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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Mar 04, 2024
2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2021-2022 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

PhD Business Psychology: I/O Track

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Los Angeles - Chicago - Washington D.C. - Online

Program Overview

The PhD Business Psychology (I/O Track) is a post-bachelors or post-master’s doctoral program that trains doctoral-level professionals for a career in academic research as well as for corporate, consulting, and other work settings. The curriculum is a unique blend of business, industrial and organizational psychology that prepares students to conduct empirical research with a multi-disciplinary approach that contributes to new knowledge to the scholarly literature while addressing real-world individual, group and organizational problems. The program combines research skills with psychological theory to help graduates succeed in their roles as academicians, organizational leaders, or consultants.

Applicants can enter the program with either post-bachelors or post-masters.  When entering with only a Bachelor’s degree, the first two years of the program will work towards an I/O Master’s degree. If the applicant has an I/O or equivalent Masters, then the applicant can enter the program for a three year post-masters doctoral program. 

Program Philosophy

The PhD Business Psychology program has adopted a distinctive blend of general psychology and business competencies, aimed at supporting the professional in a competitive market that demands both relational and performance success. It provides students with a broad knowledge of individual and organizational psychology together with a foundation in business principles to allow students to address the wide variety of work settings which leaders and consultants encounter.

The PhD Business Psychology program prepares students to build their careers and assume professional responsibilities as professional psychologists in the executive ranks, management consulting, strategic HR, and organizational effectiveness positions.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program students will be able to:

Professional Practice

  • Produce written documents that are well researched, cited, and organized for easy reading and understanding. Students will be able to deliver presentations targeted to business and academic audiences.
  • Describe and apply effective practices within the field of Business Psychology or Organizational Leadership. 


  • Explain and build upon the role that individual and group differences play in the workplace (e.g., race, gender, age, national culture, cognitive style, socio-economic status, job title/power and etc.). Students will be able to demonstrate cross-cultural competence and operate within a framework of global diversity.

Professional Behavior

  • Demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior in professional practice.
  • Form effective professional relationships based on attitudes and communication skills that foster trust, open dialogue, and collaboration, regardless of differences in background, education, position in the organization, points of view or other personal characteristics.


  • Cite the theoretical knowledge and research integral to their fields of study. Students will be able to describe the philosophies of science underpinning their field’s theoretical knowledge and research. Students will be able to apply published research to the development of new areas for scholarly study. Students will be able to design and conduct research studies. Students will be able to analyze and interpret the data produced by research.
  • Analyze and evaluate the work of others, including probing for more information, searching for logic flaws, and creating alternative solutions to problems.

Admissions Requirements

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Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s PhD Business Psychology (I/O Track) program is open to applicants who have earned a bachelor or master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution in Psychology, the Behavioral Sciences, or Management, and who meets other entrance requirements. For all applicants entering the I/O Track Post-Master’s degree, the master’s degree must be equivalent to 36 semester hours.  Additionally, the Chicago School requires 21 hours of the following foundational IO Psychology graduate courses: principles of industrial psychology, selection, two internship courses or an Applied Project/Thesis equivalent, performance appraisal, training, and surveys.

Depending on the number of hours an applicant is missing, these prerequisite requirements can be fulfilled at the Chicago School prior to admission to the PhD Business Psychology (I/O Track) program by enrolling in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Generalist Certificate.  Prerequisites for admission may also be fulfilled at the Chicago School by successfully completing comparable coursework following the policies outlined in the Student at Large section of this catalog.

The school admits applicants whom it judges to possess sufficient academic aptitude, as well as the emotional and social maturity to function effectively as a professional. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors considered in admission are:

  • GPA from undergraduate and graduate schools;
  • successful work history;
  • admission essay(s);
  • 3 letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors.
  • Official GRE Score (Post-Bachelor’s Only)
  • An undergraduate or graduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the school’s Business Psychology doctoral program.

Based on the evaluation of these materials, selected candidates may be invited to interview for further consideration of their application. Applications must be submitted with the $50.00 (USD) application fee in order to be evaluated.

Applicants must submit official transcripts from all schools where a degree was earned. It is recommended that transcripts are submitted from all schools where credit was received to enhance their applications.

For students completing online coursework: In additional to the admission criteria, it is recommended that students have access to a computer that is less than three years old. It is required that students have access to, a broadband or Internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A basic level of comfort with Internet technology
  • The ability to open and attach files from and to email
  • The ability to send and receive email
  • The ability to save documents

This track also requires applicants to have successfully completed at least two (2) undergraduate courses, including a statistics course and an upper level undergraduate or master’s level organizational behavior or psychology course with a grade earned of ‘C’ or better in the courses.  These courses must be completed in accordance with the policies outlined in the I/O Track Progression Requirements section below. 

