About the Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
Applied Positive Psychology is a discipline that examines the intersections of body, brain, culture, and science to develop tools and practices that enhance human flourishing and well-being. In this certificate program, you will be introduced to the field of positive psychology and will learn tools and practice strategies that support personal, organizational, and community well-being. The online courses in applied positive psychology teach you the theoretical and empirical foundations of human flourishing, how well-being is measured, and what activities increase human flourishing in various contexts and settings.
The Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology is a 4-course, 4 c.u.* credit program of study taught by University of Pennsylvania faculty. To earn a certificate, students complete any four courses offered, in any order. Students who complete the basic certificate may pursue an advanced certificate (6-course, 6 c.u.*) by adding two additional positive psychology courses.
Penn LPS Online courses in the Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology are offered on an accelerated (8-week) schedule. Courses in the online certificate program are largely asynchronous with some synchronous sessions to be scheduled by the instructors.
You have the option to enroll in individual courses without committing to the entire online certificate, enjoying the flexibility and expertise offered by Penn LPS Online to suit your schedule and interests. Visit the Cost of Attendance page for course tuition and fee rates. Courses within the Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology may be applied to our Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree, but do not count toward Penn's Master of Applied Positive Psychology degree.
Watch a video of a recent virtual information session to hear from the program team about the Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology.
If you are having trouble viewing this video, watch it on YouTube.
*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.
The Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology prepares you to:
- Learn the historical and empirical foundations of positive psychology and the science of well-being
- Explore key research themes (e.g., positive emotions, strengths, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment) and their relevance in personal and organizational settings
- Apply research in positive psychology by practicing strategies that influence well-being
- Investigate applications of positive psychology in different professional settings, including business, education, healthcare, and the nonprofit sector
- Learn the basics of research, measurement, and evaluation in positive psychology
It is strongly recommended that students earning the certificate first complete APOP 100: Introduction to Positive Psychology. Certificate students who complete any four of the online courses listed below earn a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology. Those students are then eligible to pursue an Advanced Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology by taking two additional positive psychology courses.
- APOP 100: Introduction to Positive Psychology
- APOP 120: Human Flourishing: Strengths and Resilience
- APOP 200: Positive Psychology at Work
- APOP 220: Flourishing with Others: Building Thriving Relationships
- APOP 290: Understanding the Science of Positive Psychology
- APOP 320: Morality and the Good Life
Courses are subject to change.
Meet the Faculty
- Faculty Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
- Professor of Practice and Director of Education, Positive Psychology Center
- Director, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
- Associate Director of Education at the Positive Psychology Center
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Positive Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania
- Faculty, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology
- Senior Fellow, Wharton School's McNulty Leadership Program
Professional outcomes related to Applied Positive Psychology
The Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology is designed to help you become more effective as an individual, employee, and leader in your workplace and community. In addition to strategies for enhancing personal well-being, the certificate has broad professional applications in a range of fields.
- Partner with others to build employee engagement
- Increase your effectiveness and resilience as a leader
- Take a strengths-based approach to your professional development
- Understand how to measure changes in individual and organizational well-being