The workplace is a complicated place—but you can understand what makes workers tick when you earn one of the best bachelor’s in organizational psychology.
Earning one of the best bachelor’s in organizational psychology will equip you with the skills you need to solve workplace issues, hire and train employees, and improve an organization’s productivity and efficiency.
It’s more than just human resources. Organizational psychology is a diverse discipline that requires skills in data collection and analysis, market research, and interpersonal relations. If you want to become better at solving problems and improving conditions for workers in any setting, from big business to small start-ups, you’ve got to pursue one of these degrees.
Oh, and let’s not forget the job prospects—this field is expected to see a growth of nearly 13% by 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Get your resume ready!
What Is an Organizational Psychology Degree?
In general, most organizational psychology degrees will require you to complete a minimum of 120 credits spread out over four years of full-time study. You’ll take classes in core psychology courses like applied psychology and human behavior, along with general liberal arts classes to hone your expertise in a wide variety of disciplines.
You’ll become a more well-rounded practitioner when you complete major-specific coursework that covers topics like the principles of management and group dynamics. At many universities, the organizational psychology major exists as a special concentration of the general Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in psychology.
Therefore, you may find that you take more classes in general psychology and a dozen or so courses specifically in organizational psychology and personnel psychology.
For some programs, you will be required to complete an internship or other work experience hours. These hours will help you gain hands-on experience in the field, as will other interactive opportunities like research projects, study abroad, and participation in extracurricular activities.
Careers for Organizational Psychology Majors
With a bachelor’s in organizational psychology, you’ll be prepared for entry-level roles in human resources administration, management analysis, or training and development. Your job opportunities are limited only by your own interests as well as the specific courses you decide to take.
For most positions, the minimum educational requirement is a bachelor’s degree in organizational psychology. For some supervisory positions, you may also need to complete human resources management coursework (sometimes at the graduate level) or extra classes in things like business administration or labor relations, too. You could work as a researcher, an adjunct instructor, or even a corporate trainer.
With a degree in organizational psychology, you could work anywhere in the world, and in practically any industry. Graduates from these programs are found in just about every field, including management, technical consulting services, government, and more.
Although most candidates typically go on to earn a master’s degree, this is not necessary unless you plan on working as an organizational psychologist. To become a licensed psychologist, you will also need to earn an eventual doctorate degree.
Organizational Psychology Salary Potential
Earn a degree in organizational psychology, and you won’t have to worry about putting food on the table. This field is one of the highest-paying and most in-demand you can pursue.
On average, industrial-organizational psychologists earn around $92,880 per year. However, the top 90% of earners receive well over $197,700, and even the lowest earners bring in a respectable $51,080 to $61,380 per year. Not too shabby! A bachelor’s degree is a basic prerequisite, but for most high-earning positions, you will need to earn a master’s or Ph.D. as well.
In some states, you may also need to pursue a license if you want to work independently or in a clinical setting. This is generally done at the state level and requires you to pass a professional practice exam and/or to complete several years of clinical experience. There are plenty of other voluntary certifications in niche areas you can pursue to enhance your resume, too, such as credentials in organizational and business consulting psychology.
What Are the Best Organizational Psychology Degrees?
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Average Net Price
For many students, being able to get involved in research at the undergraduate level is the most important feature to look for when searching for a degree in organizational psychology. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, you’ll have that opportunity—and what opportunity you will have!
This school is not only classified among R1: Doctoral Universities-Very High Research Activity but it is also home to a one-of-the-kind research park. This research park houses innovation centers for more than 90 start-up companies and multinational corporations, like Capital One, State Farm, Yahoo, and more.
As a result, it’s one of the best places to learn more about what makes an organization of any kind tick. The Bachelor of Science in liberal arts and sciences major in psychology has an organizational psychology concentration that requires 120 credit hours of study. In this program, you’ll take foundational courses in psychology like Community Psych and Psychopathology before moving on to concentration coursework in Personal Psych and Intermediate Current Topics in Psychology.
Your learning opportunities will extend outside the classroom, too. You can pursue one-year community internships, working with partners like the Cunningham Children’s Home, the Counseling Center, and more. All kinds of scholarship and research opportunities are available as well.
Georgia Institute of Technology
Average Net Price
Affectionately known as Georgia Tech, Georgia Institute of Technology is a former trade school that has satellite campuses all over the world. In addition to the main campus in Atlanta, GA, you can also choose to study at the school’s branches in Savannah, GA, Metz, France, Athlone, Ireland, Shenzhen, China, and even in Singapore.
