Skip to main content

Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Industrial-Organizational Psychology (I-O) programs are concerned with the world of work.

Program Overview


To promote state-of-the-art data-based decision-making about people in organizations. To create a program and work environment that is a great place to work and the envy of our peers. We will do this by recruiting, training, and placing world-class scientist-practitioners of Industrial-Organizational Psychology with nationally recognized coursework, field experiences, and externally funded applied research programs.


People spend half their waking hours at work seeking a sense of accomplishment and achievement. Societies depend on their citizens and organizations for productive activity. I-O psychologists deal with both broad sets of concerns in the context of social and technical change.

At North Carolina State University, the entire Department of Psychology has adopted the scientist-practitioner model of graduate education. The I-O program follows the Guidelines for Education and Training at the Doctoral Level in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, adopted in 1982 by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Division 14. Education and training is provided in the traditional I-O areas: work motivation, personnel research, selection, placement, leadership, organizational theory and development, job analysis, statistics, training, attitude theory and psychological measurement. Only students seeking the Ph.D. are admitted, but students entering without a relevant master’s degree will complete an en route M.S. degree as part of the Ph.D. curriculum.  We do not offer a terminal master’s degree.

We actively engage in the practice of I-O Psychology and encourage our students to do so as well. NC State faculty and students regularly provide consultation or products to a wide variety of partner organizations.

Frequently Asked Questions


Admissions decisions are based on GPA, match of the applicant’s career goals and research interests with our program, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores (when provided). Previous research experience may also be considered where applicable. On the whole, our admitted students tend to have a strong undergraduate GPA and strong GRE Verbal and Quantitative scores (when provided), although there are no specific minimums in these areas.

We receive around 100 applications each year and offer admission to about 10% of those.

Admitted applicants will be invited to a structured Visit Day event, usually in February or March. Our Visit Day includes meetings with faculty and current graduate students, presentations by university administrators, and tours of campus and the Raleigh area. Applicants may visit NC State on their own before being offered admission, but we cannot guarantee that I-O Program members will be available to meet on pre-admission visits. We generally recommend that you postpone visiting until after you have been offered admission and can take advantage of our structured visit program.

The GRE’s Psychology Subject Test is not required, but applicants without a previous psychology degree are strongly encouraged to take the Psychology Subject Test in order to demonstrate basic proficiency in general psychology, which is a requirement for admission. Applicants with previous psychology degrees will have their basic proficiency documented by their undergraduate transcripts.

No, new students are only enrolled in Fall semesters, with classes beginning in late August.

No. Unfortunately we have no provision for waiving application fees. Information about application fees and other admission procedures can be viewed here.


Yes, if openings are available in a faculty member’s research program. Preference is given to students currently enrolled at NCSU. Contact the individual faculty member you are interested in working with for more information.

Yes, students entering without a relevant master’s degree will earn a Master of Science degree en route to the PhD. The M.S. is not a terminal degree and only students seeking the PhD are admitted.

No, the Doctoral Program is a full-time residential program.