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M.S. in Personnel and Human Resources Development

Earning your M.S. in Personnel and Human Resources Development (PHRD) at IIT, you will learn the skills necessary to advance in the rapidly changing and growing areas of management consulting, human resource management, and industrial relations. Some of these critical skills include:

  • Developing an understanding of human behavior and effectiveness in the workplace.
  • Learning how to manage change and promote productivity.
  • Gaining knowledge about leadership cultivation.
  • Using statistical methods to make sound decisions and evaluate effectiveness.
  • Learning critical human resources content areas, such as training and development, and performance management.

The PHRD degree is unusual among master's degrees in I/O or Human Resources Management degrees in that all of your classes will be taken with our Ph.D. students. This means that you will be taking part in a challenging, exciting, and comprehensive Ph.D.-quality classroom experience as a master's student. This will give you skills and experience that less rigorous programs cannot provide. The M.S. in PHRD degree is set up in this way to maximize the educational benefits to you. We believe all our students are capable of achieving high levels of work.

Program at a glance

The M.S. in PHRD is a 43-credit hour degree program. Although no research requirement is included, you will be exposed to research through your coursework and you may also have the opportunity to assist faculty in their research if you wish.  

While most of the coursework is covered in the fall and winter semesters, you will be expected to take one or two courses in the summer. Also, the internship requirement must be completed either during the academic year on a part-time basis or during the summer full time. Most students are able to earn their M.S. in Personnel and Human Resources Development in two years.

Typical program of study 

Faculty Research Interests


You will complete six credit-hours of internship, which corresponds with six months of part-time field work in one or two sites. You may choose to intern at a consulting firm or in the training division of human resources or personnel department of a major organization. The Chicago metropolitan area will provide you with ample choices for your internship experience.

Recent placements have included:

  • Advocate Healthcare
  • Metrus Group, Inc.    
  • Vantage Leadership Consulting  
  • Walmart, located in Bentonville, Ark.  
  • Daniels Consulting Group
  • National Computer System (NCS)
  • Organizational Resources
  • Aaon Consulting
  • Saville & Holdsworth Ltd. (SHL)
  • SRI International (California)
  • United Airlines
  • Wonderlic
  • Chicago Board of Education
  • Strategic Talent Solutions
  • CME group in Chicago
  • CEB Valtera, Greater Chicago Area
  • Shedd Aquarium, Chicago
  • Testing specialist at City of Chicago
  • US Cellular
  • Chicago Art Museum
  • Chicago Modern Art Museum
  • APT Consulting

Funding Opportunities


The I/O division gives one-year, half-tuition scholarships (4.5 credits per semester) to a number of first-year students, based on merit. The John Scott Scholarship is also available.

Teaching assistantships

After the first year, students can apply for a teaching assistantship. TAs receive partial-tuition reimbursement and a monthly stipend, along with teaching experience. These positions are quarter time (10 hours per week).


The Arch Pounian Fellowship for Industrial/Organizational Psychology is awarded to one outstanding student each year who has an excellent academic record, and is highly engaged in presentations and publications. Students are invited to apply each spring for the award of $5,000.

The Phil S. and Harriett C. Shurrager Industrial/Organizational Psychology Endowed Fellowship funds one I/O graduate student each year, and is selected by the program directors.


Funding may also be found through faculty grants and, upon availability, the I/O division provides merit-based funding to students selected by the faculty.


The Industrial/Organizational Program in the Department of Psychology accepts M.S. in Personnel and Human Resource Development applications for fall entrance only. Applications and supporting documents must be received by February 15. Minimum requirements for admission include:

  • Bachelor's degree with 18 hours of psychology course work including experimental psychology and statistics
  • Minimum GPA of 3.0
  • Minimum GRE 303 (cumulative)
  • 3 letters of recommendation (2 of which are from academics)
  • Professional statement
  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions

All applications are evaluated on the basis of such factors as GPA, GRE, recommendations, and the professional statement.

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For more information or to schedule a visit, contact:


Professor and Director
Industrial and Organizational Psychology Program
3105 South Dearborn, 2nd floor
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Phone: 312.567.3516
Fax: 312.567.3493