Applications can be completed online through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS). This link is for the GSAS home page: From here, click on the Application Resource Center link for the online application and GSAS application guide.

Note: The I/O program also requires a supplemental application question which is posted on this page below. Questions are typically posted 60 days prior to the due date.


For Spring admission: October 1

For Summer and Fall admission:  January 15

Note: Given the extremely competitive nature of the I/O program, serious consideration of the most qualified applicants may result in offers being extended beginning one month post-deadline.

Open House

The I/O Open House is an opportunity to hear from the Program Coordinator about the details of the program, ask questions, and meet students and alumni of the program. For information about the I/O Open House schedule and how to RSVP, click here:

Supplemental I/O Application Question (required for all applicants)

Texas Health Resources Case

Below is the supplemental writing sample required case study for Summer and Fall 2015 applications (January 15, 2015 deadline).


The I/O Psychology M.A. Program requires a writing sample essay. This supplemental document provides an opportunity for applicants to put Psychology and Science into practice (as expected in the program). It represents realistic preview of how one might be engaged to drive consultative intervention aimed at improving conditions for employers and employees alike.

This is a business case that asks you to write about the company, Texas Health Resources (THR), from an I/O Psychology vantage point. In addition, it will allow for the inclusion of personal strengths, key background experiences, and personal perspective. Include personal challenges, priorities, goals, and achievements that might bear on candidacy for admissions to the program. Bring your own history, previous studies, business experiences, and interests into focus to address the real-world human capital challenges and opportunities the case presents.

The Texas Health Resources Case:

Background Summary / Business Conditions

On the site of an orphanage for children, Presbyterian Hospital Dallas was begun as a faith-based community resource for helping the sick and the infirm. This institution opened in 1966, having a long and proud tradition of generously providing among the best medical care in the region.

As a part of the broader Texas Health Resources organization, the Presbyterian Hospital Dallas unit is one of 24 acute-care and short-stay hospital and clinic locations. The challenge in healthcare is often related to differentiating the kind of services needed in a community, and distinguishing full in-patient medical care from walk-in outpatient services for minor or emergency triage. Texas Health Resources aims to be one of the best and largest faith-based non-profit health care delivery systems in the U.S. Caring in a time of most need is their goal.

Employees working for Texas Health have earned the reputation historically for going the extra yard for their patients. Demeanor and patient approach is a hallmark of how the hospital system has created draw from many of the most influential leaders and families in the area. Former U.S. President George Bush received a stent implant there for a heart condition in September, 2014, demonstrating the trustworthiness and steadfast reputation of this venerable institution.

For many patients, there simply has been “no other choice” if you wanted to be well taken care of by the best doctors and nurses. Within the community, Presbyterian became a badge of pride in having family go there, so that one knew only the very best care for loved ones was at hand.

Unfortunately, everything changed dramatically this past October. The news media has been abuzz with the story of one Thomas Eric Duncan, 42, a Liberian national, the first Ebola patient encountered within the U.S. hospital system as a walk-in patient. Suffice it to say, results were concerning at best, disastrous at worst. It appears Mr. Duncan was possibly misdiagnosed and may have died as a result of being sent home undetected for Ebola initially. Some go even so far as to claim racism (as he had no insurance) instead of the ineffective communication of key information between medical staff members that the hospital claims. Two nurses, Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, sadly contracted the disease allegedly as a result of caring for Mr. Duncan. Luckily, both have recovered from this life-threatening disease with extraordinary measures.

During the Ebola crisis, however, nurses from the hospital and from the external nursing union challenged hospital leaders citing protocol breach, lack of training, and chaos in process. The hospital now admits it “made mistakes” perhaps, but followed U.S. Centers for Disease Control (C.D.C.) protocol as advised, including allowing nurse Vinson to fly on commercial airlines.

Though tragic, these incidents could have been much more disastrous had the disease become widespread. Only two individuals were infected. None of the hundreds of coworkers and fellow travelers under observation have turned out to have contracted Ebola. Only Mr. Duncan died.

