Industrial/ Organizational Psychology
What are the requirements to apply for this program?
In general, minimum requirements for the Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O) program are set at a 3.0 GPA from an accredited undergraduate program. The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is not required for admission to the I/O program.
How do I apply and where should I send my completed application form and other supplemental documents?
Students should follow the application procedures set by UMBC's Graduate School. The application process is available on the UMBC Graduate School website.
You may apply online or send all the supporting materials to:
UMBC Graduate School
M.P.S. Industrial Organizational Psychology
1000 Hilltop Circle
Baltimore, MD 21250
What are the application deadlines for this program?
For Fall Semester (only):
- March 1st
How long till students receive confirmation after applying?
Once all of the materials (application, transcripts, experience form, and letters of recommendation) have been received by UMBC you can expect to receive a response within 6-8 weeks.
Who should complete the recommendation forms?
At least one recommendation should come from a faculty member with whom the student has worked. The other forms should come from employers, other faculty members and/or advisors/mentors.
Do you offer provisional admissions?
Yes. Students may be admitted provisionally if they meet the admissions requirement but do not yet have all of the required prerequisite coursework. If a student is accepted provisionally, it would be expected that they would complete the required coursework either prior to or concurrent with their first semester’s courses.
Is there a way to get admitted if my undergraduate GPA is less than the required 3.0?
Yes. If a student has a GPA slightly lower than a 3.0 but has considerable work experience, outstanding letters or recommendation, and a very strong personal statement then a student may be considered for admission.
Is there anything I can do if I did not get admitted but wish to reapply to the program?
Yes. If a student is denied admission into the program it is not necessarily a reflection on the individual student but generally has to do with our concern over that student’s readiness to take on a graduate-level course load. One way to address that concern is for the student to take some courses through our program as a non-degree-seeking student (for more information, click here ). If the student then shows a high level of success in those courses he she may consider reapplying to the program. It would also be helpful for the student to earn la letter of recommendation from one of those instructors that would provide compelling evidence that the student is indeed ready to take on a graduate-level course load.
Sometimes a student is denied admission based on extremely poor writing skills (please make sure to proof read your personal statements). If the student suspects that this was a possible cause for denial, the student may want to email the Program Director for any additional recommendations. Sometimes, it would be beneficial for the student to take some English writing classes, since it is imperative for students in I/O Psychology to have strong writing skills.
While none of this guarantees admission into the program, these are steps that would help provide evidence for the student’s commitment and maturity. Additionally, if the student does reapply and is admitted, up to 6 of those credits taken as a non-degree-seeking student may be applied to the graduate degree.
What does it mean to be a non-degree-seeking student?
Non-degree-seeking status is for students who enroll in graduate level courses but do not intend to pursue a full degree program. A minimum 3.0 Undergraduate GPA (or permission from an academic department) is required for admission.
Non-degree-seeking status continues for five years from the semester of initial enrollment. You may enroll for classes during this five-year period without re-applying for admission. To re-enroll after an interruption in attendance, contact the Graduate School. If you have previously enrolled in graduate courses at UMBC in the past five years you do not have to pay an additional application fee.
Note: Non-degree-seeking students who wish to apply for a full graduate degree program should be aware that there is no guarantee that credits earned during non-degree status will apply toward a degree program. A maximum of six credit hours can transfer if approved. You can also learn more about different degree-seeking options here.
Are students in the M.P.S.: I/O Psychology program eligible for financial aid through FAFSA?
Graduate students are eligible for financial aid. By completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will be informed of how much aid and the type of aid you will receive. Please access this link to find out UMBC's application deadline, school code, and filing procedure.
Are any assistantships available for this program?
Generally, no, there are not.
Where do I find the course listings, class schedule and timings?
The course listings and the schedule of classes for all UMBC@USG programs is available here.
How do I register for classes?
For admitted students, registration for classes can be done through the academics tab in myUMBC; however, you need to get an account for logging on to the myUMBC portal. To create an account, visit the UMBC OIT webpage on how to create an account. The step-by-step procedure for registering for classes will also be explained at new student orientation.
When will I be able to register for classes?
For students enrolled in the program: an email notification will be sent out mid-semester for the following semester’s registration. Once you have emailed your request for classes to your advisor and have received authorization you will be able to register for classes.
For incoming students registering for the upcoming fall semester: you will have the opportunity to put in your course requests at the end of, or after attending your orientation session. Note that attendance at an orientation session is mandatory for incoming students and you will not be allowed to register if you do not attend,
For non-degree-seeking students: you will be able to register sometime during the week prior to the start of the semester. Specific dates will be listed on the UMBC web site (for more information click here).
Can I get advising on which classes should be taken and in what order?
Yes. While not required, advising (which may be conducted via email) is encouraged for students with questions. General information is provided at orientation and since the program is fairly straightforward this may be sufficient but the Program Directors are available to answer questions either in person, by phone, or by email.
What are the pre-requisite courses that need to be completed before getting into this program? Does UMBC offer those courses?
