Doctorate in Organizational Psychology Online

Thinking of pursuing an advanced degree in organizational psychology? Get program details and career info for online doctorate programs to determine if this degree is right for you and your career!

Updated June 5, 2023 · 5 Min Read is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Turn Your Dreams Into Reality

Take our quiz and we'll do the homework for you! Compare your school matches and apply to your top choice today.

Online doctorate programs in organizational psychology are ideal for students interested in both business and psychology. Students in these programs should enjoy research, have a desire to gain the deepest understanding of their discipline, and hold a readiness to pursue practical experiences that shapes their professional careers after graduation.

Graduates of these programs often move on to roles in hospitals, medical schools, or universities, providing education to others at the most advanced level possible. Students can shape their degree program to match their interests and career goals by following different degree paths and pursuing concentration options.

Earning an online doctorate in organizational psychology can produce a variety of benefits for students. In today's job market, holding a degree makes each professional more valuable. Many careers across the country require students to hold a bachelor's degree. Professionals often choose to pursue master's programs to open up more job opportunities and higher pay brackets. Those who earn doctoral degrees generally enjoy higher pay and a variety of career opportunities. Many occupations are only available to individuals who hold doctoral degrees, like teaching jobs at universities. Earning this level of advanced degree not only allows graduates to explore more career opportunities and experience higher pay opportunities, they can also gain the deepest understanding of their area of study. For many students, the ability to master a subject allows them to pursue other endeavors in their career including research projects or writing books.

What Can I Do with an Online Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology?

Organizational psychology graduates can find work in a variety of settings. The scientific research and development services industry employs the most organizational psychologists and pays them the highest average salary. Graduates also often pursue careers as human resources managers.

Graduates interested in assisting with the training and development of an organization's employees can find employment as training and development managers. These professionals enjoy high employment levels in the management of companies and enterprises industry and the highest pay in the religious organization's industry.

Depending on what occupation graduates pursue, they will experience a multitude of opportunities with industry, setting, salaries, and career advancement potential. At the doctoral level, students have often already started their career and pursue an advanced degree to expand their opportunities.

Career Profiles

Industrial-Organizational Psychologist

Industrial-organizational psychologists analyze human interactions and behavior in workplace environments. They work with small teams to improve testing programs, policies, selection tools, and other human resources issues. They often work with counseling management including presentations, focus groups, survey administration, and interpreting research results.

Human Resources Manager

Human resources managers direct, coordinate, and plan the administrative functions within an organization. They work with the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of new staff employers and serve as the link between an organization's management and its employees.

Training and Development Manager

Training and development managers oversee staff members within an organization and direct, plan, and coordinate programs to enhance the skills and knowledge of the employees within an organization.

Postsecondary Teacher

Responsible for instructing students in a variety of technical and academic subjects beyond the high school level. They also conduct research to publish scholarly books and papers.

Online Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology Program Overview

Students interested in online organizational psychology programs should first consider which type of doctoral program they would like to pursue, whether they want to earn a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. Once they decide which program to follow, they can research the admissions requirements at their ideal university. Admissions requirements vary depending on the school and specific program, so students should always keep that in mind when deciding the right fit. Curriculum also varies depending on the school, with different programs teaching different topics. Typically, students can review sample curricula on school websites before enrolling.

Types of Doctorate Degrees in Organizational Psychology

Students pursuing a doctorate in organizational psychology can earn a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. Ph.D. students typically hold an interest in teaching at the college or university level or working in medical or health settings including medical schools and hospitals. These programs are the most common degree for the discipline, comprising 75% of all doctorates awarded. The program is considered a research degree and allows students to explore industrial-organizational psychology in a deeper way than master's programs. Students in these programs must complete a final dissertation based on original research.

Psy.D. programs are rapidly becoming more popular around doctoral students, functioning as professional psychology degrees preparing graduates to work in more focused or applied settings, including private industries and the government. Similar to a Ph.D., Psy.D. programs typically take students five years to complete. Instead of requiring students to finish a dissertation, Psy.D. programs require complete examinations and practical work experience, placing an emphasis on applied training over research. Students can determine which program suits them best based on their career goals, interests, and learning style. Ph.D. programs are best suited for students who enjoy research and critical thinking, while Psy.D. students should have more of an interest in hands-on learning.

