Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

I/O Program Requirements

Masters Program

Students typically take two years to complete the M.Sc. in I/O Psychology at Western. There are two components to achieving a Masters:

MSc Course Requirements

Year I
Psychology 9540 (2-semester)
2 substantive courses in I/O psychology

Year II
2 substantive courses in I/O psychology*

* Students who progress from the MSc to the PhD program at Western can count their MSc Year II course credits to the PhD, thereby eliminating the requirement for two additional I/O courses in PhD II.

M.Sc. Thesis Proposal and Defense

Students work on the development of the M.Sc. thesis research project during the first year in the program and conduct the research during their second year. Students typically select two members of the faculty in addition to their chief advisor to serve as an advisory committee. The committee will read the proposal and provide feedback and guidance.

Students defend their M.Sc. thesis in the second half of Year II in the program. The examining committee will consist of two members from the Department of Psychology (excluding the chief advisor) and one member from outside the Department.

PhD Program

Typically it takes students four years to complete the Ph.D. There are three components to achieving a Ph.D.:

PhD Course Requirements

Year I
2 substantive courses in I/O psychology

Year ii – IV
2 substantive courses in I/O psychology*
1 doctoral seminar course (or equivalent, to be approved by the area)

* Students who progress from the MSc to the PhD program at Western can count their MSc Year II course credits to the PhD, thereby eliminating the requirement for two additional I/O courses in PhD II.

Students must complete six half courses.

These may include any remaining core courses in I/O Psychology and may include doctoral seminars.

Comprehensive Examinations

The purpose of the Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination is to ensure that students in the Ph.D. program in I/O Psychology have been exposed to and have a basic understanding of key issues pertaining to theory, research, and practice in I/O Psychology.

Typically, the comprehensive examination covers four major content areas: Industrial Psychology, Organizational Psychology, Methods and Psychometric Issues, and Ethics. The examination items consist of short answers and essays. The examination will be written by all candidates in two 3-hour sittings. Normally these sittings will occur on two consecutive days. The exam is typically written in May of Year I.

Ph.D. Thesis Proposal and Defense

Students typically work on the development of their Ph.D. thesis research project in their second year in the program (unless delayed by an internship). Ideally, they should be prepared to present a formal proposal to their advisory committee by the end of Year II. Acceptance of the proposal by a committee made up of the chief advisor and two additional members is required before the research is conducted. The committee will read the proposal, provide feedback and, when ready, give approval in principal to the project.