Welcome to the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program. I am the Program Coordinator, and I would like to briefly highlight a few important points about our program. We are an applied program centered around engaging, real-world experiential learning experiences that take place on and off our campus. 

Check out  Azalea Consulting, our program’s university-based, faculty lead, student-powered consulting agency that helps organizations maximize their potential and solve problems. Our goal is to make you competitive in today’s job market which requires participating in the learning experiences employers are looking for while you are learning the soft skills you will need to thrive in your career. 

When asked about the hallmark of our program, I first think of our culture of collaboration. Our faculty works closely with students to tailor their experience to meet their career goals, find their way through the rigor of our graduate program, and prepare each student for the pressure associated with the job application process. We also strive to foster a sense of comradery among our students so that we can provide each other with social support as we navigate our career paths. 

Finally, our faculty are dedicated to ensuring that our program remains affordable. We want to enrich your life and we know that high educational costs can often become a burden. For instance, we work hard to find our students Graduate Assistantships that help defray the cost of graduate study, we carefully sequence our courses in ways that many reduce living expenses and we even have created a pathway that makes it possible to complete a second related degree during your time at VSU. We are constantly looking for ways to make your experience even more cost-effective and more meaningful so that you end up exactly where you want to be. If you have any questions, please email me directly at cdowning@valdosta.edu and we can set up a time to chat once I receive your inquiry. I would love to talk to you about the exciting possibilities for study in our program and the amazing careers our graduates have. 

To learn more about our students and the program, please follow us on instagram @io_vsu .


Dr. Christopher Downing            

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Industrial-Organizational psychology is projected to be the top growing job in America through 2022. It is also ranked as the number #3 in Best Science Jobs and #26 in Best STEM Jobs according to U.S. News. Industrial-Organizational psychology is an essential component to organizations because practitioners look for ways to improve workplace productivity, morale, occupational wellness, selection measures, training, leadership, and organizational development.

Valdosta State University is the 19th ranked Master’s level I/O psychology program in the country. The goal of this applied program is to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities in order to contribute and bring value to the rapidly growing field of Industrial-Organizational psychology. We encourage students to learn inside and outside the classroom as our program strongly encourages students to become a member of SHRM, Azalea Consulting Services, and the Research Lab. Last but not least, all of our students currently enrolled in the program have a graduate assistantship which comes with a tuition waiver and monthly stipend.

Since the inception of the I-O Program at VSU in 1984, our students have had a high success rate in acquiring jobs in human resources, research, and human capital. Part of the success of our students can be attributed to the opportunities provided by on-site practicum experiences. Students have landed internships with local, regional, national, and international organizations in manufacturing, consulting, health care, civil service, banking, and government contracting.

NOTE: The priority deadline for admission is April 1st. Applications received by this date each year will be given priority (applicants after the 1st will still be reviewed as space is available). Feel free to contact us now if you have questions or simply begin your application!

NOTE: **GRE Waived for Fall 2024 applications**

Regular Admission

To be considered for regular admission, the following criteria must be met:

1. B.S. or B.A. in Psychology (or Equivalent)
An undergraduate degree in psychology or in a related field, with a minimum of 15 semester-hours in specific psychology courses. Appropriate courses include (a) General Psychology, (b) Statistical Methods in Psychology, (c) Experimental Psychology, (d) Tests and Measurements, and (e) one additional junior/senior level psychology course.

2. Undergraduate GPA (3.0+) and GRE scores (Verbal: 153+, Quantitative: 145+)
GPA is calculated on all work attempted in which letters were awarded. Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GRE-Verbal score of 153 and a minimum GRE-Quantitative score of 145. GRE waived for Fall 2023 applications. 

3. Three Letters of Recommendation
These professional recommendations must come from writers who can address the applicant’s academic ability, career interests, motivation, and potential to successfully complete the program of study. At least two of the letters should come from current or former college professors/instructors.

4. Personal Goal Statement
A written personal goal statement of no more than 250 words describing the student’s relevant vocational and academic experience and the student’s academic and career goals. The statement must demonstrate articulation, writing skill, and goals consistent with the mission of the degree program.

