Master of Art (MA) — Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Program overview

Become an industrial-organizational psychologist and change the world of work

This MA in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program gives you a strong theoretical foundation to meet real-world challenges, conduct research, and gain field-practicum experiences. As a scholar-leader, you will design and deliver interventions in this STEM-approved I-O psychology master’s program to develop leaders in the workplace.

Discover how you can make this graduate program in I-O Psychology fit with your professional goals.

Dr. Joey Collins leads a discussion


MA program distinctives

The Master of Art in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program is designed with a focus on the science and rigor associated with quality degrees in this field along with an equal emphasis on the practice of industrial-organizational psychology. This program will prepare you to:

  • Develop a strong theoretical foundation for meeting real-world challenges through program curriculum.
  • Design and develop interventions, conduct research, and develop leaders through field-practicum experiences.
  • Achieve your individual vocational and professional goals when you tailor the program’s wide variety of electives .

The curriculum for this program has been structured according to the guidelines for graduate training in industrial-organizational psychology published by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), a division of the American Psychological Association.

Master’s program

The MA is a 66-credit program (56 credits required, plus 10 elective credits) and is designed to be taken over a two-year/seven-quarter or three-year/11-quarter sequence.

As a full-time student, you will typically take eight credits a quarter (two classes) in the first year and eight to 11 credits in the second year. You may take any of the approved graduate courses to fulfill your elective requirements.

In your final year of the program, you will complete a final master’s project and portfolio as part of your coursework.

The SPU I-O program is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion; and equipping our students to become practitioners and researchers who will make a difference in organizations where they serve. Consequently, the SPU I-O faculty and staff stand with and affirm our LGBTQIA+ students, alumni, staff, and faculty, who are central and critical to our campus community. The SPU I-O Program is a place where we value every student for who they are and how they can use their gifts to live with compassion in the world.

Four pillars

The curriculum for the Industrial-Organizational Psychology master’s program satisfies the suggested areas of competence for graduates in industrial-organizational psychology, ensuring that you are fulfilling not only the expectations for master’s-level education, but also fulfilling the expectations of experts working in the field.

The four pillars of Seattle Pacific University’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology program:

  • Research: Scientific evidence for what could be.
    • You gain the knowledge and skills to make evidence-based decisions in organizations, and learn to conduct, evaluate, and measure research. Knowledge of core theoretical models and their application is the foundation for our training.
  • Character: The imprint of past experiences and relationships.
    • You learn to demonstrate awareness of self and others, as well as discernment, responsibility, and self-regulation. You’ll take responsibility for your own contributions, both good and bad. And you won’t just focus on your strengths, but also learn to offer and receive grace.
  • Practice: The integration of what you know and who you are.
    • You learn to apply research, self-knowledge, and character to real-time work with organizations. You gain the foundation to learn and lead at the next level, applying evidence-based theory and strategies to the change efforts of organizations you’ll serve.
  • You: The instrument of change.
    • You learn to work with and present to real-world clients, even as you come to understand how your own strengths and weaknesses impact your ability to bring about individual, team, and organizational transformation.

Considering a PhD in Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

The doctoral program begins in autumn. Students accepted into that program will complete a master’s level final project and portfolio in the second year and be awarded a master’s degree upon completion of the equivalent MA requirements and as they continue with the additional two years for SPU’s doctorate in Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

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Joey​ Collins

Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology
PsyD, Biola University

Phone: 206-281-2819
Office: Marston 262

Paul​ R. Yost

Chair and Associate Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Director of IOP Applied Learning and Development
PhD, University of Maryland

Phone: 206-281-2893
Office: Marston 121

Helen Chung

Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Phone: 206-281-2629
Office: Marston 118

Jorge Lumbreras

Assistant Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Director of IOP Research
PhD, University of Georgia

Phone: 206-281-2152
Office: Marston 122
First Generation student

Adjunct Faculty

Deanna Haney-Loehlein

Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Adjunct Faculty
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Jessica Loving

Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Adjunct Faculty
MA, Seattle Pacific University

Emily Pelosi

Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Adjunct Faculty
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Kristen (Voetmann) Thornton

Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Adjunct Faculty
PhD, Seattle Pacific University

Norman Tonina

Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Adjunct Faculty
MA, Antioch University Seattle

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2023–24 tuition and fees

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per credit

Average 8–11 credits per quarter.

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$75; $150

application fee; one-time matriculation fee

See additional fee details.
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66 credits

to complete

All tuition, fees, and other charges stated here are payable in U.S. dollars ($US).

In addition to direct instructional costs, Seattle Pacific University’s Industrial-Organizational Psychology tuition covers academic and student support services. Other benefits include use of athletic facilities (e.g., gym, locker room, and fitness rooms), and the SPU Library.

Scholarships and financial aid

Scholarship and other financial aid is available to newly admitted and continuing students in the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. For more information, visit Graduate Students Resources in Student Financial Services.

Resources available to graduate students to offset costs may include:

  • Student loans. Includes amounts that exceed tuition and provide for living expenses.
  • Graduate research fellowships. Department and grant-funded research and administrative assistant positions are offered to a limited number of graduate students each year. Selection is based on established criteria within each graduate department.
  • Graduate teaching assistantships. Department-funded teaching assistantships are offered to a limited number of graduate students each year. Selection is based on established criteria and course need within each graduate department.
  • Department scholarship and awards. Selection is based on established criteria within each department. May not be distributed every year.

