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PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Become a leader for the human side of organizations.

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PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology Overview

Through rigorous coursework, field projects, applied research training, and internships or competency projects, this doctoral program will help you build skills in needs analysis, organizational development and diagnosis, and intervention design. If you are new to the field you will serve an internship, and if you are already working in the field of industrial organizational psychology, you'll complete a competency project.

If your goal is to become an IO psychologist, an organizational leader or consultant who can facilitate positive change in the workplace, the organizational psychology PhD program is a great place to be. Through rigorous coursework, field projects, internships for those who are new to the field or competency projects for people already working in the field, and applied research training, the program helps build skills in needs analysis, organizational diagnosis, and intervention design for individuals, teams, and organizational systems. You'll combine a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with an eye for organizational strategy. In the IO psychology program, you'll also expand your research skills and have the opportunity to contribute and build new knowledge in the field of organizational psychology.

Throughout the on-campus or online PhD industrial organizational psychology program, you'll be taught by top faculty, all with doctoral degrees and years of experience within the organizational and consulting fields. If you want to use your understanding of organizational culture and individual behavior to improve the health and well-being of people in the workplace, this organizational psychology program is a perfect place to start.

This three-year (15-term), post-master’s, 66-unit PhD program is offered online and on-campus. The program can be completed in Los Angeles or online. All are year-round programs where students have the option to attend part-time and take longer than three years to complete. 



Program Highlights

Wide Range of Careers

Deepen your existing skills or find a new career in organization development, talent and leadership development, human resources and talent management, and more in various industries, nonprofits, and government agencies.

Variety of Schedules

The industrial organizational psychology online or on-campus courses mean you can complete your coursework on weekdays and weekends. Multiple start dates each year and eight-week terms mean you don't have to wait long before you can get started on your studies.

Small Classes and Strong Alumni Network

Get to know your industrial psychology faculty and colleagues in a supportive climate, developing working relationships that can last a lifetime. Get to know alumni in our network and find jobs and internships through powerful relationships.

California On-campus and Online

Join us at our Los Angeles campus in the hub for international business and entertainment, or online from a location of your choice.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Increase your cross-cultural skills with multinational, multiracial faculty and students, and support a society of inclusive excellence, equity, and belonging. Our graduate study programs foster dialogue and engagement around diversity and inclusion.

Learn to Consult

Doctoral program courses prepare you to analyze a situation for underlying causes, then act to make a positive difference. Faculty prepare you to be a consultant who analyzes and intervenes with individuals, teams, and organizational systems.

Experiential Training 

Learn theories and cases in the classroom and gain hands-on experience through class projects and real-world projects.  PhD courses equip you to assess and design organizational interventions.

Compelling Coursework

Industrial psychology courses are designed to provide you with insight into the dynamics of individuals, teams, and organizational systems, preparing you to hit the ground running in a variety of careers, and to develop you as a consultant and a thought leader.



Learn About Admissions Requirements




The faculty consists of renowned experts with years of experience in the organizational and consulting fields. Faculty members include past and current local, national, and international professional association leaders; test and intervention developers; journal editors; and consultants. Areas of expertise include the following:

  • Management consulting
  • Organization development and change management
  • Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging
  • Leadership and leadership development
  • Motivation and employee engagement
  • Coaching and mentoring



Doctoral Degree Information

While our master's degree provides you with preparation in a wide variety of career practice areas in our field, the PhD program gives you further depth as well as research, analytical, and consulting skills. As a doctoral graduate, you can teach at a university, even while enjoying a career as an organizational psychologist in the industry, and express your thought leadership through writing. Some of our doctoral alumni have started successful companies.  

Graduate study courses of the on-campus or online doctorate include change management, organizational design and process improvement, ethics, diversity and inclusion, motivation, innovation and change, business strategy and operations, social and organizational psychology, consulting skills, a professional practice sequence, diagnostic methods for organizational consulting, people analytics, advanced statistics, research methods, talent recruitment assessment, and selection, dissertation, and more.

Instructional approach

The on-campus and online PhD industrial organizational psychology program consists of theory courses interwoven with research courses as well as consulting and intervention courses. In the dissertation sequence, you will apply skills learned in the theory and research courses to prepare you as an IO psychologist. In the applied projects sequence, you will apply concepts and skills learned in previous courses, with options for early-career and career-changing students, as well as students already experienced in the field. The three sections of the comprehensive doctoral exam occur at the end of each sequence of relevant courses.

Consistent with contemporary work environments, you work both individually and in groups (virtual groups for online students) in your coursework. By working in groups, you develop advanced skills in business communication, engaging with people who have different working styles, and learn through experience the importance of valuing diversity and appreciating inclusion and belonging.  

Discipline-specific competencies

Students of the IO psychology graduate school are expected to acquire and demonstrate competence in several areas:

  • Consulting – within an organization or externally to many organizations 
  • Analytics – people analytics for needs analysis and organizational diagnosis, program evaluation, talent assessment and selection, and academic research  
  • Theory – social and organizational psychology, motivation, innovation and change, ethics, diversity, equity, and inclusion  
  • Organizational intervention – leadership assessment and development, change management, organization design and process improvement  
  • Business skills – the big picture of strategy and operations within which consulting must make a difference, business communication and presentation skills  

Ready to become a doctoral student of this program? 

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Frequently Asked Questions


What scholarship and financial aid options are available?

Private and public scholarships can help you meet the cost of your education, and Alliant offers institutional scholarships for many of our students. Learn more about these scholarship opportunities here. Additional financial aid is available for those who qualify in the form of loans, grants, federal work study, and military aid. Learn more in our Financial Options Guide.


How long does it take to complete the program?

The degree is a 66-credit program that can be completed in three years by focusing year-round on two courses per eight-week term, or longer if you take one course during some terms. You can find a copy of our eight-week academic calendar here.


Can I work full-time and complete the program?

Yes. You can take courses online, on weekday evenings, or on weekends. The program at our graduate school is rigorous, so you're encouraged to discuss your personal circumstances with your admissions counselor or with a faculty member during the application process.


When does the program start?

The program is offered as an eight-week term program and is open for enrollment during those enrollment periods. Applicants can apply for either a January or August start. You can find a copy of our eight-week term academic calendar here.


What is the modality of the program?

You can earn your PhD in I/O psychology degree online or on-campus in Los Angeles.


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Why Alliant

At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and to promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve lives. We offer an education that is accredited, focused on practical knowledge and skills, connected with diverse faculty and alumni, and aimed at the student experience.

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Founded in 1969, CSPP was one of the nation’s first independent schools of professional psychology. Today, CSPP continues its commitment to preparing the next generation of mental health professionals through graduate-level degree programs in clinical psychology, marriage and family therapy, clinical counseling, organizational psychology, psychopharmacology, and more.


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