About the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences

Since the late 1960s, the Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (DBOS) at Claremont Graduate University (CGU) has been a leader in providing graduate education in applied psychological science, and in preparing students to meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse and global community. Many of our more than 1,200 alumni with graduate degrees in psychology hold major positions in business, consulting, government, health care, public health, community settings, research institutes and think tanks, and at colleges and major universities across the globe.

We find that many psychology, social and behavioral science, and related undergraduate majors desire to continue their education and experience in these areas, but are not aware of career options beyond teaching, basic research, and therapy. Our programs allow students to continue to study the topics in psychology and the behavioral sciences they are most interested in, while preparing for personally rewarding careers.


There are more than 50 core and supporting faculty who teach courses, supervise student research, serve on student committees, or employ DBOS students. For example, students take courses and work with CGU faculty from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, School of Educational Studies, Division of Politics and Economics, School of Information Science, as well as with faculty members from the other colleges in the Claremont Consortium.

Applied Psychology

A distinctive feature of our school is its pioneering development of a non-clinical applied psychology.  A consistent, central theme of the school is the application of behavioral and social science knowledge, concepts, and methods to important social issues through research and practice.  We explore the significant contribution of psychology to the understanding and amelioration of social problems and to the formulation of public policy.

The curriculum emphasizes three primary components: 

  • Scholarly work organized around psychological, social, and organizational concepts relevant to social, organizational, and policy issues
  • Development of methodological skills for collecting and analyzing information in field settings
  • Practical experience in government agencies, public interest organizations, human service agencies, or business and industrial settings

Program Design

We believe every student is unique, will experience meaningful personal growth in graduate school, and is likely to change or refine their career goals and interests over time. Therefore, our programs are designed to prepare students for a range of traditional (e.g., teaching & research) or non-traditional career tracks (e.g., leadership positions in applied settings), so that upon graduation and throughout their careers they are versatile and able to take advantage of new opportunities. This model of graduate education allows students to tailor their coursework and practical experiences to fit their individual interests. Most graduates of our programs report being well prepared and sought after for a wide variety of highly rewarding career opportunities.

The Division of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (DBOS) offers master's and doctoral degrees in psychology with concentrations in:

  • Basic and Applied Social Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Evaluation and Applied Research Methods
  • Applied Cognitive Psychology
  • Positive Psychology (Developmental and Organizational)
  • Health Behavior Research

We also offer master's degrees in human resource design.  We are dedicated to training behavioral and organizational scientists, psychologists, evaluators, and human resource professionals for positions in research, teaching, or administration in a variety of settings such as academic institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private-sector businesses.

Practical Experience and Internships

All DBOS graduate students are required to gain practical experience through projects, internships, or jobs. A variety of faculty members, research institutes, local colleges and universities, and local organizations employ DBOS students. For example, the Claremont Evaluation Center and Institute for Research on Social Issues are organized research units in DBOS that employ and provide practical experience for numerous students.

Certificates, Professional Development Workshops, & Symposia

DBOS offers a certificate program and professional development workshops for those seeking continuing education. We regularly sponsor and organize symposia that bring together leading experts from around the world to discuss cutting edge topics in applied psychological science. For example, recent volumes based on our Claremont Symposium Series include: Reducing Prejudice and Discrimination by Stuart Oskamp; Mass Media and Drug Prevention: Classic and Contemporary Theories and Research by William D. Crano and Michael Burgoon; and Evaluating Social Programs and Problems: Visions for the New Millennium by Stewart I. Donaldson and Michael Scriven. These books are now available at www.erlbaum.com.

Career-Relevant Training

The unique structure of the curriculum reflects Claremont's commitment to career-relevant training. For example, as a way to show proficiency in his or her area of specialization, each Ph.D. student accumulates a "portfolio" of professional accomplishments such as published research papers, teaching experiences, specialized methodology courses, and/or written grant proposals.

Under the supervision of professionals with expertise in their particular areas of interest, DBOS students have participated in field work, research, and paid internships at a wide range of corporations and organizations that have special, on-going relationships with the school. These include the Southern California Edison Company, Kaiser Permanente health services, the Orange County Rapid Transit District, and the Riverside County Department of Mental Health.

A Community Fellows Program supports selected professional staff members of community-based organizations to attend CGU full time or part time, and DBOS students to work part time in these organizations.

Another example of Claremont's unique orientation is the tradition of democratic participation. Elected student representatives participate fully in departmental faculty meetings, where most decisions are made by consensus rather than formal vote. Occasional open meetings with the Dean and faculty further stimulate student input.

While maintaining high academic standards, the program provides individualized education in a context of support, respect, and encouragement.

Classes are small, usually ranging from 5 to 25 students.  During the first year, every student is expected to work closely as a research apprentice with at least one faculty member.  In later years, student research projects become increasingly independent, under the mentorship of their faculty committees.

Job Placement of Recent CGU Ph.D. Recipients

After more than fifty years of training doctoral students for non-clinical careers, DBOS has confirmed that certain skills--such as research design, statistics, evaluation, writing ability, and critical thinking--have relevance and utility in a broad range of employment settings. Below is the distribution of recent Ph.D. recipients from DBOS in various fields.



Percent of Graduates

College or University Teaching


Post-Doctoral Studies


Public Agencies


Private Nonprofit Organizations


Private Enterprise


Private Consulting


To see a sample of positions held by DBOS alumni, click here.