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OHP Graduate Training

Our Program

The OHP program focuses on the application of psychology to protect and promote workers’ safety, health, and well being, and to improve workers quality of worklife. The program prepares students for careers as consultants, educators, and staff for business, labor, public, academic, community, and health organizations. The OHP program at Portland State has been funded by Training Program Grants from NIOSH for the past 9 years.

As part of our OHP program, students complete relevant coursework both within and outside the Psychology department. Our OHP students embody the scientist-practitioner model through their work designing, conducting, and disseminating findings from applied research projects, and working with community partners to solve real world issues. In addition, our students are helping to shape the future of OHP through active participation in organizations such as the Society for Occupational Health Psychology (SOHP), including serving as graduate student committee members, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP), as a team selected to author SIOP's TIP-TOPics column published quarterly in The Industrial-Organizational Psychology (TIP).


OHP Electives

OHP training is available to students in all areas of psychology as well as students from other fields. Ph.D. students may complete a specialization in OHP which is described in detail on our PSU-OHP web site. The OHP specialization includes a survey course that provides students with an introduction to the field of OHP. Students also choose from a variety of elective courses consistent with their OHP interests.

3 Required OHP Seminars

PSY 516/616

Advanced Applied Organizational Psychology1
Theory, methods, and selected topics in organizational psychology, including leadership, motivation, job attitudes, job stress, organizational climate, and employee retention.

PSY 510/610

Occupational Safety & Health
The field of Occupational Safety and Health (OS&H) broadly covers issues related to disease and injury, work environment and workforce, and research tools and approaches. This course will provide a general overview of key OS&H topics including causes of and prevention strategies for workplace injuries, accidents, and diseases, safety climate and behavioral aspects of safety, occupational health, epidemiology, and industrial hygiene. Theory and practice issues related to Occupational Safety and Health will be presented through the use of government technical reports, primarily from NIOSH, and selected readings from such books as, The Psychology of Workplace Safety by Barling and Frone (2004) and Health and Safety in Organizations by Hofmann and Tetrick (2003), among other empirical studies in the field. In addition, experts in the field will serve as guest lecturers to provide the broadest approach possible to the field of OS&H.

PSY 550/650

Occupational Health Psychology
Application of professional psychological principles of practice, theory, and research to work settings. Focus on science and practice drawn from psychology and other disciplines in the promotion and development of workplace health and safety-related initiatives. Occupational Health Psychology researchers and practitioners draw from the domains of public health, preventive medicine, nursing, industrial engineering, law, epidemiology, and psychology to develop sound theory and practice for protecting and promoting the safety, health, and well being of individuals in occupational settings.



2 OHP-related Electives2

Psychology Electives
PSY 510

Diversity in the Workplace


PSY 510

Cross Cultural Issues in Organizational Psychology

PSY 510/610

Professional Safety
This course is an introduction to Professional Safety through an in-depth consideration of transportation industries. Students will be exposed to safety leadership through guest lectures and a worksite tour.  These experiences will expose students to the day-to-day realities of promoting and protecting worker health (and public health and safety).  Instructor lectures, class readings, and activities will focus on special challenges and also on the general advancement of the science and practice of Professional Safety in organizations.  To consolidate learning experiences students will develop project/research proposals (adjusted for undergraduate and graduate levels) on a worker safety and health topic of personal interest.  Brief proposals will be pitched and refined with classmates, and then reviewed for practical importance and feasibility by the course’s safety professional partner. It is hoped that some students will ultimately develop their project proposals into senior honors theses, Masters theses, or dissertations.

PSY 510/610

Work and Well-Being

PSY 571

Health Psychology
Study of the social and psychological influences on how people stay well, why some people become ill, and how persons respond to illness. Particular attention to the stress process.

PSY 554/654

Social Psychology of Mental Health
Participants in this seminar will explore these questions: What are appropriate definitions of mentalhealth and mental illness? How is psychological health related to subjective well-being? How do social structural, social role, interpersonal, and personality factors affect psychological health? How is mental health affected by the stress process?

PSY 600

Stress and Coping

PSY 567

Work and Family
An examination of the effects of work on family, and family on work, in contemporary society. Includes study of dual-career and dual-work families, effects of maternal employment on children, impact of child care and elder care on the workplace, and parental leave and other workplace supports for families. Implications of research for social policy.

PSY 548

Psychology of Work Motivation
Examination of the role that motivation plays in initiating, guiding, and maintaining work behaviors. Discussion of job attitudes, emotional intelligence, personality factors, socialization and culture, effects of participation, careers, job enrichment, re-engineering, and power and politics.

PSY 545

Employee Development
Covers the application of psychological principles to employee training and development. Topics include organization, job, and person analysis; program design; the application of learning principles to enhance training effectiveness; evaluation of training programs; and employee training and development methodology. A heavy emphasis is placed on current psychological research. This course may include a community-based learning component.

