Industrial/Organizational Psychology

The I-O Program only accepts students every two years. The next admission cycle will be for Fall 2020

Program Overview

Industrial-Organizational Psychology involves the application of psychology to the workplace. I-O psychologists aim to improve the quality of working life for employees, as well as to help workplaces operate more effectively. Our program follows the "scientist/practitioner" model, which provides a combined emphasis on the scientific method and practical applications.

Our Coursework

The core coursework of our program is focused on the theoretical foundations of I-O, current literature and methodologyof I-O research and practice, statistical analysis, and psychometrics. A student who stays on track with program goals can finish the I-O concentration in about three years. Because it is an official concentration within the psychology department with a specialized curriculum, graduating students will have “Industrial-Organizational Psychology” printed on both their transcript and diploma.

Professional Development & Employment Opportunities

Our program offers many opportunities for students to pursue their interests in the field. In terms of research, all graduating students will have completed a supervised project or thesis, which represents their area of expertise. In addition, students may work with faculty in their research labs and present their research at conferences or submit their work for publication in a journal. Other opportunities include teaching experience and applied projects. Many of our students work part-time in the area of I-O while taking classes and often have full-time employment upon graduating. Our graduates are sought for employment in various branches of the State of California, other public sector agencies, utility companies, and private sector consulting firms.

I-O Related Links

  • SIOP – Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • SHRM – Society for Human Resource Management
  • AOM – Academy of Management
  • ATD– Association for Talent Development
  • ATP – Association of Test Publishers
  • PTC-NC – Personnel Testing Council of Northern California


Dr. Rachel August

Rachel August, Ph.D.
Office: AMD 364-A
Voice: 916-278-6814

Rachel A. August, Ph. D., has a background in industrial-organizational psychology and qualitative research. She earned her doctorate in organizational psychology from the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, CA. She has been on the Sacramento State faculty since 1997 and regularly teaches in the areas of qualitative research methods, statistics, and graduate and undergraduate organizational psychology. She conducts ongoing research in the areas of women’s later life career development, retirement, the work-family interface, and the quality of work life, and has supervised over 30 graduate theses and multiple student research groups. As a result of those activities, she has published in numerous journals, presented at national and international conferences, and written two book chapters. In addition, she is on the editorial board for Gender in Management: An International Journal, and serves as a reviewer for several journals in psychology.

Dr. August offers her students innovative learning experiences by creating curriculum based on Learning Community themes and Service-Learning partnerships. Her most recent teaching endeavors involve long-term collaborative partnerships with both the Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services and Eskaton, a continuing care retirement community. In those projects, students gain first-hand experience conducting research in field settings and providing critical feedback to community agencies and program directors. Prior to joining the faculty at Sacramento State, Dr. August was employed in market research with a public utility and in human resources with a large retailer. In her free time, Dr. August tries to maximize the principles of work-family enrichment by spending quality time at the baseball diamond and the swimming pool with her husband and two children.

Dr. Greg Hurtz

Greg Hurtz, Ph.D.
Office: AMD 364-B
Voice: 916-278-7593


Greg Hurtz, Ph.D. has expertise in statistical methods, psychometrics, and industrial-organizational psychology. He has been on the faculty at Sacramento State since 2002 and regularly teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in research methods and statistics, psychological testing and measurement, and industrial psychology. He has maintained an active research program in the areas of employment testing, Rasch/IRT modeling, and Monte Carlo statistical analysis, and has chaired over 20 master's theses and supervised many other student projects in these and related areas of research. Prior to Sacramento State, he worked for two years as a full-time measurement statistician at Excelsior College, and prior to that he held several internship-level positions in psychometrics and industrial psychology while completing his master's and doctorate degrees.

In addition to his work as a university professor, Dr. Hurtz has provided expert consulting to State agencies (e.g., CA Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training, CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation) and consulting firms (e.g., Biddle Consulting Group; Comira) in the areas of occupational and employment test development, research design, and statistical and psychometric analysis. Wherever possible, he includes his graduate students and undergraduate research assistants in this work or in related research at Sacramento State that informs and supports his consulting work. He is also a proud and involved father to three young children with “the other Dr. Hurtz,” and wishes he had more time for sports, brewpub happy hours, and his lonely old guitar.

Dr. Oriel Strickland

Oriel Strickland, Ph.D., PHR
Office: AMD 364-C
Voice: 916-278-5609


Oriel Strickland, Ph.D., PHR, obtained a Ph.D. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (workplace psychology) from Purdue University, and recently earned national certification as a Professional in Human Resources. Her teaching interests at both the graduate and undergraduate levels include workplace psychology, critical thinking, training, and stress management.

Dr. Strickland recently authored a book, Workplace Psychology: The Science and Practice of Human Resources. In addition, she has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and given conference presentations on the topics of training, leadership, motivation, compensation, and stress. She also currently serves as a reviewer for psychology journals on these topics. She has conducted a wide range of applied research projects that focus on training and program evaluation within organizations, including the California Board of Accountancy, Intel Corporation, the Sacramento Institute for Social Research, the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, and the California Highway Patrol.

Dr. Strickland maintains an active role in regional and national professional organizations, including the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, the Society for Human Resource Management, the American Society for Training and Development, and the Sacramento Compensation and Benefits Association. She frequently visits Tahoe for snowboarding, and travels nationally for team-based tennis competitions. She enjoys life in Sacramento with her husband Mike, three dogs, a cat, and countless aquatic animals.