General requirements for the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees are described in the Graduate School Bulletin. It is essential that students become familiar with the requirements and deadlines outlined in this document. Further information pertinent to graduate students in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program is contained in the sections that follow, including requirements concerning courses, research, and appropriate experience.

Students may apply for a Ph.D. with the expectation of concentrating in either Industrial- Organizational Psychology or Measurement and Individual Differences or both. All students accepted to the Ph.D. degree program in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, however, are expected to have, or to obtain, a M.S. degree in Psychology, including the completion of a Master's thesis. The prime objective of this M.S. degree requirement is to provide each student with a background in the foundation areas of psychology as preparation for more advanced study and to insure at least one formal experience in carrying out research, that is, that culminating in the M.S. thesis, before the student undertakes a dissertation project.

Since the M.S. degree at the University of Georgia represents an effort to acquaint each student with the basics of psychology, doctoral candidates with Master's degrees in psychology from other institutions may be required to make up deficiencies by enrolling in appropriate M.S. core courses (described below). Students with graduate course work or with a Master's degree without a Master's thesis may petition to exempt specific courses. A uniform screening procedure has been established in the Department of Psychology by which a student may challenge specific M.S. core courses. Information on this procedure is available from the Psychology Department's Graduate Coordinator.

Required Course Work

For the M.S. Degree:

All candidates for the M.S. degree must complete a minimum of 30 hours of course work with grades of "B" or "A". These hours include required core courses and a minimum of three hours of thesis research. (Students exempting one or more core courses must still complete at least 30 hours of graduate level course work). The required Master's core courses are as follows:

Group A (3 of 5 required):*

  • PSYC 6180 History of Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6110 Learning Processes (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6100 Cognitive Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6130 Biological Foundations of Behavior (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6160 Sensory Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6250 Psychometrics (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6510 Theories of Personality (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6200 Advanced Social Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6220 Developmental Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6500 Psychology of Prejudice (3 hours)

Group B (all required):*

  • PSYC 6310 Introduction to Industrial Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6320 Introduction to Organizational Psychology (3 hours)
  • PSYC 6420 Quantitative Methods (3 hours)
  • PSYC 7000 Master's Research (4 hours min)
  • PSYC 7300 Master's Thesis Research (3 hours min)

In addition, all entering students are required to take GRSC 7770 for one-hour credit. All incoming students, except those admitted with a Master's degree including a thesis, must also take four credit hours, two per semester, of PSYC 7000M during their first two semesters in residence. The purpose will be to prepare the student for thesis research.

Requirements Beyond the M.S. Degree:

Doctoral programs of study in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program must include at least 6 hours of methodology, 18 hours in Industrial-Organizational Psychology, 6 hours in an area approved by the doctoral advisory committee (this may be outside of Industrial-Organizational Psychology) and 3 hours of PSYC 9300 (doctoral dissertation) beyond the M.S. degree. A student's doctoral program of study will be constructed with, and approved by, his/her major professor and doctoral committee.

Two specialty areas are offered in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program: Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Measurement.  

In addition to course work within the specialty area chosen by the student to be his/her area of primary concentration, the student's program of study must include a minimum of 6 hours within another Specialty Area approved by the doctoral advisory committee. The remaining unspecified course hours will be selected by the student in consultation with the major professor and doctoral committee.

Note that any course that is included in a student's M.S. program of study cannot be included in that student's doctoral program of study. Also, only courses in which grades of A or B were received can be included in either program of study.

The course requirements are specified below with indicated credit hours being minimal.

