Industrial/Organizational Behavior Management Master of Arts Courses

Students touring Stryker

Students tour local organizations.

The Department of Psychology at Western Michigan University offers an industrial/organizational behavior management Master of Arts degree.


  • A bachelor's degree with a minimum of 18 credit hours in psychology, which must include three credit hours of statistics.
  • Preferred qualifications:
    • An undergraduate major in psychology.
    • A minimum GPA of 3.0.
    • Minimum scores corresponding to the 50th percentile on the verbal and quantitative sections of the GRE.
  • Other criteria taken into consideration include letters of reference, research activity, work experience, social and professional skills and the extent to which the applicant's interests match the program.

Program requirements

Competency I: Industrial/organizational Core (nine credit hours)

  • PSY 6430: Personnel Selection and Placement. This course teaches you the legal requirements for personnel selection systems, and how to design and evaluate the adequacy (reliability and validity) of personnel selection and placement instruments.
  • PSY 6440: Personnel Training and Development. This course emphasizes the principles of behavior analysis as they apply to learning as well as techniques and administrative procedures used in the development of human resources at all levels.
  • PSY 6450: Psychology of Work. This course examines human behavior in organizations from a behavioral psychology perspective. Topics include: the history of industrial/organizational psychology, work motivation, performance analysis, work measurement systems, goal setting, feedback, and management reward systems.

Competency II: Behavior analysis Core (six credit hours)

  • PSY 6100: Conditioning and Learning. This course surveys the concepts and principles of behavior analysis and respondent conditioning, and behavioral applications and research.
  • PSY 6510: Behavioral Systems Analysis. This course trains you on applying behavioral systems analysis concepts to the design of systems which yield objective measures of critical organizational business indices.

Competency III: Research Methods (six credit hours)

  • PSY 6080: Research Methods in ABA. This course examines research methodology and strategies, emphasizing the areas of measurement, reliability and single subject research. You will be required to write a research proposal that conforms to the American Psychological Association style.  In addition, several areas of current research in behavior analysis will be studied.
  • PSY 6340: Experimental Design and Analysis I. Topics in this course include statistical decision theory, one factor analysis of variance, multiple comparison procedures, factorial designs, randomized block designs and basic issues in experimental design.

Competency IV: Professional Ethics (three credit hours)

  • PSY 6050: Professional and Ethical Issues in Psychology. This course addresses the standards and contemporary issues affecting professional conduct. The topics to be covered revolve around ethical conduct in practice and research as well as the decision-making foundations for resolving ethical issues. Selected legal issues affecting professional practice are also addressed.

Competency V: Research and Practice (six credit hours)

  • Thesis option:
    • PSY 7000: Master’s Thesis (6 credits). You will complete a research thesis of publishable quality. A written proposal must be approved in advance by your three-person committee and an oral defense of the final written thesis is required.
  • Practicum option (two of the following):
    • PSY 5490: Instructional Design. This course introduces students to behavioral and learning principles relevant to the design and evaluation of education and training materials.
    • PSY 5990: Individualized Practicum. Students complete an individually designed practicum, which must be approved by their advisor in advance.
    • PSY 6520: Systems Analysis Practicum. This course trains students to integrate behavior analysis and systems analysis to design, create, and manage human performance systems. Students complete a systems analysis project in a local organization.

Competency VI: Electives (six credit hours)

Electives should be approved in advance by your advisor. You may take courses in the Department of Psychology or in other departments.

Potential courses in other departments include, but are not limited to:

  • ACTY 6010: Accountancy
  • MGMT 6140: Business Process Management
  • MGMT 6200: Enterprise Requirements Planning System Configuration
  • MGMT 6410: Business Venturing
  • MGMT 6500: Managing Change
  • MGMT 6520: Strategic Human Resource Management
  • OLP 6400: Principles of Human Resources Development
  • OLP 6410: Fundamentals of Needs Analysis
  • OLP 6430 : Project Management in Human Resources Development
  • PADM 6510: Health Services Delivery
  • PADM 6540: Strategic Planning and Management of Health Care Organizations
  • PADM 6550: Administration of Health Services
  • SOC 6880: Methods of Survey Research