PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology Overview
The PhD in industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology program will equip you with the knowledge and tools to enable organizations, teams and individuals become more engaged and productive, while inviting and including the diverse perspectives that organizational members and stakeholders bring to the table.
If you are looking to become an organizational leader or consultant who can facilitate positive change in the workplace, the organizational psychology PhD program is a perfect 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 builds skills in needs analysis, organizational diagnosis, and intervention design for individuals, teams, and organizational systems. You will learn how to combine a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion with an eye for organizational strategy. In the program, you will expand your research skills and have the opportunity to contribute and build new knowledge in the field of organizational psychology.
In the program you will learn from top faculty members, 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.
For decades, students use their industrial-organizational psychology PhD degree to build careers as consultants and leaders in respected organizations and consulting firms. Their careers range widely in organization and talent development, diversity and inclusion, talent management (employee assessment, selection, learning and development, people analytics, and employee engagement), human resources, leadership development, change management, organization development, and human capital consulting.
This three-year (15-term), post-master’s, 66-unit PhD program is offered online and on-campus. The on-campus program can be completed in Los Angeles or San Diego. All are year-round programs where students have the option to attend part-time and take longer than three years to complete.
Faculty and Admissions
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
Get the information you need in order to start your Alliant experience. Browse our list of faculty members, or see the latest admission requirements for your desired graduate program.
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.
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 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.
Two California locations and online
Join us at our Los Angeles campus in the hub for international business and entertainment, our San Diego campus near biotech and high-tech firms, or complete your studies online from the comfort of your home.
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 programs foster dialogue and engagement around diversity and inclusion.
Learn to consult
Courses prepare you to analyze a situation for underlying causes, then act to make a positive difference. Our faculty prepare you to be a consultant who analyzes and intervenes with individuals, teams, and organizational systems.
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.
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.
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 in university, even while enjoying a career in the industry, and express your thought leadership through writing. Some of our doctoral alumni have started successful companies.
Courses 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.
The 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. 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.
Students 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?
Links and Downloads
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of job can graduates expect to get with this degree?
Graduates often work in corporate settings, holding positions such as personnel analyst, project leader, human resources partner or manager, or in consulting positions—either in external research or internal organization—for their companies or organizations. They can also work in positions such as: talent development, instructional design, talent coaching, union organizers and representatives, diversity and management analysis, and more.
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 industrial and organizational psychology doctoral program?
The degree is a 66-credit program that can be completed in three years by focusing year-round on only 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, and on weekends. The program is rigorous, so you’re encouraged to discuss your personal circumstances with your admissions counselor or with a faculty member during the application process.
Degree Campus Locations
These are the Alliant campuses in California where this program is waiting for you to make your impact. Click the image to learn more about each campus and what specific Californian wonders there are to explore.
Get the Alliant experience on your own schedule. See the variety of classes Alliant offers, and transform your education into impact.
At Alliant, our mission is to prepare students for professional careers of service and leadership and promote the discovery and application of knowledge to improve the lives of people in diverse cultures and communities around the world. Our vision is an inclusive world empowered by Alliant alumni.
The California School of Professional Psychology (CSPP) is Alliant’s cornerstone school and was built on a legacy of thought leadership, multicultural competence, and quality of care. CSPP’s programs pair hands-on professional practice with academic rigor in order to prepare the next generation of psychologists and mental health care professionals at our graduate school.