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    The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
  Jun 14, 2024
2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook 
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2015-2016 Academic Catalog and Student Handbook [Archived Catalog]

Ph.D. Business Psychology: I/O Track

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Los Angeles and Chicago

Program Overview

The Ph.D. Business Psychology program (I/O Track) trains doctoral-level professionals for a career in academic research as well as for corporate, consulting, and other work settings. The student first earns a Master of Arts degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology during the first two years of the program, which a substantial base of knowledge for doctoral curriculum. The doctoral curriculum is a unique blend of industrial/organizational psychology integrated with business courses that prepares students to conduct empirical research with a multi-disciplinary approach that contributes to the body of knowledge referenced to solve individual, group and organizational problems in business environments, The program combines research skills with psychological theory to help graduates succeed in their roles as academicians, organizational leaders, or consultants.

Executive Style

The I/O Track will  be offered in “executive style” format on our Los Angeles campus. Students meet face-to-face one weekend a month (Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.) for class. Each student is enrolled in two courses per term, therefore each day (Saturday or Sunday) in the classroom is an individual course and equivalent to two weeks of traditional in-class seat time. The additional coursework (approximately 40%) will occur through an online format during the weeks between face-to face meetings.


The I/O Track will be offered in traditional format at our Chicago campus. Students will take the majority of their courses on-campus. Courses are delivered on-ground and blended (which means a portion of the courses are on-line allowing the students to meet every other week). The majority of the courses (approximately 85%) are offered entirely on-ground. The courses meet on the evenings during the week or the weekends in the executive format.

Program Learning Outcomes

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

Critical Thinking: critically review the work of others, including probing for more information, searching for logic flaws, and the creation of alternative solutions to problems.

Research Utilization: demonstrate comprehension of data and information presented in research articles and ability to pull out relevant information to produce research in the field.

Research Skills: demonstrate knowledge of effective and ethical application of test development, descriptive statistics, data management, basic statistical procedures and program evaluation principles.

Content Knowledge:  demonstrate use of open systems thinking and critical analysis to drive empirical research that supports evidence-based practice.

Diversity: 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.

Ethics: demonstrate personal integrity and ethical behavior in their professional practice.

Professional Behavior: demonstrate professional behavior through decision-making based on ethical considerations and guidelines that provide appropriate business recommendations to clients.

Interpersonal Skills: demonstrate the ability to 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.

Communication: demonstrate oral and written communication that is grammatically correct, logical, succinct, and of publishable quality. Students will demonstrate non-defensive, learning-oriented, responses to constructive feedback from peer reviewers and colleagues.

Individual Assessment and Intervention: demonstrate critical evaluation of individual work-related assessment strategies and the ability to design and implement competency-based managerial/leadership assessments.

Business Skills: collect, interpret and integrate business factors and dynamics that lead to the effective design and delivery of appropriate organizational feedback and interventions.

Consulting Skills: demonstrate sufficient business literacy to effectively assess an organization’s environment (including market conditions, competitive position and options, corporate strategies, stakeholders, organization design and operations) and to appropriately advise the organization on major business initiatives including but not limited to mergers and acquisitions, project management, market repositioning, etc.

Group Facilitation: apply social psychology and related theories to facilitate group and team processes and develop cohesion and productivity at the unit, division, and enterprise level.

Ethical and Professional Behavior. Business Psychology program students are expected to develop a working knowledge of the ethical and legal issues pertaining to work in the domain of organizational psychology, including, but not limited to, the current APA 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).

Admissions Requirements

Application to The Chicago School of Professional Psychology’s Ph.D. 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.

 Additional Entrance Requirements:

  • 9 semester hours of psychology credit, including  3 credit hours in statistics. At least one course must be upper level undergraduate or master’s level and must be completed prior to enrollment, with a grade earned of “C” or better.
  • For applicants entering the I/O Track Post-Master’s with a degree in Psychology, the Behavioral Sciences, or Management (MBA), The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP) requires 21 hours of the following foundational IO Psychology graduate courses: principles of industrial psychology, selection, two internship courses, performance appraisal, training, and surveys. Applicants who do not have these prerequisites can complete these courses at TCSPP
  • Official GRE Score
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
  • Undergraduate GPA 3.0

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.

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); and letters of recommendation from academic professors or professional or volunteer experience supervisors. 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. 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.

An applicant’s master’s degree must be equivalent to 36 semester hours. If the applicant’s degree is less than 36 hours, then they will need to take the necessary Master level courses to equal 36 hours within one year of acceptance into the program. Applicants who enter the track post masters with less than 36 credits can choose from The Chicago School’s M.A. in Industrial and Organizational foundational courses.

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, a broadband or 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, International Credentials, and International Students

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

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, official graduate and undergraduate transcripts must be submitted.

International students: International students must have a completed application by the general consideration deadline. This will allow sufficient time to obtain the additional documentation required to study in the United States. In addition, once accepted, international students must supply documentation of financial support showing the ability to finance his or her education at The Chicago School. An I-20 visa will not be issued without this documentation.

Applicant Notification

After the initial review of all application materials, and if the Admission Committee so recommends, the candidate will be invited for an interview day with members of the faculty. Interviews are by invitation only and mandatory for full consideration. Post interview, the candidate will be notified of the Admission Committee’s decision regarding his or her application. The Chicago School 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 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 : 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 (TSCPP) 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.


The Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.


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.

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 Ph.D. Business Psychology curriculum.

The Curriculum

Total Program Credits (post-master’s entry): 61

Total Program Credits (post-baccalaureate entry): 97

I/O Track Core Courses: 52 credits

Foundational Master’s Level Courses: 36 credits

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