Department of Psychological Sciences

Ph.D. Curriculum

Academic Requirements

NOTE:  The table below reflects the new Ph.D. curriculum, effective Fall 2015 and thereafter. 

The Industrial and Organizational (I-O) Psychology doctoral program provides doctoral students with a well-rounded foundation in Industrial Psychology, Organizational Psychology, and quantitative coursework. In addition, students complete departmental core courses and take general psychology electives.

The typical courseload is 9 to 12 credit hours per semester for the first three years. Coursework choices should be made in consultation with the student's advisor. Furthermore, students should, consult with their advisors and the I-O Ph.D. Program Director before taking any class outside of the Department. This is to ensure that the course fulfills an I-O Ph.D. program requirement.


Industrial and Organizational Psychology Doctoral Program Requirements
Course Number Title Semester Credit Hours
A. Required Courses (take all of the following) (22 cr.):
PSYC 7270 Experimental Design in Psychology 4
PSYC 7280 Experimental Design in Psychology II 4
PSYC 7990 Research and Thesis 4
PSYC 8990 Research and Dissertation 10
B. Ethics (take the following) (3 cr.):
PSYC 7750 Ethics & Professional Issues in I/O 3
C. General Psychology (take 2 of the following) (6 cr.):
PSYC 7140 Learning & Conditioning 3
PSYC 7150 Biological Psychology 3
PSYC 7160 Developmental Psychology 3
PSYC 7170 Theories of Personality 3
PSYC 7180 Social Psychology 3
PSYC 7190 Cognitive Psychology 3
PSYC 7400 Cognitive Neuroscience 3
D. Quantitative Course (take 2 of the following) (6 cr.):
PSYC 7230 Psychometric Theory 3
PSYC 8250 Multivariate Methods 4
PSYC 8270 Factor Analysis 3
PSYC 8280 Meta-Analysis 3
PSYC 8350 Applied Psychometric Principles 3
PSYC 8970 Structural Equation Modeling for Applied Researchers 3
E. I/O Core (Take each of the following) (12 cr.):
PSYC 7700 Foundations in I-O 3
PSYC 7720 Personnel Selection 3
PSYC 7730 Research Methods in I-O 3
PSYC 7770 Leadership & Motivation 3
F. Additional I/O Electives (select at least 24 credit hours of coursework from the following through consultation with your major professor) (24 cr.):
PSYC 7120 Teaching of Psychology 3
PSYC 7710 Training and Development in Organizations 3
PSYC 7740 Organizational Culture 3
PSYC 7760 Occupational Health Psychology 3
PSYC 7910 Practicum in Applied Psychology 3 maximum
PSYC 7930 Directed Studies 3
PSYC 7970 Research in Special Topics 3
PSYC 8180 Advanced Social Psychology 3
PSYC 8700 Advanced Industrial Psychology 3
PSYC 8710 Advanced Organizational Psychology 3
PSYC 8730 Performance Appraisal 3
PSYC 8760 Decision Making in the Workplace and Organizations 3
PSYC 8770 Organizational Change 3
PSYC 8780 Work and Family 3
PSYC 8930 Directed Studies in Psychology 3
PSYC 8970 Special Topics in I-O 3
PSYC ____ Psychology Elective Approved by Committee 3
  Total Credit Hours 73

Exemption from Required Courses

Students may request exemption from specific required courses based upon the completion of similar graduate-level work at Auburn or elsewhere. Approval of substitutions/exemptions is secured via an "Exemption from Departmental or Program Requirement" form signed by your Major Professor, Program Director, the teacher who most recently taught the course from which you seek exemption, and the Department Head. Students seeking this exemption must provide an official transcript showing completion of the course(s) upon which they are basing their exemption request and must demonstrate mastery of the required subject matter in a manner to be determined by the relevant faculty members.

Master's Degree

Students in the doctoral program complete and earn the M.S. degree as part of the doctoral program. The Graduate School requires 30 hours of graduate level coursework for the master's degree. Please consult the program's plan of study worksheet for specific courses required for this degree. The thesis must be an empirical study. Rules relating to committee membership can be found at Plan of Study Directions.

Exemption from the Master's Thesis

Students who enter the program with a master's degree and master's thesis from another program may request exemption from the thesis requirement. Students seeking such exemption should discuss it with the program director during their first semester in the program and should secure approval as soon as possible (but no later than the end of their second semester) via an "Exemption from Departmental or Program Requirement" form signed by their Major Professor, Program Director, and the Department Head. Students seeking this exemption must provide an official transcript demonstrating that they earned the master's degree and secured official approval of the thesis upon which they are basing their exemption request. The suitability of the thesis as a basis of exemption from our thesis requirement will be assessed in a manner to be determined by the relevant faculty members.

General Doctoral Exam

Each student must successfully pass the General Doctoral Examination. This examination consists of two parts—(1) the written exam (either Major Area Paper or Written Preliminary Examination) and (2) the oral defense of the written examination.

The above requirements are subject to change and students retain the option of graduating under the curriculum that was in place at the time they initiated the program.

Last Updated: April 06, 2022