Apr 14, 2024  
University Catalog 2017-2018 
University Catalog 2017-2018 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)

The Industrial/Organizational Psychology program prepares students to work in areas relating to applied behavioral science in organizations and business. Outside of class, students are expected to gain hands-on experience through involvement on various research and applied project teams with faculty supervision. The Ph.D. program involves rigorous preparation in psychological foundations, research methods/statistical analysis, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, and successful completion and defense of a dissertation involving original research. The program generally requires three to four years of full-time study post-baccalaureate. The actual amount of time needed varies depending on student prior preparation (a limited amount of credit may be requested for prior graduate work) and progress in the program. All students accepted into the program receive a graduate assistantship with a stipend.

Admission Requirements

Application for admission requires a completed Graduate School Application form, Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores, official transcripts of all college or university work, three letters of reference, a professional vita, and a statement of purpose. Other requisites may be specified by the program and department such as, but not limited to, interviews and statements of intent, philosophy, and professional goals. Students are admitted to the program on a yearly basis in the Fall quarter of each year. Admission to Louisiana Tech University’s Industrial/Organizational Psychology PhD program is competitive. Meeting minimal admission standards of the University or College does not guarantee admission. The Industrial/Organizational Psychology Admissions Committee carefully reviews all applicants and selects those determined to be best qualified and best suited for training in the profession of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. In addition to demonstrating evidence of academic competence and capability, persons selected for this program are expected to show personal maturity, interpersonal confidence, and an outstanding ability to accept feedback and work cooperatively with faculty and peers.

Degree Requirements

Students admitted to the program will receive current degree requirements from their advisor. All students must complete required coursework, a qualifying research project, practicum training, a supervision training experience, and a dissertation based on original research. The program is a full-time in-residence (including summers) program normally requiring 3 to 4 calendar years to complete.

Eligibility to Remain in the PhD Industrial/Organizational Psychology Program

Each student’s academic performance, progress toward degree completion, and professional performance will be reviewed at least annually by the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee. Reviews may occur more frequently if judged appropriate or necessary by a vote of the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee. A student who does not meet the minimal grade point average requirements specified by the Graduate School and Department (a minimum grade point average of 3.0; no grade lower than C; no more than 6 semester hours of “C” grades in the program) or is not meeting professional and ethical standards as determined by the Industrial/Organizational Psychology Core Faculty Training Committee may be dismissed from the Program. Other reasons for dismissal include, but are not limited to, academic dishonesty, violations of provisions of the American Psychological Association’s Standards for Ethical Conduct, and certain legal violations.

Program of Study for the PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology


The approved degree program for each doctoral student must include 84 semester hours and dissertation. Because of the dynamic nature of Industrial/Organizational Psychology as a discipline, the curriculum is subject to refinement. Each student’s program of study will be individualized to some degree, based on that student’s past training,
experiences, coursework, needs, interests, and resources.

Qualifying Research Project

In lieu of a qualifying examination, all students must complete a qualifying research project prior to taking the doctoral level comprehensive examination. Students are expected to exhibit mastery in research design and analysis through completion of the project. This project is designed to ensure that doctoral students have mastered minimal standards in their knowledge of research design, methodology, and data analysis. A student entering the program with a master’s degree who has completed a master’s level thesis may submit it for approval as the qualifying research project.

Doctoral Comprehensive Examination

After an appropriate amount of coursework (minimum of 2 years or equivalent), and the qualifying research project has been completed, and after approval from his or her advisor, the student may register for and take the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Successful completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is required prior to acceptance of internship offers, and/or registration for dissertation hours. The purpose of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination is both educative and evaluative.

Students who fail any sections one time will be allowed to retake the section a second time after remediation. The remediation process will be determined by the Core Industrial/Organizational Training Committee and may consist of retaking classes, completion of supervised work, or any other educational or training exercise that the Core Committee feels is applicable. A student failing any section of the comprehensive examination two times will be dismissed from the program. After satisfactory completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination, the student is granted doctoral candidacy and must be continuously enrolled in dissertation hours (PSYC 660  A-C) until graduation.

Practicum Training

Practicum serves to ensure the competence of students in both the science and practice of Industrial/Organizational Psychology. That is, throughout their practica experiences, students are expected to integrate relevant research findings with their practice.


One of the core components of the doctoral program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the successful completion of a dissertation. The dissertation is an integral part of the doctoral program and its completion demonstrates that a student has successfully acquired and mastered the fundamental components of conducting independent empirical research. The dissertation consists of original empirical research conducted under the direction of a Dissertation Chair and Dissertation Committee. A student must enroll in a minimum of 9 total semester credit hours for dissertation, and must enroll in at least 1 semester credit hour of dissertation every quarter after successful completion of the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Following completion of the dissertation, the student is required to publicly defend this scholarly work.

Transfer Credits

With the approval of the student’s advisor, the Core Committee, the Department Head, the Director of Graduate Studies of Graduate Studies, and the Dean of the College of Education a maximum of 18 graduate-level semester credit hours from another accredited university may be transferred to the PhD program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Students will work with their advisor who will then present each student’s materials to the Core Committee in order to gauge equivalency of transfer coursework. For students who have prior doctoral coursework, requests for transfer of more than 18 semester credit hours will be handled on a case-by-case basis. If a course from another college or university is approved for transfer credit, the student still has full responsibility for material covered in the comparable Louisiana Tech course that is part of the doctoral program curriculum and assessed by the comprehensive exam. This issue is particularly important because the comprehensive examination might contain material covered in a Louisiana Tech course that was not covered in a course for which transfer credit was obtained. Students need to ensure their own adequate preparation for the Doctoral Comprehensive Examination in Industrial/Organizational Psychology.

Time Limit for the PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The doctoral degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology must be completed within 6 years after admission to the program.


The curriculum may be obtained by writing to:

Director of Training
Doctoral Program in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Department of Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
P.O. Box 10048
Ruston, LA 71272
or on the web at http://education.latech.edu/academics/graduate/phd_io_psychology/