The Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychology doctoral program maintains an average of 20 full-time students, with approximately 3-4 new students admitted each fall. Admission is highly competitive — in the last five years, we have averaged about 70 applications a year. Selection criteria include GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, Writing), GPA (last 60 undergraduate hours), letters of recommendation, research experience and interests, and the applicant’s personal statement of professional/career goals. Over the past 6 years (2012-2017), students accepted into the program have average GRE (verbal + quantitative) scores of 316 (SD = 6.74) and a Jr/Sr undergraduate GPA of 3.60 (SD = 7.29). Although no formal requirements exist regarding undergraduate course preparation, it is recommended that students applying to the I/O psychology program have some introductory coursework in some of the following areas: statistics, experimental design, measurement and test construction, I/O psychology, and social psychology. Additional information about the program can be found at the SIOP page on I/O graduate training programs.
Admission information specific to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences can be found on the department’s admissions information page.
University specific admission information is available on the Texas A&M University Office of Admissions and Records’ website.
All I/O psychology graduate students admitted to the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences are provided a fellowship or assistantship that pays a competitive salary (at least $18,000 for 9 months). Students in good standing retain their assistantship or fellowship for four to five years. Some students are funded by research grants. Office space, computers, funds to travel to professional conventions, and free health insurance also are provided. Students have the option to pursue a 3-12 month internship with a wide-range of organizations that often become future employers. The program also supports an active speakers series that each year brings to campus a number of faculty members from other universities. This series provides exposure to different perspectives on the field and the opportunity to network with professors at other institutions.
The program is designed for completion in approximately five years with students taking 9 semester hours each fall and spring and 6 (usually research) hours in the summer (course requirements and timeline). The student’s first year is relatively course intensive. During this year students take the Department’s statistics and design sequence as well as basic I/O psychology courses. The latter include Personnel Psychology (focusing on the current literature pertaining to selection, placement, job analysis, performance appraisal, and training) and Organizational Psychology (focusing on the current literature in motivation, job attitudes, leadership, group processes, conflict, decision making, organizational change). Students are also encouraged to establish a relationship with a research advisor as early as possible during the first year. Through this relationship students typically become involved with ongoing faculty research programs and begin to examine potential thesis topics. Every year, students complete an annual evaluation form, are rated by their faculty advisor, and receive feedback about their progress in the program.
In the second year of the program, students continue taking departmental core courses as well as advanced I/O psychology seminars. Students work intensively on a master’s thesis during this year with the goal of defending the research by the summer following the second year. Students are also encouraged to continue their collaborative research with faculty during this period. Students often work with more than one faculty member and these activities are encouraged.
Following completion of the master’s thesis, third year students continue to take courses (typically two per semester), begin work on their dissertation research, and continue ongoing research projects. In addition to I/O psychology seminars, students are encouraged to further develop their quantitative skills through advanced quantitative courses offered both in the Psychological and Brain Sciences and Educational Psychology departments.
Fourth and fifth year students typically take one elective course per semester and continue their research activity. In addition, following the completion of all required course work, students take a set of comprehensive exams. The comprehensive exam consists of an oral and written, content-based examination of basic knowledge in three areas: Personnel Psychology, Organizational Psychology, and Quantitative Methods. Following successful completion of this exam, students are admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The remainder of the program is typically devoted to developing the dissertation proposal, conducting dissertation research, and preparing and defending the final dissertation.
All I/O psychology students are expected to participate in our weekly colloquium series. This program features guest speakers from various I/O psychology-related backgrounds. All students are expected to present their master’s thesis as well as their dissertation proposal to faculty and their peers as a part of the weekly colloquium series. Students on the academic job market have the opportunity to present their job talk before students and faculty, receiving crucial and constructive feedback.
Although a formal internship is not required, it is highly recommended for students pursuing an applied non-academic career. Recent internship sites include ACT, AT&T, Home Depot, HumRRO, Jeanneret & Associates Inc., Kenexa, Personnel Decisions International, Valtera, and Xerox.
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences is located in an attractive four-story building that contains research laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, classrooms, and the Saul B. Sells Collection. Graduate student offices are located in the newly renovated Milner Hall, centrally located to the Psychology Building, the library, and various on- and off-campus dining facilities. Laboratory facilities are excellent conducive to individual and small-group studies with individual and networked computers.
Office spaces are provided for all graduate students. Desktop computers are readily available for student use in laboratories and offices. In addition, graduate students have exclusive access to a graduate student computing lab, equipped with computers and advanced statistical software.
The Texas A&M Computing & Information Services Center maintains six large computing centers, most open 24 hours a day Monday–Friday, connected by a campus-wide fiber optic network. Texas A&M computing facilities are among the best in the nation.
The Texas A&M University Library system includes the Sterling C. Evans Library, the Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, the West Campus Library, the Policy Sciences and Economics Library, and the Medical Sciences Library. Current university library holdings include 3 million volumes, 5.4 million microform units, approximately 206,281 maps, over 21,000 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections, over 100,000 photographs, art collections, numerous artifacts, and material in virtually all forms of audiovisual media.
The general academic library is the Sterling C. Evans Library. The Evans Library holds more than 2 million volumes and subscribes to over 14,000 journals. A dedicated psychology librarian is on-call to assist with all of your research needs. The West Campus Library houses collections and services supporting teaching and research in business. In addition, graduate students and faculty have convenient web access to electronic delivery of journal articles and book chapters from collections worldwide.