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Graduate Study in Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management

GraduationBoth the master's and doctoral degree programs in Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management in the Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University prepare students for human resource and organizational development positions in business, consulting, and human service organizations , through a combination of classroom and practical training. At the M.A. level, IOBM students may elect a program of study that enables them to enter the work force after graduation or pursue doctoral training. At the Ph.D. level, IOBM students are prepared for a career of consulting, research scholarship, and/or leadership roles in training and organizational development.

Graduates who seek employment after receiving the M.A. or Ph.D. degree are qualified for jobs that involve personnel training and development, instructional design, productivity and safety improvement, quality enhancement, work process improvement, and organizational systems analysis. These jobs are usually found in human resource departments, process management departments, or consulting firms. Starting salaries for individuals with a master's degree usually range from $45,000-$55,000. A Ph.D. is not usually necessary for these positions, however, for some positions with consulting firms, a doctoral degree increases a person's employment opportunities. See where some of our alumni are working.

The M.A. program requires the completion of 36 credit hours. The Ph.D. program requires 78 credit hours, the completion of a thesis (a thesis completed at the Master's level may qualify), the completion of a dissertation, and the completion of a competency exam (to be completed at least one semester before defending the dissertation). The conceptual basis of the program is behavior analysis. Thus, evidence-based environmental-change strategies are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The IOBM graduate programs adhere to a mentorship model in which graduate students are assigned to work under specific faculty members. The faculty members are partially determined by the rank ordered list of preferences by students on their application form.

There are two M.A. options in the program:

Students admitted into one option may switch to the other option after admission, but their faculty advisor must approve that change.

M.A. Courses
Ph.D. Courses
Financial options
Student life

M.A. Eligibility

Ph.D. Eligibility

Faculty and students

Meet the industrial/organizational behavior management faculty and our current students.

How to apply

Admission is offered for the fall semester only. Applications are due Dec. 15. All application materials are due by the deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

Students interested in the IOBM Ph.D. program are strongly encouraged to first complete either the M.A. IOBM degree at WMU or a relevant M.A. degree from another university before applying to the Ph.D. program.


For more information on the Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management program, email Dr. Heather McGee at