Graduate Certificate Programs in Applied Positive Psychology

Nov 19, 2019

Graduate certificate programs in applied positive psychology educate students in the science of well-being and mental health. Get program details including admission requirements, coursework and outcomes.

The growing interest in the relatively new field of applied positive psychology is being met with offerings for related graduate certificate programs. Types of programs, admittance requirements, and how a graduate certificate compares to a Master of Applied Positive Psychology are the topics presented in this article.

Graduate Certificates Related to Applied Positive Psychology

There are a few variations on a graduate certificate program (also known as a professional certificate program) related to applied positive psychology. Below are the details for three common certificate programs in applied positive psychology.

Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology

The Graduate Certificate in Applied Positive Psychology can be completed in four to six courses and six to nine months of study. This program examines the interconnected nature of the body, brain and mental health. The study material for this program is presented in subjects like human flourishing and well-being, strength and resilience, positive psychology at work, and the science of positive psychology.

Certificate in Positive Psychology, Emotional Well-Being, and Happiness

Typically completed in twelve credit hours and five classes, the Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology, Emotional Well-Being, and Happiness educates the student in the application of the principles of positive psychology, the well-being of the brain and body, and the science of happiness. Coursework focuses on teaching self-awareness, positive relationships, self-esteem, positive emotion, engagement and flow, resilience, optimism, and wisdom. Two examples of class titles include Positive Psychology and Somatic Awareness and Embodied Wisdom.

Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology

Requiring 15 credit hours for completion, the Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology can be earned entirely online or on-campus. Students often choose to take one or two courses per semester and complete the program in under two years. Common coursework includes positive psychology, life and career coaching, community and stewardship, finding meaning in work, and positive organizational psychology.

Graduate Certificate Program in Applied Positive Psychology Admittance Requirements

Graduate certificate programs usually require a bachelor's degree in a related field or a bachelor's degree in any field with some coursework in psychology. Transcripts showing a 2.8 or higher GPA are typically required for admittance. Many schools ask for a statement of intent, vision, and expectation, and either a resume or CV. Admissions requirements often include proof of immunizations and two letters of recommendation. Graduate Record Exams (GRE) are usually not required, but a TOEFL exam is required for non-native English speakers. Finally, for on-campus studies, an interview is often needed.

Graduate Certificate vs Master's Degree in Applied Positive Psychology

A Master of Applied Positive Psychology explores theories and the latest research in mental health, whereas the field of psychology traditionally has focused on the study of mental illness and abnormalities, applied positive psychology at the graduate level focuses on well-being and the dynamics of positive mental health.

Admittance to a master's program requires an excellent academic record showing a bachelor's degree in a related field and typically a GPA of 3.0 or higher. If applying within three years of earning a bachelor's, students are often required to take the GRE.

More coursework is necessary than for a graduate certificate and typically consists of nine to twelve courses instead of five to six. The subject matter is the same, but a master's degree program offers more classes and in-depth studies than a professional certificate program. Master's degrees are more expensive and take about one and a half to two years to complete vs. six to nine months for a graduate certificate.

A graduate certificate program in applied positive psychology explores the nature of positive mental health. It can be completed in six to nine months and boasts a simpler program admittance checklist and less cost and time than a master's degree program.

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