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Courses and Curriculum

The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) curriculum is designed to train you in the history, theory and research methods of positive psychology, as well as its application in professional settings.

The program consists of nine courses, completed during one year of full-time study during consecutive fall, spring and summer semesters.

  • During the fall semester, you will begin the program with courses that focus on the science, research and theoretical underpinnings of positive psychology, giving students a strong foundation to build on throughout the remainder of the program.
  • The spring semester courses offer content to help you learn how to apply positive psychology in various professional settings, including creating a plan for positive interventions in a real organization.
  • The capstone project, which is completed during the summer semester, allows you to integrate what you’ve learned throughout the program, and apply it in the professional or research domain most significant to you. It often serves as a stepping stone to the application of positive psychology in a particular professional domain or to further research in a specific area.

The curriculum includes the following eight classes, in addition to the capstone project:

Course Description

MAPP 600 Introduction to Positive Psychology

An introduction to the research, theory and intellectual history of positive psychology.

MAPP 601 Research Methods and Evaluation

A methodology course exploring the valid and reliable assessment of positive states, such as positive emotions, and positive traits, such as character strengths.

MAPP 602 Foundations of Positive Interventions

An investigation into the theoretical, empirical and experiential nature of positive interventions.

MAPP 603 Perspectives on Well-Being

An exploration of facets of the human experience that contribute to well-being among individuals, groups, and communities.

MAPP 708 Positive Psychology and Individuals

An exploration of positive psychology applications in coaching, clinical, and other relational settings.

MAPP 710 Humanities and Human Flourishing

An exploration and integration of culture and science to support the deeper understanding and more effective cultivation of human flourishing.

MAPP 712 Positive Education

An investigation of positive approaches to building cognitive, emotional, and character strengths across the lifespan.

MAPP 714 Applying Positive Interventions in Institutions

An exploration of positive organizational scholarship interventions, including an application lab that enables students to design research-informed interventions as service learning projects for non-profit organizations.

MAPP 800 Capstone

The capstone project is a distinguishing feature of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, blending academic and professional experiences and serving as the culmination of your work in the program. Through the capstone project, you will explore, in depth, the theories and practical applications you’ve learned in the program, to advance the field of positive psychology itself. The capstone is completed during the summer semester and has no on-site course requirements. You will conduct this project work independently, with your advisor’s ongoing guidance, on a topic that is significant to you and most relevant to your future professional goals.

Capstone

The capstone project is a distinguishing feature of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, blending academic and professional experiences and serving as the culmination of your work in the program. Through the capstone project, you will explore, in depth, the theories and practical applications you’ve learned in the program, to advance the field of positive psychology itself. If you are interested in exploring more capstones, you can visit Penn's Scholarly Commons website to browse project abstracts or download full projects.

The capstone is completed during the summer semester and has no on-site course requirements. You will conduct this project work independently, with your advisor’s ongoing guidance, in a setting that is significant to you and most relevant to your future professional goals.

Capstone projects

Capstones

The capstone project is a culminating experience, allowing you to integrate and apply what you've learned during the program.

Read about Capstone Projects >

Student & alumni stories

Student & Alumni Stories

“Coming to Penn was one of the best decisions I ever made because it shaped the trajectory of my life.”

-- Eunbit Hwang, MAPP '14

Read about Eunbit >

Am I eligible to apply?

Admissions and Eligibility

Admission to the master's program is highly selective. Learn more about applicant qualifications.

See Admissions and Eligibility >

Penn LPS

The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
lps@sas.upenn.edu

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