Rankings

7 Most Affordable Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology

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Updated: January 22, 2024, Reading time: 16 minutes

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The modern workplace is complex, with managers and employees needing to navigate issues like remote work, diversity and inclusion initiatives, data-driven decision making, and organizational change. Industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology offers key insights into optimizing workplace culture, relationships, talent development, and business outcomes. 

As organizations recognize the value I-O psychology brings, demand for professionals skilled in applying psychological science to meet pressing business challenges has surged. An online master’s in organizational psychology equips graduates to enhance workplace effectiveness as coaches, data analysts, HR specialists, and organizational development consultants.

Most Affordable Online Master’s in Organizational Psychology

With strong employment growth projected in fields utilizing I-O psychology, an accessible and affordable online master’s is a worthwhile educational investment for those seeking to drive organizational and leadership success. This degree opens doors to fulfilling careers improving employee retention, performance management strategies, recruitment practices, and efficiency. 

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An online program allows working professionals to upskill while balancing work and life demands. With careful program selection, students can complete an I-O psychology master’s 100% online at an affordable cost while positioning themselves for senior HR, management, and consulting roles across diverse industries. Here are our top recommendations for the most affordable online Master’s in Organizational Psychology.

Austin Peay State University

Austin Peay State University’s Master of Science in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program is distinguished by its application of the science of psychology to workplace environments. 

The program is fully online and adheres to a scientist-practitioner model, preparing students to design and implement psychological science-based interventions in organizations. This approach ensures that students gain a balanced understanding of both the theoretical underpinnings and the practical applications of I-O psychology. 

The program is developed in line with the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) Guidelines for Master’s Education and Training, which guarantees a high standard of education that aligns with industry expectations. 

The program’s online format, emphasizing interaction with peers and faculty, offers a unique blend of convenience and comprehensive learning. This makes it an excellent choice for students seeking a quality education in I-O psychology that is flexible and affordable, catering to a diverse range of students, including those returning to education after time in the workforce or those shifting their educational or professional focus​.

The program requires 34 credit hours to complete. The average tuition for graduate students here is $8,100 per year for in-state students and $13,086 per year for out-of-state.

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Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global’s online program in industrial-organizational psychology offers a unique blend of academic rigor and practical application. The program is designed to impart the principles of I-O psychology in business settings, providing students with the skills and knowledge to drive positive organizational change. 

A notable feature of this program is the flexibility it offers through the option to choose between a thesis track or a Master’s Capstone in Psychology. This allows students to tailor their educational experience to their career aspirations, whether they are more research-oriented or focused on practical application. 

The program is taught by experienced professionals in the field, which enhances the learning experience by bringing real-world insights into the classroom​​​​​​.

In terms of tuition, you can expect to pay $420 per credit, and it generally takes two years to earn your degree. The total credits vary depending on if you choose a thesis or capstone course, ranging from from 60-75 total credits.

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Missouri University of Science and Technology

Missouri University of Science and Technology offers a distinctive online master’s program in I-O Psychology, blending psychological science with practical application in the workplace. 

What sets Missouri S&T apart is its focus on the technology-centered workplace, a critical aspect in today’s rapidly evolving work environments. The program is designed to enhance organizational performance and well-being, making it particularly relevant for those interested in human resources, training, performance management, and workplace culture transformation.

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Moreover, the program’s curriculum is tailored to develop skills for addressing real-world challenges in STEM organizations. Students learn to manage human resources effectively, understand the role of human factors in motivating and retaining employees, and use research and scientific methods to influence organizational decision-making. 

This practical approach equips graduates with the tools to optimize organizational performance and address issues like high turnover, conflicts, and productivity challenges.

The online Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at Missouri S&T involves a total of 40 credit hours. The estimated cost for the entire program is approximately $10,500 per year for in-state students and just under $30,000 per year for out-of-state students.

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Eastern Kentucky University

At Eastern Kentucky University, the online master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology is crafted to provide students with the critical skills necessary for assessing and enhancing organizational performance and productivity. 

This program uniquely emphasizes practical application, equipping graduates with the ability to analyze behavior within businesses and develop strategies to improve both performance and productivity. 

Furthermore, the program prepares students for various career paths in areas like human resource management, consulting, data analysis, and training development, making it a versatile choice for those looking to make a significant impact in various business sectors​​.

The cost is $636 per credit hour, and the program requires 36 credit hours for graduation​​. This is one of the most affordable options on our list, coming in slightly cheaper than Bellevue University.

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Colorado State University

Colorado State University’s Master of Applied Industrial/Organizational Psychology (MAIOP) is designed with a strong focus on the practical application of psychological principles in organizational settings. 

