Program Director's Welcome

We are delighted that you are interested in Social-Organizational  Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University.  Comprised of multiple academic degree programs, non-degree certificate programs, and executive education programs, the Social-Organizational Psychology Program advances science, education, and practice to build a more just, constructive and productive workplace. 

At the heart of our research and scholarship, teaching, practice, and service is a focus on social equality, organizational change and conflict in work related contexts.  In all that we undertake, we value and adopt a science-practitioner perspective understanding that learning is both derived from and applied to work in the field.  Further, we believe it is as important to focus on the environment (groups and organizations) as the people who work in them.  Individuals and individual differences are understood in the larger context of teams, organizations, and the world.  By changing either the context, the individual, or how they interact, we are able to influence behaviors and outcomes in ways that allow the individual, team, organization or societal unit to function more effectively, creatively and justly. 

The increasing interdependence, mobility, contact and consequences of modern society intensify and complicate group and organizational life immeasurably.  Technology, big data, artificial intelligence, and social media are revolutionizing everything about work, relationships, social norms, political processes, healthcare, the exponential growth of knowledge, the care or disrepair of our planet, the perception of truth and facts, how we access and consume information, and so on.  As a program, we have knowledge, skills, frameworks and methods that enable us specifically to address these incredibly complex but critical issues of today’s organizations and the world. 

Unlike traditional I/O Psychology programs in psychology departments, and organizational psychology programs in business schools, our programs are unique in that they are grounded in the disciplines of social psychology and organizational psychology and as a result contribute to an innovative curricula.  In your courses you will engage in dialogue regarding emerging research and theory, share and learn from the real-world experiences of the faculty and your colleagues, and consider the implications for, and applications to, the needs of businesses, governments, schools, and other for-profit and non-profit organizations. 

Faculty are currently studying leadership and change, stereotype threat, sexual harassment and ageism in the workplace, intractable conflict, covert processes in organizations, the effectiveness of diversity training, learning agility, social networks, how to lead constant change, the future of work and more.  As a community, we have a global reach and apply learning across a broad swath of organizations and industries to address today’s most pressing problems.  

We invite you to learn more about each of our offerings to determine which one may be right for you.  Regardless of which program you choose, joining the Social-Organizational Psychology Program means that you will be a member of a vibrant learning community for life.  While earning your degree or certificate may end your formal studies, ongoing engagement in our robust boundary-spanning alumni community guarantees that learning does not end at graduation.  

We look forward to your application and to welcoming you to our community.



Dr. Debra A. Noumair
Professor of Psychology & Education
Academic Program Director
Graduate Programs in Social-Organizational Psychology

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