Companies are increasingly looking for employees with a background in psychology for a variety of jobs. They recognize that building better products, services, systems, and organizations depends on understanding why consumers and employees behave the way we do. The Organizational and Business Psychology Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree will provide you with an understanding of psychological concepts, human behavior, and the skills to apply scientific principles to address issues related to the workplace, system design, and consumer decision-making.
The Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences offers four degrees: the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Neuroscience, and the Bachelor of Science in Organizational and Business Psychology (B.S.). The Organizational and Business Psychology degree allows you to choose courses that best match with your career goals in industry or research. The department also offers a minor in Psychology, a Clinical Psychological Science Certificate, Certificate in the Psychology of Business, and a Certificate in Neuroscience.
Psychology has often been referred to as a “hub science” that has a much to offer to other disciplines. Bridging the fields of business and psychology, the Organizational and Business Psychology B.S. provides students with a foundation in scientific methodology to discover evidence-based solutions to some of industry’s most pressing problems.
You will begin with an introduction to psychological and brain sciences and research methodology that sets the foundation for an evidence-based, practice approach to problem solving.
More information about the Organizational and Business Psychology curriculum can be found here in the Undergraduate Bulletin.
Tracks and concentrations
As you progress through the major, you are able to select advanced and lab courses that coincide with your interests.
While there are no official tracks or concentrations, you will be able to select from a wide range of courses, electives, and capstone experiences. This enables you to construct an undergraduate experience that is tailored to your unique interests, while gaining a well-rounded understanding of the science of mind, brain, and behavior.
Upper level coursework
In addition to the entry-level sequence of courses in psychology, you will gain knowledge in the basics of social and cognitive psychology and neuroscience. This coursework is called the Psychological and Brain Sciences Core.
Due to the advancement in technology and organizations’ need for decision science, it is our goal for students to gain proficiency in statistical methodology and modeling in addition to training them in common data analytical tools and software.
The interdisciplinary requirement provides students with a background in economic practices and allows students to take courses outside of psychology that will provide further training in their preferred field of study based on their career interests.
The applied learning requirement gives students an opportunity to put what they have learned into practice. Students can fulfill the requirement by gaining hands-on experience in a lab course, working as a research assistant for a professor, or completing an internship with an organization.
A Psychological and Brain Sciences academic advisor will help you select the best courses to suit your interests.
Commonly pursued majors, minors and certificates
Your major represents about one half of your degree requirements. With the help of your academic advisor, you may be able to combine several areas of interest with additional majors, minors, or certificates.
For example, you may choose to complement your coursework with classes in Communication and Public Advocacy, Game Design, Management and Human Organization and the Liberal Arts and Management Program (LAMP), Media and Creative Advertising, and Sociology.
Majors also have the opportunity to pursue credentials offered by programs such as the Kelley School of Business, the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, and the O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs. You should be aware that pursuing a minor or other credential from a program outside the College of Arts and Sciences can impact your timeline for graduation. Discuss your options with your academic advisor.
- Enhance your major
Working with faculty
When pursuing a degree in Organizational and Business Psychology, you have the opportunity to work with faculty who have expertise and experience in the field. Take advantage of office hours to talk with your instructors about your performance in class, the content of assignments, and how the course helps you work toward your goals.
You can get involved in research as early as your freshman year. Many incoming freshmen apply to the Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Research Experience (ASURE) program. ASURE students experience project-based learning enhanced by a community of supportive faculty and peers. Choose an ASURE path that will deepen your skills and knowledge in an area related to your major or a different one to become a more well-rounded thinker.
There are multiple opportunities for research in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. All students are required to complete one Capstone Experience, either a formal lab course or through work as a research assistant in a faculty-sponsored laboratory. Your lab experience is an opportunity to explore your area of interest within the major.
To earn departmental Honors, eligible students must complete Honors Thesis Research (PSY-P 499), an independent lab research project and thesis. Outstanding students are eligible to apply for the Honors Capstone by the spring of their junior year.
Undergraduate scholarships and awards
Options for pursuing scholarships and awards include:
- American Psychological Association Scholarships, Grants, and Awards
- Robert Noyce Scholars Program
- Indiana University Office of Scholarships
- Office of Overseas Study Scholarships
- Sally Kissinger Wilt Merit Scholarship
- Selective Scholarships
- Service-Learning Student Travel Scholarship
Internships offer you a chance to develop both technical and transferable skills while making vital professional contacts with others in the field. Many students begin exploring internship opportunities, including overseas study programs with internships, as early as their freshman year.
Students have found internship opportunities with organizations such as:
- Boys and Girls Clubs
- Building Tomorrow
- Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
- City of Bloomington
- Cummins, Inc.