No matter where you choose to study, you’ll benefit from a superior academic reputation and a dedication to hands-on instruction that could only come from studying at one of the top industry-focused schools in the country. The Bachelor of Science in psychology comes with multiple concentrations, including those in business and organizational psychology.
You’ll take core classes like Human Sensation and Perception, Social Psychology, and Biopsychology. In addition, you can pursue an in-depth research experience in a field of your choosing or pursue study abroad opportunities with the international plan. You can even add a business perspective to your degree without tacking on an additional minor by pursuing the business track of this degree.
A highly interdisciplinary program, it will help you develop the knowledge and competencies you need to succeed in the study of human behavior in the workplace.
San Diego State University
San Diego, California
Average Net Price
Ranking among the top ten universities in the country for its racial and ethnic diversity, San Diego State University is also regarded as one of the top 500 universities in the entire world. Here, you’ll gain a global perspective in your studies that is absolutely essential for long term career success.
No matter what major you decide to pursue, studying at San Diego State University will allow you to interact with faculty who are at the very top of their game when it comes to the quality of instruction and attention to student well-being. The Department of Psychology is home to a diverse community of students and instructors, all of whom enjoy access to dozens of research labs, centers, and experiences.
You’ll be able to take a variety of classes in general psychology here along with the additional courses required for the emphasis in industrial-organizational psychology. Some examples include Personnel and Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology.
Not only that, but you can participate in exchange programs in places like Osnabruck, Germany, and a variety of psychology clubs, too. The department houses numerous psych-specific organizations like the Psychology Club and the Psi Chi Honors Society.
Colorado State University – Fort Collins
Fort Collins, Colorado
Average Net Price
With multiple Pulitzer Prize winners, CEOs, astronauts, and governors as part of its alumni base, it’s clear that Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO knows what it takes to educate successful leaders. If you want to become one of those leaders—or even just understand what makes them so successful in the first place—earning a degree in psychology with a concentration in industrial/organizational psychology is a smart choice.
When you pursue this major, you’ll be prepared to enter the workforce with a keen understanding of topics like leadership, motivation, work-life balance, and organizational training. In addition to core coursework, you’ll also have the opportunity to partake in optional experiential education opportunities. These opportunities, which consists of internships, research assistantships, and more, not only enrich your training but also enhance your marketability when it’s time to apply for jobs.
You’ll begin by taking core liberal arts courses to widen your horizons before moving on to psych-specific classes like Research Design and Analysis, Industrial Psychology, and Cognitive Psychology. Before you graduate, you’ll be required to partake in three classes that will allow you to synthesize everything you have learned throughout your program so far. You’ll participate in holistic group study, research, and thesis projects to wrap everything up—and to give you a nice bow to tie your resume together, too.
Salem State University
Average Net Price
Salem, MA may be known for its spooky history in witchcraft and mysticism, but there’s plenty more to this city than meets the eye. In fact, Salem is home to one of the best public universities in the country—Salem State University.
This school, home to more than 9,000 undergraduate and undergraduate students, offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the arts and sciences. If you’re interested in fast-tracking your way to a rewarding career in industrial/organizational psychology, you’ll want to check out Salem State’s combined Bachelor and Master of Science in industrial/organizational psychology.
This accelerated program will allow you to earn both a bachelor’s and a master’s in just five years. Coursework takes place at the intersection between business and psychology, examining the specific ways in which psychology can be applied to the workplace. You will take core classes such as Principles of Psychological Testing, Management Theory and Application, and Social Psychology. You will also be required to complete an internship in industrial/organizational psychology.
Not only can this degree save you money by allowing you to complete two degrees in less time, but it also is easy to apply to. The GRE and MAT, typical requirements for graduate students, are waived, and you’ll also save time by being able to graduate and get out into the workforce faster.
Missouri University of Science and Technology
Average Net Price
The Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO may be best known for its programs in engineering—but it’s also home to dynamic degree programs in the sciences, social sciences, arts, business, and more.
In fact, it’s one of the best places to earn a degree in psychology. Here, you can choose to specialize in a range of emphasis areas, such as human services, human resources/personnel, and psychology of leadership. You can even earn a teaching emphasis if that kind of career is in your cards!
