Applied Positive Psychology, MAPP

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. Martin E.P. Seligman, founder of the discipline of positive psychology, along with leading researchers and practitioners educate students at the cutting edge of the field. The MAPP curriculum is designed to educate you in the history, theory and research methods of positive psychology, as well as its application in professional settings.


The program consists of nine courses, completed in one year of full-time study during consecutive fall, spring and summer semesters.

  • During the fall semester, you will begin the program with courses that focus on the science, research and theoretical underpinnings of positive psychology, giving students a strong foundation to build on throughout the remainder of the program.
  • The spring semester courses offer content to help you learn how to apply positive psychology in various professional settings, including creating a plan for positive interventions in a real organization.
  • The capstone project, which is completed during the summer semester, allows you to integrate what you’ve learned throughout the program, and apply it in the professional or research domain most significant to you. It often serves as a stepping stone to the application of positive psychology in a particular professional domain or to further research in a specific area. 
Core Courses
MAPP 6000Introduction to Positive Psychology1
MAPP 6010Research Methods and Evaluation1
MAPP 6020Foundations of Positive Interventions1
MAPP 6030Perspectives on Well-Being1
MAPP 7080Positive Psychology and Individuals1
MAPP 7100Humanities and Human Flourishing1
MAPP 7120The Psychology & Neuroscience of Character1
MAPP 7140Applying Positive Interventions in Institutions1
Capstone Course
MAPP 8000Capstone1
Total Course Units9


The capstone project is a distinguishing feature of the Master of Applied Positive Psychology program, blending academic and professional experiences and serving as the culmination of your work in the program. Through the capstone project, you will explore, in depth, the theories and practical applications you’ve learned in the program, to advance the field of positive psychology itself. If you are interested in exploring more capstones, you can visit Penn's Scholarly Commons website to browse project abstracts or download full projects.

The capstone is completed during the summer semester and has no on-site course requirements. You will conduct this project work independently, with your advisor’s ongoing guidance, in a setting that is significant to you and most relevant to your future professional goals.

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.