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Industrial and Organizational Psychology Specialization

The Industrial/Organizational Specialization in Psychology is designed for Psychology majors interested in careers that apply psychological principles to the world of work. Our graduates work in a variety of areas such as benefits, training, recruiting, compensation, human resources, market research, sales, computer systems, teaching, school psychology, and health care management. The specialization retains the dual purpose of preparing undergraduates for advanced work in I/O Psychology and Human Resources (HR) graduate programs while providing them with business-oriented knowledge and skills to facilitate immediate entry into the workforce.

The I/O Specialization evolved from the I/O Track available to Psychology majors since 1991.  The track has achieved great success in its brief history as evidenced by enrollments and the accomplishments of its members.

Please contact the I/O coordinator, Dr. Jean Kirnan (609.771.2637), for more details.

I/O Specialization Handout

The I/O Specialization holds a credit transfer agreement with Rutgers University that allows up to five TCNJ courses to be counted for the M.A. program in Human Resources Management. Credit Transfer Agreement

Faculty affiliated with the Industrial / Organizational Psychology Specialization:

  • Dr. Jason Dahling
  • Dr. Jean Kirnan (Chair)
  • Dr. John Ruscio

Industrial / Organizational Course Requirements

Core Courses (Taken in sequence)

  • PSY 101 – General Psychology
  • PSY 121 – Methods and Tools of Psychology
  • PSY 203 – Design and Statistical Analysis
  • PSY 299 – Research Seminar

Foundation Courses (Choose 3):

  • PSY 267 – Organizational Psychology
  • Other Foundation Courses (Choose 2)
    • PSY 212 – Biopsychology
    • PSY 213 – Learning and Memory
    • PSY 214 – Cognitive Psychology
    • PSY 216 – Personality Theory & Research
    • PSY 215 – Social Psychology
    • PSY 217 – Psychological Disorders (formerly Abnormal Psychology)
    • PSY 220 – Development across the Lifespan
    • PSY 362 – Judgement and Decision Making
    • PSY 363 – Psychology of Ethics

Specialized Courses (Choose 3):

  • PSY 364 – Industrial Psychology -Required
  • Students in this specialization must take a credit-bearing research course (PSY 390, PSY 393, PSY 394) or internship (PSY 397, PSY 399).
  • Other Specialized Course (PSY303; PSY365/MKT365; PSY366; PSY374; PSY375; PSY376 (with advisement); PSY385; PSY386)
    • Your advisor may be able to help you in making selections

I/O Psychology Option (Choose 1)

Another Psychology course (preferably from the 300- or 400-level). Students are encouraged to consider taking a course from the above list of “Other Specialized Courses”

Senior Experience (Choose 1)

  • PSY 419 – History and Systems of Psychology
  • PSY 470 – Senior Topics Study Group
  • PSY 487 – Senior Internship
  • PSY 493 – Psychology Thesis 2
  • PSY 492 – Senior Collaborative Research Course
  • PSY 493 – Senior Individual Study

Additional Requirements

  • BUS 325 – Employment Law
  • ACC 201 – Financial Accounting (This course has a college level math class as a prerequisite. The Accounting Department accepts PSY 203 for I/O specialization students as the prerequisite. Students should email the current Accounting chair, explain their need for the course and how they have met the prerequisite, and request that the chair sign them into ACC 201, listing all possible sections of ACC 201 that would work in their schedule.)
  • Economics Requirement (Choose 1)- ECO101 is recommended for Management and Marketing minors (this course fulfills a requirement in those minors as well as the I/O specialization). Other students are free to choose either ECO101 or ECO102.
    • ECO 101 – Principles of Economics: Micro
    • ECO 102 – Principles of Economics: Macro

Experiential Learning Opportunities

Students interested in I/O psychology should see Drs. Dahling, Kirnan or Ruscio for research opportunities and internship opportunities.

  • Dr. Dahling works with students conducting research on organizational misbehavior, customer service behavior, and feedback seeking in organizations. Students assist with many different facets of the research process, including literature reviews, data collection, data entry and management, and writing of reports.
  • Dr. Kirnan collaborates with students on a variety of projects including the development of personnel selection tools, prediction of early college success, analysis of commercial messages, and an investigation of “everyday” ethical dilemmas.
  • Dr. Ruscio works with taxometric analyses to differentiate categorical and dimensional data; Distinctions between science, pseudoscience, and myths of popular psychology; Techniques for generating and using multivariate comparison data sets; Citation-based indices of scholarly impact

Recent Research Projects:


  • Employee and Consumer Reactions to Organizational Expressions of Anti-Equality Messages toward LGBT Individuals
  • A Longitudinal Assessment of the Effects of Workplace Health Promotion Policies on Employee Exercise Behaviors and Well-Being
  • Regulatory Focus and Emotion Management in Customer Service Interactions


  • Development of Assessment Tools for PSY121 and PSY203
  • Impact of the Tail Waggin’ Tutor Program on Elementary Grade Reading
  • Developing Ethical Case Studies as Pedagogical Tools
  • Reliability and Cross-Validation of the PASS (Predictors of Academic Success of Students)


  • Generalizations and extensions of the probability of superiority effect size estimator
  • Confidence intervals for the probability of superiority effect size measure and the area under a receiver operating characteristic curve
  • Determining the number of factors to retain in an exploratory factor analysis using comparison data of known factorial structure
  • Variance heterogeneity in published psychological research: A review and a new index
  • Measuring scholarly impact using modern citation-based indices


Genesis Biotechnology Group – HR Intern

Johnson & Johnson – Consumer Sales Co-Op

System Freight, Inc – HR Intern

PVH, Inc. – HR/Recruiting Intern

East Amwell Elementary School – School Counseling Intern

Hamilton Educational Program – School Psychology Intern

Educational Testing Service (ETS) – Chief Learning Office Co-op Intern

OneMedPlace – Research Analyst

Atlantic Health System – HR Intern

Mathematica Policy Research – HR Intern

Six Flags/Great Adventure – HR Intern

MTV Networks – HR Intern

Chanel, Inc. – HR Intern

Liz Claiborne, Inc. – HR Intern

Sesame Place – HR Intern

The Princeton-Blairstown Center – Program Evaluator

Philadelphia Zoo – Animal Training

Life Ties, Inc – HR Intern

MTV Networks: Nickelodeon – Research & Planning Intern

Wegmans Food Market – HR Intern

Campfire NJ – Data Analysis Intern

Nickelodeon – HR Intern

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – Administrative Intern

CrisisChat – Project and Training Intern