Application Requirements and Admission Criteria

Students pursuing an online doctorate in psychology must meet the outlined admissions requirements for their program before they gain acceptance to the college or university. Each college, university, and individual program features their own unique admissions requirements, so students should pay attention to the admissions requirements at each institution they consider applying to.

Across the board, all doctoral students must hold a master's degree from an accredited institution. Most often, doctoral programs require applicants to hold their master's degree in an area relative to the doctoral program's subject matter. Applicants must always complete an admissions application and submit their transcripts for consideration.

Most doctoral programs have specific GPA requirements which differ across programs. Some programs also require applicants to submit supplemental materials including a professional resume, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, or an essay.


Students pursuing doctoral programs in organizational-industrial psychology often enjoy the opportunity to tailor their degree to their career goals and personal interests by selecting a concentration. Concentration options in these programs typically include topics such as evidence-based coaching, consulting psychology, human resource management, general practice, and international business. Students should select their concentration at the beginning of their program to effectively plan their course of study. Curricula usually include three main areas: core coursework, specialization courses, and dissertation. Students attending programs where concentrations do not exist will take degree-specific coursework in place of the specialization courses.

Most doctoral programs allow students a maximum of eight years to meet all of the requirements to graduate. Typically, students maintain continuous registration in a dissertation or doctoral study course until they conduct, complete, and gain approval for their dissertation or capstone project. Dissertations usually take students longer to complete than the minimum required terms they are granted at the beginning of their doctoral program. Students must gain academic approval of a panel of independent evaluators to successfully complete and earn credit for their dissertation, with evaluation focusing on a variety of elements including form, style, and oral defense. Course topics vary depending on the school and program, but sample courses are listed below.

Organizational Behavior Management
In the organizational behavior management course, students are exposed to behavior-analytic conceptualization of organizational behavior and the research behind the applied interventions that take place in a variety of organizational settings.
Legal, Ethical, and Professional Issues in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
Students taking the legal, ethical, and professional issues in industrial-organizational psychology course learn about the ethical issues involved with the application and practice of psychology in promoting employee and organizational mental and physical health and well-being.
Human Factors
Focused on providing students with a background in human factors and human-computer interaction, the human factors course relates course material to the use and design of information systems in the workplace.
Data Analytic Procedures in Industrial-Organizational Psychology
In the data analytic procedures in industrial-organizational psychology course, students learn a basic understanding and background of the statistically theories and techniques in the field, reviewing advanced topics such as factor analysis, reliability analysis, and discriminant analysis.
Change Management
The change management course takes an integrated approach to large-scale changes that happen in organizations. Students analyze change from three levels, including top management, middle management, and lower management. Students develop the tools they need to carry out diagnostic skills and intervention plans.

Program Outcomes

Students pursuing online doctoral programs in psychology learn a variety of valuable skills during their program. Students studying organizational-industrial psychology graduate their program ready to assume leadership roles in today's multicultural business environment. They develop and master intervention and assessment skills to help organizations solve issues, manage various business complexities, and enhance performance. In these programs, students learn to create and administer management systems including training, performance management, organizational development, employee selection, and change management. Students learn to think critically, use research to derive useful conclusions and resolutions to common issues in business, and they master communication skills to work effectively with everyone in their organization. Organizational-industrial psychology programs combine skills in psychology with skills in business and human resources to produce graduates ready to thrive in their chosen pathway.

Accreditation for Online Organizational Psychology Doctorate Programs

Students pursuing a Ph.D. online should ensure they enroll in an accredited program. Accreditation guarantees that a school meets standards of academic excellence and, at most nonprofit universities, comes from a regional accreditation body like the Higher Learning Commission. The Psychological Clinical Science Accreditation System offers programmatic accreditation for psychology doctorate degrees, which guarantees that programs are rigorous and provide adequate career training for graduates in the field.

Popular Resources

Whether you’re looking to earn your online degree or you’re a parent looking for answers, you can find all of your questions covered here. Explore these resources to help you make informed decisions and prepare for whatever is thrown your way.

See All Posts is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Shape your future with an online degree

Connect with a community of peers, and find a program that will allow you to continue your education in a fast and flexible way.