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Industrial Organizational Psychology Degree Requirements

The Industrial Organizational Psychology Graduate Degree Program consists of 12 courses (48 credits), 3 of which are required on campus. Weekend options available.

Get Started:

  1. Review the details below to learn more about the curriculum and course selection.
  2. Determine your initial admissions eligibility.
  3. Search for your courses, including the 3 courses for admission.

Required Courses

12 Graduate Courses

  • Industrial-Organizational Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Intermediate statistics
  • Motivation
  • Human resource management
  • Introduction to Psychometrics
  • 1 core psychology theory course
  • 1 core management skills course
  • 4  industrial-organizational psychology electives and/or seminars
    • EXPO 34 is an elective option

Tip: Seminars offer small-class discussions as well as ample opportunities to connect with faculty and peers while engaging in research. We encourage you to complete multiple seminars.

Optional Certificates

You can choose to concentrate your degree studies in a specific area and earn a certificate along the way. There are 2 options:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership

Search for Courses

The Division of Continuing Education (DCE) offers degree courses all year round. You can study in fall, January, and spring terms through Harvard Extension School (HES) and during the summer through Harvard Summer School (HSS).

To find degree courses in the DCE Course Search and Registration platform:

  • Under Search Classes, scroll to Harvard Extension Degree, Certificate, and Premedical Course Search.
  • Select Graduate Degrees
  • Choose Industrial Organizational Psychology to explore program courses.

Admissions

Below are our initial eligibility requirements and an overview of our unique admissions process to help get you started. Be sure to visit Degree Program Admissions for full details.

Initial Eligibility

  • Prior to enrolling in any degree-applicable courses, you must possess a 4-year regionally accredited US bachelor’s degree or its foreign equivalent. Foreign bachelor’s degrees must be evaluated for equivalency.
  • You cannot already have or be in the process of earning a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology or a related field. Check your eligibility.

The Office of Predegree Advising & Admissions makes all final determinations about program eligibility.

Earning Your Way In

To begin the admission process, you simply register—no application needed—for the following 3 graduate-level degree courses (available online):

  • STAT 150 Intermediate Statistics: Methods and Modeling or PSYC 1900 Statistical Modeling for Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • IORP 1501 Industrial Psychology and Organizational Behavior
  • MGMT 4000 Organizational Behavior

The 3 courses don’t need to be taken in a particular order or in the same semester, but each course must be completed with a grade of B or higher, without letting your overall Harvard cumulative GPA dip below 3.0.

You have two registration attempts to earn the minimum grade of B and fulfill the requirement for statistics (a withdrawal grade counts as an attempt). You may take STATS 150 twice or PSYC 1900 twice or attempt each course once. The statistics course used to fulfill the requirement cannot be more than two years old at the time of application. 

Tip: You can complete STAT 100 Introduction to Quantitative Methods as an elective toward the program to help prepare you for intermediate statistics.

Applying to the Degree Program

During the semester of your third degree course, submit the official application to the program. 

Don’t delay! You must prioritize the 3 degree courses for admission and apply before completing subsequent courses. By doing so, you’ll:

  • avoid the delayed application fee or the loss of credit for expired course work.
  • ensure your enrollment in critical and timely degree-candidate-priority courses (e.g., seminars).
  • gain access to exclusive benefits (see bottom of page).

Eligible students who submit a complete and timely application will have 9 more courses after admission to earn the degree. 

For details about full eligibility, the application process, and application fees, visit Degree Program Admissions.

The Harvard On-Campus Experience 

Many courses can be taken online, but the degree requires a Harvard campus experience. You come to Cambridge for at least 3 courses (12 credits), which offers you in-person access to faculty, campus resources, and the academic community.

On-campus course requirements can typically be completed through:

  • 15-week fall or spring semester courses that meet only on campus. Courses with the format “on campus or online” do not fulfill this requirement.
  • Courses that combine weekly online classes over a semester with an intensive weekend on campus.
  • 3-week January session courses that meet only on campus.
  • 3- or 7-week summer courses that meet only on campus.

Limited flexibility? You can typically fulfill the requirements in 3 intensive weekends on campus.

International Students Who Need a Student Visa

To meet the on-campus requirement, you study with us summer. You can easily request an I-20 for the F-1 student visa through Harvard Summer School’s 3- or 7-week sessions. For more information, see the important visa information on the International Student Study Options page.

To Complete Your Degree

Required 3.0 GPA, 2 Withdrawal Grade Limit, and Repeat Course Policy

GPA. You need to earn a B or higher in each of the 3 degree courses required for admission and a B– or higher in each of the subsequent courses. In addition, your cumulative GPA cannot dip below 3.0.

Withdrawal Grades. You are allowed to receive 2 withdrawal (WD) grades without them affecting your GPA. Any additional WD grades count as zero in your cumulative GPA. See Academic Standing.

Repeat Courses. We advise you to review the ALM program’s strict policies about repeating courses. Generally speaking, you may not repeat a course to improve your GPA or to fulfill a degree requirement (if the minimum grade was not initially achieved). Nor can you repeat a course for graduate credit that you’ve previously completed at Harvard Extension School or Harvard Summer School at the undergraduate level.

Courses Expire: Finish Your Coursework in Under 5 Years

Courses over 5 years old at the point of admission will not count toward the degree. As noted above, the statistics course used to fulfill the requirement cannot be more than 2 years old at the time of application.

Further, you have 5 years to complete your degree requirements. The 5-year timeline begins at the end of the term in which you complete your third degree-applicable course, regardless of whether or not you have been admitted to a degree program.

Potential degree candidates must plan accordingly and submit their applications to comply with the 5-year course expiration policy or they risk losing degree credit for completed course work.

Additionally, admission eligibility will be jeopardized if, at the point of application to the program, the 5-year degree completion policy cannot be satisfied (i.e., too many courses to complete in the time remaining).

Graduate with Your Harvard Degree

When you have fulfilled all degree requirements, you will earn your Harvard University degree: Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Extension Studies, Field: Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Degrees are awarded in November, March, and May, with the annual Harvard Commencement ceremony in May.

Degree Candidate Exclusive Benefits

When you become an officially admitted degree candidate, you have access to a rich variety of exclusive benefits to support your academic journey. To learn more, visit degree candidate academic opportunities and privileges.