Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology, PhD

The program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology prepares students to examine and understand the behaviour of individuals and groups in organized environments. Industrial/Organizational psychologists may perform a variety of jobs in industry, business, public service, and the academy.  Students in the program are expected to have a solid understanding of quantitative and research methods, and to acquire skills that will help them in the training and selection of personnel, the design of jobs, workplaces and habitats, and the development of social skills and work-team structures.

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology

Students are normally admitted to the PhD in I/O Psychology on a full-time basis. The program is based on a “scientist-practitioner model” and comprises four elements:

  1. coursework
  2. independent research
  3. qualifying examinations
  4. the dissertation

The program builds on the existing M.Sc. program in Applied Psychology and, normally, students should complete the PhD program within three years (after a Master’s degree). Students who do not have to address any deficiencies in their masters’ level training are expected to complete all of their required course work and qualifying examinations within 28 months of commencement of the program.

This program follows the guidelines for doctoral programs established by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Further information about this program can be obtained from the Graduate Program Coordinator.

Admission Requirements

The Ph.D. in I/O Psychology follows the general admission requirements and procedures of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research as outlined in the Graduate Studies Academic Calendar.  In addition, admission to the program requires a masters’ degree in I/O Psychology or related area (minimum average of B+). Applicants to this program, whose first language is not English, must demonstrate their English language proficiency as outlined in Graduate Academic Regulation 1e with the following additional requirement:

  • TOEFL (iBT) score of at least 100, with no individual band below 20; or
  • an IELTS score of at least 7.0, with no individual band below 6.5.

Applicants must submit a completed application form (including letter and personal statement), official transcripts, and three recommendation forms to the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research by December 15th. Consideration will be given to scholarly record, as well as relevant work, research and volunteer experience. The admission materials are available from the Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research at

Financial Support

Full-time students admitted to the program may be eligible for funding administered by Saint Mary’s University. Funding recommendations are made by the program. All successful applicants are automatically considered for graduate funding. Students are encouraged to apply for external scholarships.

The competition for graduate scholarships is adjudicated by the Psychology Department on the basis of GPA, research ability, and recommendation forms. Students are also eligible for Teaching and Research Assistant positions. They may also have the opportunity to teach in the Psychology Department.