  1. Methodology & Statistics (at least 6 hours)
    • PSYC 6430 Applied Regression Methods in Psychology
    • PSYC 8990 Multilevel & Mixed Modeling or PSYC 8990 Confirmatory Analysis
  2. Industrial-Organizational Psychology Courses (18 hours required)
    1. Industrial-Organizational Psychology
      • PSYC 8260 Applied Cognition
      • PSYC 9880 Seminar in Staffing
      • PSYC 8980 Seminars in Industrial-Organizational Psychology including:
      • Diversity in Organizations
      • Leadership in Organizations
      • Professional and Ethical Issues
      • Organizational Effectiveness and Change
      • Organizational Theory and Design
      • Performance Appraisal
      • Personnel Selection
      • Training and Career Development
      • Advanced Industrial Psychology
      • Behind The Scenes at Organizational Research Methods
      • *PSYC 6310 (or its equivalent) is prerequisite to PSYC 8260, 8960, 8980, and 8990.
    2. Measurement and Individual Differences
      • PSYC 6250 Psychometrics
      • *PSYC 6210 Individual Differences
      • PSYC 8930 Advanced Psychological Measurement
      • PSYC 8940 Cognitive Measurement
      • *PSYC 8990 Seminar in Psychometrics:
      • PSYC 8990 Item Response Theory
      • PSYC 8990 Hierarchical Linear Modeling
      • PSYC 8990 Meta-Analysis
      • PSYC 8990 Validity
      • *PSYC 6250 (or its equivalent) is prerequisite to PSYC 8930, 8940, and 8990. PSYC 6250 and PSYC 6210 may not be used to meet course requirements for both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. PSYC 8990 may not be used to meet the requirements for both the specialty area and methodology. A student taking Multilevel & Mixed Modeling and confirmatory analysis may assign one to meeting course requirements for the specialty area. 
  3. Outside Specialty Area (at least 6 hours)
    • To meet this requirement a student must take at least 6 hours in subjects approved by his/her major professor and doctoral committee in specialty area. The specialty area may be outside of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program, but there is no requirement that it must be. Such courses must be consistent with the student's professional objectives. Students may take more than 6 hours of coursework outside of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program. Additional relevant outside specialty area courses can also be used toward fulfillment of core PhD requirements.
    1. Outside Specialty Area Courses: 
      • WFED 7130: The Art & Practice of Consulting 
      • WFED 7110: Strategic Human Resource & Organization Development 
      • EADU 8300: Organization Development 
      • MGMT 9810: Organizational Behavior Seminar (Macro Level) 
      • MGMT 9810: Organizational Behavior Seminar (Meso Level) 
      • MGMT 9810: Organizational Behavior Seminar (Micro Level) 
      • MGMT 9610: Structural Equation Modeling 
      • LEGL 6500: Employment Law 
      • STAT 6360: Statistical Programming in SAS 
      • AFAM6250: Black & White Identity

Professional Experience:

Whether a student plans to pursue an academic career (teaching/research) or apply his/her skills in some other professional setting (industry, government, consulting firm, etc.), each doctoral student should acquire professional experience through an internship. It will be the responsibility of the student, in consultation with his/her major professor, to devise an appropriate plan for obtaining such experience, and to present this plan for the approval of the student's advisory committee. Such matters as the evaluation of the student's performance and the arranging of appropriate internship course credit are to be contemplated in formulating the internship plan. This requirement applies to all doctoral students, whether or not they hold a formal teaching or research assistantship, scholarship, or fellowship at the time. Licensing as a psychologist requires special attention to internship requirements, and students are encouraged to check the laws in states in which they hope to practice to meet the licensing law requirements.

Progress and Evaluation

Though students will vary in the progress they make toward the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, the faculty of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program have definite expectations of the progress that students should make toward completing degree requirements. For a student accepted for the Ph.D. degree and entering the program with a bachelor's degree, the following outlines these expectations:

Goals and Timetables:

Year 1

By the end of the first academic year, a student should have completed at least 22 semester hours of course credits (including 4 hours of 7000M), and have drafted a research proposal suitable for an MS thesis.

Desirable additions: have attended and/or presented one or more papers at a professional meeting.

Year 2

By the end of the second academic year, a student should have completed at least 40 semester hours of course credits (including all course requirements for the MS degree), completed the MS comprehensive examination, and successfully defended the MS thesis.

Desirable additions: have attended and/or presented a paper at a professional meeting, have submitted a paper for publication consideration.

Year 3

By the end of the third academic year, a student should have completed at least 58 semester hours of course credits, conducted additional supervised and/or independent research, and have presented one or more papers at a professional meeting.

Desirable additions: have completed the Ph.D. written comprehensive examinations, have attended and/or presented additional papers at professional meetings, have submitted papers for publication consideration, and have arranged or completed an internship.

Year 4

By the end of the fourth academic year, a student should have completed written and oral comprehensive examinations, conducted additional supervised and/or independent research, presented one or more papers at a professional meeting and obtained applied experience.

Desirable additions: have attended and/or presented additional papers at professional meetings, have submitted papers for publication consideration, and have arranged or completed an internship.

Year 5

By the end of the fifth academic year, a student should have completed most requirements for the Ph.D. degree, including (a) all courses on the approved program of study, (b) written and oral comprehensive examinations, and (c) the defense of the dissertation proposal. In additional, it is expected that the student will have conducted additional supervised and/or independent research, and have presented a paper at a professional meeting.

