I/O Curriculum: A Scientist-Consultant Model

A Close-Knit Career Network

Tim O'K.

Head of Learning and Development Financial Services

The program includes a robust research methods component that is imperative in the ‘real world.’  No matter what problem you are solving in the workplace, describing the objective and the impact of any solution in the language and numbers of business is imperative.”

NYU’s model of learning emphasizes research-based knowledge from a comprehensive academic curriculum balanced for both the “I” and “O” components, consistent with APA’s  SIOP model. You will learn a case-based, consultative methodology, applying skills to projects with real-world deliverables. 

Whether you will be entering the job market for the first time, making a career transition, seeking accelerated advancement in your current job, or intend to go to a Ph.D. program, the curriculum is relevant and real.

Lisa Saari, Ph.D.

Formerly IBM, Boeing

“As a result of successfully completing this program, you will be able to apply the best research, theory and practice to people issues in today’s organizations.”


I/O Masters Program Requirements

Formal requirements for the MA degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology include the satisfactory completion of 36 credits.  At least 24 of those credits must be taken in the Graduate School of Arts & Science at NYU, and at least 21 must be in the Psychology Department.  No more than 12 credits can be transferred in from another university.

In addition, (1) all foundation and core courses must be taken at NYU in the Psychology Department, and (2) students must earn a grade of at least B in all foundation and core courses.

All of the courses in the M.A. program are 3 points each, so 12 courses must be taken. Students may take anywhere between one and three courses each semester. The program is expected to take two years to complete in most cases, but can be completed a little sooner for full-time students (especially if some courses are taken during the summer session), or somewhat later for those working full-time. A student who has completed all course work, but must stay enrolled to take the comprehensive examination or complete a thesis, must pay a matriculation fee each semester until graduation. A maximum of five years from the date of first registration is allowed for completing the degree.

Required Foundation Courses - 9 credits:
These 3 courses must be completed within the first two semesters of the MA program

  • PSYCH-GA 2032 Introduction to I/O Psychology.  Only if a student has taken a very similar, graduate-level course at another institution can this requirement be waived.
  • PSYCH-GA 2016 Master's Statistics. In special cases, ​a more advanced statistics course may be substituted.​
  • PSYCH-GA 2067 Applied Research Methods. In special cases, another research course may be substituted.

Required I/O Core courses – 12 credits:
(choose 2 courses from Core I AND 2 courses from Core O)

​PSYCH-GA 2070 Personnel Selection ​PSYCH-GA 2072 Work Motivation and Attitudes
PSYCH-GA 2071 Performance Measurement & Rewards ​PSYCH-GA 2074 Organizational Development
​PSYCH-GA 2073 Training in Organizations ​PSYCH-GA 2076 Leadership and Strategic Change

Electives - 15 credits:

The above requirements allow for five elective courses, which can be taken from the general program (e.g., Psychology of Social Behavior; Introduction to Psychological Testing), other divisions of NYU (e.g., graduate-level Economics; Stern School of Business-MBA program), or other universities (no more than 12 credits can be transferred from graduate programs at other institutions). Courses taken outside of the psychology department must have some psychological content, and must be approved by an adviser. Elective credits can also be taken in the form of non-classroom courses, such as Fieldwork, Independent Research, and MA Thesis Seminar. Although Fieldwork (generally, an unpaid internship in an HR department or consulting firm) is not required, it is strongly recommended for students who enter the program without relevant work experience.


All students must either pass the comprehensive exam, or write an acceptable M.A. thesis.

The Comprehensive Exam: This is a three-hour written test that is given three times each year: October, February, and June. The questions are integrative in nature and are randomly selected from a large study list that is available to all students at any time. Except for rare exceptions, a student must have completed all of the basic and core requirements, as outlined above, before sitting for the exam.

MA Thesis: As an alternative to the comprehensive exam, a student may seek permission to write an M.A. thesis. To be eligible to write a thesis, a student must have passed all of the basic and core requirements with at least a B+ average, and have secured the sponsorship of a full-time faculty member (in consultation with the MA director). In general, an MA thesis does not require that the student perform original or independent research, but that the student make an original contribution to the research of his/her sponsor.