APOP 100: Introduction to Positive Psychology

APOP 100: Introduction to Positive Psychology
Course in Applied Positive Psychology
Course Description:

Positive psychology is the scientific study of what helps people live full lives. This introductory course focuses on the science of thriving, addressing questions such as what it means to be “happy” and how we can cultivate well-being as individuals, in organizations, and in communities. Explore the foundations of positive psychology, understand the components of well-being, and learn the theory, empirical research, and collective wisdom that supports this conceptual framework. This hands-on course includes experiments and small-group activities designed to help you build your own well-being and participate in an engaged learning community. The instructor recommends that you acquire two texts for this course, either by purchasing them or checking them out of your library: A Primer in Positive Psychology by Christopher Peterson and Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E.P. Seligman.

BAAS students may enroll in the hybrid version of this course, which satisfies one of the required on-campus learning experiences. Learn more about this requirement on the on-campus learning experience page. The hybrid version of this course is only open to BAAS students.

For those pursuing a Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology, this course is strongly recommended as a prerequisite for the other three courses.

Course Credits:
1 course unit (c.u.)*
Term Format:
Accelerated 8-Week Term
2020 Term Offered:
Fall 1 (accelerated): Sep 1 – Oct 26, 2020
2021 Term Offered:
Spring 1 (accelerated): Jan 15 – Mar 10, 2021
Summer 1 (accelerated): May 24 – Jul 16, 2021 (Hybrid course)
On-campus Intensive Session:
Saturday, June 6 - Sunday, June 7, 2020 (Cancelled)

*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.


  • Faculty, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology

Virginia is a lifelong learner and educator, who recently concluded a 25-year public school teaching career working with students with special needs in diverse, low-income communities. She holds a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) from the University of Pennsylvania and has served as… Read more

  • Faculty, Penn LPS Online Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology

Margarita Tarragona is a psychologist who specializes in applying positive psychology in the helping professions and education. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago and obtained her clinical training at The Family Institute of Northwestern University and the Ackerman Institute for… Read more

Course Registration

Fall 2020 registration is now open

Explore courses >


Take the next steps to enroll in a course.

Get Started

Learn more about Penn LPS Online