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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Jun 20, 2024
2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology

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Chicago - Los Angeles - Irvine - Washington DC - Online

Program Overview

The 40 credit hour M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (I/O) program trains students the essential diagnostic and consultative skills to help organizations and the individuals within them solve problems, perform effectively, work on assessment skills and feedback mechanisms to the program itself. Students not only learn how to design and implement assessment centers and 360-degree feedback tools, but they also benefit by participating in these very same practices to identify their own strengths and to improve developmental areas.

The program is comprised of two tracks: Internship/Thesis and Applied Research Project (ARP).  The ARP Track is designed for students with a minimum of three years relevant post baccalaureate work experience.

The Internship/Thesis Track is offered in Chicago, Los Angeles, Irvine, and Washington D.C.

The Human Resources Concentration is offered in Chicago only.

The Applied Research Project Track is offered Online (distance learning) only.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

  1. critically review the work of others, including probing for more information, searching for logic flaws, and the creation of alternative solutions to problems.
  2. comprehend data and information presented in research articles and apply to organizational problems.
  3. demonstrate their knowledge of test development, descriptive statistics, data management, basic statistical procedures, and program evaluation principles.
  4. demonstrate their knowledge of I/O theories, their ability to apply these theories and their appreciation for scientific knowledge.
  5. demonstrate knowledge of the role of individual differences in the workplace and the ability to establish and benefit from collaborative professional relationships with others, regardless of differences in background, work roles, and points of view.
  6. develop assessment, intervention, and evaluation strategies and convey these I/O principles in language appropriate for the audience.
  7. form effective professional relationships based on attitudes and communication skills that foster respect, trust, open dialogue, and collaboration, regardless of differences in background, education, points of view or position in the organization.
  8. demonstrate oral and written communication that is grammatically correct, logical, succinct, consumer-oriented and of professional quality. Students will demonstrate non-defensive, learning-oriented, responses to constructive feedback.
  9. demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior in their professional practice.

Admission Requirements

Application to the M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology program is open to any person who has earned a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and who meets other entrance requirements. Applicants will be judged on their overall ability to do graduate work. Factors that are considered in admission are: GPA from undergraduate and any graduate schools, successful work history after completion of the baccalaureate degree, the admission essay, and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. Generally, an undergraduate GPA of a 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale is required for admission. 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 support their applications. There are separate applications for the campus-based and online format tracks of the MA in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.  Those interested in the Applied Research Project (ARP) tracks must apply directly at

Admission into the program requires three specific undergraduate courses (one course in psychology, one course in statistics or quantitative psychology, and a course in research methods or experimental psychology) that must be completed prior to enrollment, with a grade earned of “C” or better. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for our M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology program; however, we encourage students to submit their scores to enhance their application. Please note that you must have your official scores sent to The Chicago School (School Code 1119). Please see the application for detailed instructions and information regarding application requirements, deadlines, and letters of recommendation.

Additional ARP Track and Certificate Admission Requirements

ARP Track applicants who do not have the required undergraduate coursework (one course in psychology, one course in statistics or quantitative psychology, and a course in research methods or experimental psychology) but who have sufficient relevant work experience may apply for waiver of one or more these requirements for admission.

In addition to the admission criteria currently in place, applicants to this track should have three or more years of full-time, related, post-baccalaureate relevant work experience or five (5) years or more of full-time unrelated work experience. Because the coursework for this track is offered via distance learning format, students within this track or certificate must have access to a computer that is less than three years old, a broadband internet connection, and the Microsoft Office Suite including Word, Excel, and Outlook and, at minimum, the following computing skills:

  • A comfort with basic 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

TOEFL or IELTS, International Credentials, and International Students

TOEFL or IELTS: If English is not your primary language, you must submit official TOEFL or IELTS scores with your application (TOEFL School Code: 7161). International students who received a bachelor’s degree from an accredited United States institution are exempt from this requirement. The minimum scores are: TOEFL - 550 paper based, 213 computer based, 79 internet based; IELTS - 6.5.

ELS Educational Services, Inc.: The Chicago School is a cooperative member of ELS Educational Services, Inc. which provides intensive English language programs. Students who have successfully completed ELS course 112 may be considered for admission in lieu of the TOEFL or IELTS.

International credentials: Applicants with international credentials must obtain and submit an official “course-by-course” evaluation through an evaluation agency such as World Education Services ( or Educational Credential Evaluators Inc. ( In addition to the agency evaluation, all official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.

International students: International students must submit a completed application by the general consideration deadline. In addition, once accepted, international students must submit the International Student Information form, a copy of their passport, and financial documentation showing sufficient funding for at least one year of study and all living expenses. This documentation must be submitted at least two months prior to the start of the semester in order to allow sufficient time for the school to issue an I-20 for the student to obtain an F-1 visa, if needed. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.

Note: Since the ARP Track does not require any residency or travel to the US for completion, an I-20 will not be issued for this track.

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 $500 for the on-ground program and $250 for the online program 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.

*Students accepted into the Generalist Certificate are not required to submit a tuition deposit.

Articulation Agreements

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology has established agreements between The M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology and the B.A. Psychology program to allow qualified students to enter early into the master’s program.  This agreement allows qualified students to begin their master’s study while completing their bachelor’s degree.  Click on this link  for details.