In this program, you’ll take classes like Social Psychology, Organizational Psychology, and Industrial Psychology. You will have access to all kinds of resources including student research opportunities and extracurricular organizations. Research is at the forefront of education here, so regardless of your major, you’ll be able to partake in some existing and extensive research in a variety of areas. Or, if a more traditional college experience is what you have in mind, you can participate in Greek life, athletics, or other clubs and activities, too.
Northwest Missouri State University
Average Net Price
If you want to get involved both on- and off-campus, Northwest Missouri State University is the place to go. Here, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for hands-on learning. You can join a Greek sorority or fraternity or participate in political organizations, like the College Republicans or Young Democrats. You could join a performing group or a religious organization, or you could pursue internships or study abroad within or outside of your major.
Simply put, at Northwest Missouri State, you will have the opportunity to truly excel. The undergraduate major in psychology, offered both as a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts, is known for helping students become “career ready, day one” through internships, networking opportunities, and field experiences. In fact, within six months of graduation, more than 94% of graduates from this program either obtained employment or decided to continue their education.
You can’t beat those numbers! Graduates get there by engaging in profession-based learning experiences and student organizations, like the Social Science Research Group, to help them build on the material they cover in classes. Core classes include Cognitive Psychology and Experimental Psychology.
You don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for this kind of experience, either. You’ll benefit from the Bearcat Advantage, an opportunity that provides out-of-state-students the opportunity to earn in-state tuition rates. You can also apply for the American Dream Grant, which covers 100% of all tuition and fees for Pell-eligible students. Talk about affordable!
CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College
New York City, New York
Average Net Price
CUNY Bernard M. Baruch College, or Baruch College, might be a consistent college of the City University of New York system—but that’s not to say that it’s not competitive. In fact, this university has a 29% acceptance rate, making it one of the most prestigious universities in the constituency.
Here, you’ll find an exemplary, broad-based program in industrial/organizational psychology. Although you’ll take courses in all areas of psychology, your courses will hone in specifically on the function of psychology in the workplace. As a terminal degree housed in the Zicklin School of Business, it will prepare you for work in business niches such as marketing, advertising, sales, and human resource management.
You’ll take a variety of courses in topics like Diversity in the Workplace, Occupational Health Psychology, and Psychology of Career Development and Planning. You’ll take general courses with other Psych majors, too, such as Cognitive Psychology and Mind, Brain, and Behavior.
As a student in this program, you’ll have access to all kinds of events and extracurriculars. For example, you can join the Zicklin Undergraduate Honors Program to boost your career readiness and to further enhance your resume.
Middle Tennessee State University
Average Net Price
With research opportunities at all kinds of organizations, such as the United States Marine Corps, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the United States Army, Middle Tennessee State University is one of the best places for inquisitive organizational psychology majors. In fact, it has consistently ranked among the nation’s top 100 public universities by Forbes magazine.
When you pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, you can select industrial/organizational psychology as one of your two minors. You will take classes like Personnel Selection and Placement and Industrial Organizational Training and Development. Plenty of elective courses are up for grabs, too, including Human Factors Psychology and Wage and Salary Administration.
A 46-hour program, the industrial-organizational program will prepare you for all kinds of fields, including work in human resources departments in a handful of industries and businesses. As a student in this program, you’ll be able to partake in research, internships, and other hands-on activities. Not only that, but you’ll be supported by student services like career advice, financial aid, and even free tutoring to help you succeed in your journey toward becoming a skilled practitioner.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Daytona
Daytona Beach, Florida
Average Net Price
With numerous online programs and satellite locations, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a large accredited university that recognizes what it takes to help students succeed. Founded originally as a pilot training school, this university now offers dozens of professional programs and research-oriented undergraduate degrees in countless fields of study.
And you don’t have to be a pilot—or interested in aeronautics at all!—to benefit from the Bachelor of Science in industrial/Organizational Psychology. This degree is designed for leaders and scholars at every level, helping to create opportunities to build a diverse workplace. The program incorporates a scientist-practitioner approach to education, enabling faculty to work alongside students on industry and research collaborations.
As a student, you’ll be able to attend and participate in internships and professional networking events. You can also present at scientific conferences and interact with future colleagues and employers. Here, you’ll benefit from small class sizes led by direct faculty instruction who enjoy strong industry connections.
In addition to taking core courses such as Psychology of Leadership and Management of Production and Operations, you can also participate in a host of professional organizations and associations, too, like the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the Association for Aviation Psychology.