PhD Business Psychology: I/O Track Progression Requirements

This program requires applicants to have successfully completed (with a grade earned of “C” or better) at least two (2) undergraduate courses by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. One (1) course must be in statistics, and at least one (1) course must be an upper level undergraduate or master’s level organizational behavior or psychology course.  Students must successfully meet this progression requirement through the following options:

  • A grade of “C” or higher in TCS 380 Introduction to Psychology and TCS 390 Introduction to Statistics;
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course(s) at The Chicago School; or
  • A grade of “C” or higher in a comparable course(s) at another regionally accredited institution

Applicants accepted who are missing one or both of the two (2) courses will be required to register for the applicable TCS course(s) in their first ground semester or online term. All students must meet this progression requirement by the end of their first semester (second online term) of study. Students who do not successfully fulfill this requirement will not be allowed to register in any future coursework in the program of study until this requirement is met. Extensions can be granted by the Program Chair or designee when extenuating circumstances prevent completion of the requirement in the specified timeframe.  Requests for an extension must be submitted in writing to the Program Chair for consideration.

Applicant Notification

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology reviews applications on a rolling basis. Once review begins, complete applications will be considered by the Admission Committee and applicants will be notified regarding the admission decision. The Chicago School of Professional Psychology does not share information or provide any feedback regarding admission decisions.

If a student is offered admission and in order to secure a place in the incoming class, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $250 will be required by the deposit deadline indicated in the offer of admission. The non-refundable deposit will be applied in full toward the student’s tuition upon enrollment.


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Academic Calendar, Admissions Requirements, Attendance, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Service Learning, and Transfer Credit/Course Waiver. Click the link above for detailed information.

Degree Completion Requirements

  • Successful completion of 61 credit hours of coursework (post-master’s entry) or 97 credit hours of coursework (post-baccalaureate)
  • Successful completion of two 300 credit hour internships (post-baccalaureate only)
  • Successful completion of the Applied Research Project course series (post-baccalaureate online only)
  • Successful completion of comprehensive competency examination
  • Successful completion of dissertation


Earning a Master of Arts in Industrial and Organizational Psychology

A student in the post-bachelor PhD Business Psychology (I/O Track) program may earn an MA in Industrial and Organizational Psychology following the successful completion of required coursework and specific program requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which a student expects to be eligible for the master’s degree, they are required to submit a Petition for Degree Conferral to the Office of the Registrar. The petition is a request to conduct an audit to determine eligibility for the degree. A student who meets the requirements is eligible to participate in the next scheduled commencement. A student who files a Petition for Degree Conferral is charged a fee.

The specific requirements are as follows:

  • Academic and Financial Aid Good Standing
  • Successful completion of foundational required coursework  

Internship (On-Ground)

Students who enter the program post-baccalaureate will complete two 300 credit hour internships (for a total of 600 hours of internship experience). The internship should involve the student in learning specific, transferable, I/O-relevant or HR-relevant professional skills. All internship must be pre-approved by the faculty internship supervisor. Students registered in this program incur a one-time $195 Experiential Learning Technology Fee.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Applied Research Project (Online)

Students who enter the program post-baccalaureate will complete an Applied Research Project. Students with sufficient work experience in the field may qualify to enroll in the Applied Research Project (ARP) Track. Students in the ARP track complete classwork over the course of their studies that guide them through the process of writing the Applied Research Project. A faculty member will approve and supervise the project through these courses.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Comprehensive Examination (CE)

Every student is required to pass a comprehensive competency examination. The aim of this assessment exercise is to evaluate the student’s knowledge of theory, research, and practice. This is also an opportunity to assess the student’s ability to demonstrate this knowledge and skill in simulations of work scenarios in order to judge his or her abilities as a future business psychologist. The Comprehensive Examination is taken upon completion of the second year of doctoral courses.


Completion of the dissertation is an essential aspect of Business Psychology students’ academic experience and professional education. It provides the school the opportunity to evaluate the student’s ability to think critically and creatively about an applied issue in business psychology and to produce new research in the field. The dissertation should clearly and concisely demonstrate the student’s command of the research in a specific area of business psychology. In the dissertation, will conduct empirical research using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods to produce new knowledge within the theoretical framework that comprises the PhD Business Psychology curriculum.

The Curriculum

I/O Track: 52 credit hours

Electives: 9 credit hours

Foundational Master’s Level (I/O & ARP Tracks): 36 credit hours

Program Total

Ph.D. Business Psychology: I/O Track (post-master’s entry) : 61 credit hours

Ph.D. Business Psychology: I/O Track (post-baccalaureate entry): 97 credit hours

I/O Track - Required Core

Foundational Master’s Level Courses (I/O Track)

Foundational Master’s Level Courses (ARP Track)

Extension Courses

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