The following policies are located under Academic Policies and Procedures : Transfer of Credit, Waiver of Courses, Satisfactory Academic Progress, Grading Scale, Grade Change Requests, Degree Completion, Degree Conferral, Minimum and Maximum Timeframe requirements, and Credit Hours per semester for Financial Aid.  Information on the Academic Success Program is located under Student Life .

Academic Development Plans

An Academic Development Plan (ADP) is initiated and created by the program in which the student is enrolled. When a student demonstrates deficiencies in competencies that interfere with academic performance, training competence, and/or professional behavior, the ADP is initiated. The completion of an ADP does not constitute disciplinary action, but failure to complete the plan may lead to disciplinary action.

Student Learning Assessment

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) is committed to offering the highest quality undergraduate completion program and graduate programs in applied professional disciplines. To meet TCSPP’s standard for academic quality, program learning outcomes are aligned with course learning outcomes and guide assessment.   Data collected from the results of student assessment and the aggregation of these data will inform how students are progressing towards achieving program outcomes.  

All academic programs report annual assessments of student learning and other indicators of program effectiveness as part of the Academic Program Review process.

Track Requirement

Students must choose their track (internship/thesis or applied research project) upon matriculation.

Internship/Thesis Track

Internship Option

Students who choose the internship option 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.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Thesis Option

Students may choose to complete a thesis instead of completing the internship requirements. The thesis option is comprised of two courses, Thesis I and Thesis II. The student must get approval of the Business Psychology Department Chair to enroll in these courses. The student must also select a faculty member to serve as thesis advisor. This faculty member will supervise the thesis.

Note: Students pursuing this option do not have an option for a general elective but will take a diversity elective.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Applied Research Project Track (Available Distance Learning only)

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 five credit hours of work (broken into ten eight week terms of .5 CH each) 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.


The M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology program has adopted the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychologists’ (SIOP) recommended areas of study as the basis for its curriculum. It provides students with a broad knowledge of the scientific literature and theoretical principles of organizational and industrial psychology and the application of these principles to the variety of work settings in which I/O psychologists are employed. Students develop an understanding of the way organizations operate, gain the essential assessment, intervention, and consultation skills to help organizations and the individuals within them solve problems, enhance performance, and manage the complexities of today’s work environment. The emphasis is on training students to assume professional responsibilities in human resources, consulting, management positions, and organizational-development.

Ethical and Professional Behavior

Students are expected to develop a working knowledge of the ethical and legal issues pertaining to work in the domain of I/O psychology including, but not limited to, APA’s current Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct for Psychologists; relevant federal, state, and local laws, statutes, regulations, and legal precedents (e.g., the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures, 1978) as well as the professional norms, standards, and guidelines relevant to the profession (e.g., Specialty Guidelines for the Delivery of Services by Industrial-Organizational Psychologists, 1981; Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures, 1987; and Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests, 1985, see

Human Resources Concentration Option (Chicago Campus only, Internship Track Only, Total Program Credits with HR Concentration: 46 Credit)

On the Chicago campus only (and only for students in the Internship Track), students may choose to declare a concentration in Human Resources. The M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology with an HR Concentration has been endorsed by the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM).   An analysis of the M.A. Industrial and Organization Psychology curriculum was conducted to determine the degree of overlap between program competencies and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) content areas and competencies. Consequently, students who obtain the M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology with a concentration in Human Resources will be prepared to sit for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification exam offered through the Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI), assuming any experiential requirements have been met for the exam. Aligning ourselves with an organization like SHRM enhances our ability to prepare our students to be successful human resources professionals.

The concentration in Human Resources will offer our students additional training and education to become successful human resources professionals. The IO training will provide students will the skills to develop, create, and implement assessments, interventions, and process to improve organizational effectiveness, while the Human Resources training will provide them with a solid foundation in the management of human resources.

More specific information is located in the Program Guidebook.

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Generalist Certificate Options (Distance Learning Only)

The Chicago School of Professional Psychology also offers a three-course certificate. The certificate consists of three graduate level courses (IO 510 and two courses of the student’s choice) and can be completed in approximately five months. Participants will earn nine graduate-level credits and a certificate of completion. Standard program admission requirements apply. Credits are transferable to the degree program.

The Curriculum: Internship/Thesis Track

Required Core Courses: 13 credits

Track Courses: 7 credits

Seminar (all students choose four): 12 credits

Internship Option Courses: 2 credits

Thesis Option (replaces Internship I and II and one elective when approved by Chair): 5 credits

Electives: 3 credits

Program Total

M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology (Internship and Thesis Tracks): 40 credits

Internship Option Courses

Thesis Option Courses

Diversity Electives (Choose Three Credits)

Concentration Option (Internship/Thesis Track Students Only)

Human Resource Concentration

The Human Resource concentration incorporates the Diversity Course requirement by making the Managing Organizational Diversity course a required course. In addition, 3 other courses must be completed to receive the Human Resources Concentration: Business & Financial Literacy, SHRM-CP/SPC Certification Preparation Course, and Strategic Human Resource Management. Each of these four courses is 3 credit hours each.

The Curriculum: Applied Research Project Track (Available Distance Learning Only)

 Required Core Course: 13 credits

Track Courses: 1 credit

Seminar Courses: 12 courses

ARP Course Sequence: 5 credits

Electives: 6 credits

Total Program

M.A. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: 40 credits

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