Frequently Asked Questions

What is I-O Psychology?

Simply stated, I-O Psychology is psychology applied to the workplace. I-O psychologists are concerned with applying psychology to the workforce in an effort to identify and improve employee behavior and attitudes and thus help maximize the organization's success.

I-O Psychology is concerned with:

  • Attitude Theory, Measurement, and Change
  • Career Development
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Criterion Theory and Development
  • Health and Stress in Organizations
  • Human Performance/Human Factors
  • Individual Assessment
  • Job Evaluation and Compensation
  • Job/Task Analysis and Classification
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Leadership and Management
  • Organizational Development
  • Organizational Theory
  • Performance Appraisal and Feedback
  • Personnel Recruitment, Selection, and Placement
  • Small Group Theory and Team Processes
  • Training: Theory, Program Design, and Evaluation
  • Work Motivation

What is Industrial vs. Organizational Psychology?

I-O Psychology is comprised of 2 branches: Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology. Though there is considerable overlap, Industrial Psychology is primarily concerned with issues that are more molecular in nature while Organizational Psychology takes a molar approach.

Industrial Organizational
Recruitment Socialization
Selection Motivation
Classification Occupational Stress
Compensation Leadership
Performance Appraisal Group Performance
Training Organizational Development

For more helpful information, please visit the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

What is HRM?

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the management function that deals with the following aspects of an organization, with regards to company employees:

  • Recruitment
  • Placement
  • Promotion
  • Training and Development
  • Change Management
  • Employee Retention

For more helpful information, please visit the Society for Human Resource Management.

What jobs can I get in the HRM field?

  • Human Resource Assistant: Basic HR role involving a variety of generalist HR activities (recruitment, performance management, and employee relations). Experience usually required: Graduate to 2 years.
  • Standard Recruitment Consultant: Involves all aspects of recruitment (interviewing and reference checking, etc). Involves high level of involvement with managers and agencies (depending on individual companies). Experience usually required: Graduate to a few years of experience (depending on role).
  • Specialized Recruitment Consultant: Same as Standard Recruitment Consultant except requires use of specialist field knowledge judgment when recruiting. Experience usually required: At least 12 months experience in the specialized field. Roles require technical knowledge including IT, science, and engineering.
  • Education, Training, & HR Officer: Assessment of the overall company requirements regarding training needs, training programs, and assessment of individual development needs. Experience usually required: A few years experience working in a standard HRM recruitment role.
  • HR Manager: Manages the day to day HR issues. Experience usually required: Many years experience working in a HRM role in a large corporate or professional services environment.
  • Senior HR Services Consultant: Involves empowering managers in the uptake of HR initiatives and development of existing practical and progressive HR and people management strategies. Experience usually required: Extensive number of years experience working in recruitment in a corporate environment.
  • Recruitment Coordinator: Requires understanding of business and the ability to cultivate an environment of trust and collaboration. Experience usually required: A few years experience working in HR recruitment in a management role.
  • Executive Manager- Human Resources: Reporting to the Director of Human Resources and working with a small HR executive team. Experience usually required: Requires many years of experience in HR recruitment in a management role as well as proven HR generalist experience.

What does this program emphasize?

The interdisciplinary Master of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Human Resource Management offers a unique program operated jointly by the Psychology and Management Departments. It requires courses in both departments.

The program is designed to equip students with specialized training in human resource management. Emphases will be upon developing knowledge of theories, methods, and research findings derived from the behavioral sciences. Also emphasized is the acquisition of skills in the application of this knowledge to such organizational activities as selection, placement, and motivation of employees; training and development; performance appraisal; and development and change of organizations.

Where are the facilities for the IOHRM program?

The Department of Psychology is located in Smith-Wright Hall, one of the campus' original buildings. Smith-Wright Hall houses a Graduate Student Computer Lab, Testing Library, and various research labs including the Health and Organizational Behavior Laboratory. Smith-Wright Hall recently underwent renovation and serves as a beautiful facility for psychology students and faculty.

