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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Requirements

Industrial/Organizational Psychology Track Requirements

Students who study full-time can complete their degree in two years.

Core Courses (12 credits; 3 credits each)

  • The Biological Basis of Behavior (APPL 601)

    Survey of the anatomical structures and physiological processes that underlie psychological functioning. Topics include the role of the central nervous system and the sensory, endocrine and muscular systems as they contribute to the individual’s adaptations to internal and external environments. Lab fee required.

  • Learning and Cognition (APPL 603)

    Study of the major theories and models of human learning from both the traditional behaviorist perspective and the contemporary cognitive perspective and an experiential overview of how people acquire, store and use information. Theoretical and empirical information is applied to the understanding of human behavior in a wide variety of settings.

  • Intermediate Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (APPL 631)*

    The logic of hypothesis testing and assumptions underlying its use are the framework for studying analysis of variance and covariance and multiple regression. These tools are learned in the context of application to psychological research.
    Students learn to complete statistical analyses using a microcomputer statistical package and to interpret the results.

  • Research Methods (APPL 632)*

    Builds on the fundamentals of research design and on knowledge of basic statistical techniques to provide a broad overview of the major research methods of applied psychological research. Students learn to frame inquiries and problems as research questions. The relative merits and drawbacks of the major research methods are explored. Students develop a research proposal to investigate an applied research question. prerequisite: APPL 631

*APPL 631 and APPL 632 should be taken sequentially during your first two semesters of the program.

Track Required Courses (18 credits; 3 credits each)

  • Organizational Psychology (APPL 641)

    Studies how principal theories and empirical findings from research in organizational psychology are used to improve employee performance and satisfaction. Emphasizes the interactive effects of situational and individual difference variables as they influence organizational behavior. Overview includes motivation, leadership, employee morale, group dynamics and interpersonal communication. Students apply theoretical and empirical findings to solutions of work-related problems in case studies. Lab fee may be required.

    sample syllabus

  • Motivation, Satisfaction and Leadership (APPL 642)

    Critical and in-depth examination of the research evidence for theories of leadership and job satisfaction. Using motivation as a central concept, students gain an understanding of how group dynamics and personal, environmental and cultural factors influence organizational behaviors. Students work in teams to solve performance-related problems presented in case studies. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: APPL 641 or approval of program director

    sample syllabus

  • Personnel Psychology (APPL 644)

    Overview of the area of personnel psychology. Topics include job analysis, personnel selection and placement, training and development and performance appraisal. Special attention to measurement procedures involved in personnel selection and performance appraisal. Equal employment opportunity laws and their effect on personnel practices are discussed. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: permission of instructor (for nonpsychology majors)

    sample syllabus

  • Personnel Assessment (APPL 645)

    Application of the technical material learned in Personnel Psychology related to assessment techniques used to select, promote and evaluate personnel. Hands-on experience with these methods, including development of the most common ones. Assessment techniques discussed may include ability tests, personality and honesty tests, drug testing, work samples, interviews, training and evaluation forms and performance appraisals. Students go through the process of developing surveys for attitude assessment. Lab fee required. prerequisite: APPL 644 or permission of instructor

    sample syllabus

  • Job Analysis (APPL 651)

    Survey of job analysis methodology and issues using experiential projects. Includes tools used in conducting a job analysis: data gathering techniques, legal and technical standards and the Occupational Information Network. Emphasis is on variation in approach dependent on subsequent application of the results.

  • Practical Applications in I/O Psychology (APPL 655)

    An opportunity to practice real-world application of the competencies acquired in the degree program. Students propose solutions to simulated or actual challenges faced by organizations and demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply broad knowledge of personnel and organizational psychology. prerequisites: APPL 632, 642, 645 and 651

    sample syllabus

Electives (12 credits)
Choose four of the following:

  • Employment Law in Human Resource Management (APPL 646)

    Review and analysis of federal laws and their application to human resource management (including employee selection, promotion, performance appraisals, discipline, termination, compensation, benefits and safety). Covers EEO, Affirmative Action, Civil Rights Acts, Americans with Disabilities Act and other antidiscriminatory legislation, as well as FLSA and OSHA. Examines legal issues such as privacy, sexual harassment, drug testing and employees’ rights versus employers’ rights. Addresses strategies for creating policy and legal concerns in a context of organizational behavior and motivation theories.

    sample syllabus

  • Training and Organizational Development (APPL 647)

    Theory, findings and methods relating to how an organization ensures that its employees are equipped to accomplish its mission. Students learn about techniques to assess and implement organizational change. Through hands-on activities, they learn to develop and implement programs such as skills training, team building and management development.

  • Special Topics: Industrial/Organizational Psychology (APPL 649)

    Studies a topic of industrial/organizational psychology of mutual interest to students and faculty that is not currently
    part of course offerings. Topic may vary. May be repeated for credit as course topic changes.Lab fee may be required.

  • Work Groups in Organizations (APPL 650)

    Study of group dynamics in the context of organizations, focusing on the predominant psychological theories and research findings that explain the formation and development of work groups. Emphasis on learning how effective strategies and techniques can be used to enhance teamwork in organizations.

    sample syllabus

  • Consulting Skills (APPL 653)

    Focuses on the essential skills and abilities needed for successful consulting to organizations. Topics include business development, project management, cost estimation and report writing. Emphasizes learning techniques used for successful group presentations and developing skills for effective oral and written communication.

    sample syllabus

  • Survey Development and Implementation (APPL 654)

    How to plan, design and implement surveys to assess organizational characteristics. Emphasizes how to collect and analyze survey data and present findings to the organization.

    sample syllabus

  • Personality at Work (APPL 657)

    A study of the role that personality plays in an organizational setting. Examines the construct of personality as it relates to job performance and to interpersonal relations at work. Focuses primarily on recent theory, research and findings on the effectiveness of personality in 155selection with an emphasis on response distortion issues. Each student completes several self-report inventories to gain a personal view of how someone with his or her profile would be expected to behave in various work environments.

    sample syllabus

  • Change Management (APPL 658)

    Theory, findings and methods relating to how organizations manage and mismanage change. Students learn about
    techniques to assess and implement organizational change. Through hands-on  activities, they learn to develop and implement change management  programs, including skills training and team building.

  • Cross-Cultural Organizational Psychology (APPL 659)

    Examines topics in organizational psychology from a cross-cultural lens, focusing on portability of Western based theories and practices to other cultures.  Topics include cultural values, methodological equivalencies, intercultural training, group processes, organizational justice, work-family issues, leadership, negotiations, acculturation and expatriation/repatriation. pre-requisite: APPL 641 or permission of instructor

  • Practicum in Industrial Organizational Psychology (APPL 707; 1-4 credits)

    Supervised participation in field research in applied job settings. Hands-on experience with I/O work assignments is performed and evaluated. The work and/or field research is designed by the student or senior personnel and should enhance a student’s vita/resume. Government, industry, public/community service or other settings may be generated by the instructor or the student. Setting and research/job duties must be proposed and agreed upon in writing by the student, the instructor and an authorized representative from the organization. To the extent that settings/positions must be generated by the instructor, enrollment is limited according to availability. A maximum of 6 credits may be applied toward the degree. Eligible for continuing studies grade. prerequisite: permission of instructor

Electives can also include APPL 789: Research Proposal Development and APPL 799: Thesis in Applied Psychology, through which a thesis can be completed. Other electives are also available through the UB/Towson MBA program.