Thomas Harriot College of Arts & Sciences

Department of Psychology

Doctoral Concentration in
Occupational Health Psychology



The Department of Psychology at East Carolina University offers a concentration in Occupational Health Psychology (OHP) within its Health Psychology doctoral program. This concentration is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to engage in organizational research and to develop interventions that are designed to improve the overall quality of working life while also ensuring organizational productivity. The faculty of our program focus on areas such workaholism (Dr. Shahnaz Aziz), addiction proneness and creativity (Dr. Jennifer Bowler), counterproductive employee behavior (Dr. Mark Bowler), EEO law and disabilities (Dr. John Cope), and quantitative methods (Dr. Alexander Schoemann).

Students who enroll in our program are expected to first complete a Master's degree in Industrial/Organizational (I/O) Psychology (or to have completed one previously). It is our belief that successful research and practice in OHP is based on a strong foundation of I/O theory and best practices. We strongly encourage applications from students either with or without a Master's degree. However, most students who join our program with a Master's degree in another field will most likely be required to complete the coursework associated with the I/O Master's offered by our department.

In addition to engaging in research, an essential part of our program is the completion of an internship. This internship typically occurs during the summer between a student's first and second year and it provides students with an opportunity to apply skills learned through coursework and to acquire new skills in an organizational setting. Some of our students have recently completed internships at organizations such as Duke Energy and the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.

For additional information, please use the links on the menu above or contact our program director. Additionally, our program handbook contains a substantial amount of information regarding the overall nature of our program and a student's progression through it.

Careers in OHP

A professional in occupational health psychology works for private or public organizations, many in consulting positions. They can explore how stress affects individuals and recommend stress reduction practices and coping mechanisms, and they change stressful environments through job reorganization. These psychology professionals also work in public health or for private corporations designing and promoting stress prevention policies. Because they are also trained as I/O Psychologists they often work in organizations doing wage and salary administration, human resource development, personnel management, job analysis, quality assurance, selection and placement, and training and development. Research and teaching positions in both OHP and IO are also available at colleges and universities.

Hiring Our Students

East Carolina University (ECU) provides its PhD and Master’s level Applied Psychology students with the necessary skills to efficiently and effectively meet your I/O and OHP needs. Among others, ECU students are prepared to address issues such as:

  • Employee health and stress
  • Work/family conflict
  • Aggression and conflict resolution
  • Employee training and development
  • Recruitment and selection

Our students will address these issues by utilizing their skills in:

  • Statistics and research methods
  • Selection and job analysis
  • Organizational climate and culture
  • Survey development
  • Leadership assessment
  • Training needs analysis and development
Our students are excited to apply their training, gain experience and help your organization address its OHP issues through consulting projects and internships. The internships can range from short-term, voluntary positions to full-time, paid positions, depending on the availability of students and the nature of the project. We recognize the complex structure of the 21st century workplace and we welcome the opportunity to address the challenges facing your organization. To explore the possibility of enlisting the services of an ECU I/O or OHP student, please contact Dr. Jennifer L. Bowler (

Program Director
Dr. Mark Bowler
Program Director, Occupational Health Psychology
Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858
Phone: 252-328-0013