Annual Evaluative Reviews:

Evaluation of the student's competence is a function of many factors, including course grades, progress through the program, oral defense of M.S. Thesis and Ph.D. dissertation research, comprehensive examinations, and additional professional involvement. In order to provide each student with feedback as to his/her status, the faculty of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program will conduct evaluative reviews each Spring Semester. The purpose will be to review each student's performance during the previous year(s) and to consider his/her current status with respect to the fulfillment of program requirements. This annual review is in addition to any other , more frequent conferences involving the student and his/her advisor or major professor.

If the faculty of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program evaluates a student's performance as less than satisfactory, the student will be notified that s/he has been placed on probation. The Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program faculty will communicate to the student the terms under which deficiencies must be addressed in order to be removed from probation and returned to good standing in the Program. Failure to correct deficiencies under the terms specified by the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program faculty are grounds for dismissal from the Program.

The annual evaluations by the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program faculty will be communicated to each student in writing, and verbally in a meeting with the student's advisor or major professor.

Comprehensive Examinations

All aspirants for the M.S. or Ph.D. degree must pass a formal, comprehensive examination. In the case of the M.S., the examination may be written or oral (the student must also pass an oral examination on the thesis). In the case of the Ph.D., the comprehensive examination will consist of both written and oral examinations before a student is admitted to candidacy for the degree. The examinations are administered by the student's advisory committee (see Graduate School Bulletin).

M.S. Comprehensive Examination:

Students are required by the Graduate School to pass a comprehensive examination over the program of study. This examination is in addition to the oral examination on the thesis, and will determine whether the thesis examination will be administered. Both examinations will be conducted by the student's M.S. Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consists of three faculty members, (a) two of which, including the major professor, must be members of the Graduate Faculty and (b) two of which, including the major professor, must be members of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program. Following the comprehensive examination, the student's committee will decide whether the student did, or did not, "pass." In the case of a "pass," the student will be permitted to take the oral thesis examination. In the case of a failure to "pass" the comprehensive examination, the student may petition for a re-examination by the advisory committee. Students are permitted to re-take the comprehensive examination one time only. Should the student fail to "pass" the second examination, the major professor will inform both the student and the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program Chair of this outcome in writing. A second failure is cause for dismissal from the program. Students must complete all requirements for the M.S. degree in the semester prior to that in which they take the Ph.D. written comprehensive examination.

Ph.D. Written Comprehensive Examination:

The areas to be covered by the examination are primarily determined by the student's program of study. Examination questions are designed by the student's five-person committee, three of whom, including the major professor, must be members of the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program. Questions are integrative, with foci on concepts, issues and applications of psychological theory, research, and principles. Knowledge acquired through independent study, going beyond topics covered by courses and seminars will be expected of students.

Students are assessed over five content areas: Typically these are Industrial; Organizational; Measurement; Methods; and a Specialty Area where the Specialty Area is chosen by the student and representative of a student’s specific area of interest. Students should arrange with their doctoral committees the content areas to be covered by the examination well in advance of the time of its administration.

The written examination is administered in the fifth week of Fall semester and the seventh week of Spring semester each year. Students should plan to take the written examination one or two semesters following the completion of their masters’ thesis.

The examination consists of two full-day sessions and one half-day session conducted over a five day period (testing on Monday - full day, Wednesday - full day and Friday - one-half day).

Each written response will be judged on the following scale:

9 - Excellent
8
7 - Very Good
6
5 - Satisfactory (Pass)
4
3 - Unsatisfactory (Fail)
2
1

In order to score a passing grade on a preliminary exam question the average score assigned by the raters on the item must exceed or equal a score of 5. If an average of 5 or more is achieved on each item the student passes the preliminary exam. In the event a student fails to achieve a satisfactory score on one or more items the major professor will determine whether a student averaged a passing score across the items in the content area (e.g., measurement). The student is required to pass four of the five content areas in order successfully pass the exam. If the student fails one content area the doctoral advisory committee will determine what, if any, remediation is necessary. In the case where there is a discrepancy of more than two scale points in the scores of a failed exam question the major professor will seek to resolve the differences between raters. Failing two or more content areas will result in the student re-taking the full exam the following semester. Should the student fail two content areas after the second administration the student will be dismissed from the APP. The major professor will record all committee decisions and recommendations and will inform the student of these in writing. A student must pass the written comprehensive examination in order to be eligible to take the oral comprehensive examination.

