Description & Objective
The Master of Science Degree in Industrial & Organizational Psychology provides a comprehensive slate of I/O-specific courses designed to prepare students for immediate entry into careers in applied settings. Academic coursework is supplemented with an applied externship completed for academic credit. The program requirements provide excellent preparation for those interested in pursuing a Ph.D. upon completion of the MS. The course of study also includes a strong, five-course quantitative sequence in research methodology, statistics, and measurement. I/O students are expected to become competent in theory, research, and application of psychology as each relates to human behavior in private and public organizations.
The primary objective of the industrial/organizational program is to provide students with the skills to apply the principles and methods of psychology to organizations, public and private, and to settings where people are engaged in work. To be successful in this application, the graduate must have developed knowledge and appreciation of psychological theory and research as they apply to organizations and people at work, and mastery of the measurement and research technologies which are commonly used in the discipline.
The externship program is currently under the direction of Dr. Ken Shultz. The standard externship experience is at least half-time work over a three-month period. It is typically completed during the summer after the first year's coursework. Southern California's urban areas provide a wealth of opportunities for hands-on experience. Students have completed externships with such organizations as Sempra (Southern California Gas Company), The Los Angeles Unified School District, the Betty Ford Center, Edison International, and Fleetwood Enterprises. We believe the externship experience is a major contributing factor to the marketability of our graduating students.
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Dr. Mark Agars is the current faculty sponsor of the I/O student group "Students Promoting Industrial/Organizational Psychology" (SPI/OP). SPI/OP hosts guest speaker presentations on compelling themes in human resource management. Through committee work, newsletter contributions, and interaction with business student organizations, active members can develop connections with regional business organizations and can become a part of the SPI/OP network of future I/O professionals.
Selected I/O students also contribute their time and energies to a mentoring program for new undergraduate students. Dr. Agars is the current director of our student mentoring program. Upon selection, entering students are assigned to a second-year student who can provide information and advice.
(From left to right) Ismael Diaz, Ken Shultz, Mark Agars, Janelle Gilbert and Janet Kottke