The Department of Management is located in Raley Hall, which also houses other departments in the Walker College of Business and Academic Computing Services. In addition, Raley Hall has two large computer labs.

How is the Department of Management involved?

The IOHRM program at Appalachian State University is a truly interdisciplinary program, and the Department of Management contributes extensively to the program. Three of the program faculty are members of the Department of Management. The objective of the Department of Management is to develop responsible and successful leaders of organizations by providing quality education.

Why consider IOHRM at ASU?

  • In a recent (July 2004) "Rankings of Graduate Programs in I-O Psychology based on Student Rankings of Quality" by Kraiger and Abalos, ASU's IOHRM program was ranked:
    • Second in the nation for "Program Culture"
    • Third in the nation for "Program Resources"
    • Seventh in the nation for "Program Costs"
  • Since 2000, program faculty have peer-reviewed publications with more than eight psychology student co-authors.
  • Since 2000, program faculty have professional presentations with more than 50 psychology student collaborators.
  • Since 1993, the IOHRM program has a 91% graduation rate (60 of 66 students).
  • In the last 3 years, 100% of the IOHRM students have passed the psychology competency exam on their first try.
  • Since 1997, 85% of the IOHRM students have passed the Society of Human Resource Management/Human Resource Certification Institute’s Professional in Human Resources (PHR) exam, compared to a national pass rate of approximately 65%. After acquiring 2 years experience in human resources, all graduates will be eligible for certification as Professionals in Human Resources.
  • In the most recent Annual Report of the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School, the IOHRM program ranked first among all graduate programs at Appalachian in average formula scores (approximate score = 2600).
  • For the past three years, entering student's GRE scores were higher than the national average for Psychology (including applicants to Doctoral-level programs).
  • In each of the past three years, IOHRM second-year students have taught approximately 12 sections per semester of the Organizational Behavior “laboratory” in the Department of Management and 2 sections per semester of the General Psychology course in the Department of Psychology. These student teachers earned student evaluations at or near the level of the departmental faculty.
  • In an independent external review of the Department of Psychology, the IOHRM program was noted as an area of strength. In summary of the program the consultants noted the following:
    • "Students in the IOHRM program were extremely pleased with their experience. Specific strengths were cited with respect to integrating students into the culture of the program…The cooperative arrangement of Psychology and the School of Business was beneficial to the students and to the program in general."

What is the ASU Psychology Department like?

There are 33 full time faculty members in the department. See:

There are approximately 600 Psychology undergraduate students and 80 Psychology graduate students in the department at any given time. Students from the Clinical Health, General Experimental, and School programs will also be in many of the required core classes, and there are multiple opportunities to establish relationships with students outside of the IOHRM program.

How do I get financial aid?

Complete a Free Application for Financial Student Aid (FAFSA) on the web at and list the schools you are considering on the form. You will receive an estimate of financial aid based on your current income. Students typically receive between $3,000 and $5,000 a semester for tuition and living expenses. Out of state students may receive more if they are independent.

What kind of support is available?

Teaching and research assistantships are awarded to graduate students who have appropriate academic credentials. The Department of Psychology assigns these assistantships. A full-time 20-hour assistantship pays approximately $6500 per academic year. First year students typically receive a half-time, 10-hour assistantship that pays approximately $3250 per academic year. First year students are typically assigned to work with a member of the psychology faculty. Tasks are varied and are determined by the supervising faculty member's needs. Graduate assistants must carry a 9-12 hour academic load and maintain a 3.00 GPA to maintain their assistantship.

Several University-wide fellowships and scholarships are also available on a competitive basis through the Graduate School. These include three $3000 fellowships and twenty $1000 fellowships available to beginning graduate students, and six $2000 scholarships open to all graduate students. More information and application forms for these awards can be obtained from the Graduate School website (assistantships, scholarships).

What is the tuition for graduate students at ASU?

Graduate tuition information is provided by the Office of Student Accounts.