University of Minnesota
Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology's home page.


The Department of Psychology offers a Supporting Program in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) for Ph.D. students in psychology.

The OHP Supporting Program is relevant both for students interested in academic/ research positions and careers as applied practitioners.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with:

  • A core background of relevant theory and research in psychology.
  • Specialized knowledge in industrial/ organizational, vocational, and counseling psychology.
  • Interdisciplinary knowledge relevant to occupational health.
  • Research and applied experience relevant to OHP.

What is Occupational Health Psychology?

Occupational Health Psychology is an emerging field within the discipline of psychology. Broadly defined, OHP involves the application of psychologcial principles to improving the quality of worklife and promoting the safety, health, and well-being of people at work.

Researchers and practitioners in OHP look to identify the sources and consequences of stressors and/or dysfunctional behavior in the work place. Areas of study include:

  • Organizational and job design factors that contribute to illness and injury.
  • Training interventions that promote health and safety.
  • Non-work domains such as family responsibilities that influence worker well-being.
  • Individual characteristics such as abilities, values, and personality that contribute to occupational stress and/or dysfunctional behavior.
  • Organizational and individual responses to stressful workplace situations such as sexual harassment and violence.

The OHP Curriculum

The OHP Supporting Program curriculum includes interdisciplinary coursework that can be drawn from a variety of departments including Psychology, Occupational and Environmental Health, Speech Communications, Industrial Relations, Human Resources, Educational Psychology, and Kinesiology.

Within Psychology, the program includes:

  • Vocational and Occupational Health Psychology, a course that provides students with an introduction to the psychology component and the psychological perspective within the field of occupational health.
  • The Vocational and Occupational Health Psychology Research Seminar focuses on current topics of interest to OHP researchers.
  • The Career and Occupational Health Psychology Assessment Seminar provides an overview of assessment instruments used by vocational and OHP psychologists.

Students may complete additional coursework drawn from various areas important to a basic understanding of OHP. Some examples are:

  • Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Employee Well-Being
  • Human Factors
  • Workplace Climate

Applied Practice:

Those students interested in applied practice may be eligible to complete the core curriculum in Counseling Psychology which includes courses in therapeutic theories,intervention and interviewing, psychological assessment, professional ethics, and cultural diversity.

Advanced Practicum experience is available with the Career Counseling and Assessment Clinic (CCAC). You can visit the CCAC’s website at


Dr. Jo-Ida C. Hansen, Counseling Psychology Area, directs the Occupational Health Psychology Program. Other participating faculty represent:

  • I/O Psychology
  • Industrial Relations
  • Social Psychology

Potential Employment Settings

Students completing the OHP Supporting Program will be prepared to enter a variety of settings both as researchers and applied practitioners. Graduates may find employment in:

  • Corporate settings
  • Industrial/Organizational consulting firms
  • Universities, colleges, and research institutes
  • Employee assistance programs
  • Counseling and mental health centers


The OHP Supporting Program is available to students who have been admitted into a Ph.D. program in the Department of Psychology.

For details about admission requirements and application materials to the Department's Graduate Programs, please visit the Graudtae Program and Admissions website at