UCSD to Offer a Business Psychology Major Fall 2018


Connor Gorry / The Triton

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The Department of Psychology has approved a new Business Psychology major for students to enroll in beginning Fall 2018.

Business psychology, also known as industrial and organizational psychology or simply I/O psychology, is the scientific study of researching and improving the health and productivity of workers. Graduates often attend business school or pursue careers in marketing, human factors engineering, or human resources.

UC San Diego will be the first school in the University of California system to offer the degree. Notably, the Rady School of Management does not support an undergraduate business major. The new offering may allow students attracted to business to pursue their interests.

The Bachelor of Science in Business Psychology degree requirements align closely with those of the other B.S. degrees in Psychology; the key difference is that students will be expected to take 12 units worth of management courses focusing on marketing, STEM, or operations. This means that graduates will have taken courses in statistics, computer programming, math, natural sciences, psychology, and business.

The degree is still fundamentally a B.S. in Psychology. It distinguishes itself from the Management Science major and the Rady Business minor since students will mostly take upper-division psychology courses and must complete two research experience courses to receive their degrees.

“The principles and concepts behind people are so integral to so many aspects of business like working in teams, working creatively, working innovatively,” said Psychology Department’s Student Affairs Manager Rachael Lapidis. “I think that that coupled with the data analysis skills that they’ll get both from the psychology side and the Rady side will give them both the conceptual background and the skill background to be able to succeed in a way that’s slightly different than what you would get from a pure business major.”

Tech companies have a particular need for I/O psychologists as they seek to maximize system efficiency. For example, Google pays human factors psychologist Dawn Sheikh to research fonts for different products around the world.

Students interested in transferring into the Business Psychology major should attend one of the Psychology Department’s information sessions this quarter.

Rohan Grover is an Assistant News Editor at The Triton. You can follow him @rohangro