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Ph.D. in Business Psychology

What Is Ph.D. in Business Psychology?

Business psychology, more commonly called industrial and organizational (I/O or I-O) psychology, is known as one of the top-paying psychology fields.


1 Recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) as a specialty in professional psychology since 1996, industrial and organizational psychology is the study of human behavior specifically in the workplace.

2 Industrial and organizational psychologists analyze and interpret workplace dynamics at both the individual level and the group level and offer solutions that improve the health of the organization as well as its employees. The Wall Street Journal identified I/O psychology as the fastest-growing field within psychology in an article about the hottest jobs of 2018.

3 The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) considers it a specialty under the umbrella of Organizational and Business Consulting Psychology, which includes I/O psychology and consulting psychology.


Focus Your Ph.D. in Business Psychology

By understanding how human behavior will impact overall organizational effectiveness, graduates of The GSC’s Ph.D. in Business Psychology, Consulting Track online program emerge with the strategies necessary to assume high-level responsibilities in a global business environment.


Guided by practitioner faculty, Ph.D. in Business Psychology students will learn how to appropriately advise organizations on major business initiatives including strategic planning, talent management, executive coaching, employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, and change management.


Prepare for an Executive-Level Career in Business With Ph.D. in Business Psychology

Prepared to assume high-level consulting positions in today’s global, multicultural business environment, graduates of the online Ph.D. in Business Psychology program will have advanced skills in the following areas:


      Industrial and organizational psychology


      Executive advising and leadership


      Internal and external consulting


      Organization design and operations


      Business Psychology Department Spotlight

Sample Courses


Business and Financial Literacy

Designed to give students the basic terminology, logic, and framework to understand business thinking and decisions, the goal is to teach students to look at the “vital signs” of a business. The first part of the class looks at what information a business collects and how it uses that information. Students learn to use a financial lens to look at an income statement and balance sheet to determine the health of an organization, and they learn the importance of interest rates as a key to understand corporate planning and valuation. The second part of the course helps students understand how companies make operational decisions. Using the lens of microeconomics, students learn how supply and demand, costs, and prices effect output decisions, and consider the ways this impacts marketing through the marketing mix, segmentation, and branding decisions. Examines behavioral economics to show how the erratic nature of decisions.


Strategic and Organizational Planning

Gives students the fundamentals to understand business strategy and organizational effectiveness. The first part of the course will address the concepts and practice of policy formation, expanding on marketing, financial, and economic ideas. Environment analysis and value chain leads to assessing business level strategy, corporate level strategy, and competitive actions. The second part of the class emphasizes the organization factors in determining and implementing business policy. Discusses organizational planning as aligning the business with the environment through strategy, design, operations, supply chain, and culture. Students learn the critical significance of the managing their interdependence.


Change Management

Helps students advise organizations on to how restructure, reposition, or revitalize. Integrates strategy and organizational due diligence with consultation and change strategies. Within the frame of community development, students learn to consider the process of change and the techniques of change to various types of organizations. Focuses on project change management and emphasizes psychological change management. Prepares student to understand the corporate conditions and change options available to consult on and facilitate transitions ranging from innovation and new technology, merger and acquisition integration, business succession planning, corporate reorganizations, to board governance.



Application to The Business Psychology doctoral program is open to any person who has earned a master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with 36 hours in psychology, behavioral science or management. Students applying to the Ph.D. in Business Psychology program must submit the following:


     Resume or Curriculum Vitae


     Essay – Please answer the following two questions on separate sheets of paper (approximately 500 words each):

In what areas (e.g., selection and placement, organizational development, performance management) will you, as a business psychologist, affect or contribute to the business world? How will your contributions differ from those with an MBA or other business training?

In your role as a business psychology student, you are likely to work and study with people from many backgrounds. Tell us what will be some of the challenges for you studying with people different from yourself, and what you would contribute in your interactions with them.


      Official College/University Transcripts

Students must submit official transcripts from all schools where degrees have been earned. GSC requires that all schools be regionally accredited higher education institutions. Official transcripts may be sent directly from the institution or with your application for admission as long as they are official, sealed, and signed across the envelope flap when they arrive.


     Letters of Recommendation

Students applying to the Consulting Track must submit three (3) letters of recommendation for consideration. Appropriate recommendations are from professors and/or supervisors from significant work or volunteer experiences, who can appraise your academic or professional performance. If you are mailing in your letters, they should arrive in a sealed envelope, signed across the seal. You can also submit the letters online via the applicant portal.


     Previous Coursework

This track requires applicants to have successfully completed at least two (2) undergraduate courses, including a statistics course and an upper level undergraduate or master’s level organizational behavior or psychology course with a grade earned of ‘C’ or better in the course.  Applicants who do not meet this requirement may do so at GSC thought the Progression Requirement policy outlined in the catalog.


Additionally, if an applicant’s qualifying master’s degree is less than 36 hours, they may fulfill the missing hour requirements at GSC through completing the Industrial and Organizational Generalist Certificate.  Missing hour requirements can also be completed at GSC by enrolling in comparable coursework following the policies outlined in the Student at Large section of the catalog.


International Application Requirements


In addition to meeting all general admission requirements indicated on our program-specific requirement pages, all international students must submit additional documentation to be considered for admission.


See our International Admissions Requirement page for more details.


GSC is dedicated to keeping our professional degree programs accessible to anyone regardless of financial status. In addition to the scholarships that may be available, our Financial Aid Department will help provide you with information to determine what financial arrangements are right for you.

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