Industrial-Organizational Concentration

The Industrial-Organizational Concentration follows the principles of the scientist-practitioner model and emphasizes a thorough understanding of human behavior. Throughout the concentration, students learn about empirical research and how to apply research findings to solve real-world problems. For instance, many of our classes require students to read and present findings of original articles.  Applied projects are common in our graduate coursework and provide the opportunity to acquire hands-on experience. Also, depending on their interests and career goals, students can choose between conducting research (e.g., a thesis) or doing an internship in order to fulfill graduation requirements. Gaining experience in both research and applied skills, as well as knowledge of human behavior, helps separate our graduate degree in I-O Psychology from other fields and degrees (e.g., MBA). The majority of our students complete their degree within 2 years.

Why choose I-O at UWF?

  • Research Opportunities: The I-O faculty at UWF have a strong record of research across a wide range of topics that includes publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals, books and book chapters, as well as presenting at conferences. Faculty involve students in their research. Faculty-student collaboration in research can be the result of such activities as a master's thesis, supervised research, grant work, and a directed study. As a result, many students have been coauthors on publications and conference presentations.
  • Applied opportunities in the classroom:  Several I-O classes (e.g., Training, Organizational Development, Personnel Selection & Appraisal) require that teams of students apply course material via class projects for outside organizations. These projects have involved conducting a job analysis, developing a training programs, creating performance appraisal devices, constructing structured interviews, and creating surveys for organizations. Final products are often required that summarize the work of each project which can serve as work samples for prospective employers.
  • Center for Applied Psychology (CAP):  This Center primarily exists to coordinate work being done on external consulting projects and grants. Students are commonly employed on consulting projects and grants run through the Center which provides funding and opportunities for applied experience.
  • Training in EEO law:  A unique aspect of the I-O program at UWF is the requirement to take a formal, stand-alone course in EEO law (e.g., Civil Rights Act, adverse impacts, ADA, ADEA).  Although such knowledge has been rated as critical for students to possess, most graduate programs only cover this material within other courses. As such, graduates from our program acquire a comprehensive understanding of employment discrimination law and possess a competitive advantage over graduates from other programs.
  • Student Success: Our graduates have been highly successful whether it be gaining admission to quality doctoral programs or finding valuable internships and jobs. Some of the doctoral programs that our students have attended include:
    • DePaul University
    • Louisiana State University
    • Bowling Green State University
    • Portland State University
    • University of Central Florida
    • Claremont Graduate University
    • Colorado State University
    • Georgia Tech (a complete list will be available soon)
    In terms of employment, our students have worked in both the private and public sector across the United States and beyond. Examples of organizations for which our students have worked include:
    • CSX Corporation
    • Sacred Heart Health System
    • Lowes Inc.
    • Stanley Steamer
    • City of Jacksonville
    • U.S. Army Research Institute
    • Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division
    • Navy Advancement Center (NETPDTC)
    • Florida Department of Education
    • Target
    • State Farm Insurance
    • Applied Performance Solutions Inc. (Barbados)
    • Navy Federal Credit Union
    • PenAir Credit Union
    • Wells Fargo
    • Sandia National Laboratories
    • Care Coordination Institute
    • GTECH S.P.A. (Jamaica)
  • Student Diversity:  Our graduate program has been fortunate to attract a diverse group of students. For instance, we have admitted students from such countries as China, Philippines, Thailand, Chile, Germany, Trinidad, Botswana, and Japan, to name just a few. Our program has also attracted and admitted students from all over the United States.
  • Professional Activities:  The I-O Concentration has an active chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. The student organization has sponsored many guest speakers, been successful at getting funding to attend conferences, and has hosted numerous social gatherings.  Students also regularly attend a monthly lunch meeting of the local SHRM chapter which has provided opportunities for networking.  In addition, many I-O students are members of the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology.

Have further questions?

If you need further information about our graduate program please contact us at or 850-474-2969. For specific questions about the Industrial-Organizational Concentration contact Dr. Steven Kass at or 850-474-2107.

Visit our campus!

The UWF Graduate School offers a Graduate School Campus Visit that is a walking tour of the campus and includes a visit to our department and an opportunity to meet our department chair or our academic coordinator.