Ph.D. Oral Comprehensive Examination:

The Ph.D. oral comprehensive examination is open to all members of the University of Georgia faculty and should be announced by the Graduate School at least two weeks before the date of the examination (see the Graduate School Bulletin). The examination will be an inclusive examination over the student's program of study and related areas rather than an examination of the student's dissertation prospectus. The advisory committee will award a pass (in which case the student will proceed to the oral presentation of his or her dissertation prospectus) or failure on the oral examination. The student may be re-examined within six months in the event of a failure. A second failure on the oral comprehensive examinations is cause for dismissal from the program. The same considerations regarding reporting of results by the major professor apply for both oral and written comprehensive examinations. An official program of study must be approved by the student's committee prior to administration of the oral comprehensive examination. Departmental policy requires that no courses with grades of C or below be included on the program of study.

Guidelines for Obtaining Approval of a Thesis or Dissertation

Regulations pertaining to the M.S. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation appear in the Graduate School Bulletin and in other guidelines available from the Graduate School. The student also should consult the Publication Manual published by the American Psychological Association. The guidelines that follow are designed to provide Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program students with specific suggestions regarding implementation of the general regulations.

  • The student, in consultation with his/her major professor (and advisory committee when a doctoral candidate) is to work out an acceptable plan of research.
  • The M.S. and Ph.D. candidate should, at this initial stage, and at subsequent stages in the development of the project, solicit the views of the advisory committee members concerning the acceptability of the proposed research. No official approval is required of committee members at this stage, and whatever procedures are used to provide communication between the student and his/her committee members is left up to the discretion of the individuals involved.
  • The M.S. or Ph.D. candidate must write a research proposal that includes a statement of the research problem or question, a prospectus of the research plan, a review of the literature relevant to the project, a conceptual methods section, and a reference section.
  • Having obtained the major professor's approval, a candidate for the M.S. degree can proceed with the thesis research (see 6 below). In addition to this preliminary approval by the major professor, a doctoral candidate must obtain the approval of the advisory committee. Toward this end, the candidate must provide each member of the advisory committee with a complete copy of the prospectus 30 days in advance of a meeting of the committee to be arranged by the student following consultation with the major professor and committee members. The 30-day requirement may be waived under exceptional circumstances if the major professor formally seeks and obtains the approval of such a waiver from all members of the candidate's committee.
  • The purposes of the meeting on the dissertation proposal are those of discussing the research and of obtaining approval for it by all members of the committee. The doctoral student is not to collect or analyze the dissertation data until such time as the prospectus is approved. Approval will serve as a safeguard for the student inasmuch as the committee cannot reject a dissertation after it has been completed on any grounds covered and approved in the proposal meeting. Any later modifications in procedures agreed to at the meeting should be communicated to the members of the committee. If major changes are required, it will be advisable to convene a second meeting of the committee to discuss the proposed changes and to seek the committee's approval.
  • All students planning research involving human subjects must receive permission to do so from the Office of the Vice President for Research. Permission must be received prior to the beginning of data collection. The necessary forms should, therefore, be processed at the earliest possible date.
  • Oral Defense: Thesis or Dissertation. In accord with Graduate School regulations, a student is examined orally on his/her thesis or dissertation. The thesis must first be approved by his/her major professor and by the other members of the advisory committee. The advisory committee must receive copies of the thesis 30 days in advance of the oral examination unless this time requirement is waived (see Waiver below). Similarly, the dissertation must be approved by the student's major professor and the other members of the advisory committee prior to the oral examination. The advisory committee must receive copies of the dissertation 30 days in advance of the examination unless this time requirement is waived (see Waiver below).

WAIVER: For both theses and dissertations, the 30-day time requirement may be waived if the major professor requests such, in writing, of all faculty on the advisory committee and if all committee members agree to the waiver by signing the written request.

Following consultation with his/her major professor and committee members, the student will establish the date, time, and place for the oral examination on the thesis or dissertation. The examination must be publicly announced and is open to faculty and students, so notices must be prepared well in advance of the examination.

All But Dissertation (ABD):

Doctoral students are strongly advised against leaving campus (other than to complete internships) prior to completing their dissertations. It has been the experience of the program faculty that students who leave to accept employment, or for other reasons, have difficulty in completing their dissertations. If, however, a student must do so, the student is responsible for making acceptable arrangements with his/her major professor and advisory committee prior to leaving.