Positive Health Psychology integrates your core professional education in psychology with a focus on this dynamic and growing field, which explores human well-being and the factors that contribute to it.

Positive Health Psychology investigates people who are physically and mentally healthy despite the presence of otherwise harmful physical, social, or environmental conditions. Offered jointly by the School of Community & Global Health and the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences, this unique master’s program in positive health psychology explores the relationship of optimism and physical health, positive health behaviors, and the role social support and relationships play in maximizing health and well-being. You’ll gain a unique combination of insights applicable to a wide range of professional options, including managed care, mental health, and such federal agencies as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Program Highlights
  • Positive psychologists who are also competent in epidemiological and public health principles are well positioned for careers at managed care organizations, mental health departments, and federal agencies.
  • The proximity to local health departments in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties provides many employment and educational opportunities for students.
  • All students in the Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences who request financial aid receive some amount. DBOS also regularly hires students for paid teaching assistantships.

Program at a Glance

48 units

2 years

*This estimate assumes full-time registration and pursuit of the degree. Actual completion times will vary and may be higher, depending on full- or part-time course registration, units transferred, and time to complete other degree requirements.

Fall | Spring

Division of Behavioral & Organizational Sciences

MA in Positive Health Psychology

Featured Courses

Foundations of Positive Psychology

Introduces the history, intellectual sources, and main topics of research and application in the burgeoning field of positive psychology.

CGH 300
Theoretical Foundations in Health Promotion & Education

Explores and critiques theoretical foundations of health promotion programs and provides information about applications in varied health promotion settings.

CGH 302

Provides an overview of the causes, distribution, and control of disease in populations and the skills and knowledge to investigate the epidemiology of a specific disease or other health-related phenomenon.

Applied Multiple Regression

Explores bivariate and multivariate correlation and regression with an emphasis on applications of multiple regression to data analysis.

CGH 313
Research Methods in Public Health

Examines the principles and skills of conducting behavioral research and using qualitative and quantitative approaches commonly relied upon in public health settings.

Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology

Introduces major topics of research in this field—students choose a specific topic, prepare a thorough critical review of the literature, and present it to the class for discussion.


Health Core Courses (24 units)
Epidemiology (4 units)
Grant Writing & Proposal Development (4 units)
Foundations in Program Planning (4 units)
Foundations in Global Health (4 units)
Research Methods (4 units)
Theoretical Foundations of Health Promotion & Education (4 units)

Positive Psychology Core Courses (12 units)
Foundations of Positive Psychology (4 units)
Advanced Topics in Positive Psychology (4 units)
Positive Health Psychology (4 units)

Applied Research Methodology Courses (12 units)
Foundations of Evaluation (4 units)
Intermediate Statistics (2 units)
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) (2 units)
Applied Multiple Regression (2 units)
Categorical Data Analysis (2 units)

In the Field Opportunities

Under the supervision of professionals with expertise in your particular areas of interest, you can participate in fieldwork, research, and paid internships at a range of corporations and organizations, including:

  • Southern California Edison Company
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • Orange County Rapid Transit District
  • Riverside County Department of Mental Health
  • Claremont Evaluation Center
  • Institute for Research on Social Issues

Faculty & Research

  • Darleen V. Peterson profile image

    Darleen V. Peterson

    Professor of Practice, Community and Global Health
    Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    Director of the Certificate and Master of Public Health (MPH) programs

    Research Interests

    Evaluation of Health Communication Campaigns, Effects of Pro- and Anti-Tobacco and Alcohol Marketing; Public Health Education Accreditation

  • Jason T. Siegel profile image

    Jason T. Siegel

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social Psychology, Health Psychology, Persuasion

  • Eusebio Alvaro profile image

    Eusebio Alvaro

    Full Research Professor

    Research Interests

    Social Influence Processes, Health Promotion, Disease Prevention & Medicine

  • Tiffany Berry profile image

    Tiffany Berry

    Dean, School of Social Science, Policy & Evaluation
    Full Research Professor

    Research Interests

    Educational Program Evaluation, K–12 Educational Curricula, Comprehensive School Reform

    Affiliated with

    Claremont Evaluation Center

  • Michelle Bligh profile image

    Michelle Bligh

    Interim Executive Vice President & Provost
    Professor of Organizational Behavior

    Research Interests

    Leadership, Organizational Culture, Charismatic Leadership

  • William Crano profile image

    William Crano

    Stuart Oskamp Chair of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Social Influence, Effects of persuasive information on drug addiction and HIV/AIDS, Minority and majority relationships to health information

  • Stewart I. Donaldson profile image

    Stewart I. Donaldson

    Distinguished University Professor
    Executive Director, Claremont Evaluation Center
    Executive Director, The Evaluators' Institute (TEI)

    Research Interests

    Positive Organizational Psychology, Health/Well-Being & Positive Functioning Across Cultures, Program Design & Re-Design, Culturally Responsive Theory-Driven Measurement & Evaluation

    Affiliated with

    Claremont Evaluation Center

    The Evaluators’ Institute

  • Michael Hogg profile image

    Michael Hogg

    Professor of Social Psychology

    Research Interests

    Self and Social Identity; Intergroup Relations and Group Processes; Influence and Leadership; Uncertainty, Radicalization and Extremism

  • Jeanne Nakamura profile image

    Jeanne Nakamura

    Associate Professor
    Co-director, Quality of Life Research Center

    Research Interests

    Engagement, Mentoring, Positive Aging

    Affiliated with

    Quality of Life Research Center

  • Kathy Pezdek profile image

    Kathy Pezdek

    Professor of Psychology

    Research Interests

    Memory & Comprehension, Eyewitness Memory, Autobiographical Memory

  • Michael Scriven profile image

    Michael Scriven

    Distinguished Professor

    Research Interests

    Philosophy, Mathematics, Evaluation methodologies, Critical thinking, Technology studies, Computer studies

  • Tarek Azzam profile image

    Tarek Azzam

    Senior Visiting Fellow

    Research Interests

    Social Research and Methodologies, Policy & Program Evaluations, Data Visualization and Evaluation

Where You Can Find Our Alumni

Request information about the Positive Health Psychology program

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Regina Burch

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-9421
E: regina.burch@cgu.edu

Brittany Galvez

Assistant Director of Admissions
T: 909-607-6728
E: brittany.galvez@cgu.edu