Industrial/Organizational Psychology Overview

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The Work of I/O Psychology

Industrial and Organizational (I/O) psychologists contribute to an organization’s success by improving the performance and well-being of its people. With a Master’s degree in I/O Psychology, you will be able to assist organizations with: (1) Recruiting, hiring, and retaining the most qualified employees, (2) developing fair, legal, and efficient hiring practices, (3) designing and implement new training programs, (4) increasing diversity in the workforce, (5) developing performance management systems, (6) minimizing absenteeism, (7) eliminating harassment and discrimination, and (8) increasing motivation and enhance work-life balance.

I/O Psychology at ECU

The Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology program at East Carolina University will train you to apply scientific solutions to the workplace. It is a 45-semester hour Master’s program that provides you with the tools to work in industrial and organizational settings. The department currently has four full-time I/O psychology faculty members and one affiliated faculty member.

One potential program opportunity for you is an internship that typically occurs during the summer between your first and second year. This internship provides you with an opportunity to apply skills learned through coursework and to acquire new skills in an organizational setting. The internship may require you to relocate for the summer.

An additional potential program opportunity for you is the completion of a Master’s thesis. The Master’s thesis is a professional research paper that serves as an example of your research skills and ability to write an organized research report. You will present your thesis and results during an oral examination conducted by the thesis committee.


Many of our students opt to gain a certificate degree. Although some typical examples are provided below, there are other potential certificates you can add to your degree (e.g., Project Management). Additionally, you can have more than one certificate added to your degree.

The Quantitative Methods for the Social and Behavioral Sciences certificate requires additional courses in statistics. This certification is especially useful for those who wish to continue their education in a PhD program, as well as those who wish to pursue a career in research.

The Business Analytics certificate requires students to take courses within the Management Information Systems Department. This certification is especially useful for those who would like to pursue an applied career (i.e., Human Resources, Business/Data Analytics).

The Leadership in Organizations certificate requires students to take additional courses in the Management Department. This certification is especially useful for students who wish to pursue a career in modern organizational settings (e.g., Human Resources, Consulting).

Careers I/O Psychology

Having a degree in I/O Psychology allows you to go into numerous careers such as Human Resource Management and applied I/O research. Recent studies have shown that both of these career fields are in high demand and provide sizable incomes. Visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Human Resource Management site and O*NET Online Human Resource Management for more information; visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employee Statistics and O*NET Online Industrial/Occupational Psychologists for more information about careers in applied I/O Psychology.

Graduate School in I/O Psychology

Employment of Our Graduates

We are very proud of the employability of the graduates of our program. Not only do our students find it easy to find employment after graduation, they typically find themselves working for exceptional organizations. Below is a list of some of the organizations at which our graduates have been or are currently employed.

    • Albemarle Corporation
    • American Institutes for Research
    • Argo Group
    • ASMO
    • Bandwidth, Inc.
    • Belimed
    • Belk
    • Capital One
    • Citrix
    • CMI Plastics, Inc.
    • Corning Inc.
    • CPS Human Resource Services
    • Donnoe & Associates, Inc.
    • DRI Consulting
    • DSM
    • FedEx Freight
    • Freeport-McMoRan
    • Gartner
    • GEICO
    • Grady-White Boats
    • Hogan Assessment Systems
    • Honeywell
    • Human Performance Systems, Inc.
    • IBM Enterprise
    • jetBlue
    • LabCorp
    • Mercer
    • Mercer Human Resource Consulting
    • NACCO Materials Handling Group
    • NIDA
    • PepsiCo
    • Personnel Decisions International
    • Polaris Assessment Systems
    • Prestera FX, Inc.
    • RTI International
    • SWA Consulting
    • Talent Plus, Inc.
    • The Hammock Source
    • TIAA
    • U.S. Department of Defense
    • US Army, Fort Bragg
    • UTC Aerospace
    • VF Corporation
    • Wayfair
    • Wells Fargo
    • Wells Fargo
    • Weyerhaeuser Co.

In addition to successful employment following graduation, many of our students have pursued a doctoral degree at the following institutions:

  • East Carolina University
  • Florida International University
  • George Washington University
  • Hofstra University
  • North Carolina State University
  • University of Georgia
  • University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Wright State University


Living at ECU and in Greenville

East Carolina University is just over an hour east of Raleigh and one short hour to the beach. View Visit Greenville and Business View Magazine for more information about living in Greenville, North Carolina. Additionally, although there is no exclusive graduate housing on campus, to help you find a place to live, housing information based on current graduate students is provided in April to those who accept our offer of admission into the program.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to complete the program?
Most of our students complete the program in 2 academic years (4 semesters).

Am I able to be admitted as a part time student?
Currently, the program is for full time students only.

Can I apply for admission in the spring semester?
Students will begin their graduate work in the fall semester.

Is the GRE required for admission?

How long has ECU’s I/O Psychology program been around?
It was developed in the mid-1970s.

Are students required to complete a thesis?
No, while there is an option to complete a Master’s Thesis, it is not a requirement.

Are students required to complete an internship?
While the internship is not required, it is highly encouraged and most of our students choose to complete one during the summer after their first year in the program.

Do students have the opportunity to receive funding?
Many of our students apply to and receive graduate assistantship positions, typically ranging from 10-20 hours of work per week.

When are classes held?
All of our classes are held Monday-Friday during the day. Students are not required to attend night or weekend classes.

Does ECU offer online classes?
While most of the required I/O courses are offered face-to-face, several of the courses required for the certificates are offered online.

Do I have to be an undergraduate Psychology major to apply?

How many incoming students are enrolled each fall semester?
Incoming cohort sizes typically range from 10 to 15.