Organizational Psychology B.A.


Are you interested in knowing what motivates a person to perform well at a job, or what qualities a company needs to look for to make a great hire? Today’s businesses and organizations need professionals who understand human behavior, group dynamics and how to make the workplace function better. A major in Organizational Psychology from Rider University will help prepare you for a career in one of America’s fastest-growing professions.

Curriculum Overview

Rider University’s program is one of just a handful in the nation offering a unique interdisciplinary major that combines business and psychology. This versatile degree can have a real impact on an organization’s bottom line by helping to improve employee satisfaction and job performance.

Majors in this program will gain a comprehensive understanding of the important contributions that organizational psychology plays in today’s workplace.

The Organizational Psychology program focuses on the behavioral aspects of managing and supervising the human resources of an organization or business. You will learn the key concepts of management and psychology, including perception and attitudes, employee motivation and engagement, and organizational leadership and power — and gain an in-depth understanding of what makes employees and organizations function at their best.

As an Organizational Psychology major, you will:

  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of human behavior in work settings
  • Learn how to enhance performance within an organization or business
  • Benefit from networking and gain real-world experience through internships and other professional opportunities 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the top of its list of 20-fastest growing occupations, with a projected growth rate of 53 percent between now and 2022. Organizational psychologists are in demand because their expertise results in better hires, increased productivity, reduced turnover and lower labor costs. They can work as consultants to organizations, or serve in-house in a variety of jobs, including:

  • Human resource officer
  • Employee development manager
  • Organizational development director
  • Quality performance manager
  • Organizational psychologist
  • Testing specialist
  • Compensation and benefits specialist

Honors Program in Psychology

A student may receive honors in psychology by fulfilling the following conditions beyond the basic requirements for the psychology major: complete one Independent Research and Study project (490); earn a cumulative average of 3.25 and an average of 3.5 in psychology at the time of graduation.

Degree Offered

  • B.A. in Organizational Psychology


Boris Vilic
Dean, College of Continuing Studies
Bart Luedeke Center

Program Website:   Organizational Psychology
Associated College: College of Continuing Studies

Related Programs

Core Requirements80
Required Courses22
Intro To Psychology
Introduction to Research in Psychology
Organizational Psychology
Fund Management & Org Behavior
Social Psychology
Intro to Human Resource Mgmt
Team Management
Research Methods in Organizational Psychology
Research Methods in Organizational Psychology
Research Methods in Organizational Psychology
Research Methods: Org Psy Lab
Select one of the following:3-6
Statistics and Research Design
Statistical Methods I
and Statistical Methods II
Select one of the following courses:3
Organizational Communication
Professional/Strategic Speech
Team & Group Communication
Select two of the following courses:6
Employee Selection & Training
Employee Compensation Systems
Employee Engagement
Managing Workforce Diversity
Independent Research and Study 1
Select two of the following:6
Learning and Memory
Psychological Tests
Senior Seminar
Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1
Total Credits120-123

COM 253 Organizational Communication 3 Credits

Focuses on the ongoing communication processes in organizations. This course examines how and why organizations develop policies and procedures that both encourage and yet constrain creativity and autonomy in employees. It also introduces various management skills to balance the dynamic in organizations. Finally, the course introduces students to various communication technologies that enable communication processes in organizations. Students will also have opportunities to participate in creating organizational dynamics through role-playing exercises, case studies, and other kinds of experiential learning.

COM 290 Professional/Strategic Speech 3 Credits

Provides students with practical information necessary for effective communication in various business and professional settings. Covers communication processes, principles, and models in the modern organization. Class assignments are given with emphasis on developing a knowledge and practical understanding of informative, persuasive, and impromptu presentations. Limited to students enrolled in the College of Business Administration.

COM 350 Team & Group Communication 3 Credits

Examines the communication process as it relates to the small group. Theoretical constructs including motivation, group climate, attraction, leadership, decision making, problem solving and roles are analyzed. Utilizes group experience to study and evaluate the dynamics and effectiveness of interpersonal systems.

HRM 315 Employee Selection & Training 3 Credits

This course explains the processes involved in selecting and training employees. With regards to selection, specific examples include, evaluating applicant credentials, administering pre-employment tests and complying with equal employment opportunity legislation. With regards to training, topics include assessing the need for training, designing effective training programs, utilizing methods such as technology to deliver training, and evaluating the effectiveness of training programs.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 310.