Nevertheless, Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and the parent company THR have been significantly impacted by this event. Whether simply unlucky to be the first such institution to face this trial unprepared (as could have happened at many other hospitals), or negligent, remains unresolved.

In any case, the excellent reputation of this unit in the Texas Health system has come under fire. Patients have pulled back from screenings. Some have changed Doctors or cancelled surgery. The negative media attention has certainly made patients question whether the hospital system is prepared and managing appropriately to ensure the health and well-being of staff and patients. Some workers have rallied to defend the institution and the quality of their fine work. But it may be an uphill battle no matter how hard-working or well-intentioned the team, given the widespread supposition of “careless” or “reckless” procedural adherence the media circulated.

Safety / Quality Culture Revamp

Lack of clarity on what exactly was done, when, and how has fueled speculation. Although every employee is responsible for his or her own safety, hospital leaders must serve to protect and support staff in the best way possible.

Following the specific protocol as directed by the C.D.C., may only be the beginning of the need for the organization to ensure a safe workplace. All employees must be vigilant and carefully directed to maintain constant process steps in dire emergency. The whole hospital must take the safety provisions very seriously, so as to restrain transmissions of infectious diseases. Workers claim that they took all recommendations seriously, yet somehow nurses reported optional training, and no response to requests for additional safety precautions, equipment, or protections.

Leadership and Management Reorientation

Hospital leaders initially denied any problems, and ended up backtracking to find out the facts and check their interpretations. Reports vary from calm control to rapidly evolving and shifting directives. Nurses resorted to garnering public attention through the media as they believed they were not being adequately heard or protected within the hospital. These claims, however, were perhaps expanded and exaggerated by those in unions not working directly in the hospital to raise the profile of awareness across the country to the plight of nurses overall.

Management retorts that any hospital facing such issues might have experienced breakdown in coordination and communications with conditions changing so rapidly and conflicting guidance from the government expert sources (C.D.C). They claim that in minute by minute conditions they believed they were being adequately prepared by the national medical authorities in Washington, D.C. which turns out may not have been the case. At the same time, it may appear as if management were not even clear or consistent on which protocol to adopt nor the consistent enforcement of some of even the most basic precautions taken at one point, but then not adopted consistently or continually.

It hasn’t helped that the leadership team at first appeared silent and private, then belligerent, finally apologetic. Leader tone and substance changed dramatically over the course of events. Any organization facing such immediate and urgent distress of this magnitude might be expected to stumble and falter perhaps given the very new and changing circumstances faced. Brought to light, however, and in the public eye, this scrutiny may have added a lens into healthcare challenges for hospital leaders there and everywhere.

Working Conditions and Staff Morale

Due to this crisis, many employees were often required to extend shifts, to expand coverage, to do extra duty to keep up. Others called in sick, or quit immediately, causing shortage and further hardships. At the same time, the constant media presence and negativity made those so proud of working in the hospital system ‘ashamed’ or ‘distraught’ over the way their friends, coworkers, and management team were now characterized. Blame and recriminations circulated widely. A strong and unified house somehow became antagonistic and divided when the chips were down./p>

A recent return visit from former President George Bush highlighted the centrality of Dallas Presbyterian, and the essential role of what had been a primary institution for the community. In visiting Amber Vinson post recovery, the former President noted the detrimental effects of this “difficult time” for Dallas, the hospital, and for the employees. He aimed to help celebrate the end of the debacle, reduce the Ebola fears by having direct contact with Nurse Vinson, and to note the hope in moving forward, given the observation window for potential infection passed.

Only time will tell whether the challenges there at Texas Health Resources can be learned from, overcome, and ameliorated. But one thing is definite. It will never be the same at Texas Health.

What exactly did, or did not happen, may never be fully known. At the same time, to survive, and hopefully to prosper, the hospital system must rebuild relationships with staff and patients. Much needs to be done now to restore trust, reorient procedures, and revamp working conditions. This will be extremely challenging though, as loss in patients and fees may need to drive reductions in staffing and services to reduce costs to match revenues. If donations and support from the community diminish Presbyterian will have a difficult time investing to improve care.

