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Doctorate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)

College of Arts and Sciences

The PhD in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology prepares graduates to conduct scientific research and compile and analyze complex data sets examining problems that challenge companies and employees. I/O psychologists study issues such as, but not limited to, working styles, employee morale and office productivity. They are an invaluable asset in policy-making; organizational development; and employee training, screening and selection.

Roosevelt's doctoral program is located at its Chicago campus. Not only are students able to take classes amidst the beautiful Chicago skyline, but the campus' prime location allows students the opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom at organizations all over the Chicagoland area.

Please note: The I/O Ph.D. program is no longer accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year. Should you have any questions, please contact Kelly Erdman at

Roosevelt University's Wabash tower and Auditorium building in Chicago

Location: Chicago
Start Term: Fall
Program Type: Doctorate

First-year students are matched with a faculty advisor who best fits their research interests. Upon being matched with an advisor, students have the opportunity to work closely on research under that advisor. They are also encouraged, if they so choose, to seek opportunities with other faculty so as to refine their specific interests. Students in the program are exposed to a number of to I/O topics early in their graduate careers. 

Students generally complete all of their coursework by the end of their 3rd year and are expected and encouraged to graduate within 4 - 5 years. There are currently 30+ Ph.D. students and classes typically include 8-10 students. Our students are strongly encouraged to present research at various conferences, including SIOP, and to pursue internships if they wish.

Adrian Thomas
, Program Director

What Differentiates Us

Dedicated Faculty

Dedicated Faculty

Roosevelt I/O faculty have applied experiences with organizations all over the country AND they are research active (more than 30 publications in peer-reviewed outlets since 2010). The program is built around the "Scientist-Practitioner Model" and is staffed with true I/O Scientist/Practitioners.

Apprenticeship Focus

Apprenticeship Focus

Students work closely with faculty to develop skills related to the science and practice of I/O. As such, students are provided with individualized support so as to bolster the students' skills from the outset.

Applied Projects

Applied Projects

Students have the unique opportunity to be involved in a number of applied projects. Many of these projects are through the Organizational Effectiveness Consulting Center (OECC). Following the scientist/practitioner model, students obtain experiences to apply their knowledge obtained in the classroom to real world workplace problems and enhance organizational effectiveness.

Expectations & Requirements


All PhD students take 14 foundation courses, three developmental electives and six I/O specialty courses. However, as with most PhD programs, coursework only gives you the basic building blocks of becoming an I/O psychologist. The majority of your apprenticeship learning will occur outside of the classroom, through faculty research, your own research and your multiple mentoring relationships with both faculty and other PhD students.

The program is 36 credit hours (which includes an internship or thesis) and typically takes about 2 years to complete for full-time students.

Doctoral students will:

  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of psychological principles and techniques at an advanced level, gaining expertise through courses and through research and applied projects
  • Write high-quality research reports, commensurate with what is published in research journals
  • Plan and execute research on significant psychological problems and gain the ability to use statistical principles and techniques to design psychological experiments
  • Present psychological material verbally to professional audiences and in a classroom setting
  • Develop a new framework for thinking about the world
  • Become an I/O psychologist

Sample Courses

  • Personnel Selection
  • Employee Satisfaction and Motivation
  • Job Analysis
  • Performance Management
  • Groups and Teams
  • Statistics
  • Multivariate Statistics
  • Psychometrics


Join a Lucrative and Fast-Growing Field

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2014, I/O psychology is one of the fastest growing professions, with median pay of $83,580 a year and a growth rate of 53 percent through 2022.

Learn Skills that Apply in a Wide Variety of Settings

I/O psychologists with PhDs work for businesses, nonprofits, government bodies, research institutes, consulting firms, and as independent consultants.

Prepare for the Academy

Many I/O PhDs go on to teach at colleges and universities.

More Opportunities

Graduate Assistantships

I/O Ph.D. students receive a tuition waiver for half of their first year (apx. $9,450) that is split across the first two semesters. They also receive a stipend (approximately $2,600) for the first year.

Teaching Assistantships

Students that complete their master's degree and take the teaching course (i.e., PSYC 681) are eligible to obtain paid positions teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses.


Our faculty members are active in both research and applied practice, conducting projects to investigate their various research and applied interests. MA students may choose to get involved with faculty research if they choose, as well as take part in applied projects as available through faculty or the Organizational Effectiveness Consulting Center.


Ben Sher

"[Roosevelt's faculty] take the attitude that they are training you to be one of their colleagues. As a result, faculty and students greatly respect one another, and that is a great dynamic for success.”

Ben Sher - Industrial and Organizational Psychology PhD '16
"One of the first things a student is taught in any I/O program is that the people make the place. This sentiment surely shines through, in a good way, in the culture of the I/O program at Roosevelt. As a student, I feel supported by my professors; they are open and readily available to help any student with any issue related to school or otherwise. Further, all students are willing and able to help each other, and no one is afraid to ask questions. As a program, we seek to build each other up as we represent our department and our school; we all want to see each other succeed and will do as much as we can in accomplishing that goal."
Adam Roebuck - I/O Psychology PhD Student
"RU I/O psychology offers many benefits. Our faculty cover a range of interests and experience from scientist to practitioner — specifically, our research and training straddle the boundary of the academic and real world. We consistently seek to provide research and experiences to our students that is both academically rigorous yet meaningful to the real world of work."
Jackie Deuling
Associate Professor, Roosevelt University

Currently, the Ph.D. program admits 7 or 8 students per year.  Qualifications are considered applicant-to-applicant. The following is a list of criteria, in no specific order, generally considered in the admissions process: 

  • GRE scores
  • GPA
  • Relevant coursework
  • Research experience
  • Work experience
  • Statement of purpose
  • Fit with faculty
  • Letters of recommendation
Average GRE and GPA scores for admitted students are: 
  • GREV: 156
  • GREQ: 153
  • GREA: 4.25
  • GPA: 3.54

While the priority deadline for applications is February 1st, applicants who turn in their applications early can expect to receive correspondence in mid- to late-January. Applicants who turn in their applications closer to the February 1st deadline can expect to receive correspondence beginning mid- to late-February.

Chicago skyline

  • Online Application
  • $40 Application Fee
  • Official transcripts from all previously attended colleges/universities within the United States. Coursework completed outside the U.S. requires a Foreign Credential Evaluation to be submitted.
  • Letter of Intent outlining your personal and professional goals, why you are interested in this program, and how it will help you achieve your goals
  • Official GRE scores
  • Three letters of recommendation 
  • English Language Proficiency: All international students and individuals who completed a degree program outside the United States are required to meet this requirement. 
  • Deadline is February 1.
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