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Program Format & Schedule

One of the most distinctive features of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree is our innovative hybrid program delivery model. The format includes intensive on-site classes at the University of Pennsylvania about one weekend each month, followed by interactive distance learning modules over the intervening weeks. 

During the on-site sessions, you’ll build close and enduring connections with your professors and classmates. Between these on-site experiences, you and your classmates will continue learning together, using our robust distance learning platform. The platform includes a variety of tools that allow for both highly social and independent learning experiences, such as virtual meeting space, online blogs, recorded lectures and a rich content library.

Each month you will resume in-person class hours to compare notes with your fellow students and continue face-to-face learning. During the weekend sessions, students are encouraged to bring their experiences back to the classroom for discussion. It is this repeated interaction between theory and practice, with each informing the other, that leads to the best learning and the most effective application.

Please note that the on-site events are critical to your learning experiences in the program, and it is not possible to complete the Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree solely via distance learning. 

Program schedule (2014-2015)

Members of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program community will gather to attend on-site classes a total of 10 times over the course of the year.

  • The first on-site meeting lasts five days and includes an introduction to the program and an orientation to the University of Pennsylvania.
  • The remainder of the on-site sessions are taught during three-day meeting times (Friday, Saturday, Sunday).
  • The annual Summit event occurs during the third on-site session each fall.

Fall 2014 schedule of on-site class hours

  • Immersion Week: September 3-7
  • September 26-28: On-Site 2
  • October 17-19: On-Site 3 (Summit)
  • November 7-9: On-Site 4
  • December 5-7: On-Site 5

Spring 2015 schedule of on-site class hours

  •  January 9-11: On-Site 1
  • January 30-February 1: On-Site 2
  • February 27-March 1: On-Site 3
  • March 27-29: On-Site 4
  • April 24-26: On-Site 5
  • May 17, 18: Graduation

Program schedule (2015-2016)

Fall 2015 schedule of on-site class hours

  • September 2-6: Immersion Week
  • September 25-27: On-Site 2
  • October 16-18: On-Site 3 (Summit)
  • November 6-8: On-Site 4
  • December 4-6: On-Site 5

Spring 2016 schedule of on-site class hours

  • January 8-10: On-Site 1
  • February 5-7: On-Site 2
  • March 4-6: On-Site 3
  • April 1-3: On-Site 4
  • April 29-May 1: On-Site 5
  • May 15-16: Graduation

Housing in Philadelphia

Master of Applied Positive Psychology students make their own arrangements for accommodations during the program’s on-site weekends. We realize that everyone has different lodging requirements and so we leave the choice to you. Several hotels in the vicinity of the University of Pennsylvania campus and in Center City Philadelphia offer discounts for Penn students, and most Applied Positive Psychology students stay in one of them.

International students relocating to Philadelphia are eligible for on-campus housing at Sansom Place.

If you are interested in relocating to Philadelphia long-term, learn more about off-campus housing.


Each year, Master of Applied Positive Psychology students are invited to come to campus and participate in the graduation ceremony in May. You will participate after the spring semester of study, prior to your final summer semester in the program.

Professional Capstone Projects


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

Read about Capstone Projects >

Featured MAPP Alumni

Alumni Stories

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. -- Christy Harris, MAPP '13

Read about Christy >

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 >