If you do not have an undergraduate degree in psychology or related area, you are strongly encouraged to take an Introduction to Psychology course, a Social Psychology course, and a Research Methods course. Since we offer only upper level Psychology courses for the undergraduate Psychology program at USG, we would encourage you to take Introduction to Psychology and Social Psychology at a community college. Once you have completed the introductory course, you may take the Social Psychology course (PSYC 340) and the Research Methods course (PSYC 331) at UMBC@USG. Both courses are generally offered during the fall semesters. You may also investigate other schools to see if they offer those courses. Please use the ARTSYS system to check for equivalence with other MD state institutions before you register for a course.
If you decide to take courses at UMBC @USG you need to complete a non-degree seeking application.
When are the classes offered?
Most classes are delivered in the evening. Most run once a week for 2.5 hours during the time period between 5:00pm – 10:00pm. Some semesters we will also offer Saturday classes, which may run every week for 2.5 hours or every other week for 5 hours. To view a typical schedule, please visit our Schedule of classes, and click on the link for the Graduate program.
Are there Saturday classes in the program?
Yes, see the answer to the question on course offerings.
Are classes offered online?
Currently, none of the Psychology courses are offered online; however; there are two EDUC courses offered every semester and in the summer.
On average, how many times a week would I attend class (part-time)?
Naturally, it depends on how many courses you take but generally, each course meets once a week for 2.5 hours.
How long would the program take to complete for a full-time employee?
This will vary significantly depending on the number of courses taken per semester. There are 30 credits required to complete the degree and each course is worth 3 credits.
Is there potential to audit classes in the I/O graduate program?
Yes; however, permission to audit is subject to availability of space in courses allowing audit registration.
Why is the degree M.P.S. rather than M.A.?
The Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) degree is a highly applied program, even more so than the Master of Arts (M.A.), which is generally more applied than the research-oriented Master of Science (M.S.) type program. The M.P.S. is designed for students seeking preparation to work in fields related to Human Resources, Organizational Behavioral Management, Training, and/or Usability. In addition to providing practical classroom experience, the program culminates with a practicum, in which the student will work in a job related to his or her career path. Finally, the M.P.S. includes interaction with an Advisory Board -- a panel of experts with contacts in the field, who will lend their expertise in shaping the program.
In terms of the practicum, does it require daytime work hours? If yes, how many? Will students be paid for their time?
The practicum is a 3-credit course and it is anticipated that the students will work in a supervised business-type setting for a minimum of 9 hours per week. These are not required to be daytime hours. While UMBC faculty and staff will help place all qualified students in internships, they cannot guarantee that the internships will be paid.
Alternatively, instead of being placed in an internship, students who are already employed in an I/O-related job, may choose to find or design an enriching internship experience within his or her own company. In addition to the work experience, students will meet on a regular basis and will complete a portfolio of their work-products. The course will culminate with an in-depth written analysis of the experience and a formal presentation.
What type of career/job search support does the program or UMBC provide upon graduation?
One form of assistance is the placement in the practicum, which may lead to a full-time job as well as possible connections to other organizations that have job openings. To assist us in placing students in internships and jobs, we will have support from UMBC's Shriver Center. Our students will also have access to UMBC's Career Services department and the USG's Career Services group. Additionally, we will have access to our Advisory Board members who may also have job opportunities through their organizations and/or may know of opportunities in related areas.
What opportunities/careers are available with this degree?
This is an applied degree, which is intended to provide recent college graduates or mid-level employees coursework and practical experience in the areas of human resources, organizational behavior management, human factors, and training and development. Graduates from this program will work in Human Resources departments either for corporations, in the government, or in consulting firms. Additionally, depending on their interests, students may choose to work on training teams and/or in areas that do human factors work. For more information about what a master's-level degree in I/O psychology can do for you, visit the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology's (SIOP) web site and see the page on "Guidelines for Education and Training at the Master's Level in Industrial-Organizational Psychology."
Will this degree facilitate my transition into the field of organizational behavior/development upon graduation? Or will I need work experience while in school?
This degree will provide some coursework and will give you a foundation in that area; however, practical work experience is highly recommended and can be arranged as part of the practicum.
Who are the main recruiters of your graduate program?
It is expected that the Human Resources departments and research
contractors/consultants of many of the local Washington D.C. and metro area businesses and government agencies will be the primary recruiters from our program; however, we also expect that students will also be hired by I/O consulting firms and training organizations.
Does the program/faculty have I/O contacts in the DC metro area? If yes, where?
Yes. Various locations. Some of these include, but are not limited to: the Department of Education, Health and Human Services (HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), the Montgomery County Public School System (MCPSS), Human Genome Sciences, Inc and other governmental agencies. Networking activities and local professional organizations provide additional opportunities to meet and talk with professionals.
How much support/mentoring will there be if students decide to pursue doctoral studies?
This program is a terminal master's-level program. While we do not specifically support or mentor doctoral-level students, we will certainly provide advising and information regarding next steps, to assist our students who decide to continue their studies beyond the master's level.
What is licensure and what do I need for it?
To find out about licensure, please see the SIOP web site.