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I/O Psychology Doctoral Program Information

Admission Criteria

The Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology doctoral program maintains an average of 20 full-time students, with approximately 3-4 new students admitted each fall. Admission is highly competitive — in the last five years, we have averaged about 70 applications a year. Selection criteria include GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Writing), GPA (last 60 undergraduate hours), letters of recommendation, research experience and interests, and the applicant’s personal statement of professional/career goals. Over the past 5 years (2014-2018), students accepted into the program have average GRE (verbal + quantitative) scores of 316 (SD = 7.17) and a Jr/Sr undergraduate GPA of 3.64 (SD = 0.42). Although no formal requirements exist regarding undergraduate course preparation, it is recommended that students applying to the I/O psychology program have some introductory coursework in some of the following areas: statistics, experimental design, measurement and test construction, I/O psychology, and social psychology. Additional information about the program can be found at the SIOP page on I/O graduate training programs.

Admission information specific to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences can be found on the department’s admissions information page.

University specific admission information is available on the Texas A&M University Office of Admissions and Records’ website

The program also supports an active speakers series that each year brings to campus a number of faculty members from other universities. This series provides exposure to different perspectives on the field and the opportunity to network with professors at other institutions.

Program Structure

The program is designed for completion in approximately five years with students taking 9 semester hours each fall and spring and 6 (usually research) hours in the summer (course requirements and timeline). The student’s first year is relatively course intensive. During this year students take the Department’s statistics and design sequence as well as basic I/O psychology courses. The latter include Personnel Psychology (focusing on the current literature pertaining to selection, placement, job analysis, performance appraisal, and training) and Organizational Psychology (focusing on the current literature in motivation, job attitudes, leadership, group processes, conflict, decision making, organizational change). Students are also encouraged to establish a relationship with a research advisor as early as possible during the first year. Through this relationship students typically become involved with ongoing faculty research programs and begin to examine potential thesis topics. Every year, students complete an annual evaluation form, are rated by their faculty advisor, and receive feedback about their progress in the program.

In the second year of the program, students continue taking departmental core courses as well as advanced I/O psychology seminars. Students work intensively on a master’s thesis during this year with the goal of defending the research by the summer following the second year. Students are also encouraged to continue their collaborative research with faculty during this period. Students often work with more than one faculty member and these activities are encouraged.

Following completion of the master’s thesis, third year students continue to take courses (typically two per semester), begin work on their dissertation research, and continue ongoing research projects. In addition to I/O psychology seminars, students are encouraged to further develop their quantitative skills through advanced quantitative courses offered both in the Psychological and Brain Sciences and Educational Psychology departments.

Fourth and fifth year students typically take one elective course per semester and continue their research activity. In addition, following the completion of all required course work, students take a set of comprehensive exams. The comprehensive exam consists of an oral and written, content-based examination of basic knowledge in three areas: Personnel Psychology, Organizational Psychology, and Quantitative Methods. Following successful completion of this exam, students are admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The remainder of the program is typically devoted to developing the dissertation proposal, conducting dissertation research, and preparing and defending the final dissertation.

All I/O psychology students are expected to participate in our weekly colloquium series. This program features guest speakers from various I/O psychology-related backgrounds. All students are expected to present their master’s thesis as well as their dissertation proposal to faculty and their peers as a part of the weekly colloquium series. Students on the academic job market have the opportunity to present their job talk before students and faculty, receiving crucial and constructive feedback.

Although a formal internship is not required, it is highly recommended for students pursuing an applied non-academic career. Recent internship sites include ACT, AT&T, Home Depot, HumRRO, Jeanneret & Associates Inc., Kenexa, Personnel Decisions International, Valtera, and Xerox.

For more details about our program, we encourage you to view our 2020 Open House slides.