ISU Courses

Fall 2024

The Science and Practice of Happiness

Tuesday/Thursday 12:40-2:00pm

Course Identifier: HDFS 4930

Credits: 3 credit hours

 Course Information

1.    Brief description of the content of the course: Students will have the opportunity to explore the science and practice of happiness and well-being. Through a combination of readings, experiential learning, theoretical and practical applications, students will learn how to cultivate and enhance their own happiness and well-being, as well as contribute positively to the well-being of those around them. Join us on a co-created journey to discover how to lead a more fulfilling and joyful life.

2.    Prerequisites or co-requisites: None

3.    There is not a required textbook for this course, and there will be no formal exams or quizzes. All readings will be available through Canvas. We will also use Top Hat to track participation, which is now free to all ISU students. We will review information about using Top Hat in the first week of class. 


Course Goals

The learning objectives and learning outcomes include:

1. Define subjective well-being and explore various definitions of happiness

2. Understand prominent perspectives on happiness from an interdisciplinary lens

3. Explore one’s own personal meaning and purpose and how that relates to well-being and happiness

4. Describe how our relationships impact our well-being and happiness across the lifespan

5. Understand the challenges of becoming happier and the barriers to well-being

6. Practice scientifically validated strategies for becoming happier including gratitude, mindfulness, and self-compassion

7. Identify key take-away messages from the science of happiness that can be leveraged in your own life for improved personal well-being