Study Organizational Psychology: Bachelor, Associate & Online Degree Info

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What will you learn in an organizational psychology associate or bachelor's degree program? Read about associate and bachelor's degrees program requirements, the pros and cons of associate and bachelor's degrees and potential careers.
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Organizational Psychology Bachelor's and Associate Degrees at a Glance

Earning a bachelor's or associate degree in organizational psychology could be your first step in the process of becoming an organizational or industrial psychologist. The knowledge gained through such programs can be useful in preparing you for graduate level study, and can also help you obtain employment in related fields. In order to work as an organizational or industrial psychologist, you must obtain at least a master's degree.

Employment for industrial-organizational psychologists is expected to grow 35% from 2010-2020, which is much faster than the average according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Industrial and organizational psychologists are in demand, because they can help businesses increase productivity and keep their employees.

Who is this degree for? - Individuals who want to work in entry-level mental health or human resources positions
- Individuals who want to complete coursework to transfer to a bachelor's degree program
- Individuals who want to work in human resources, recruiting, or management
- Individuals preparing for a master's degree program
Common Career Paths (with approximate median salary) - Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor ($38,560)*
- Human resource specialist ($54,310)*
- Training and development specialist ($55,150)*
- Human resource manager ($99,130)*
Time to Completion2 years4 years
Common Graduation Requirements - General education courses
- Courses in specialization of organizational psychology
- General education courses
- Courses in organizational psychology and related areas
Prerequisites High school diploma or equivalent High school diploma or equivalent
Online Availability Yes Yes

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2011 figures)

Associate Degree in Organizational Psychology

Organizational psychology programs are rare at the associate degree program, but you may be able to find associate degree programs that allow for concentration options in organizational psychology. In some cases, these associate degree programs may be designed specifically to help you transfer into a bachelor's degree program, while other programs may be designed as standalone options. Coursework in this field can prepare you for entry-level positions dealing in the fields of human resources or mental health.

Pros and Cons of an Associate Degree in Organizational Psychology


  • You can understand how to make groups function more effectively
  • You can enhance communication skills in an organizational setting
  • You can complete coursework that you can transfer to a bachelor's degree program while earning a degree that could be useful on its own


  • While you may be qualified for some positions, you may face competition for those roles from individuals with more experience or with bachelor's degrees
  • Relatively few courses in the associate degree curriculum may relate specifically to organizational psychology
  • An associate degree program will not prepare you to study at the graduate level

Courses and Requirements

In an associate degree program, you can take courses in organizational psychology, as well as other related courses in psychology. Some classes available in associate degree programs include:

  • Industrial-organizational psychology
  • Social psychology
  • Developmental psychology
  • Abnormal psychology
  • Professional development
  • Human resources

Online Course Info

Some organizational psychology classes are available online. Associate degree programs provide online coursework for adults who have busy personal or professional schedules that require a greater level of flexibility.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

It can help you to hone your communication and people skills, since you will be need to communicate with many people in the workplace if you choose careers in recruiting, management, human resources, or organizational psychology. You may also find it advantageous to complete a relevant internship at the associate degree level. Work experience could help prepare you for entry-level jobs past the associate degree level, and could also help familiarize you with organizational psychology in the work place.

Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Psychology

A bachelor's degree program in organizational psychology helps you to develop the skills to evaluate businesses, provide leadership training, and study the attitudes of employees. The program can prepare you for a variety of careers in management, recruiting, training and development, and human resources. A bachelor's degree program can also prepare you to enroll in a master's degree program, which is necessary to become a practicing organizational psychologist.

Pros and Cons of a Bachelor's Degree in Organizational Psychology


  • You will be able to understand human dynamics and use that knowledge to improve the workplace
  • You will be able to provide counseling on group dynamics
  • You will learn skills to help workers increase their productivity and improve their job satisfaction


  • This degree will not qualify you to work as an organizational psychologist
  • Graduate psychology programs have competitive admissions processes
  • For entry-level human resources and mental health positions, you may be in competition with associate degree holders

Courses and Requirements

The courses needed to earn your bachelor's degree in organizational psychology will be a blend of business and psychology classes. Courses will vary but may include:

  • Social psychology
  • Organizational behavior
  • Statistical methods
  • Business ethics
  • Training and talent development

Online Course Info

Hybrid programs in organizational psychology exist where you can take some of your classes online while also completing your other coursework on campus. This helps students who need more flexibility in their schedules because of work and family.

Getting Ahead with this Degree

Training in quantitative research methods and computer science can help you stand out. Developing your analytical and research skills can also be helpful in your career. You will need to be able to draw logical conclusions from research to create programs to improve the workplace.

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