COVID-19 Update: LPS staff are available online, in person, or by phone at (215) 898-7326. More Info & Resources >
close alert box button

Application Overview

Special announcement: For the last three years, the MAPP program successfully transitioned from a hybrid delivery to an all-online model due to the COVID-19 pandemic. No decisions for 2023-2024 have been made yet. Please visit this page for updates as we have them.

Master of Applied Positive Psychology application deadlines

New Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program student cohorts are admitted for fall terms only. Your application portfolio, including all transcripts, must be received by the following deadline. 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.

Term of Entry Deadline
Fall 2023 March 1, 2023

Start your application now

Application materials checklist

Since all required supporting documents are submitted through the online application system, hardcopy material other than official transcripts or letters of recommendation will not be accepted.* Please urge your recommenders to submit their letters through the online system. Note that all application materials become the property of the University of Pennsylvania and will not be returned. Remember to retain a personal copy of your application.

Please note that it is your responsibility to make sure we have all of your application materials by our application deadline. You can check on the status of any of your application materials by logging in to your application and viewing the checklist. We cannot review your application until all required materials are received, so make sure to look at your checklist regularly. Once your application is complete, you will receive an email letting you know.

*Unsolicited material will not be used for review.

Applications must contain all of the following in order to be considered complete:

  • Completed online application
  • Current résumé
  • Nonrefundable application fee
  • Application essays, listed below
  • Unofficial transcripts from each post-secondary school attended uploaded through the online application system
  • Three letters of recommendation (details below)
  • Standardized test scores, if applicable (details below)
  • Credential evaluation for international transcripts (details below)

Master of Applied Positive Psychology program application essays

Your application will include essays addressing the following topics. Your essay, which should address each question thoroughly, should be no longer than four typed pages and should be submitted as a single document.

  • How did your interest in positive psychology develop? How familiar are you with the field?
  • What do you hope to learn in the MAPP program, and how do you expect to apply that knowledge in your professional career?
  • How will this affect your career?
  • How will this affect the profession in which you are (or will be) working?

Letters of recommendation

Each applicant will submit three letters of recommendation. Letters should come from individuals with whom you have had a close professional or academic association and who know of your desire to study positive psychology at an advanced level. Recommendations may be submitted online (preferred) or by mail. For online recommendations, please follow the instructions in the Recommendations section of the online application.

Standardized test scores

GRE requirements

The Graduate Record Exam (GRE) is required of individuals who have completed their bachelor’s degree less than three years prior to the year for which they are applying. For example, if you are applying for fall 2025, you will have to submit a GRE score if you graduated after the spring semester of 2022.

  • Applicants should score above the 50th percentile on each section of the GRE (if required)
  • GRE scores must be sent electronically from ETS to the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), testing school code: 2986
  • To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the GRE website

A strong command of the English language is necessary for successful study at Penn. Applicants whose native language is not English must submit one of the following to demonstrate English proficiency and complete their application for committee review.

TOEFL requirements

  • An official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score:
    • The minimum TOEFL scores required for admissions consideration are: 100 with no subscore below 23, listening/speaking score of 26+ (iBT), 250 (CBT), or 600 (PBT)
    • TOEFL scores must be sent electronically from ETS to the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies (LPS), testing school code: 2986
    • To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the TOEFL website
  • An unofficial or official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score:
    • The minimum score for consideration is a 7.0 composite with no subscore below 6.5, writing score of 7.0+
    • You may upload an official or unofficial copy of your IELTS test to the standardized test score section of your application or email it to
    • To locate a testing site near you or schedule an exam, visit the IELTS website
  • A written request to have the TOEFL/IELTS requirement waived:
    • Please note that a TOEFL/IELTS score is rarely waived; therefore, we encourage applicants to take the test to avoid delays in completing the application. We frequently get requests for waivers from people who have worked in the US for many years or have a degree from a school where the instruction was in English; this alone is not enough to qualify for a waiver.
    • If you think you may qualify for a waiver, please be aware that the waiver request can cause delays in completing your application. If the application deadline is near, you may want to schedule the test just so that it will not delay you from submitting a complete application on time.
    • To submit a request for a waiver, first submit all other documents required for your application. Then, send a written request to Please include information on why the requirement should be waived, including how much education you have received in English schools, scores you may have earned on the TOEFL/IELTS previously (send unofficial scores, if possible), grades earned in writing-intensive courses, and any other information that you feel is relevant.

Please note that the College of Liberal and Professional Studies is accepting at-home GRE and TOEFL test scores and the IELTS Indicator exam scores through the 2022-2023 admissions year. Please visit the specific standardized testing websites for exam options in your home country.

Upon review of an applicant's file, the Admissions Committee reserves the right to request TOEFL scores.

International transcripts from institutions outside the United States

Applicants who have attended a college or university outside the US are required to have a course-by-course credential evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) performed by an outside evaluation service. Credential evaluations will be reviewed by our administrators, and the determination of degree equivalency to US degrees is at the discretion of the College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The following two evaluation services are acceptable:

CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service: Applicants from international institutions are encouraged to use the CertiFile/CollegeNET Document Service within the College of Liberal and Professional Studies application to request and submit authenticated transcript(s) and other academic documents. This service provides certified documents and course evaluations which are then included as part of your application materials. If using this service, Penn requires the “Evaluation” service at a cost of $190.

World Education Services Inc. (WES): WES must complete a course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary credentials. The course-by-course evaluation should include the comparability level of your education and list each of your courses along with the equivalent US marks and credit. Please select the WES basic course-by-course evaluation (with grade point average and course levels) and request that WES send your evaluation to Penn College of Liberal and Professional Studies Admissions. The school can be found by searching the University of Pennsylvania and then selecting College of Liberal and Professional Studies. The evaluation becomes an official academic record and sole property of the University upon its receipt. For additional information about the WES application and their review process, please visit the WES website.

Please note that these services charge a fee for the evaluation.

Program format

Learn more abot MAPP's innovative hybrid program delivery model.

Want to know more?

Want to know more?

Join us on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, for a virtual information session to hear more about the program, curriculum, and application process.

Applied Positive Psychology faculty

Dr. James Pawelski is the MAPP Program Director and one of the many outstanding members of the MAPP faculty team.