- Venue: Online
- Date: Self-paced: Course Launches Jan. 6, 2019
Price: Free (except to earn Continuing Education units)
Since the Greater Good Science Center's FREE Science of Happiness online course first launched in September of 2014, more than 450,000 students have registered for it. Here is what some of them have to say:
"This is the most useful course I have ever taken. The materials that were offered in this course completely changed my perspective towards life."
"After I took this course, I became a different person. I learnt how to be mindful, accept myself. It really works."
"Excellent life-improvement lessons."
"The weekly practices in this course made it possible for me to actually integrate the course material into my life and experience the benefits on a daily basis."
"Thank you for one of the best learning experiences I have had in my 70 years."
The free eight-week course explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life through science and practice. Students will engage with some of the most provocative and practical lessons from the latest research, discovering how cutting-edge research can be applied to their own lives. The course is divided into eight one-week segments, with an additional week in the middle for a midterm and an extra week at the end for a final exam, though students have six months to complete the material at their own pace if they wish.
Taught by the GGSC's Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas, The Science of Happiness zeroes in on a fundamental finding from positive psychology: that happiness is inextricably linked to having strong social ties and contributing to something bigger than yourself—the greater good.
Students will learn about the most recent and relevant happiness research through compelling videos featuring Dacher and Emiliana as well as expert guest instructors; actionable happiness exercises; accessible reading material; and a weekly "emotion check-in."
And it works: previous participants have reported significant increases in happiness and life satisfaction, with a corresponding decrease in stress.
How to Sign Up
The Science of Happiness is hosted on the edX platform. To sign up, you need to create an edX account and then register for the course on edX. Once you do, you'll receive weekly emails every Tuesday as new content is posted.
Six or 16 units of continuing education are available to psychologists, social workers, MFTs, therapist, counselors, and nurses. More info is in the Continuing Education tab above.
Taking the Course as a Team
Why not take the class with a group? We now offer a facilitator's guide to help you organize in-person meetings to coincide with the run of the course.
The guide provides week-by-week instructions for how to present key topics; addresses the most common questions students have; and helps you try out suggested exercises, activities, and practices from the course in a group setting.
If you have questions about how your group can take the course or would like further information about the facilitator's guide, contact GGSC Marketing Director Elise Proulx directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note this course is free; simply choose "Audit This Course" to register at no charge. However, edX (the online education platform which hosts the course) also offers a Verified Track for $49. The course is identical, but you'll receive a certificate of completion when you finish the course.
If you plan to use your course for job applications, promotions, or school applications, you may prefer to have a verified certificate. It’s also a great way to give yourself an incentive to complete the course and celebrate your success.