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Applying to the I/O Program

Admissions decisions are competitive and based on several criteria, including:

  • Student’s overall and psychology grade point average (GPA)
  • GRE scores (Verbal, Quantitative, and Writing)
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons familiar with the applicant’s academic work
  • Personal essay describing professional goals and interest in I/O Psychology
  • Resume of past research experiences and/or relevant job experience

Generally, a minimum GPA of 3.0 is need to be admitted. Students must also have a baccalaureate degree from accredited institution with either a major in psychology or at least 12 semester credit hours of psychology including 1 course in statistics and 1 course in experimental. Students missing one or more prerequisite courses must complete appropriate remedial course work before being accepted into the program.

M.A. Admissions

Students wishing to complete a terminal M.A. degree should apply the the M.A. option if they have earned a bachelor’s or M.A. degree. This 2-year program is designed for students who wish to gain a broad knowledge of I/O psychology in order to work in applied setting. Prospective students are judged in a competitive manner, with approximately 50% of applicants accepted each year. The average GPA of past cohorts is around 3.40 and average GRE scores exceed 148 on the Verbal and Quantitative subtests. Preference is given to applicants with prior research experience and evidence of superior written skills or quantitative reasoning. Applicants are reviewed on an on-going basis.

Ph.D. Admissions

Students wishing to pursue a doctoral degree in I/O Psychology should apply to the Ph.D. option if they have earned a bachelor’s degree, already hold a master’s degree in I/O psychology or a closely related field, or will have completed such a degree by the time they begin the program. Approval of past M.A. coursework and theses for the doctoral degree is made on a case-by-case basis.

The minimum entrance requirements for the doctoral program are more stringent. We would like to see the following (but no official ‘cutoffs’)

  • Very high GREs and GPAs, often the 70th percentile or above for both.
  • Research experience – especially psychology, but in other areas as well. Might include an honors thesis, independent study, class project, or job.
  • Strong letters of recommendations from academics or researchers who can speak to strong conduct in research.

Not required, but they help:

  • Enough practical/applied experience to show you can function in team and corporate settings.
  • Enough I-O background to show you know what you are getting into, even if it is informal training through reading on your own (we realize not all programs have an I/O instructor).
  • Background in programming, math, or statistics.

Doctoral Specialization Prerequisites

Montclair State University’s I/O doctoral program allows students the option to specialize in either Psychological or Data Science. Once accepted into the program, you will be assigned a faculty advisor to consult on your pathway. For those interested in Data Science without a background in programming or Python, you will be required to take the following prequisite: CSIT 505 – Python Programming. For those interested in Psychological Science without a background in social science, you will be required to take one 500-level general psychology course or above in addition to the 12-credit psychology pre-requisites.


For more information on the I/O Psychology program, please reach out: