When most people think about higher education, they usually think about fine arts, business, and the like. But what about getting a degree in happiness? That’s right, a New Jersey university is offering the world’s first Master of Arts in Happiness Studies.
Master of Arts in Happiness Studies
Centenary University in New Jersey will begin offering a degree in happiness in 2022! The Master of Arts in Happiness Studies aims to “explore the implications of happiness for individuals, the workplace, and our broader society,” the announcement reads. There’s only one twist – students can only study for the degree virtually. The program launches in the fall semester of 2022 and costs $17,700. Tal Ben Shahar, a co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy and happiness expert, will be the director of the program.
“This online, 30-credit graduate degree is an interdisciplinary program designed for leaders who are committed to personal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal happiness,” said University President Bruce Murphy. “Grounded in science and research, this new degree will study happiness and resilience to prepare graduates to make an impact in a wide range of fields.”
The college worked closely with the Happiness Studies Academy on the degree. Anyone from human resource employees to CEOs can incorporate the program’s teachings into their workplace. “We were thrilled when Centenary University President Murphy and his colleagues were willing to take the leap, so to speak, and create and an academic field out of the fields of happiness, which is sorely needed in our world,” Ben-Shahar said.
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The academy wants to help students become happiness revolutionists. Thus, those in the program have to dedicate their time and effort to “personal, interpersonal and communal flourishing,” the University website states. “When we’re talking about happiness, we’re talking about cultivating resilience, the ability to deal with hardships, with difficulties, and there’s plenty to go around today,” Ben-Shahar said. “We need some practical advice, evidence-based advice to help people deal with difficulties.”
The happiness degree will focus on different professional points. Students will dive into psychology, philosophy, and neuroscience as well as finance and business. Literature, religion, and music won’t be ignored in the process, either. As such, this degree is easily one of the most diverse. As Ben-Shahar states, “The degree in happiness studies is relevant for essentially every field of practice.” It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’re interested in, it will “help you bring out the best in your family, colleagues, clients, students and yourself,” according to the program’s webpage. “I see a lot of opportunity for individuals to be engaged, to take this master’s degree program, to get the certification and to go forth and do great things with it,” President Murphy commented.
Around 38 applications were submitted to Centenary University two weeks after the new program was announced. Lawyers, doctors, therapists, teachers, coaches, and managers have already applied to get a degree in happiness.