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Admissions and Eligibility

The Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program is designed for individuals from a variety of backgrounds and requires no specific prerequisite courses. However, for your admission to the program, it is necessary that you have a strong quantitative background and well-articulated objectives for participating in the program.

Evaluation criteria

  • Evidence of excellent academic performance. Successful applicants should hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution and are expected to have achieved a 3.0 GPA in previous academic work
  • International students will need to have transcripts evaluated (see information below) for conversion to US equivalents
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Essay (questions are on the application overview page and within in the application)
  • Professional resume
  • Performance on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), if applying within three years of earning a bachelor’s degree
  • Demonstrated ability for quantitative and analytical coursework based on transcript-visible coursework that required students to analyze numerical or symbolic data (e.g., economics, statistics, biology, genetics, logic, linguistics, engineering); OR high quantitative scores on the GRE or other standardized exam; OR practical experience demonstrating skills in quantitative analysis (e.g., financial management or marketing)
  • TOEFL scores for non-native speakers of English. Acceptable minimum scores:
    • Internet Test = 100, no subscore below 23, listening/speaking score of 26+
    • Computer-Based Test = 250
    • Paper-Based Test = 600

Please see the Application Overview page for additional details.

COVID-19 and admissions reviews 

Recognizing the challenges of teaching, learning, and assessing academic performance during the global COVID-19 pandemic, Penn’s admissions committees for graduate and professional programs will take the significant disruptions of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 into account when reviewing students’ transcripts and other admissions materials as part of their regular practice of performing individualized, holistic reviews of each applicant. In particular, as we review applications now and in the future, we will respect decisions regarding the adoption of Pass/Fail and other grading options during the period of COVID-19 disruptions. An applicant will not be adversely affected in the admissions process if their academic institution implemented a mandatory pass/fail (or similar) system for the term or if the applicant chose to participate in an optional pass/fail (or similar) system for the term. Penn’s longstanding commitment remains to admit graduate and professional student cohorts composed of outstanding individuals who demonstrate the resilience and aptitude to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Master of Applied Positive Psychology application and deadlines

The first step toward earning your Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree at Penn is completing the online application.

New Master of Applied Positive Psychology program student cohorts are admitted for fall terms only. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received the same year in which you intend to enroll. MAPP does not have rolling admissions - all completed applications will be reviewed after the application deadline and applicants will receive decisions by the end of June of the year in which they applied.

Admission Cycle Deadline
Fall 2021 March 1, 2021

Start your application now

You may experience delays in the processing and review of your application due to the COVID-19 virus. We will work with any applicant who is missing documents due to testing delays and closings. Our team may be reached Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Please contact us if you have questions at (215) 746-6905 or

Courses and curriculum

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

MAPP information session

Meet our program team and learn more about the MAPP curriculum, application process, faculty, and more.

Applied Positive Psychology faculty

Dr. Karen Reivich co-directs the Penn Resiliency Program and is one of the many outstanding members of the MAPP faculty team.