Why Guelph for I-O?
We believe a key strength of the Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology program at the University of Guelph is our balanced approach to graduate education. We highly value the scientist-practitioner model in which both the research and practice skills of our graduate students are developed. Below we outline how both of these skill-sets are developed in our program.
Becoming a Scientist
We strive for a strong research culture in the I-O program. Students have regular meetings with advisor to discuss research topics in detail. As well, we have bi-weekly brown-bag lunches in which student research is presented -- an ideal opportunity to learn more about others' research and potentially form collaborations. We also strongly encourage students to engage in at least one line of alternate research beyond their thesis topic.
Students in our program develop critical thinking, methodological, and writing skills. As well, they learn how to integrate theoretical and empirical literatures and build a strong foundation for conducting statistical analyses. In sum, we aim to develop the ability to conduct rigorous independent research.
Becoming a Practitioner
The possibility of consulting for local organizations and applying what you have learned in the classroom to real-life situations is one of the benefits of attending the University of Guelph.
Through a consulting course graduate students will learn applied skills such as the ability to present technical information in business terms, manage client relationships, and lead projects. In the past students have been involved in projects such as job analysis, structured employment interviewing, employee selection, and attitude surveys. The consulting course places a strong emphasis on applying I-O theories to business and preparing students for direct client contact.
Our integrated approach facilitates student learning. Difficult material is often made easier when you can directly map a theory onto an applied experience. As well, with client permission consulting projects have served as an added source of data for publications and student theses.
Students interact with real organizations through OMS (a consulting group within the Psychology Department at the University of Guelph). Its mission is to assist clients in optimizing individual and organizational potential and to serve as a conduit for graduate student practical skills training.