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Industrial/Organizational Psychology



Course Descriptions


Core Courses (15 credit hours)

Capstone Course (3 credit hours)

Specialty Courses (12 credit hours)

Core Courses (15 credit hours)

Industrial/Organizational Psychology [3]

This course covers a general survey of industrial psychology, including such topics as personnel selection and evaluation, job satisfaction, environmental factors and current research on individual behavior in complex organizations. *Note that this course serves as a pre- or co-requisite for all M.P.S.:I/O Psychology courses. Prerequisite: Introduction to Psychology, Social Psychology and/or consent of instructor.


Seminar in Social Psychology [3]

Class sessions involve regular discussions and exchanges of information among students and the faculty member on topics of social psychology. Discussion topics include perception and attribution, attitudes, self-identity, interpersonal attraction, close relationships, social influence, persuasion, prosocial behavior, aggression, group behavior, job satisfaction and work, quality of life and mental health, and forensics. Particular focus is on how the content of these topics can be applied to real-world situations for increased individual and group well-being and productivity. Prerequisite: Social Psychology and/or consent of the instructor.


Introduction to Data Analytic Procedures in I/O Psychology [3]

This course gives students the background and the basic understanding of statistical theory and techniques required in the field of industrial / organizational psychology. The course provides an overview of descriptive and inferential statistics, with emphasis on statistical techniques used in the practice of industrial / organizational psychology, including analysis of variance and multiple regression. Students are also introduced to the advanced topics of analysis of covariance, factor analysis, reliability analysis, discriminant analysis, and path analysis. Prerequisite: Research Methods in Social Sciences with Statistics (or equivalent) and/or consent of the instructor.


Methods of Assessment in I/O Psychology [3]

This course provides an I/O-oriented introduction to intellectual and personality assessment of individuals working in organizations. In addition, it gives an introduction/overview of basic measurement theory; essentials of test evaluation including reliability, validity and utility; methodology of test and survey construction, development, and analysis; and the utilization and interpretation of test scores. Prerequisite: Introduction to IO Psychology course or equivalent, Introduction to Data Analytic Procedures in IO Psychology course and/or consent of instructor.


Professional Human Resources Practice [3]

This course gives an overview of personnel selection from an I/O prospective in terms of theory, practice, and research. Topics include needs analysis, personnel selection and placement, interviewing (research and techniques), and performance appraisal, training and development. In addition, validity and utility of predictors of job performance will be addressed as will Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws and their implications in terms of personnel selection, retention, training, and management. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


Legal, Ethical and Professional Issues in I/O Psychology [3]

This course addresses ethical issues involved in the practice or application of psychology in promoting employee and organizational physical and mental health and well-being. In addition, students will discuss legal issues, such as EEO, affirmative action, ADA as well as issues relating individuals of different ages and cultures, health status, organizations and local, national, and international communities; the legal system; and policy-making. Also highlighted are issues of ethnic and cultural sensitivity, and sexual harassment. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


Capstone Course (3 credit hours)

Practicum in I/O Psychology [3]

This course serves as the capstone experience for M.P.S.: I/O Psychology graduate students and provides those students with practical experience in the field. UMBC faculty and staff will help place students in relevant, supervised internships. Alternatively, for students currently working in I/O, faculty and staff will help students find or design an enriching internship experience within their own company. In addition to the work experience, students will complete a portfolio of their work-products and will culminate the course with an in-depth written analysis of the experience and a formal presentation. The course, taken during the student’s final semester requires a minimum of 9 on site work hours per week. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


Speciality Courses (12 credit hours)

Advanced Seminars in I/O Psychology [3 each]

  • Program Evaluation
  • Human Performance Technology
  • Organizational Surveys
  • Group Decision Making
  • Organizational Change
  • Strategic Planning

Program Evaluation 
This course introduces the student to the literature, theories and approaches to evaluating organizational programs, policies and procedures. Students will acquire a broad perspective on types of program evaluation, including formative and summative evaluation, process evaluation, monitoring of outputs and outcomes, impact assessment, and cost analysis. Students gain practical experience through exercises and assignments involving the design and development of a program evaluation plan. Topics such as experimental, quasi-experimental, and non-experimental study designs are introduced in the context of a variety of settings, including schools, welfare agencies, mental health organizations, criminal justice settings, environmental programs, nonprofit organizations, and corporations.

