Bringing Psychology to the Workplace with the New M.S. in Organizational Psychology

Dr. Chris Logan, Senior Lecturer, Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Psychology, introduces Dedman College’s new accelerated M.S. in Organizational Psychology. M.S. students Oscar Guevara, ’19, ’21, and Elizabeth Kelley, ’20, ’21, part of the first class of the new program, provide insight into why they chose the program and what it’s like to study organizational psychology at SMU. For more information about Dedman’s unique M.S. in Organizational Psychology, including a program timeline, details about the application process, and contact information, visit the Department of Psychology website.


Dr. Chris Logan
Senior Lecturer, Co-Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Undergraduate Advisor in the Department of Psychology

What are the benefits of the new M.S. in Organizational Psychology at SMU? What sets it apart from other programs of its kind at other universities?
One of the distinguishing features of our M.S. in Organizational Psychology is the accelerated nature of the program. By taking two graduate classes while still enrolled as undergraduates, students can complete a highly marketable degree with excellent career options in only one year after graduation.

Who is a good candidate for this program? What type of academic background do students typically have?
Since our students begin the program while still enrolled as undergraduates, we look for students who are really interested in jump-starting their careers. We want someone who is highly motivated to not just start working, but to be on a steep career slope. We look for students who want to mix competencies in research methods and analysis and human behavior with a practical focus on the world of work.

What can students do with an M.S. in Organizational Psychology? For what careers does this program prepare its graduates?
The most common career tracks within organizational psychology relate to human resources and consulting and include skills such as employee selection, motivation, retention, training, development, onboarding, and coaching. Some of our students are interested in working for a single organization and really working within one system. Other students are interested in the variety and flexibility that comes with working in a consulting role. We have two different internship opportunities built into the program so students can get exposed to the actual practice in different roles or career tracks.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The M.S. in Organizational Psychology is exclusive to SMU students, and undergraduates from any area of study across campus may apply. Even though the program is only in its first year, it is already generating buzz. We’ve received inquiries from close to home and as far away as China!


M.S. Organizational Psychology students stand in front of a green wall. Front row left to right: Elizabeth Kelley, Mary Winston Reames, Alyssa Randall. Back row left to right: Fer Reyna, Oscar Guevara, Hannah Smith

Oscar Guevara ’19, ’21 and Elizabeth Kelley ’20, ’21
Students in the first cohort of the new M.S. in Organizational Psychology program

What attracted you to the M.S. in Organizational Psychology at SMU?
“I owe a great deal of where I am today to the supportive and engaging faculty at SMU, which was one of the many contributing factors that attracted me to the program. Additionally, industrial-organizational (I/O) psychologist Dr. Foster Exposé, who worked as a senior consultant at Children’s Medical Center, encouraged me to consider a career in I/O. Dr. Exposé took the time to tell me about his profession, and what appealed to me most were the many different opportunities organizational psychology offered. Therefore, nearing the end of my undergraduate degree, I was already strongly considering furthering my education in I/O psychology. Thankfully, the M.S. in Organizational Psychology at SMU came at a perfect time. This program fits my geographic needs, giving me the opportunity to continue my education here in Dallas. Additionally, the program offers a well-organized and clear outline of the journey toward the master’s degree. I am excited by the wide assortment of already-familiar resources available at SMU and look forward to the University’s continued support. As an undergrad, SMU pushed me to strive for more and now as part of the first M.S. Organizational Psychology class, I hope to exceed the expectations of the program.” - Oscar Guevara ’19, ’21

What are you most excited about in the program? What about the program has surprised you the most so far?
“I am looking forward to getting real work experience through the internships we get to participate in next summer and spring of 2021. Being in a program that provides me with the opportunity not to only learn, but also to apply the knowledge the working world gives me the chance to grow as an individual. So far, I have been surprised to find myself using many of the concepts and practices I have learned on a day-to-day basis. I have also enjoyed the graduate-level atmosphere that encourages students to speak openly and discuss current topics in relation to their own experiences. I have been able to learn from the perspectives of others and have gained a lot of insight, specifically in the corporate world, as a result.” - Oscar Guevara ’19, ’21

What are your aspirations for post-graduation?
“My aspirations for post-graduation include using my tools in psychology to better understand how people work together to contribute to the workplace. I want to address problems in organizations and find effective solutions through the basis of understanding how people work.” - Elizabeth Kelley ’20, ’21


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