HRM 316 Employee Compensation Systems 3 Credits

The goal of this course is to familiarize you with the common methods of compensation used by today’s organizations and how these methods could be used to increase motivation, job satisfaction, and performance in the workplace. To accomplish this, we will first discuss the bases of motivation in the workplace. Next, we will then talk about the various compensation options and techniques and the strengths and weaknesses of each in maximizing motivation and performance in an organization.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 310.

HRM 333 Employee Engagement 3 Credits

Employee Engagement is commonly described as a focused passion and enthusiasm that employees bring to their work that produces high-quality performance and positive organizational outcomes such as enhanced firm reputation, customer loyalty, and profitability. In this course, students will explore the concept and value of Employee Engagement, and strategies for energizing an organization's workforce. Projects and activities will focus on the role of the Human Resource function in measuring employee attitudes, designing relevant interventions, and influencing a culture of engagement.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 310.

MSD 200 Statistical Methods I 3 Credits

This course is designed to give the student an understanding of continuous random variables, the elements of statistical inference, and an introduction to how these tools may be useful in one’s attempt to reach intelligent conclusions in real-world settings. The focus is on the normal random variable, descriptive statistics, sampling distributions, and the frameworks of estimation and hypothesis testing, particularly as they apply to inference for unknown population means and proportions in the one- and two-sample settings.

Prerequisite(s): MSD 105 or equivalent.

MSD 201 Statistical Methods II 3 Credits

The sequel to Statistical Methods I is designed to prepare the student to be able to recognize a variety of additional common inferential scenarios, select and apply appropriate techniques in their analyses, and be aware of the usefulness of computer packages in performing certain relatively complicated statistical calculations. the course covers the one-way analysis of variance, Chi-square tests for non parametric inferences, and regression analysis. Students are expected to submit, for evaluation, the analysis of a real-world data set.

Prerequisite(s): MSD 200.

MGT 201 Fund Management & Org Behavior 3 Credits

This course deals with the fundamentals of organizational behavior as they relate to management such as motivation, communications, and leadership. Behavior is examined at the individual, group, and organizational level. The management functions of planning, organizing, leading and controlling are addressed. The effects of global operations and the requirements of ethical behavior on managers are also explored.

Prerequisite(s): minimum 30 credits completed.

MGT 310 Intro to Human Resource Mgmt 3 Credits

This course deals with the nature of human resource management, its functions, procedures, and practices currently found in profit, non-profit and public sector organizations. Topics covered include recruiting and selection, t raining, human resource development, equal employment opportunity, performance appraisal, diversity, job analysis, compensation, and employee rights and discipline.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 201 or PSY 210.

MGT 320 Managing Workforce Diversity 3 Credits

Demographic shifts, changing patterns of labor force participation, global competition, and a growing cultural emphasis on the celebration of difference have all contributed to the creation of diversity as a hot topic in management. This course explores the opportunities and challenges of the increasingly diverse workforce emerging in the United States today. We will address the knowledge and skills managers must develop in working with others who are different from themselves. Some of these differences are obvious- gender, race, age, and physical characteristics. Other differences are not as easily observed - family structure, educational level, social class, and sexual orientation. This class incorporates experiential learning techniques for personal growth.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 201 or PSY 210.

MGT 355 Team Management 3 Credits

This course prepares students to work in organizations that use teams as an integral part of their functioning-an increasingly common practice. The class involves intensive group interaction, focusing on individual growth in group settings. Working with other students in role-plays, exercises, and team assignments allows the student to develop better communication and leadership skills.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 201 or PSY 210.

MGT 490 Independent Research and Study 1-4 Credits

Topic to be approved in advance by supervising instructor, chairperson, and academic dean. Available for juniors and seniors. No more than 12 credits allowed toward graduation, and can be used as free elective or MGT major elective.

Prerequisite(s): MGT 201 or permission of instructor.

PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology 3 Credits

An orientation to psychology, covering major facts, principles and concepts about human and animal behavior and experience, re-search findings, major problems, basic vocabulary, methodologies, and contributions in the field. Topics include psychology as a science; human development; individual differences; intelligence and its measurement; special aptitudes and interests; personality and social behavior; motivation and emotion; frustration and personality deviations; and learning, thinking, remembering and forgetting.

