Monday, February 8, 2016, William James College is closed due to the weather. All classes and scheduled events are canceled. 

Organizational Psychology Master of Arts (MAOP)

Advance your career in the high-demand fields of organizational development and change management- without having to leave your job or relocate your family.

This accelerated 11-month program offers students two options to earn their Master's degree: online-only, or in combination with six Weekends-in-Residence, each coinciding with the end of one of the program's six core courses.

The Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology (MAOP) program grounds students in the essentials of adult learning and change, and teaches them evidence-based best practices to apply them in today's organizations in highly valuable ways, such as how to:

  • Accurately diagnose human and systemic causes of underperformance in organizations
  • Intervene constructively with teams-both as an insider and an outsider
  • Foster self-motivation for positive change in workers and leaders at all levels
  • Anticipate and meet the needs of diverse stakeholders within an organization
  • Drive change consistent with an organization's culture, values, beliefs and structures
  • Manage your own strengths and biases to see organizational and human resource challenges and solutions more clearly

A special concentration in Talent Management is also available for students who wish to focus in that area.


Organizational psychology is an exciting discipline that is increasingly relied on by U.S. businesses and institutions today. In an economy dominated by the knowledge and service sectors, competitive advantage and optimal results hinge on the effectiveness of an organization's workforce. Executives, managers and HR leaders who understand how to positively influence workplace behavior are in heavy demand.

As a result, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 35% increase in career opportunities by 2020 for those with backgrounds in organizational development. As that demand challenges the supply of people with advanced education in the field, salaries are likely to rise from current levels, which already range from $70,000 to $120,000 in depending on job setting.

The Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology program equips graduates to effectively lead projects and programs where human systems and dynamics are pivotal. Our graduates work with companies as leaders or consultants in talent development, training, team building, strategic planning and organizational effectiveness. They apply psychological principles and research methods to the workplace to improve productivity and the quality of work life.


The Master's Program in Organizational Psychology is appropriate both for mid-career professionals and recent recipients of a 4-year undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution, or its equivalent. See our admissions requirements.

Half of our alumni enrolled in the program to effect a change in their careers. Of those, 55% successfully switched into their target job in organizational development, talent management or general human resource management within six months of graduation, 89% did so within one year of graduation, and 100% did so within two years.

The curriculum of Master's Program is fitting for those working or planning to work in the for-profit, non-profit, government and education sectors. 


The Organizational Psychology program at William James College involves 30 credits of graduate-level work, including 24 course hours and a 6-credit/80-hour field project culminating in the awarding of a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Psychology. Core classes include reading, online lectures, discussion and written assignments.

The multidisciplinary curriculum draws both from the psychology of human behavior and of organizational behavior. It integrates theories of individual, group, and systems behavior with workplace case studies, applied projects, and research.

The faculty emphasize experiential learning, and students will be in a cohort with others who will take the same courses in the same sequence throughout the duration of their study.

The Master's Program in Organizational Psychology is designed to accommodate schedule of working professionals, and offers the following options:

  • 11-month accelerated full-time option and 23-month part-time option
  • 100% online option and blended online plus eight Weekends-in-Residence option
  • Optional concentration in Talent Management


Students opting for the online-only format may take the course from anywhere in the world, provided that they have the necessary Internet access and can attend online classes and discussions scheduled around those in the Eastern time zone of the United States.

For the blended program, each of the six core courses is followed by an intensive Weekend-in-Residence at our campus in Newton, Mass., immediately outside Boston. Housing is not provided, but lodging options exist within a short drive, bike or cab ride. Each of the Weekends-in-Residence runs from 9 am through 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.


Students may enter the program either in August for the fall term or in January for the winter/spring term. While applications may be submitted at any time, we encourage interested to apply as early as possible to ensure space is still available.

Career Outlook

Studies show that corporate and entire industries are quickly embracing psychology as instrumental to improving performance and efficiency of managers.

  • 35%* increase in career opportunities by 2020 – a rate that could mean there will not be enough trained professionals
  • The educational investment is well worth. The mean salaries ranges from $70,012 in academic settings to $117,670 in business and management.**

*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition,

**As reported in "2009 Income and Employment Survey Results for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology," Charu Khanna and Gina J. Medsker, Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO)

Alumni Data

Of the 97% who are currently working, 87% of our graduates are working in either Leadership, Human Resources (HR), Talent Management (TM) or internal or external Organizational Development (OD) Consulting roles.

11% of MAOP graduates were accepted into leadership and organizational psychology doctoral programs.

50% of alumni surveyed were career changers. Of those alumni who entered the program with the intent to switch careers, 55% were able to attain a job in either OD, HR, or Talent Management in under 6 months of graduation. 34% did so within one year and 11% were able to accomplish this goal in 2 years. 100% of career changers who entered the program secured a job in the OD, HR or Talent Management field.

Within 1.5 years of graduation, 13% of MAOP graduates surveyed were promoted to senior level internal Human Resources, Talent Management or Organizational development roles including: Chief Human Resources Officer, Vice President of Human Resources, or Senior Director or Director of Talent Management roles. Younger alumni who went straight from undergraduate education to the MAOP program (9% of program entrants) are now in Human Resources Specialist, Learning and Development Manager, Associate OD consultant or Recruiter roles within 6 months to one year of graduation.

Don't let fear stop you, when you've been out of school so long, you lack the self confidence that you can do it again. 'What if I don't have time? What if I have an assignment and I can't get it done on time? Are the students all going to be younger than me?' All of those fears keep you putting it off. It worked the way that's best for me right now, but I could have done it sooner."—Darlene Piva