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The positive psychology certificate provides tools to cope with human behavior, relationships, career and education.

By Jana Cunningham

Juggling school, work and daily assignments can be daunting enough, but many students will also experience trauma, divorce, difficult professional and personal relationships, addictions and other pressures throughout their college career and future. Learning how to cope and deal with these situations can be a difficult and overwhelming road to navigate.

The Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education is now offering an online Positive Psychology Certificate for students of any major who are interested in gaining life skills and knowledge of psychology to help handle these situations to benefit their careers and personal lives.

Positive psychology, a scientific area in psychology, emphasizes the study of human strengths, positive emotions and well-being. The 20-credit certificate focuses on applying positive psychology to individual behavior, relationships, career and education and can be used in place of a minor.

“These courses enhance life skills to handle situations that come along for everyone – anger reduction, life satisfaction and traumatic life experiences – just to name a few,” said JoLynn Yates, academic coordinator for Educational Psychology. “They are all offered online, which is an added convenience and the courses are open to all. The certificate looks favorable on any professional resume and has been used to further career development.  It is a growing area of interest throughout the nation.”

Courses cover topics such as forgiveness, enhancing happiness, coping with difficult people, resilience after divorce, overcoming self-defeating behavior and positive psychology of career and work. New classes are being added each year to give a variety of choices. The application process can be found online.


Jana Cunningham is a communications specialist at University Marketing and Communications. If you have an interesting story idea, email her at