Program Overview

The Industrial/Gerontological (I/G) Psychology Program at the University of Akron is among the few programs in the country to combine the disciplines of Industrial/Organizational Psychology (I/O) and Gerontology into a doctoral level (Ph.D.) program. This program offers a Ph.D. in I/O Psychology with a specialty in Gerontological Psychology. The University of Akron has had an Industrial/Gerontological Psychology Specialty since 1979. Its development was partially supported under the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human Services funding. This program is interdisciplinary in its approach to the study of adulthood and aging and includes a concentration in the areas of I/O and Adult Development and Aging. The program is supported by full-time faculty from both the Industrial/Organizational and Adult Development and Aging disciplines. The diverse interests of the faculty allow graduate students to examine and investigate a variety of research and career options. Major sources of funding for projects have included the Andrus Foundation, the Department of the Navy, and the Administration on Aging.

Graduates of the Industrial/Gerontological Program are employed at SUNY- Binghamton, Brinoth Group, Pelavin Associates, and Booz, Allen and Hamilton, Inc.

The Ph.D. Program

The I/G program at The University of Akron is primarily oriented toward the full-time student. The Ph.D. program follows the scientist-practitioner model of graduate training, emphasizing the development of research skills, knowledge of theory and techniques pertaining to the fields of I/O Psychology and Gerontology and applied experiences. Students entering at the M.A. level receive a concentration of courses from the Industrial/Organizational program. Emphasis is placed on research integration and practical concerns of the older worker. The program fosters a commitment to basic and applied research related to aging and work. Research opportunities include testing and selection issues, training and retraining in order to maximize the fit between the worker and the environment, improvements in older adult perceptual and motor skills, performance appraisal, counseling older adults, and legal considerations with emphasis on age discrimination.

Students attain competence in the core areas of psychology in addition to developing competencies in I/G Psychology, research, and quantitative methods. The Ph.D. student is encouraged to take courses in the areas of I/O Psychology, Adult Development and Aging Psychology, and Counseling Psychology. Courses include psychometric theory and testing, personnel selection and performance evaluation, research methods, organizational psychology, engineering and job design, training and organizational development, industrial gerontology, and legal issues relevant to I/O and I/G including age discrimination, information processing in adult development and aging , higher processes in adult development and aging and counseling issues including vocational behavior and mid-life career change.

In addition to coursework, Ph.D. students are strongly encouraged to become involved in research and publishing. Students typically work with several faculty on research and applied projects. A doctoral dissertation and a doctoral Comprehensive Exam are required of all students, and students are encouraged to complete the program in four years.

Training Opportunities

Practica and internships are available at sites throughout the Akron-Cleveland area, as well as nationally. In addition to practica and internships, field work and applied experience are available through arrangements with individual faculty members. Students are also suggested to get the gerontology certificate offered through the Institute for Life-Span Development and Gerontology.