- Eli Lilly & Company
- Gary Youth Services Bureau
- IU Environmental Health & Safety
- IU Health Hospital
- IU Student Academic Center
- Monroe County Probation
- South Central Community Action Program- Thriving Connections
- Synecor LLC
Another resource you can use is the Psychological and Brain Sciences Advising Canvas site, where academic advisors post relevant opportunities for students.
Learn more about internships, including the possibility of receiving credit, through the Walter Center for Career Achievement, where you’ll find many resources for both domestic and international internships.
Foreign language study
The Organizational and Business Psychology B.S. requires proficiency in a foreign language at least through the third semester.
As one of the premier institutions in the U.S. for the study of languages, IU Bloomington offers courses and resources in over 80 languages.
Below is a sampling of language study resources available to students at IU Bloomington.
- Arabic Flagship Program
- Center for Language Technology
- Chinese Flagship Program
- Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships
- IU Language Workshop
- Language Tables
- Project GO
- Russian Flagship Program
Study abroad is an important part of undergraduate education in our increasingly interconnected world. Students majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences degrees have studied abroad in England, Denmark, Australia, and Spain, as well as other areas of the world. Semester, academic year, and summer opportunities are available.
The College of Arts and Sciences also directly hosts a variety of study abroad programs, some even featuring IU faculty, that might be right for you. Learn more about study abroad opportunities and locations through conversation with Psychological and Brain Sciences faculty, your academic advisor, and through the Office of Overseas Study.
Becoming a member of a student group is a good way to make connections between your coursework and co-curricular activities. Organizations that are relevant to Psychology students include the following:
- ADAPT Consulting provides undergraduate psychology students with an out-of-classroom experience often found in graduate schools. Students who are accepted into ADAPT work with a project group throughout the semester. Each project group works with a local business or nonprofit to work on an issue that matters in the real world, right now. Projects can range from employee morale to better performance reviews.
- The Psi Chi Honors Society is an academic honor society that commits its members to academic excellence, local volunteering, and participation within the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.
- The Psychology Club seeks to unite students with similar interests in Psychology in a way that enhances academic achievement. The club is a great resource for learning more about what is going on in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and meeting students and faculty within the department.
- The Student Organization for Cognitive Science (SOCS) aims to provide a community for students with interests in Cognitive Science at Indiana University.
- Collins Living-Learning Center is located in a historic setting close to the heart of campus, just steps away from the Psychology Building. The Collins community is intentionally academically diverse, and includes students from different majors across the university. Read more about the student experience at Collins.
- Inspire Living-Learning Center is located in the new state-of-the-art Spruce Hall (formally Rose Residence Hall). The mission of the INSPIRE Living-Learning Center (LLC) is to create a diverse community motivated, creative students who want to make a difference. This community will explore ways to connect with others, encourage inquiry, develop partnerships, and nurture learning. If you are passionate about learning and curious about how to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, or adults, the INSPIRE Living-Learning Center is an ideal place for you.
Explore beINvolved to connect with any of the 750+ student organizations that already exist, or to start a new one. Student associations include:
- 180 Degrees Consulting
- 21st Century Scholars Leadership
- 812 Consulting
- Business Professionals of America at IU
- Crimson CORPS (Caring, Open-Minded, Respectful, Peer Support)
- IU Center of Excellence for Women & Technology Student Alliance
- The Human Resource Association at IU
- Women in Business Technology
There are numerous opportunities for volunteer engagement, allowing you to give back to the local community while developing useful job skills. The organizations below can help you connect with others from the university and beyond:
- Bloomington Worldwide Friendship
- Bridges: Children, Languages, World
- IU Corps
- Student Involvement and Leadership Center
- The Monroe County Public Library
- Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center
- WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology
Sign up to receive weekly emails from the Bloomington Volunteer Network to learn about local opportunities and organizations.
Here are a number of professional organizations that may be of interest to majors of Psychological and Brain Sciences:
- Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
- Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
- Society of Psychologists in Management
- Society for Human Resource Management
- American Psychological Association
- Association for Psychological Science
- Midwestern Psychological Association
- Psychonomic Society
- Society for Neuroscience
- Society for Personality and Social Psychology
- Build your skills
Through the major
The major in Organizational and Business Psychology provides you with a set of skills and qualities that are relevant and transferable to many areas of study and work. Through your variety of choices for advanced courses and labs, you can gain the following knowledge and skills:
- A scientifically-grounded understanding of human behavior that individuals and groups function in the workplace
- An understanding of various brain regions and their functions related to decision-making, emotions, and information processing
- An overview of how organizations operate by focusing on the emotional and motivational side of work through the study and application of principles in leadership, team dynamics, satisfaction, stress, fairness, and organizational design
- Explain the role of visual, tactile, olfactory, and audition systems in human system design applications
- Basic laboratory skills allowing you to pose and then answer questions about brain and behavior using rigorous methods that adhere to ethical principles
- Communication skills that enable you to make presentations at regional or even national conferences, and perhaps to write a senior honors thesis
Through a College of Arts and Sciences degree
Your coursework provides many opportunities to develop the following five foundational skills that will serve you well in every career path:
- Question critically
- Think logically
- Communicate clearly
- Act creatively
- Live ethically
These foundational skills will aid you in landing your first job and advancing professionally throughout your working life. Not only are these the skills that employers say they value most in the workplace, they provide the best preparation for lifelong success in a world of complexity, uncertainty, and change.