Student employment

For part-time student employment opportunities on or off campus, explore these options:

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Applying to the Master of Art Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program

To be considered for admission into the Industrial-Organizational Psychology (MA) program, you must apply online. Find the help you need with the admissions process from Graduate Admissions

If you are an international student, see below on this page and refer to International Graduate Students information about additional admission requirements, as well. 

Master’s degree admission requirements

For admission to this master’s degree program, the following are required:

  • Online application and $50 processing fee
  • A bachelor’s degree
    • The degree must be from a regionally accredited institution, with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0 in all undergraduate work.
    • Completion of at least one business, math, or social science statistics course from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Completion of at least two courses in psychology, from a regionally accredited institution. One course in business, political science, or sociology (completed at a regionally accredited institution) may be substituted for one of the two required psychology courses.
  • Official transcripts
    • Official transcript(s) from any college or university that granted you a degree or degrees, and from any institution attended since that time.
  • Graduate record exam (GRE) scores are optional
    • We consider applications holistically, weighing academic preparedness, interpersonal skills, and research skills. If submitted, GRE scores will be considered as an additional item to all other application materials.
    • The recommended overall GRE score is a 295 (or 950 on the older version of the test) on the verbal and quantitative sections.
  • Personal statement, typed
    • Demonstrating your writing and grammatical skills
    • Addressing your career objectives, personal qualifications, experience, and other insights as deemed appropriate by you
    • The rationale for seeking the degree and choosing to attend Seattle Pacific
  • Letters of recommendation
    • Three letters with (1) one from a person who has experienced you in a professional setting (i.e., a current or former employer); (2) one academic reference from a former professor or instructor; and (3) a personal recommendation (not a family member).

Admission process

The Admissions Committee of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program will conduct a preliminary screening process.

  • Finalists will be invited to come to campus for personal interviews.
  • Admission to the master’s program depends upon recommendation by the I-O faculty and approval from the I-O chair.

The entire process is usually completed within twelve weeks after the final deadline date for applications.

Transfer of credit

If you have taken graduate coursework at a regionally accredited institution, you may be allowed to transfer up to 12 quarter credits.

You must provide applicable transcripts and/or syllabi. Each course must be at least three graduate quarter credits, equivalent to courses taught in the Organizational Psychology program at Seattle Pacific University and completed within seven years of admission. A minimum grade of “B” will be needed for transferred work. Any transfer-credit petitions should be submitted only after formal admission to the master’s program.

International students

In addition to the SPU general and the Industrial-Organizational Psychology program’s additional admission requirements listed above, international students must also submit:

  • An official confidential affidavit of financial support covering the first year of intended enrollment. Without this document, SPU cannot issue an I-20 immigration form.
  • Students holding undergraduate or graduate degrees from colleges, universities and/or seminaries located outside the U.S. are expected to have their transcripts evaluated by a professional credential agency. Such an evaluation is required before an application for admission to SPFC can be granted and before any graduate credits taken elsewhere can be applied to a SPFC degree.
  • If you earned an undergraduate degree in a country other than the United States, or your degree is in progress, an official course-by-course credential evaluation must be submitted from a NACES member-recognized credential service. Acceptable credential services include, but are not limited to, World Education Services (WES) and Foundation for International Services (FIS).
  • In addition to the evaluation report, we also require official transcripts and diplomas to be submitted, in English. International applicants are responsible for all costs associated with this service.
  •  English language proficiency: If you do not speak English as your first language, you must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A minimum score of 600 on the TOEFL paper or 250 on the TOEFL-CBT, or 100 on the TOEFL-iBT is required. ACE scores will not be accepted.
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Program videos


Practice, Research, Character, You

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Industrial-Organizational Psychology students sit at a conference table

Career Opportunities

The Master of Arts (MA) in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program seeks to develop scholars, professional practitioners, and leaders who will actively engage the community and businesses around them, improving organizations and developing people as part of their jobs.

Master’s degree graduates receive a theoretical foundation for addressing a broad range of behavioral issues in the workplace.

  • They are professionals in the human resources, organizational development, and training fields.
  • They are also organizational leaders who have earned a graduate education that relates directly to their practice as leaders.

What careers can open up for you once you have your Master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

  • Management analyst
  • Human resources manager
  • Research analyst
  • Employee relations manager
  • Instructional designer
  • Project manager
  • Behavior analyst
  • Market researcher
  • Technology consultant


Supporting the careers of our Industrial-Organizational Psychology students and alumni is a high priority for the School of Psychology, Family, and Community. We have a rich community of current students and graduates. Here are some of their stories:

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  • Dr. Joey Collins’ Research Vertical Team recently researched, tested, and practiced Coach Motivation (CM) to present at SIOP 2020. Watch the 21-minute conference presentation from Dr. Collins.

    From the Collins Research Vertical Team: Predicting Coaching Effectiveness for Managers as Coaches. See the video summary.

    Relationships, Accountability, Development (R.A.D.) Managers: Managerial Coaching Behaviors and Work-related Attributes. See the video summary.

    Fireside chats. Dr. Paul Yost was joined by current doctoral students (Mackenzie and Codieann) and I-O Psychology alumni (Emily, Kira, and Jake) as they led two “fireside chat” sessions focused on personal and organizational resilience. 

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Learn more about the program.

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