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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 this 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.

The OHP graduate curriculum currently serves as a minor area within our Applied Psychology Ph.D. program. Thus, all OHP trainees complete a curriculum that meets the requirements for the Ph.D. program in Applied Psychology. The program prepares students for professional practice in industrial, governmental, and public service organizations and for research and teaching in academic institutions. All NIOSH-funded trainees currently are required to be enrolled as full-time students in this program. The typical duration of the training program is 5 years. We are currently requesting funding for 4 NIOSH doctoral trainees per year, for each of the 5 years, although we currently have 16 trainees enrolled in the program.

The OHP specialization is reserved to the doctorate level. Although we encourage Masters level students to enroll in OHP courses and even to complete theses in areas related to OHP, they do not have the opportunity to fomally identify OHP as a specialty unit. Thus, NIOSH trainees are doctoral students who are required to complete an empirical thesis, or its equivalent, an internship, comprehensive exams, and an empirical dissertation related to OHP. These students are supervised by one of the Core Faculty members noted above.

In terms of credits, NIOSH trainees complete an OHP-related internship (8 credits), a dissertation related to OHP (27 credits), 12 required credit hours of OHP coursework, and 8 credits of OHP electives. Thus, 55 of their total required 112 credits focus on OHP. The general OHP curriculum including all required and elective course work is described in the Table below. Students are required to take Advanced Applied Organizational Psychology, Occupational Health Psychology, and then at least one of the following: Occupational Safety and Health or Professional Safety (see below for details).

Required Coursework for the Occupational Health Psychology Minor


Course Titles

3 Required OHP Seminars
PSY 516/616
Advanced Applied Organizational Psychology(1)
PSY 510/610
Occupational Safety & Health or Professional Safety
PSY 550/650
Occupational Health Psychology
2 OHP-related Electives(2)
Psychology Electives
PSY 410/510(4)
Work and Well-Being
PSY 571
Health Psychology
PSY 554/654
Social Psychology of Mental Health
PSY 600
Stress and Coping
PSY 567
Work and Family
PSY 548
Psychology of Work Motivation
PSY 545
Employee Development
PSY 578
Leadership and Group Effectiveness
PSY 579
Women and Organizational Psychology
Other OHP Electives(5)
PSU Sociology Electives
SOC 595/695
Medical Sociology
PSU School of Community Health Electives(3)
PHE 512
Principles of Health Behavior
PHE 550
Health Promotion Program Planning
PHE 580
Concepts of Environmental Health
PHE 511
Foundations of Public Health
PHE 535
Epidemiology Survey
PSU School of Business Electives(3)
MNGM 510
Creating and Sustaining Healthy Organizations
Electives at Oregon Health and Sciences University(3)
PHPM 512
PHPM 525


All courses listed are 4 credit hours, unless otherwise noted

(1) Required for all psychology Ph.D. students; prerequisite for other core OHP Seminars.

(2) OHP students must complete at least one elective in an area outside of Psychology.

(3) Other 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.

(4) 410/510 in a generic seminar number used until a course has been officially assigned a number by the University. Courses must be taught twice before course numbers are assigned. 

(5) Students who complete Epidemiology I also may take PHPM 513 (Epidemiology II) and PHPM 514 (Epidemiology III).

(6) Students 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 home page.

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

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 researchers 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 column 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 University
  • Caitlin Demsky, Oakland University School of Business Administration
  • Jenn Rineer, Catalyst
  • David Caughlin, Portland State University School of Business Administration
  • Allison Ellis, California Polytechnic State University
  • Frankie Guros, Facebook


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).