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The Science of Happiness

Register now for the acclaimed online course, re-launching September 8, 2015

A free online course exploring the roots of a happy, meaningful life. Co-taught by the GGSC’s Dacher Keltner and Emiliana Simon-Thomas. Up to 16 CE credit hours available.

Register now!

Check out the Greater Good Events Calendar.

Registration for the Fall 2015 run of the course is now open—sign up today!

Since it first launched in September 2014, more than 200,000 students have registered for “The Science of Happiness.” 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.

If there were a Mt. Everest version of recommendations, a pinnacle—a peak—that is where my recommendation for “The Science of Happiness” would be. I have the highest recommendation possible for the course. It’s been the most beautiful, inspiring, helpful, wonderful—beyond words really—course/educational opportunity I have ever experienced.

“I humbly bow to the awesome level of this course.” —Lura Sanborn,

“The Science of Happiness” is a free online course that explores the roots of a happy and meaningful life. Students will engage with some of the most provocative and practical lessons from this science, 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.

Created by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, the course 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 cross-disciplinary research supporting this view, spanning the fields of psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and beyond.

Instructors Emiliana Simon-Thomas and Dacher Keltner Instructors Emiliana Simon-Thomas and Dacher Keltner

What’s more, “The Science of Happiness” will offer students practical strategies for nurturing their own happiness. Research suggests that up to 40 percent of happiness depends on our habits and activities. So each week, students will learn a new research-tested practice that fosters social and emotional well-being—and the course will help them track their progress along the way.

The course will include:

  • Short videos featuring the co-instructors and guest lectures from top experts on the science of happiness;
  • Articles and other readings that make the science accessible and understandable to non-academics;
  • Weekly “happiness practices”—real-world exercises that students can try on their own, all based on research linking these practices to greater happiness;
  • Tests, quizzes, polls, and a weekly “emotion check-in” that help students gauge their happiness and track their progress over time;

The course will be led by two celebrated teachers from the Greater Good Science Center: Emiliana Simon-Thomas, Ph.D., the GGSC’s science director, and GGSC founder Dacher Keltner, Ph.D., who is a psychology professor at UC Berkeley and author of the best-selling book Born to Be Good. It will also feature guest presentations by some of the world’s leading authorities on positive psychology, including Sonja Lyubomirsky, Barbara Fredrickson, and Jon Kabat-Zinn.

“The Science of Happiness” is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), hosted on the edX platform.

Interested in receiving continuing education units? Click here for more details about how you can receive 6 or 16 credit hours for taking “The Science of Happiness.”


Continuing Education for “The Science of Happiness”

This online course is approved for 16 CE credit hours for psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and members of NIRSA. A shorter, introductory version is approved for 6 CE credit hours. Continuing Education for this course is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

In order to earn CE credit hours for participating in this online course, you must:

1. Register for CE credit through the course’s continuing education co-sponsor, R. Cassidy Seminars (RCS), paying for either 16 CE credit hours or 6 CE credit hours. When you register for CE credit, you will create a login through the RCS website.

2. Register separately for “The Science of Happiness” for free on the edX platform. You must do this in order to access the course materials on edX. A new week of course materials will be available on edX each week for eight weeks, starting on September 8, 2015, with an additional week in the middle for a midterm and an extra week at the end for a final exam, for a total of 10 weeks. However, as long as you register before November 17, 2015, you will retain free access to the course materials indefinitely.

3. Complete a self-test measuring your understanding of the course material. You can access the self-test through the R. Cassidy Seminars website any time after the course launches. You can answer test questions while you’re still taking the course or after you’ve completed the entire course, and you can stop the test at any time—you’ll just need to click the Submit Answers button before leaving the page. When you next log in, you will return to the page that follows your last submitted answers. A score of 75 percent is required to pass the test. Should you score less than 75 percent, you will have the opportunity to view your incorrect responses and retake the test immediately.

4. Once you pass the test, an evaluation form will come up on your screen. Please fill this out completely, as it is a requirement of each licensing board.

5. A continuing education certificate of completion will appear on your screen after you’ve passed the self-test and filled out the evaluation. We recommend that you print it for your records, though R. Cassidy Seminars does maintain a record of your course completion and your certificate in case you need it in the future.

For any questions related to continuing education credit for this course, email R. Cassidy Seminars staff at or call them at 888-992-9199.

Click the links below to learn more and register for the 16 or 6 CE version.

# of CE hoursPrice
16 CE hours $199 REGISTER
6 CE hours $99 REGISTER

Course Approvals

Continuing Education is co-sponsored by R. Cassidy Seminars.

Drug and Alcohol Counselors: Provider approved by CFAAP/CAADAC. Provider 4N-00-434-0216 for 16 CEHs. CAADAC is an ICRC member which has reciprocity with most ICRC member states.

ICF Coaches can receive a Resource Development Certificate for completing the course. The Certificate will be issued jointly by R. Cassidy and the Greater Good Science Center.

Marriage and Family Therapists: Course meets the qualifications for (16) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418. This course provides 6 CE hours.

NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation will offer 1.6 NIRSA Continuing Educaiton Units for the eight week course. NIRSA Continuing Education Units can be applied toward application or renewal requirements for the NIRSA Registry of Collegiate Recreational Sports Professionals.

Nurses: Provider approved by the CA Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #CeP12224, for (16) contact hours.

Occupational Therapists: R. Cassidy Seminars is an AOTA approved provider # 6782. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Occupational therapists will receive a certificate of completion for (16) CE hours. 1 CE hour(s) = .1 AOTA CEU(s).

Psychologists: R. Cassidy Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists.  R. Cassidy Seminars maintains responsibility for this program. Also covers LPCs, MFTs, and SWs in the District of Columbia and LPCCs, MFTs, and LCSW in CA beginning 8/1/2015. (6) or (16) # CE Hours.

Social Workers:
Course meets the qualifications for (16) hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, Provider #PCE418.

Note:: Many state boards accept offerings accredited by national or other state organizations. If your state is not listed, please check with your professional licensing board to determine whether the accreditations listed are accepted.

Register now!

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Greater Good Events

Mindfulness, Connection, and Compassion
International House, UC Berkeley
October 2, 2015

Mindfulness, Connection, and Compassion

A special day-long event with Shauna Shapiro, Ph.D., and Dan Siegel, M.D.


Take a Greater Good Quiz!

How compassionate are you? How generous, grateful, or forgiving? Find out!


Watch Greater Good Videos

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Talks by inspiring speakers like Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dacher Keltner, and Barbara Fredrickson.


Greater Good Resources


Book of the Week

The Path to Purpose By William Damon Looks at how children are hampered in their search for meaning, and how concerned adults can help them find it.

Is she flirting with you? Take the quiz and find out.
"It is a great good and a great gift, this Greater Good. I bow to you for your efforts to bring these uplifting and illuminating expressions of humanity, grounded in good science, to the attention of us all."  
Jon Kabat-Zinn

Best-selling author and founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program

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