Take a look at the first college to offer a happiness degree, along with the costly price tag attached.
Have you ever been told by your incessantly unhappy friends that you are too happy? Does it always seem to bother those close to you that you always have a smile on your face or are always looking for that silver lining? Not only can you now clap back at them by continuing to show your pearly whites, but you can do it in style – with a Happiness degree.
Yes, you now have the ability to earn a degree in happiness. Centenary University, located in New Jersey, is launching, per the university, what they are calling the world’s first “Master of Arts in Happiness Studies.” According to the university, the new happiness degree program will “explore the implications of happiness for individuals, the workplace, and our broader society.”
As we all know, happiness doesn’t come cheap in this day and age, and Centenary University’s happiness degree is no exception. The program will launch virtually this coming fall and (hope you’re sitting for this) it will cost students $17,700. Still smiling?
“Whatever profession you identify, there is a place – a very important place for happiness studies – for the science of well-being,” said Tal Ben-Shahar to Fox News. Ben-Shahar should know what he is talking about, he is an expert in happiness and the director of the new happiness degree program. He is also the co-founder of the Happiness Studies Academy.
Centenary University President Ben Murphy spoke about the new happiness degree program saying, “This online, 30-credit graduate degree is an interdisciplinary program designed for leaders who are committed to personal, interpersonal, organizational, and societal happiness. 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 “science and research” Murphy speaks of is from the university’s teaming up with Ben-Shahar and the Happiness Studies Academy. Murphy explained that the program can benefit so many professionals, listing off CEOs who wish to incorporate these learned lessons into their corporations or even human resources professionals looking to create training programs for employees. Needless to say, Ben-Shahar was overjoyed with the announcement of the Centenary University happiness degree program. “We were thrilled when Centenary University President Murphy and his colleagues were willing to take the leap, so to speak, and create an academic field out of the fields of happiness, which is sorely needed in our world,” gushed Ben-Shahar.
Although many may not have heard of Centenary University, they are actually a very well-respected place of higher learning. Located in Hackettstown, New Jersey, the private college only houses around 1,100 students. But don’t let its smallish stature fool you. As recent as 2017, the university was named by the Educate to Career College Rankings Index as one of the Best Value Top Institutions. To gain this well-deserved distinction, the university was ranked in the top 11% in the nation and was also named as one of the top two private institutions in New Jersey.
Ben-Shahar has taken his academy’s mission, which “is to lead the happiness revolution by educating leaders who are themselves dedicated to personal, interpersonal and communal flourishing,” and moved it over to the Centenary’s new happiness degree program. The academy’s philosophy is front and center. “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 explained. “Whether you’re talking pandemic, whether you’re talking war, uncertainty, whether it’s on the economic level, the emotional level.”
While the happiness degree appears to incorporate smiles, it will also go much deeper into what makes people smile, not only on the surface but also inside. Happiness isn’t always a physical appearance. Because of this, the degree will touch on a number of different disciplines that include philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience as well as business, finance, literature, music, and religion.
“This fully online accredited MA in Happiness Studies focuses on educating leaders who are committed to the cultivation of wellbeing in themselves and others, to the fulfillment of society’s potential for both happiness and goodness,” says the happiness degree program’s website. “Regardless of your area of interest and action … the rigorous ideas and evidence-based interventions that are part of the MA in Happiness Studies will help you bring out the best in your family, colleagues, clients, students, and yourself.”
To date, the university has already received 38 applications for the happiness degree program. What makes this number pretty impressive is that the announcement of this program’s existence came at the Miami World Happiness Summit on March 18. Murphy feels the new program will be a benefit for many professionals. Ben-Shahar echoed his sentiments saying his academy sees students from a number of different professions that include doctors, lawyers, teachers, managers, and even coaches. Time to make those smiles and bubbly personality count.
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