Master of Applied Positive Psychology

Photo of Dr. Seligman, founder of the discipline of positive psychology

Special announcement: On-sites 1, 3, and 5 will be delivered on our Philadelphia campus and on-sites 2 and 4 will be delivered on our virtual campus. Synchronous attendance for all on-sites is required. Please see the Program Format & Schedule page for more information.

The first in the world, and always ahead of the curve

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. 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. Seligman, founder of the discipline of positive psychology, along with leading researchers and practitioners educate students at the cutting edge of the field.

Our program's hybrid model allows you to explore the theory and practice of positive psychology without relocating to Philadelphia, so you can continue working full-time. The low-residency format consists of 10 required on-site visits to the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia, where students and faculty gather for intensive weekends of learning and networking. 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.

We look forward to speaking with you about the exciting opportunities at MAPP.

Make a difference in the world with the science of well-being

Hear from program staff, alumni, and current students about how the Master of Applied Positive Psychology creates a unique community that comes together to learn the theory and tools of positive psychology and enables immediate change in the lives around us.

If you are having trouble viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Fast facts

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Master the history, theory, and research methods of applied positive psychology

Students in the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program take a series of courses during one year of full-time study. The program begins in the fall with an introduction to essential concepts in positive psychology, as well as research methods and the factors that contribute to well-being among individuals, groups, and communities. In the spring semester you learn how to apply positive psychology in institutions such as workplaces, schools, and nonprofits; understand the role of the humanities in cultivating well-being; learn resilience skills for individuals; and design positive interventions for a real organization. Finally, the summer capstone project allows you to apply everything you have learned in the program to the professional or research area that is most significant to you.

See courses and curriculum >

The Master of Applied Positive Psychology faculty

The MAPP faculty team is made up of preeminent scholars and practitioners in positive psychology, including one of the founders of the field, Dr. Martin Seligman. Dr. Seligman is the former president of the American Psychological Association and the author of many books, including Learned Optimism, Authentic Happiness, and (with Christopher Peterson) Character Strengths and Virtues: A Handbook and Classification. Other principal faculty members include program director Dr. James Pawelski, Dr. Karen Reivich, and Dr. Allyson Mackey.

See MAPP faculty >

Application deadline

MAPP admits students for fall terms only. The application deadline is March 1 of the year in which you intend to enroll.

Want to know more?

Want to know more?

Join us on Wednesday, November 13, 2024, for a virtual information session to hear more about the program, curriculum, and application process.

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

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