Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management

Graduate students smilingBoth 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, I/OBM 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, I/OBM students are prepared for a career of consulting, research scholarship, and 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 and the Ph.D. program requires 78 credit hours. The conceptual basis of the program is behavior analysis. Thus, evidence-based environmental-change strategies are emphasized throughout the curriculum. The I/OBM 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:

  • The practicum option prepares students to enter the work force when they graduate and requires a minimum of six credit hours of practicum.
  • The thesis option prepares students for doctoral training and requires students to conduct a 6-credit hour research study.

If you are admitted into one option and want to  switch to the other option after admission, your faculty advisor must approve that change.

M.A. Eligibility

  • A bachelor's degree with a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology, which must include three credit hours of statistics.
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • An undergraduate major in psychology
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Minimum scores corresponding to the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.
  • Other criteria taken into consideration include letters of reference, research activity, work experience, social and professional skills, and the extent to which the applicant's interests match the program.

Ph.D. Eligibility

  • Students without M.A. degrees are strongly encouraged to apply to the M.A. program before entering the Ph.D. program.
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • Related graduate degrees in psychology
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0
    • Minimum scores corresponding to the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.
  • Other criteria taken into consideration include letters of reference, research activity, work experience, social and professional skills, and the extent to which the applicant's interests match the program.

Faculty and students

Meet the industrial/organizational behavior management faculty.

Handbook

The IOBM Graduate Training Handbook (updated June 2016) describes the relevant policies, procedures, expectations, and requirements for graduate training in the Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management Program with the Department of Psychology. Students are responsible for knowing the contents of this Handbook.

How to apply

Admission is offered for the fall semester only. Applications are due Dec. 1. All application materials are due by the deadline. Late applications will not be considered.

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

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Contact

For more information on the industrial/organizational behavior management program, contact Dr. Heather McGee.