Student Development

Mastering the Trade

Whether a M.A. or Ph.D student, Montclair offers a variety of challenging experiences to make you an active participant in the learning process. All students can become self-sufficient experts producing their own professional projects and ideas. To thrive, graduate students must be voracious learners; self-motivated to discuss interests, career goals, and program performance with faculty; seeks out multiple research or applied opportunities; and makes themselves available for the many opportunities (intra- and extra-departmental) afforded to our students.


Studying takes up a large portion of a grad student’s time. The amount and depth of reading increases dramatically from undergrad, so keeping up with class articles is challenging. Exams are less frequent but cover much more material and are more open-ended. On top of that, courses require integrative papers, active discussion, and applied projects which means additional hours reading empirical articles and book chapters. Plan on studying an average of 4-5 hours or more a day.

Practicum Project

Our program develops scientist-practitioners by providing exposure to applied problem solving, blending of research and practice, and client management through internship projects in local companies. The project must be (a) evidence-based, (b) address a real human capital problem in the organization, and (c) fit within a topic of interest to the student. Past projects include creating an engagement survey, building an onboarding program, validating a situational judgement test for coaching, and numerous others.

Alumni Speaker Series

Although they may act like it, your professors don’t know everything and that’s true no matter where you go to grad school. To narrow the gap, we host a monthly speaker series where alumni and local consultants provide outside perspectives on I/O psychology, career pathways, and related areas. Past speakers include:

  • Valerie Chan, MA, Development Associate at AlphaSights
  • Paula Gallo, MA, Talent Development Manager at LAPP
  • Sydney Reeves, MA, Assessment Analytics Consultant at Harver
  • Sayeed Islam, PhD, Principal Consultant at Talent Metrics

Deep Expertise

Research is a core component of the graduate school experience. Doctoral students and interested masters students will gain research design skills, analytic skills, leadership skills, writing skills, presentation skills, and more – all practice for your career after graduation. Once you’ve mastered skills gained in the lab, you’ll be able to create, implement, and show off your own, independent I/O projects.

Lab Involvement

Work one-on-one with faculty on hands-on research projects in cutting edge labs. Example projects include using sociometric badges to study leader-follower non-verbal interactions, ethnographic field studies of leadership networks, longitudinal career trajectories, emotional dynamics in negotiations, how married couples balance meaning at work with meaning at home, and analyzing the criterion validity of personality assessments in large-scale databases.


Graduate students regularly present their research at local, national and international conferences. By explaining your work to a big audience, you will not only be able to build a name for yourself but also receive insight from experts in the field. In addition, you will have opportunities to connect with other like-minded scholars as well as practitioners from world-renowned consulting companies. Students regularly present at venues like SIOP, APA annual convention, APS annual convention, and the Eastern Academy of Management Association.

Student Publications

At Montclair, the research training you receive will lead to formal recognition of your work in print while you’re still a student! With guidance and help from research-productive professors, you will showcase your work in highly-respected outlets. The interesting research done by Montclair students and faculty has been published in various prominent journals and books, including Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Psychological Science, Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Research Methods, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Business and Psychology, European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, Personality and Individual Differences, and Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies.