Industrial/Organizational psychology (I/O) is the area of psychology focused on the behavior of employees in the workplace. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of industrial and organizational psychology is expected to grow by about 2.5% through 2029. This growth will result in about 200 new jobs. Organizations use industrial organizational psychologists to:
- keep employees engaged
- improve satisfaction and job morale
- make a positive influence on the bottom line
- support career advancement
A master’s in I/O psychology is usually considered a terminal degree in the field. Fortunately, there are many great schools that offer online I/O psychology master’s programs. These make a great choice for working professionals who want to advance their career or transition to the field.
We developed this ranking of the top 10 most affordable online master’s in I/O psychology because we recognize the importance of earning your degree without breaking the bank. The initial selection of schools was found using information provided by the National Center for Education Statistics. We narrowed our focus to online programs offering:
- a comprehensive curriculum
- professional development opportunities
- experienced faculty
- access to online support
We ranked the programs by their average graduate tuition cost from College Navigator and included the 10 cheapest in our list.
10. Bellevue University – Bellevue, Nebraska
Average Graduate Tuition:$10,710
The high-value online I/O psychology master’s degree program at Bellevue University is a comprehensive program that emphasizes applied assessments, real world projects, and professional networking opportunities. Students move through the program as a cohort, taking one course at a time with the same group of peers. Courses include:
- Organizational Development
- Personnel Selection
- Job Analysis and Performance Appraisal
The last course in the program is an advanced industrial and organizational psychology practice where students complete a research project with an organization. Students create measurement tools, collect and analyze data, create data visualizations, and complete any deliverables.
9. Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, Arizona
Average Graduate Tuition:$10,528
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Grand Canyon University offers a budget friendly online master’s in industrial organizational psychology for students who want to influence effective, positive behavior in their workplace. Courses are taught from a Christian worldview and students learn how to apply servant leadership principles to improve overall work life. Core courses include:
- Social and Cultural Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Development
- Strategies for Effective Leadership and Consultation
All students complete a professional capstone that allows them to develop research ideas and explore occupational opportunities within the field of I/O psychology.
8. Colorado State University – Fort Collins, Colorado
Average Graduate Tuition:$10,520/year in-state and $25,791/year out-of-state
Colorado State University features a high-quality online I/O psychology master’s that follows a practitioner-oriented approach. Students will gain practical knowledge and skills in areas like research and consulting. Faculty designed the curriculum to be relevant and rich with real-world perspectives. Courses include:
- Succession Planning and Leadership Development
- Applied Organizational Development
- Workforce Training and Development
The self-paced program design is great for working professionals or those with busy schedules. There is no thesis requirement. Instead, students complete a research or consulting project with an actual organization under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
7. Missouri University of Science and Technology – Rolla, Missouri
Average Graduate Tuition:$10,452
The affordable online I/O psychology master’s program from Missouri University of Science and Technology is a flexible program with thesis and non-thesis options available. Students will develop skills in areas like:
- organizational development
- performance management
Full-time students can complete their degree in about two years of study. Students can also complete graduate certificates that may be applied to their master’s in I/O psychology. Graduate certificates are available in statistical methods or applied workplace psychology.
6. Kansas State University – Manhattan, Kansas
Tuition:$10,212/year in-state and $23,050/year out-of-state
Kansas State University features an online budget-friendly master’s in industrial and organizational psychology that prepares students to be experts in areas like organizational policies and human behavior. This cohort program begins during the summer semester. During the first and second summer semesters, students come to campus to complete a two-week intensive. Online courses include:
- Personnel Selection
- Performance Appraisal
- Organizational Psychology
Ideal applicants should have two years of HR management or supervisory experience and a bachelor’s degree in psychology or a closely related field.
5. Auburn University – Auburn, Alabama
Average Graduate Tuition:$10,080
Auburn University features an asynchronous online master’s in I/O psychology through the Department of Psychological Sciences. The 30 credit-hour, non-thesis, program takes about two years to complete. Courses include:
- Ethics and Professional Issues in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Training and Development in Organizations
- Personnel Selection
All students complete a practicum in applied psychology, gaining valuable hands-on training and professional development. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same low tuition rate.
4. Eastern Kentucky University – Richmond, Kentucky
Average Graduate Tuition:$9,900
The high value online master’s in I/O psychology offered by Eastern Kentucky University is a 36-credit hour program with no on-campus residency requirements. The program focuses on consulting and professional development while following the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology training guidelines. Courses are delivered in accelerated, eight-week terms. There are numerous research and field experience opportunities, giving students real-world experience.
3. Touro University Worldwide – Los Alamitos, California
Average Graduate Tuition:$9,000
The low cost online master’s in industrial and organizational psychology is a 36-credit hour program that can be completed in just one year. Courses are offered in short, eight-week session and are taken online. Three concentration areas are available including:
- Coaching and Consulting
- Human Resource Management
- Occupational Health Psychology
The capstone is experience is the final course and focuses on an organizational or career-related situation that is personally or professionally relevant.
2. Purdue University Global – Indianapolis, Indiana
Average Graduate Tuition:$8,766
The low cost online master’s in I/O psychology from Purdue University Global is designed for working professionals. Students will broaden their knowledge in I/O psychology through rigorous coursework. Courses cover areas like:
- employee training
- evaluation and leadership
- human resource management
An optional practicum experience is available to students who want hands-on training in the field. Students can choose to complete a thesis or take a comprehensive exam as their culminating experience.
1. Austin Peay State University – Clarksville, Tennessee
Average Graduate Tuition:$8,100/year in-state and $13,086/year out-of-state
Austin Peay State University is our top online master’s in industrial organizational psychology. This two-year program is comprised of 15-week semesters and fully online courses. The curriculum follows the Guidelines for Education and Training provided by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Required courses include:
- Leadership and Organizational Change
- Performance Management
- Personnel Psychology
Students can choose to complete a thesis or take additional coursework and pass a comprehensive exam.
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