Probationary Admission

To be considered for probationary admission, the following criteria must be met:

a. Undergraduate GPA (3.0+) and GRE scores (Verbal: 145+, Quantitative: 141+)


b. Undergraduate GPA (2.75+) and GRE scores (Verbal: 153+, Quantitative: 145+)

Each student is required to complete 60 semester-hours for the Master of Science degree in I-O Psychology. These requirements include 6 credit hours of on-site practicum experience. Completion of a master’s thesis is optional, but recommended for those preparing for doctoral study.

Required Courses (60 hours)

  • IOPY 5800 Industrial/Organizational Psychology
  • IOPY 7690 Professional Issues in I/O Psychology  
  • IOPY 7090 Organizational Development 
  • IOPY 8380 Employment Law and Personnel Practices 
  • IOPY 5500 Statistical Methods in Psychology 
  • IOPY 8000 Research Design and Analysis 
  • IOPY 7080 Group Dynamics 
  • IOPY 7050 Consulting in I/O Psychology 
  • IOPY 7961 I/O Psychology Practicum 1 
  • IOPY 8370 Human Factors Psychology 
  • IOPY 8110 Psychometrics  
  • IOPY 7610 Performance Appraisal 
  • IOPY 7600 Personnel Selection 
  • IOPY 8360 Human Resource Development 
  • IOPY 8350 Motivation  
  • IOPY 8100 Research Methods in I/O Psychology 
  • IOPY 7060 Consulting in I/O Psychology 2 
  • IOPY 7962 Practicum 2 

Guided Electives (6 hours)

Students will select elective classes from various areas, such as Instructional Technology, Public Administration, Business Administration, and Psychology.

Prefix Number Name Credits
Fall Offerings
1st Year Cohort IOPY 5800

PSYC 5800 Industrial/Organizational Psychology 


IOPY 7690 Professional Issues in I/O Psychology  3
IOPY 7090 Organizational Development 3
IOPY  5500 Statistical Methods in Psychology 3
2nd Year Cohort IOPY 8110



IOPY 7610 Performance Appraisal 3
IOPY 7600 Personnel Selection 3
IOPY N/A Graduate Elective 3
Spring Offerings
1st Year Cohort IOPY 8380

Employment Law and Personnel Practices 

IOPY 8000 Research Design and Analysis  3
IOPY 7080 Group Dynamics 3
2nd Year Cohort IOPY 8360 Human Resource Development 3
IOPY 8350 Motivation 3
IOPY N/A Graduate Elective 3
Summer Offerings

1st Year Cohort

IOPY 7050

Consulting in I/O Psychology 


IOPY 7961 I/O Psychology Practicum 1
IOPY 8370 Human Factors Psychology 
2nd Year Cohort IOPY 8100


Research Methods in I/O Psychology 


IOPY 7060 Consulting in I/O Psychology 2 
IOPY 7962 Practicum 2
Total Hours: 60

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate students can work for professors on campus for 14-20 hours per week in exchange for a tuition waiver and monthly stipend. Currently, the majority of our I-O students have an assistantship. Please let us know in your application if you are interested in an assistantship.

Vicky Lynne Foshee Scholarship

This scholarship was created to honor the memory of Vicky Lynne Foshee, daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Donald P. Foshee.  Its value is approximately $1,100.  Criteria for application include the following:

  • The recipient must be a graduate student enrolled in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program at VSU.
  • The recipient must have a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  (It may be renewed for a second year if the recipient is making appropriate progress toward his/her degree.) 
  • The recipient must demonstrate financial need.
  • Interested applicants should submit the application.  Please fill in the appropriate information, print the application, attach the requested documentation, and deliver the packet to Dr. Phil Gunter in the Dean’s Office in the College of Education; Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA  31698.  Only complete application packets will be considered.

  • SIOP - Society for Industrial & Organizational Psychology
  • SEPA - Southeastern Psychological Association
  • SHRM - Society for Human Resource Management
  • VSU SHRM - VSU Student SHRM Chapter
  • I-O Careers - Occupational Information Network (O*NET)

For more information, contact Christopher Downing: cdowning@valdosta.edu