Master of Applied Positive Psychology

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The first in the world, and always on the cutting edge

Rapidly becoming one of psychology’s most transformative fields, positive psychology is the scientific study of the strengths that enable humans and organizations to flourish. Positive psychology differs from historical psychological approaches because of its unique emphasis on the empirical study of human flourishing. While the study of psychology has traditionally focused on improving the human condition by identifying and relieving what is negative in life, positive psychology complements this approach with a focus on strengthening what is positive.

The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania was the first in the world to offer a degree in this rigorous field of study. Dr. Martin Seligman, founder of the discipline of positive psychology, created the MAPP program to educate and train students at the cutting edge of the field. The program follows a hybrid model, allowing you to explore the theory and practice of positive psychology while you continue to invest in your current work and community. The program consists of nine courses, completed during one year of full-time study during consecutive fall, spring and summer semesters.

Structured for real-world application

Whether you are a credentialed professional seeking to transform your workplace or career, or are building a foundation for further graduate study, the MAPP curriculum allows you to apply the topics most relevant to your interests and goals. You will receive a thorough grounding in the research methods and theoretical underpinnings of positive psychology, and learn to apply its theories and perspectives within individual and organizational settings.  The program culminates with an individual capstone project that advances both your professional development and the field of positive psychology itself.

Renowned faculty and passionately engaged peers 

Program alumni report overwhelmingly that their favorite aspect of the program is the exceptional group of people who make up our diverse, intellectually stimulating and intensely supportive community. 

Each year, approximately 40 students enroll in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, including successful businesspeople, practicing psychologists and medical professionals, scientists, artists, life coaches, lawyers and more. They’re all gathered to study with a faculty composed of major pioneers in the field, who are also dedicated and personable teachers. 

Flourishing after MAPP

Through their experiences in the Master of Applied Psychology program, students find a powerful new perspective on their workplaces, career plans and personal lives. Our students go on to incredibly diverse careers, applying what they’ve learned to transform their current workplaces or to begin new careers in consulting, teaching, business, healthcare, media and more.

We look forward to speaking with you about the exciting opportunities at MAPP and discussing how our program can help you achieve your personal and professional goals.

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Faculty Bios

Applied Positive Psychology Faculty

Dr. Martin Seligman is the founder of positive psychology, and one of the many outstanding members of the MAPP faculty team.

See MAPP Faculty >

Program Resources

MAPP Information Session

Meet Program Director Dr. James Pawelski as he presents details about the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program.

View Info Session Video >

Alumni Stories

Featured MAPP Alumni

Currently the Principal of KIPP STRIVE Academy, Christy is hoping to infuse positive psychology into her school to improve the well-being of students and staff.

Read about Christy >

LPS News

  • Read about how Neha Karmeshu, MES '12, relocated from New Delhi to explore what a company's "commitment to the environment" really means. More >
  • Read about how a cross-country trip led Tony Larson, MES '12, to create a company dedicated to building affordable green housing in Philadelphia communities. More >

Courses & Curriculum

Courses and Curriculum

History, theory, research, and professional application — completed in one year of full time study.

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