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Frequently Asked Questions

This list of FAQs is updated based on questions students ask via email, within the discussion forums on, and in the Facebook group.

  1. How much does it cost to take this course? GG101x is free, and all necessary materials are provided. For a more thorough learning experience, supplemental books can be purchased. You can also upgrade to the Verified Track to earn a certificate of completion on; the cost is $50.00.
  2. When will course materials become available? Course materials will be released on a weekly basis every Tuesday over 10 weeks, beginning Tuesday, September 5, 2017. For example, all of the material for Week 1: Introduction to the Science of Happiness, becomes available on September 5, and you can work through the videos, reading and Problem Sets at your own pace. Then, on the subsequent Tuesday, September 12, all of the material for Week 2 is made available, and so on. There is a break to catch up, review and complete the Midterm Exam during Week 5, as well as a week to catch up, review and complete the Final Exam during Week 10. The course syllabus has a more detailed outline of the course material.
  3. What type of computing environment do I need for this course? You need to have a computer running one of the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows, version XP or greater (XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7); Apple OSX, version 10.2 or greater; Linux, most distributions that have been released within the past two years should work. 
  4. Will the text of the lectures be available? Yes, transcripts for all videos included in the course are made available alongside each video.
  5. Will the videos have accessibility related accommodations? Yes, all the videos are transcribed and can be downloaded and have closed captioning.
  6. How do I get CE credit? GG101x is approved for 6 (partial course completion) to 16 CE credit (full course completion) hours for psychologists, therapists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and members of NIRSA. To earn CE credit hours you must: a) Create an account and register for CE credit through the course's continuing education co-sponsor, R. Cassidy Seminars (RCS) and pay for either 16 CE credit hours or 6 CE credit hours. b) After doing the partial or full course, complete a self-test on the RCS website. The CE credit self-test on the RCS website is NOT THE SAME as the work completed on (e.g. Problem Sets or Exams). You can answer RCS self-test questions while you're still taking the course or after you've completed the entire course. A score of 75 percent is required to pass the test; you can view your incorrect responses and retake the test if necessary. c) 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. 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 RCS does maintain a record of your course completion and your certificate in case you need it in the future.
  7. Will this course be available at a later date? Typically, we run GG101x: The Science of Happiness in September as a synchronous course (materials released each Tuesday), then again in January as a self-paced course (materials released all at once), refreshing and updating the course with each new launch. We cannot, however, guarantee that this will be the case going forward, so we recommend making time for it now!
  8. How long will the course materials be available? Registered students have access to the archived course content indefinitely on edX. Although you won't be able to earn points towards your final grade or a Verified Certificate after this date, you can still work through course readings and videos and see problem set and exam questions.
  9. The course videos won't play. What do I do? First off, you can try viewing the course in a different browser--Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, etc. If that doesn't work, try clicking on the YouTube icon in the bottom right corner of the video, which will open it on YouTube.
  10. What is the format of the class? GG101x consists of sequences of 5 to 10-minute lecture videos featuring the two co-instructors interspersed with "guest lecture" videos that feature outside experts on the science of happiness. The videos are available to you to watch on your own time and place of greatest convenience! GG101x also includes readings, prompts to join discussions, Problem Sets, two multiple choice Exams, and weekly "Happiness Practices"--research-tested activities for boosting happiness that you can try on your own. Throughout the class you'll also find weekly, ungraded "Check-Ins" that track how you’re doing over time. Finally, the course includes both live scheduled Q&As on video in real time, and recordings of earlier Q&As with co-instructors and scientific experts.
  11. Are exams open or closed book? Exams are open book meaning you can use whatever material from the course you need to respond to exam questions.
  12. How can I learn more about the course content? Download the class syllabus for a more detailed outline of the course's content and components, including some key readings (and suggested supplemental readings). You can learn even more about the science of happiness by checking out the website of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center, which produces the course.
  13. Will certificates be awarded? Students registered on the Verified Track who earn a minimum of 60% on Problem Sets and Exams in GG110x will be able to download a Verified Certificate from their edX account dashboard. The Verified Certificate indicates that you have successfully completed the course, but does not include a specific grade. Verified Certificates are issued by edX.
  14. How do I earn a Verified Certificate? When registering for the course, you have the option of auditing the course or enrolling on the Verified Track. Auditing the course is a free option which does not allow students to earn a certificate, while the Verified Track requires a payment and results in a Verified Certificate of completion from edX.
  15. Why would I want to enroll on the Verified Track? Verified Certificates provide added proof that you have completed The Science of Happiness, in case you want to list this asset on your resume, job applications, or school applications. Verified Certificates include the signatures of both co-instructors and the BerkeleyX brand.
  16. Can I switch from auditing the course to the Verified Track? Yes, you have until the end of the course to upgrade to the Verified Track. We recommend that you plan to dedicate approximately 4-5 hours per week to the course to earn a Verified Certificate.
  17. I can no longer take this course. What do I do? If you can no longer take the course, you can unregister from the course by going to your dashboard and unregister yourself. You can also stay registered in the course to preserve your access to the archived materials later on.
  18. I can no longer take this course but I have already paid for the Verified Certificate. What do I do? Neither the Instructional Team nor the GGSC handle enrollment, registration, payment, or Verified Certificate issues associated with GG101x. All of these matters are supported directly by the learning platform. Please contact edx directly for support.
  19. How can I find out where other students are at in the world? We have created a map for you to add your location, see others around the world, and gain a better understanding of who your classmates are! You can also connect with other students on the GG101x: The Science of Happiness Facebook Group.
  20. Can I meet other students in the course? You are welcome to connect with other students through the discussion forums or the Facebook group to organize meet ups or connect virtually. You can also lead or join a Happiness Team to connect with smaller groups of students. Finally, if you want to coordinate an in-person experience, you can use the GG101x Facilitator Guide, and recruit other people to participate in weekly meetings.
  21. I registered for this course with friends. Can people watch it together on one computer or does everyone have to be logged in and on their own computer to participate? You can all watch the videos together on a common computer, but your individual progress on Problem Sets, Check Ins, and Exams, and your discussion forum activity, can only be tracked through your own separate accounts. Feel free to watch on the same screen, but use your own edX login when responding to questions in the course.
  22. I forgot to include the email address of my peer completing the peer-input portion of the pre-course survey, what do I do? Email us with your name, your edX ID, and your peer’s email address and we’ll make sure to send them an email.
  23. I won't be available during the Live Q&A. Will it be available for me to see after? Yes. All Live Q&As are recorded and posted within the course shortly after.
  24. I posted in the discussion forums. How can I see my post? The easiest way to check back on your post is to search for your username. You can enter your username in the "Search all posts" search field. This is a great way to check back and look at the replies on your post!
  25. How can I follow a discussion forum post? Following a discussion forum post is the best way to keep up with all activity on the thread! Edx has put together a great tutorial for following posts at the following link:
  26. Where can I reach you for questions or help? All questions, inquiries, and comments can be sent to us at