I/O Psychology MPS - UMD Advantage


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Why choose an MPS?

At the successful completion of this program, students earn a Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Industrial Organizational Psychology.  The IO MPS is a highly applied program, in comparison to M.A. and M.S. degrees, which are often more research-oriented. The UMD IO MPS prepares students to pursue a job in a number of IO-related fields, such as human resources, training, or organizational consulting.

Why UMD?

The IO MPS at the University of Maryland is built around three pillars: an emphasis on statistics and methods, the development of professional and practical skills, and the cultivation of professional relationships. First, in the era of big data, IO practitioners need to be savvy translators of statistics and methods. IO MPS students at UMD learn not only how to conduct analyses – from regression to social network analysis – but also why different analyses are conducted, what information they provide, and how to translate research results to non-expert audiences to drive business decision making. Second, theory is critical for effective practice but, by itself, only provides a foundation. IO practitioners will routinely encounter more “gray” than black and white situations; the IO MPS also focuses on training students to dynamically apply rigorous theory in ambiguous, complex, and/or ethically challenging situations in real organizations. Finally, it is impossible to overstate the importance of professional relationships. The IO MPS, as a cohort program, is focused on providing opportunities for students to develop relationships with cohort members, alumni, professors, and other friends of the program to better enable professional development and access to professional opportunities.

The IO MPS at the University of Maryland has several defining features:

1.      Blended Learning

Classes are designed to accommodate the schedules and lifestyles of students with full-time jobs. In-class instruction for each course occurs in the early evening at the University of Maryland, College Park – typically once every other week. The remainder of your instruction will occur either through asynchronous online lectures or outside activities that you can complete at your own pace.

2.      Immersive Learning

We do not organize classes solely around lecture. Instead, we emphasize project-based, hands-on learning. Through your coursework, you will have the opportunity to help businesses solve pressing questions, work through simulated organizational challenges, and analyze business case studies. One of the two final courses you will take is a practicum. In this class, you will work in a job that uses and develops skills you have been learning throughout the MPS program.

3.      Access to Experts

The IO MPS faculty do not teach only what they’ve read in textbooks. Our faculty are industry professionals who bring their considerable expertise to bear in the classroom. Classes in the IO MPS program are therefore full of practical, real-world advice. At UMD, you will learn about current and rising issues in practice, not just in theory.

4.      Future Oriented

The UMD IO MPS program has an Advisory Board comprised of IO professionals from different industries. The advisory board helps shape the program and enables it to anticipate emerging issues that will shift the focus of IO work. For example, given the rising emphasis on “big” as well as “small” data, you will learn about cutting-edge data science techniques that will enable you to become a leader in your organization and your field.

5.      Rich Network

The training provided by the University of Maryland in Industrial/Organizational Psychology is highly regarded. UMD has produced exceptional IO practitioners and researchers for at least sixty decades. Our alumni and faculty have gone on to be presidents of the Society of Industry and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), won numerous awards for their work from SIOP, and recognized experts and leaders in industry and research. Thus, alumni and other friends of the UMD IO program are a great resource for current students navigating their professional paths. In short, when you become part of this program, you become part of the UMD IO family.

6.      Personal and Professional Development

Learning is not something that only occurs in a classroom. At UMD, we are committed to you – not just to your academic growth. In addition to introducing you to the content and skills you need to master as an IO professional, we work with you to refine and meet your professional goals. You will receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring throughout your time at the program, as well as opportunities to attend workshops on careers in IO psychology, presentation skills, interviewing and resume development, and the horizon of IO psychology, among other topics.