Organizational psychologists use their extensive knowledge of human behavior to solve workplace and industry problems. Careers as industrial or organizational psychologists require, at the very least, a master’s degree. To set yourself apart from competition in this unique field, a doctorate helps. Many accredited and top-ranked colleges and universities now offer online PhD in organizational psychology programs. Online learning allows students to gain valuable work experience while earning a doctoral degree.
Top 15 Online PhD in Organizational Psychology Methodology
We looked at 48 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online PhD in organizational psychology or closely related programs. To narrow our original pool of schools, we applied the following criteria: Regional or national accreditation, institution rankings from at least one major publication like U.S. News and World Report, and graduate tuition and fees listed at $41,000 or lower. We then ranked the top 15 online PhD in organizational psychology programs according to raw affordability.
Below is our list of the top 15 online PhD in organizational psychology programs.
#15 – William James College
Online PsyD in Leadership Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $40,520
Designed for aspiring and current managers, consultants, and working professionals with ten years of employment history, the online PhD in organizational psychology program at William James College is flexible and convenient. Degree candidates earn an online PsyD in leadership psychology by taking a mix of online and face-to-face courses. The program consists of 98 credits earned over four years. Thirty of the earned credits arise from the earned master’s degree. Students typically take two courses each semester for 15 weeks plus one summer session. Courses include adaptive leadership and resistance to change, ethics and standards of practice in leadership, and the neurobiology of leadership. William James College has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a premier graduate school in programs like psychology.
#14 – Adler University
Online PhD in Industrial & Organizational Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $33,252
The online PhD in organizational psychology program at Adler University trains students to become forward thinkers and organizational experts in research and human potential. This fully online program is designed for working professionals. There are no residency requirements, and classes are delivered 100% online. Some of the online courses include organizational development and change, organizational theory, and research methods in organizational psychology. A master’s degree and cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better are required for admission to the program. Also required are two letters of recommendation, a writing sample, and an admissions interview. Accredited and ranked, Adler has received recognition from several major publications, including U.S. News and World Report.
#13 – Keiser University
Online PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $28,272
The PhD in organizational psychology online programs at Keiser University require two residency experiences. Keiser’s PhD in industrial and organizational psychology offers blended courses that are completed either online or face-to-face. Whether you have completed a master’s or bachelor’s, two available pathways are offered. Some of the required courses include cognitive and affective basis of behavior, cross-cultural methods of tests and measurements, interventions in social systems, organizational applications, and organizational psychology. Keiser is a ranked institution. In fact, the school ranks by U.S. News and World Report as the 56th best regional university in the South. In addition to the school rankings, several online graduate programs have received top 100 and 200 rankings.
#12 – Saybrook University
Online PhD in Clinical Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $27,489
Saybrook University offers an alternative to the online organizational psychology doctorate degree. The school offers an online PhD in clinical psychology that details knowledge and practical skills needed to enter professional practice. Accordingly, topics covered include data analyses and meta analyses, developmental psychology, and humanistic-integrative psychology. Through online classes and hands-on training at residential conferences, students become equipped to practice clinical psychology in a variety of settings. In addition to the completion of courses, students may opt to sit for licensing exams. Admission requires an earned bachelor’s and master’s degree from an accredited institution. The school is recognized by major publications and fully accredited.
#11 – Alliant International University
Online PsyD in Organizational Development
San Diego, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $23,801
Alliant International University offers an online PhD in organizational psychology designed for working professionals. This program offers a combination of online coursework, once-a-month weekend classes, and a completely flexible schedule for individuals who require convenience while earning their doctorate degree. Furthermore, the program provides all the skills needed to effectively work in areas of organizational development. Courses include cultural diversity in organizations, globalization and international organizational development, leadership in organizations, organizational change and development, and organizational consulting skill development. The school is ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report recognizes Alliant International as a top national university.
#10 – The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Online PhD in Business Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $22,601
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology offers an online organizational psychology doctorate degree in business psychology. The full-time program can be completed online and takes just three years post master’s or five years post baccalaureate. Courses cover topics like adult development and work, systems theory, and virtual and global leadership. Admission to the program requires applicants submit undergraduate transcripts showcasing a GPA of 3.0 or better, official GRE scores, and three letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional experience supervisors. In addition, applicants must also have earned a bachelor’s or master’s from a regionally accredited college or university. This school is fully accredited.
#9 – Nova Southeastern University
Online PhD in Occupational Therapy
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $20,620
Nova Southeastern University offers a doctoral degree designed for individuals interested in PhD in organizational psychology online programs. This uniquely designed PhD program leads to a doctorate in occupational therapy, focusing on the individual within an organization rather than the organization itself. The program is primarily offered online, though some scheduled on-campus sessions may be required. Some of the courses include applying measurement theory to evaluation, contextual aspects of occupational performance, and theory development for models of practice. Admission to the program requires a master’s degree with a 3.5 GPA. In addition to the graduate degree, applicants must also submit letters of recommendation and official transcripts. Nova is ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the publication ranks the school #191 in best national universities.
#8 – Lesley University
Online PhD in Counseling & Psychology – Transformative Leadership
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $18,150
One of the top online organizational psychology doctorate degree programs on our list is the online PhD in counseling and psychology at Lesley University. This 48-credit program is for licensed professionals, school counselors, and mental health advocates who want to pursue leadership roles within the field of psychology. Courses are delivered online, though the cohort of PhD candidates meets one weekend per month. Courses include qualitative and quantitative methods, research in schools and communities, and transformative leadership. The program requires applicants have a master’s degree from an accredited college or university to apply. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lesley #183 in best national universities. Also, several graduate programs have earned top rankings.
#7 – California Southern University
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,985
California Southern University’s online organizational psychology doctorate degree programs include the online Doctor of Psychology (PsyD). This program differs from typical PhDs in that the academic research is clinically focused. A series of core courses are offered online, along with electives. These elective courses can be taken in areas of interest, such as organizational psychology. In fact, courses include ethical and professional issues, interpersonal conflict in the workplace, organizational psychology, and the psychology of the mind. A comprehensive exam is also required during the culmination of the degree. The application process includes submitting official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate coursework and writing a personal statement.
#6 – Northcentral University
Online PhD in Industrial Organizational Psychology
San Diego, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $17,917
Northcentral University offers online organizational psychology doctorate programs, including the online PhD-Psy in Industrial Organizational Psychology. The program does not lead to licensure but is designed for working professionals seeking advancement in leadership and management roles within organizations. A total of 20 courses are required. Also, 60 credits make up the program, which can be completed in just 48 months. Students take courses that cover topics in the dynamics of leadership and management, small group theory and team processes, and structure and procedures of organizational development. U.S. News and World Report ranks the school among the top national universities. Also, several online graduate programs have received top 200 and top 300 rankings.
#5 – Regent University
Online PhD in Organizational Leadership
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,179
Regent University’s online PhD in organizational psychology and leadership program emphasizes the practical components of organizational success. The ACBSP-accredited online PhD is a research-based terminal degree taught by university professors. Also, the program adheres to the Christian worldview of Regent’s mission. Online courses include contemporary perspectives in organizational leadership theory, information research and resources, organizational culture and climate, organizational spirituality, and organizational theory and design. The program consists of 60 credits. Admission requirements include a completed bachelor’s and master’s degree. In addition to the required degrees, unofficial college transcripts and a completed application must be submitted. U.S. News and World Report rank Regent #201 in best national universities.
#4 – Ashford University
Online PsyD in Psychology
San Diego, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,540
One of the top and most affordable PhD in organizational psychology online degree programs on our list is the PsyD at Ashford University. In this online degree program, students build knowledge in the history and systems of psychology. A total of 62 credits make up the program. Classes run six and nine weeks and can be completed entirely online. The program offers a specialization in industrial organizational psychology with courses like advanced topics in organizational consulting, leadership and organizational cultures, and professional and business ethics in organizational leadership. Admission to the program requires a completed online application and undergraduate degree. Also, an earned master’s from an accredited institution is required. U.S. News and World Report recognizes Ashford as a top regional university in the West.
#3 – Grand Canyon University
Online PhD in Psychology – Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,760
Grand Canyon University’s PhD in organizational psychology online program is highly affordable and accredited. Graduates gain understanding on how relationships within the workplace form and function. The program consists of 60 credits and includes courses like ethical issues in psychology, formalizing the research prospectus, principles of industrial and organizational psychology, statistics, and testing and assessment in the workplace. Classes are delivered online and run eight weeks in length. Admission is based on unweighted GPAs and GRE or GMAT scores. GCU is recognized by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the institution #230-#301 in best national universities.
#2 – Touro University Worldwide
Online PsyD in Human and Organizational Psychology
Los Alamitos, California
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,000
Touro University Worldwide offers a 100% online PhD in organizational psychology program with no residency requirement. The program is open to professionals wanting to improve their skills and knowledge through evidence-based research and study. Admission to the PsyD program requires applicants hold a master’s degree from an accredited college or university. GPA requirements are also stipulated. In fact, applicants need at least a 3.4 GPA for admission consideration. In addition to GPA and degree requirements, official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and entrance essays must be submitted. Once admitted, students take a series of courses in theory, research, and practice. Upon completion of the courses, a proposal, dissertation, and defense are prepared. Touro is an accredited institution that has earned national recognition.
#1 – Liberty University
Online PhD in Psychology – Industrial Organization Psychology
Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,333
The most affordable online PhD in organizational psychology program on our list is offered by Liberty University. This 60-credit program consists of 100% online coursework and takes three years to complete. Degree candidates earn a PhD in psychology with a specialization in industrial organizational psychology (also referred to as I/O psychology). Admission to the program requires a regionally or nationally accredited master’s degree with a 3.0 GPA. In addition to the graduate degree, other requirements include two recommender contacts, official college transcripts, and a statement of purpose (1,000-1,500 words). U.S. News and World Report ranks Liberty among the top 300 best national universities. Also, several online graduate programs have earned top 100 and top 200 rankings.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do with an online PhD in organizational psychology?
Organizational psychologists, sometimes referred to as industrial or industrial-organizational psychologists, analyze and assist human behavior and interaction within an organization. These uniquely skilled psychologists work with small teams to test an organization’s programs, analyze policies, and improve overall human interaction.
With an online PhD in organizational psychology, you will be skilled in the required expertise to help an organization succeed in human interaction. Common tasks of organizational psychologists include drafting policies and procedures, participating in the hiring and training procedures of new employees, and working with managers to improve human interaction within the workplace.
Online PhD in organizational psychology programs offer convenience for working professionals. Interactive online learning provides flexibility that is atypical of face-to-face interaction. With online classes, students do not meet at designated times. The work-life or education balance is easier to maintain with online classes. Also, students with other commitments outside of school, such as child or family care, often benefit from online programs.
Due to the flexibility that online PhD in organizational psychology programs offer, students maintain valuable work experience while attending school. Upon graduation, job applicants with both work experience and a PhD will be viewed as more competitive than PhD students without experience.
How do I choose an online PhD in organizational psychology program?
When searching which online PhD in organizational psychology programs to apply to, careful consideration of both the school and program is necessary. The single most important factor applicants should consider is accreditation status. Colleges and universities within the United States receive accreditation from governing bodies and agencies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Extensive vetting and review of the institution’s standards and program curriculum are involved in the accreditation process.
Accreditation status of a college or university impacts the ability to transfer credits, as well as student eligibility to receive financial aid. Also, when applying to jobs, some employers consider the candidate’s degree accreditation. If a job candidate did not receive a doctoral degree from an accredited institution, the applicant may be passed over in lieu of a more qualified candidate with an accredited PhD.
In addition to a school’s regional or national accreditation status, other factors to consider are rankings. Top institutions receive national and regional rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Every year, U.S. News publishes institution rankings based on a variety of criteria. Employers value these rankings and take note of top tier schools and programs. It is important to consider the rankings of the school and program you wish to attend.
What is my earnings potential with an online PhD in organizational psychology?
The global compensation research company, PayScale, reports the average annual salary for individuals with a PhD in organizational psychology is $88,000. The average organizational psychologist salary is $71,217, also reported by PayScale.
Organizational psychologists work with companies and organizations to test competencies, plan strategies, and perform psychological tests to improve human behavior in the workplace. Experienced organizational psychologists are valuable to company performance and workplace morale. Interestingly, experience pays according to PayScale. The more experience an organizational psychologist brings to the workplace, the higher the earnings potential.
PayScale reports a positive trend for pay by experience. Entry-level industrial-organizational psychologists with less than five years of experience should expect to earn an average total compensation of close to $60,000. The compensation total includes bonuses, overtime, and tips. For individuals working as organizational psychologists with five to ten years of experience, the average compensation is $94,000. This number also includes bonuses, overtime pay, and tips. Experienced organizational psychologists with ten to twenty years of experience earn an average total compensation of $112,000. Also, late-career psychologists with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn $131,000 on average.
The bottom line is that the more experience you have after earning an online PhD in organizational psychology, the more money you will likely make.
What is the job outlook for individuals with an online PhD in organizational psychology?
The United States Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports employment of industrial and organizational psychologists is projected to grow eight percent through 2026. This steady growth is about as fast as all psychologist occupations and slightly higher than the average growth rate for all other occupations.
As organizations lean on the expertise of industrial and organizational psychologists to help hire, train, and retain employees, improve workplace morale, and increase organizational productivity, these highly skilled psychologists will be in demand. However, the more education a job candidate has the more qualified they will appear to potential employers.
Job candidates with a doctoral degree (or an online PhD in organizational psychology) and postdoctoral work experience should expect the best employment opportunities. Job candidates will face competition. Due to the large number of qualified applicants, job vacancies will receive large numbers of applications. To help set yourself apart from competition, a doctoral degree with research experience or on-the-job training will be beneficial.
In addition to an online PhD in organizational psychology, job candidates with extensive training in quantitative research methods will have a competitive edge. PhD programs with dissertation requirements will offer extensive training in research methods. Also, by completing a dissertation and thesis, you will acquire valuable research experience.
How do I get into an online PhD in organizational psychology program?
The admissions requirements for online PhD in organizational psychology programs vary by school. Most of the doctoral degree programs on our list require applicants to have earned a master’s degree from an accredited college or university in organizational psychology or a closely related discipline. In some cases, students may not be required to hold a master’s degree but are required to hold a bachelor’s degree. In these instances, a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree is required.
In addition to degree requirements, GPA stipulations must be met. Top-ranked institutions and programs require satisfactory grade point averages on all undergraduate and/or graduate work of 3.4 or better. The majority of schools and programs listed above require a minimum GPA of 3.0.
GRE scores are not always required. Depending on the program, GRE scores may be needed, though some schools state that GRE scores are optional. Top-tier schools and highly ranked programs will ask for GRE scores from tests taken within the last five years.
In addition to test scores and degrees, standard requirements along with a completed application include letters of recommendation (professional or academic), writing samples, a statement of purpose or letter of goals, and official transcripts. Usually, there is a required fee for the submission of the online application.
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