PSY 578

Leadership and Group Effectiveness
Study of leadership in small groups with an emphasis on interpersonal influence processes. Leadership is viewed as statements or actions intended to influence a group’s efforts toward goal setting and achievement. Includes discussion of leadership training/development, and self-awareness of style.

PSY 579

Women and Organizational Psychology
Examines the relationship between gender and work in different kinds of organizations across the economy. Focus is on the ways that gender influences such experiences as stress, hiring and career development, leadership opportunity, group interactions and organizational relationships, and the ways the greater understanding of gender/work interactions can influence individual experience and result in strategies for change.



Other OHP Electives3




PSU Sociology Electives
SOC 595/695

Medical Sociology

PSU School of Community HealthElectives3

Principles of Health Behavior


Health Promotion Program Planning


Concepts of Environmental Health


Foundations of Public Health


Epidemiology Survey

PSU School of Business Electives3
MNGM 510

Creating and Sustaining Healthy Organizations

Electives at Oregon Health and Sciences University3


PHPM 525


All courses listed are 4 credit hours, unless otherwise noted 
1Required for all psychology Ph.D. students; prerequisite for other core OHP Seminars. 
2OHP students must complete at least one elective in an area outside of psychology. 
3Other courses may be designed as OHP electives on the review and approval of the OHP Program Director or Associate Program Director. These could include new psychology seminars related to OHP or courses in other disciplines. 
4510/610 is a generic seminar number used until a course has been officially assigned a number by the University. Courses must be taught twice before s course numbers are assigned. 
5Students who complete Epidemiology I also may take PHPM 513 (Epidemiology II) and PHPM 514 (Epidemiology III) 
6Students who complete Biometry I also may take PHPM 526 (Biometry II) and PHPM 527 (Biometry III)

For specific Ph. D. and Master's Degree requirements, see the listing on our Psychology Department Homepage:

For questions about funding opportunities and general policies and procedures, see the Office of Graduate Studies website at:

Our Research

In partnership with faculty, students design and conduct OHP research that has a meaningful impact on both the science and practice of occupational health and safety. Click the following links to learn more about some of the research being conducted by OHP reserachers at PSU.


Center for Work-Family, Stress, Safety & Health at PSU funded by a grant from NIOSH.

Work, Family & Health Network

Oregon Healthy Workforce Study: A NIOSH Center of Excellence

Study for Employment Retention of Veterans (SERVe)


Our Service


Beginning in August 2012, several current OHP students began leading the team selected to write the TIP-TOPics colum for the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology's publication, The Industrial-Organizational Psychologist (TIP). Portland State's team was selected to write the TIP-TOPics column, a graduate student editorial column published in TIP on a quarterly basis.  The latest issue can be viewed here.

SOHP Graduate Student Committee

Many of our OHP students currently serve, or are past members of the SOHP graduate student committee. As part of this group, our students have had the opportunity to form lasting relationships with other OHP students, faculty, and professionals, and contribute to the success and impact of our field. Some of the tasks our students have been involved in include organizing panels at the Work, Stress, & Health conference, updating the SOHP website, surveying current OHP students to assess developmental needs and interest in future OHP training workshops, and organizing the OHP social event at SIOP.

Recent Graduates

  • Kristin Charles, Amazon
  • Nanette Yragui, Washington State Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP)
  • Lauren Murphy, Washington State Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP)
  • Gabby Burlacau, SuccessFactors
  • Jenna LeComte-Hinely, HARC, Inc
  • Bing Lin, Koç University
  • Tori Crain, Colorado State Univeristy
  • Caitlin Demsky, Oakland University School of Business Administration
  • Jenn Rineer, Catalyst
  • David Caughlin, Portland State University School of Business Administration
  • Allison Ellis, Portland State University 


Profile of a Recent Graduate

Dr. Lauren Murphy is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Liberty Mutual-Harvard Program in Occupational Safety and Health. She is collaborating with researchers at both Harvard University and the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety (LMRIS). In the Environmental and Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology Program in the Department of Environmental Health at the Harvard School of Public Health, Dr. Murphy is collaborating with researchers on studies examining safety culture/climate in the construction industry. In the Center for Behavioral Sciences at LMRIS, Dr. Murphy is working with researchers on a large safety climate study investigating lone mobile workers in the trucking industry.

In December or 2011, Dr. Murphy will receive her Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology with a minor in Occupational Health Psychology from Portland State University, though she defended her dissertation in October 2011. Her dissertation consisted of expanding the conceptual model examining the relationship between work-family conflict and employee safety using a macroergonomics approach. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a B. S. in Psychology and a minor in Sociology.

Dr. Murphy is a member of the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychology (SIOP), the Society for Organizational Health Psychology (SOHP), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES). She has served as an ad hoc reviewer for Accident Analysis & Prevention, (2009 – Present) and Theoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science (2011).