This program stands out for its emphasis on preparing students for the real-world challenges they will face in diverse organizational environments. The course structure and content are tailored to impart knowledge and skills directly applicable in the workplace, making graduates of this program well-equipped to address and solve practical organizational issues.

The program’s alignment with the needs of modern workplaces positions its graduates for success in various roles within the field of industrial-organizational psychology​​.

You need 38 credits to complete this degree, and each credit hour is $770. This is more expensive than other schools on our list, such as EKU.

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Bellevue University

Bellevue University emerges as a standout choice for an online Master’s in Organizational Psychology, primarily due to its unique blend of academic rigor and real-world applicability. Unlike many other institutions, Bellevue focuses on delivering a curriculum that is deeply intertwined with current industry practices. 

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This ensures that students are not just learning theoretical aspects of organizational psychology but are also equipped to apply these concepts in practical scenarios. Additionally, the program is recognized for its commitment to inclusive and diverse learning, encouraging students from various backgrounds to bring their perspectives into the coursework.

Another distinctive aspect is the university’s emphasis on small class sizes, even online. This approach fosters a more personalized learning experience, allowing for greater interaction and individual attention from faculty members, who are seasoned professionals in the field. This is particularly beneficial in a discipline like organizational psychology, where nuanced understanding and application of concepts are crucial.

Regarding affordability, Bellevue University’s online master’s program in Organizational Psychology is competitively priced. The cost per credit is $649, and 36 credit hours are required.

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Touro University Worldwide

Touro University Worldwide offers a flexible and comprehensive online MA in Industrial & Organizational Psychology. This program is notable for its 100% online format and the option for students to specialize in one of three concentrations: Coaching and Consulting, Human Resource Management, or Occupational Health Psychology. 

The curriculum is designed to apply psychological science to help individuals in organizations function more effectively, focusing on both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. This approach ensures graduates are well-prepared to critically evaluate organizational success and contribute effectively in their specialized field. 

The program’s versatility and the inclusion of specialized concentrations make it an attractive option for professionals aiming to tailor their education to specific career goals within the realm of I-O psychology​​​​​​.

Tuition for the online master’s in Industrial & Organizational Psychology program is $500 per semester credit, with a total of 36 semester credits required​​​​​​. This is one of the cheapest and most affordable options for graduate students to consider.

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What is Industrial-Organizational Psychology?

Industrial-organizational psychology is the study of human behavior in the workplace. I-O psychologists apply psychological principles and research methods to improve employees’ performance, motivation, job satisfaction, and well-being. 

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They study topics like employee selection, training, leadership, organizational culture and climate, work teams, and work-life balance. I-O psychology aims to enhance employee productivity and organizational effectiveness.

What to Expect in the Program

In an online master’s program in industrial-organizational psychology, students take courses in areas like statistics, research design, psychological testing, organizational development, training and development, organizational behavior, and human factors. 

Through lectures, readings, discussions, and hands-on projects, students develop expertise in applying psychology to human resources functions, organizational change initiatives, survey design, and data analysis. 

Most programs require an internship or field study project. Students can expect a focus on practical applications of I-O psychology theories and competencies valued by employers.

Career Opportunities

With a master’s in I-O psychology, graduates are equipped for careers including:

You may find employment in various settings like corporations, consulting firms, government agencies, nonprofits, hospitals, and other large organizations. With strong research, data analysis, critical thinking, and people skills, I-O psychology graduates can build expertise in areas like employee motivation, leadership coaching, improving organizational efficiency, and optimizing the workplace environment.

Is a Master’s in Organizational Psychology Worth It?

Yes, a master’s in organizational psychology is worth it for those seeking to apply psychological principles to improve workplace dynamics, employee performance, leadership ability, organizational culture, and overall business outcomes.

Is There a Demand for Organizational Psychologists?

There is a strong demand for organizational psychologists as corporations, government agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, and other large organizations seek experts to enhance productivity, efficiency, work environments, and employee retention.

Is It Hard to Find a Job as an Organizational Psychologist?

No, finding an entry-level job as an organizational psychologist is generally not difficult. To give yourself more career opportunities though, consider getting a doctoral degree in organizational psychology. Not only will this open up more doors for you, but you’ll also be able to earn more. 

Conclusion

Each of these programs offers a unique approach to Industrial-Organizational Psychology, catering to various student needs and career aspirations. Prospective students should consider these factors carefully to choose the program that best fits their goals and circumstances.

We’re certain of one thing—your search for more information on picking the best graduate degree or school landed you here. Let our experts help guide your through the decision making process with thoughtful content written by experts.