Skills desired by employers
Each year, the National Association of Colleges and Employers asks employers what key skills and qualities they are looking for in recent college graduates.
The following are some of the most commonly desired attributes across many employment sectors:
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Written and verbal communication skills
- Leadership skills
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical and quantitative skills
- Ability to take Initiative
- Being detail oriented
- Demonstrating adaptability
- Technical skills relevant to the field
- Interpersonal skills
- Computer skills
- Organizational ability
As you explore various career fields, pay attention to specific job descriptions and requirements. If there are areas where your skills or knowledge are lacking, talk with your academic advisor and career coach about how you can develop in those areas while you are at Indiana University.
- Launch your career
Plan your search
A good starting point for exploring your career options is an appointment with your career coach. The Walter Center for Career Achievement offers job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.
Explore and enroll in Career Communities to learn more about industries relevant to your interests. These offer unique information about each field, including alumni spotlights, opportunities and resources, and in-person events.
The job market
The employment outlook is positive for students with a degree in Organizational and Business Psychology. Since this degree provides education and training across a broad range of subjects, you can choose to follow many career paths.
Organizational and Business Psychology majors can move directly into a career or continue their education in graduate or professional studies.
Initial and long-term destinations include positions in areas of business, human resources, education, research and academia, health care, government, and non-profit organizations. For example, students can become industrial organizational psychologists (with additional education), human resource managers, training and development specialists, management analysts, market research analysts and marketing specialists.
Want to see where your fellow majors go right after graduating from IU? Check out the Walter Center’s First Destinations survey!
Need more ideas? The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Bureau of Labor Statistics offers career information about hundreds of occupations.
Post-graduate short-term experiences
The beginning of your post-graduate career might be an ideal time to explore an international internship or other short-term experience through organizations such as these:
- Cultural Vistas
- Institute of International Education
- Peace Corps
- Teach for America
Fellowships for post-graduate study
Fellowships are temporary opportunities to conduct research, work in a field, or fund your education. Most opportunities can be found through universities, non-profits, and government organizations.
Good resources for finding fellowship opportunities include:
- APA Fellowships
- APS Grants and Awards
- National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program
Graduate and professional study
When applying to graduate or professional schools, you will need letters of recommendation from faculty members who are familiar with your work. Make a practice of attending office hours early in your academic career, to get to know your professors and discuss your options for advanced study in the field.
An Organizational and Business Psychology major will prepare you for entry into graduate programs in a wide variety of fields, such as industrial organization, education, non-profit management, business, and consulting.
With careful planning, and in consultation with the Health Professions and Prelaw Center, you could also prepare to enter law school, medical school, or other professional programs.
Students who pursue graduate studies in Organizational and Business Psychology have gone into careers with top academic and research institutions, education, local, state, and federal government, nonprofit organizations, business and entrepreneurship.
Here are examples of graduate programs offered at IU:
- Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences
- Maurer School of Law
- School of Education
- Kelley School of Business
- Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
The IU College of Arts and Sciences has thousands of active alumni. Check out the College Luminaries program, which connects students with the College's most influential, successful, and inspiring alumni.
Join the Walter Center Success Network to remain in touch, network directly with College of Arts and Sciences Alumni, and let others know where your path takes you.
Is it for you?
The Organizational and Business Psychology B.S. is designed for highly motivated students who wish to pursue a career in industry or research.
Through academic, applied, and research experiences, you will gain skills in data analysis, research methodology, oral and written communication, leadership, problem solving, and critical thinking. You will learn the capabilities and limitations of the human user, consumer, and worker, and know how to apply this knowledge to design work environments, equipment, and systems that are efficient, safe, and easier to operate.
Through the study and application of principles in leadership, perceptions of fairness, team dynamics, employee satisfaction, worker motivation, and workplace stress, you will learn how the emotional and motivational side of work impacts the operational effectiveness of organizations. You will also gain an understanding of buyer behavior and consumer decision-making by examining the fundamental issues of consumer behavior from psychological and data-analytic frameworks.
Our Organizational and Business Psychology B.S. students are prepared for graduate training in psychology, business, and related fields, professional schools, and careers (in many areas including but not limited to the field of psychology) that use scientific training and quantitative techniques.
Contact the Psychological and Brain Sciences academic advisors and schedule an appointment to explore your options. Complete information about the requirements of the major can be found in the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
- Department website
- Advisor email address