PSY 105 Introduction to Research in Psychology 3 Credits

Students will be introduced to the basic research methods used in psychology including, surveys, experiments and observation. Students will collect data and learn to describe this data using basic tools of analysis including graphic display and statistical analysis. Students will read original psychological research and learn to write using the conventions of the American Psychological Association.

Prerequisite(s): a grade of "C" in PSY 100.

PSY 201 Statistics and Research Design 3 Credits

Introduces students to statistics and research methods in the behavioral sciences. Covers the fundamentals of descriptive and inferential statistics, a variety of issues in research design, selected research designs including the case study, correlational and experimental designs. In addition, students will explore the literature in psychology in order to examine the use of statistics and research design in real research problems.

Prerequisite(s): grade of “C” in PSY 105.

PSY 210 Organizational Psychology 3 Credits

Focuses on issues related to human behavior in work settings. Topics include personnel issues such as hiring and promotion decisions, performance appraisals, and methods of on-the-job training. Issues of job satisfaction, motivation, productivity, and effective leadership styles are also examined. Finally, organizational structure as it relates to communication within organizations will be examined.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 100.

PSY 215 Personality 3 Credits

A synthesis of the most recent research in the field of personality development. Topics include interplay of biological, cultural, and subjective personal processes; analysis of the broad trends in personality theories; and introduction to personality measurement.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 100.

PSY 225 Learning Theory 3 Credits

A broad coverage of the expanding fields of learning, memory, and cognition is provided, while addressing their relevance and impact on human behavior. Continuity between early associationistic and contemporary cognitive theories is established. Topics range from basic conditioning to the more complex processes of memory, concept learning, thinking, and problem solving. Prerequiste(s): PSY 100.

PSY 240 Social Psychology 3 Credits

Deals with the scientific study of human beings in social situations, focusing on reciprocal influence of the individual and the group, especially aspects of behavior that are socially determined. The nature of attitudes: their development and change; the nature of social influence; interpersonal perception and attraction; dynamics of social behavior; and social phenomena, such as prejudice and social movements, are covered.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 100.

PSY 315 Psychological Tests 3 Credits

Examines the history of psychological testing. Issues concerning the construction of psychological tests are discussed, including concepts concerning reliability, validity, and item analysis. The rationale and structure of the major tests of intelligence, aptitude, and personality are reviewed, including the Rorschach, WAIS, TAT, MMPI, and Bender- Gestalt. In the last section of the course, students are given hands-on experience in the administration, scoring, and interpretation of a standard test battery.

Prerequisite(s): any statistics course.

PSY 329 Research Methods in Organizational Psychology 4 Credits

This course covers general area of research methods such as experimental and non-experimental methods, measurement, statistics, and preparation of reports for presentation and publication. In addition, research topics common in the area of organizational psychology such as worker motivation, job satisfaction, stress and burnout, communications in the workplace, productivity, decision-making, leadership style, and organizational structure will also be discussed. Students gain hands-on experience conducting empirical research.

PSY 329L Research Methods in Organizational Psychology 0 Credits

This course covers general area of research methods such as experimental and non-experimental methods, measurement, statistics, and preparation of reports for presentation and publication. In addition, research topics common in the area of organizational psychology such as worker motivation, job satisfaction, stress and burnout, communications in the workplace, productivity, decision-making, leadership style, and organizational structure will also be discussed. Students gain hands-on experience conducting empirical research.

PSY 400 Senior Seminar 3 Credits

This capstone course will provide a synthesis and evaluation of important critical issues in psychology, such as the role of modern psychology in solving social problems, the scientific vs. human services perspectives on behavior, emotion and cognition; and the nature of mental illness and well-being. Students will be expected to draw broadly from their education in psychology; to grapple with conflicting points of view; and produce professional quality writing, oral or multimedia presentations.

PSY 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Provides students with an opportunity to design and carry out original research in an area of their choice. Students designate a faculty supervisor and work closely with him/her during the semester. All students must have approval from the department and the dean to register for PSY 490.

Prerequisite(s): PSY 201.

Courses and Descriptions