You have been asked to independently assess this situation from an I/O Psychology perspective, to make intervention recommendations, and offer potential pathways to resolution, assessing to see that your interventions actually work. Evidence of success will be necessary to be collected to justify actions lead to tangible results.

Contentious discussions with employee groups, government health officials, and hospital management loom ahead. Time is of the essence. A plan is needed to prioritize, focus, and direct activity toward meaningful end. Before another incident arises things must change.

Essay Guidelines:

Write a 1,500 word essay describing how you might advise and help Texas Health Resources. Information within the firm and to external inquiries has been perceived as less that fully forthcoming or timely. The problems of Presbyterian Hospital Dallas need to be addressed on multiple levels including operational, technology, employee engagement, leadership, morale and commitment – and put into the larger context of economics and medical environment oversight.

Specifically, what are the major areas of concern you have about the situation at THR in terms of the challenges resulting from the scandal, and in the current context? What data might be gathered and analyzed to understand the Human Capital issues and the viability of solutions? What might be suggested to resolve employee concerns? In what ways might the issues parallel those for other companies under public scrutiny vs. spring uniquely from the specific situation, leadership, and staff at Presbyterian Dallas?

In what ways might leadership positioning and the relationships with employees improve? What benefits might be gained by suggested consultative intervention at Texas Health Resources? What risks or downsides might need to be avoided? What tradeoffs need to be evaluated? How might individual staff, work teams, and the overarching organization as a whole be characterized, involved, and impacted? How could success be measured? What might indicate that the intervention had addressed the most important problems needing to be addressed? What might a realistic practical business solution involve and entail?

From a personal and professional development perspective, what components from previous training, education, and work experience would help you to investigate, inform and improve the situation for THR? Why might you personally be the best candidate to address these issues? What personal strengths, skills and special abilities could be utilized so as to be selected in competition to earn this assignment? How might taking on this assignment through the NYU I/O Psychology program address your professional development and career aspirations?

Your essay must be unique and an original work of your own creation. The document submitted must not exceed 1,500 words. The essay should be solely of your own writing and ideas. Content beyond 1,500 words will not be considered. As science, parsimony is key. You may cite research, or other ideas by including explicit references for any external resources paraphrased or copied from other sources.

Evidence that this essay has used material or ideas lifted without proper reference, or written by third parties will result in application rejection. This essay is designed to personally engage and reflect your understanding of models of psychology, business, science, analytical methods, and your professional development goals in the service of applied problem solving. Therefore, minimize restating the problem and information given in the prompt and focus on your value-added ideas: prioritizing, ordering and answering questions and providing solutions.

Prepare a brief video overview of your ideas and interventions to upload. Deliver a presentation to professional colleagues summarizing your essay and ideas on Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.

For further investigation of the Ebola crisis circumstances, you may find some or all of the following sources a starting point, and accessible online or at a local university or public library. You may also want to consider other reference books, magazines, journal articles, or business sources to inform your thinking about I/O Psychology and the particular issues involved within this Texas Health Resources case.

Recent relevant references:

Downfall for Hospital Where the Virus Spread. New York Times. Sack, Kevin. October 16, 2014.

Questions Rise on Preparations at Hospitals to Deal with Ebola. Grady, Denise. New York Times. October 14, 2014.

Ebola Still Weighs on Texas Hospital; Presbyterian Sees Patient Visits Decline Even as No New Cases Have Emerged. McCabe, Caitlin; Weaver, Christopher. Wall Street Journal (Online). October 22, 2014.

Dallas Closes the Door on Its Ebola Scare. New York Times. Fernandez, Manny. November 8, 2014.

Texas Nurse Says Hospital Should Be ‘Ashamed’ of Ebola Response. October 16, 2014. ABC News.

'You Look Great': President George W. Bush Visits Nurse Who Beat Ebola. NBC News. November 7, 2014.

Contact Us

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