Human Performance Technology
This course introduces the student to the literature, tools, and techniques of performance technology. The performance technologist analyzes and solves human productivity and efficiency problems in the workplace. Students will examine major theories, models, methods and techniques of analyzing and solving individual and organizational performance problems that call for solutions and interventions that go beyond training. Students learn and apply performance analysis and improvement strategies such as feedback and incentive systems, professional development plans, and workplace and job design. This highly participatory seminar is a natural complement to graduate courses in instructional design and instructional technology.

Organizational Surveys
This course provides an overview of surveys used in and by organizations for purposes such as needs analysis, market research, program evaluation, assessing employee attitudes or opinions, and strategic planning. The course includes instruction and practical application on how: to translate organizational concerns into questions for which surveys can provide meaningful answers; to develop specific survey objectives; to develop specific research questions; to develop relevant content for surveys; to design a sampling plan appropriate for the population of interest; to plan and implement an effective pilot test and evaluation of a survey; to specify precision of survey-based estimates, to analyze and interpret survey data, and to report findings to the organization for meaningful actions.

Group Decision Making
This course is designed to help the student develop an understanding of decision-making behavior and processes that occur in organizations. It will present students with an overall understanding of individual and group dynamics in organizations, and the processes that support group work and decision making from management and executive points of view.

Organizational Change
This course is an integrated approach to large-scale change in organizations. Change is analyzed from three levels: top management, where leadership and vision are critical, middle management, where implementation is the focus, and lower levels where receptivity and upward influence are the emphases. Cases will provide opportunities to develop diagnostics skills and intervention plans, while experiential learning and a team project is used to develop a tool box of specific intervention technique and skills.

Prerequisite for all: Consent of instructor.


Organizational Behavior Management [3]

The purpose of this class is to expose students to a behavior-analytic conceptualization of organizational behavior and the underlying research on applied interventions in a variety of organizational settings. The readings and class discussions will provide students with a strong foundation in organizational psychology from a behavioral orientation. Among the topics covered in the class are performance assessment, performance measurement, intervention techniques (for example: training, prompts. incentive systems, feedback, including 360-degree feedback, self-monitoring, goal setting, and leadership), follow-up, and maintenance of interventions. Students will also develop a research proposal for an OBM-type intervention in an applied setting. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


Human Factors [3]

This course provides background in the areas of Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction as they relate to the design and use of information systems in the workplace. In addition, this course addresses the importance and interdisciplinary nature of information systems, computer science, psychology, and sociology as they relate to the design of usable systems. Quantitative and qualitative methods for analyzing usability will be discussed and conducted, including task analyses, usability tests, and expert reviews, as well as ongoing assessments of installed products by interviews and surveys. Students learn about the design lifecycle and guidelines that are involved in developing professional-level, high quality user interfaces. Students also learn to address the needs of disabled users in terms of accommodation and accessibility. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.


Instructional Systems Development I [3] Online (Fall, Spring and Summer) and On-Campus (Fall and Spring)

This course includes the elements of analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.  An emphasis is placed on micro-level design issues including analysis, design and evaluation. Learners work through the ISD process to assemble a training or education project that is ready for implementation. A design plan and lesson plan is constructed to allow learners real-world experience in the ISD process. The online section of this course is taught using an asynchronous delivery format.  Prerequisite: Consent of the ISD department. 


Principles in Training and Development [3]  Online (Fall and Spring) and On-Campus (Summer only)

This course examines key principles relevant to training and development.  They include: the role of training in an organization, adult learning theory, needs assessment, training methodology, organizational support, resources and constraints, evaluation of training, and managing the training function.  Issues that influence training implementation, such as ethics and interpretation, are also addressed.  The online section of this course is taught using an asynchronous delivery format.  Prerequisite: EDUC 602 and consent of ISD department.