017 at George Washington University.


Prof Mitchell with students and alumni at MD State Highway Administration

Program director Thomas Mitchell (center) with students and alumni attending the Modernization Project kickoff conference at the Maryland State Highway Administration.

2017 IO psych grads

Group shot of the 2017 I-O psychology graduates.

SIOP 2017

Program director Thomas Mitchell (front row, center) and his students at the 2017 Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Conference in Orlando, FL.

For more information contact Dr. Thomas Mitchell, director of the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Concentration within the M.S. in Applied Psychology program.