Remote work can take a large toll on a person’s mental health, and according to this Forbes article, many people have experienced stress and pressure from working at home in the last two years. Even with the transition back into the workplace for many, the average person spends up to 40 hours or more in the workplace or working in general, so the need to create a healthy culture — with integrity and empathy — is more important than ever. When an organization’s people thrive, the organization also thrives.Timely to today, Rosemead School of Psychology at Biola University will launch the M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology in Fall 2023. 

“Today, industrial-organizational psychology is more relevant than ever before,” said Dr. Laura Dryjanska, associate professor of psychology. “Informed by theology, industrial-organizational psychology and positive psychology, Biola’s program responds to the changing nature of work, fostering cultures of agility and adaptability. By focusing on strengths, virtues and flourishing, we can improve the effectiveness and quality of life at workplaces in a measurable way.” 

Graduates who major in Biola’s M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology will be equipped to transform workspaces to see wellness and growth as true benchmarks of success for an organization. The program aims to prepare students to advance human and organizational development and cultivate dynamic work environments. Through the program, students will learn to make theory and research-informed decisions, foster enriching and inclusive relationships, and focus on developing the strengths and virtues of people in the workplace.

Where the overall discipline of psychology has traditionally focused on pathology and human suffering, industrial-organizational psychology focuses on human wellness. A positive psychologist measures and improves well-being, and focuses primarily on people in the work environment and not in a clinical setting. The master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program mission is to equip women and men in mind and character to impact the world for Christ by making theory and research-informed decisions, fostering enriching and inclusive relationships, and practicing appreciative inquiry and virtues at workplaces.

This program is unique to other psychology and mental health disciplines because it focuses on applied statistics, research and training practitioner-scientists. It concentrates on the psychology of work and people in organizations, and is less focused on the business, economics and finance realm of work.

Students in the program will develop applied research, data analytic, psychometric and interpersonal skills and the capacity for cultural humility, self-awareness and empathy. Career paths of students could be, but are not limited to, an Organizational Health (Flourishing) Consultant, a Human Resources Specialist, a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist, a Community Groups Director or a Vocational Discipleship Pastor. Overall, graduates will be equipped to serve the needs of various organizations, including large and small corporations, churches, missions and non-profit​ organizations.

Students will be required to complete 45 credits — 42 from Rosemead and three from Talbot School of Theology. Six of the credits will come from external internship experience. The program aims to integrate theology with psychology in order to develop skills to foster a positive workplace environment. 

“The new program is shaped by the experiences and needs of post-pandemic reality and designed for the future of work,” said Dryjanska. “Building on the solid foundation of scientific research streams that integrate psychology and theology, it focuses on creating and sustaining individual and collective wellbeing in organizations. We fulfill our calling by maximizing both business success and the wellbeing of workers.”

Biola is accepting applications to admit students for Fall ’23. Learn more and apply to Biola’s M.S. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Learn more about the Rosemead School of Psychology

Written by Sarah Dougher, media relations coordinator. For more information, please contact