Graduate Programs for Social Entrepreneurs and How to Choose the Right One
Are you passionate about making a positive impact in society? Do you want to combine your entrepreneurial skills with your desire to create social change? If so, a Master's in Social Entrepreneurship may be the perfect program for you.
Social entrepreneurship has become increasingly popular in recent years as more individuals are seeking to use their leadership skills to create businesses that benefit society as well as generate profits. This type of entrepreneurship involves using innovative business skills to address social and environmental issues, such as poverty, inequality, and climate change.
A graduate degree program focusing on social entrepreneurship provides students with the knowledge and skills they need to launch and manage successful social enterprises. Through a combination of coursework and practical experience, students learn how to take on leadership roles, identify social problems, develop sustainable solutions, and create businesses that have a positive impact on society.
In this article, we will explore 5 degree programs available for social entrepreneurs and the key concepts you can expect to learn in each.
5 Graduate Programs for Social Entrepreneurs
Social entrepreneurship is a growing field that involves using business principles to tackle social problems. Many universities now offer graduate programs specifically designed for social entrepreneurs. These programs provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to create and run successful social ventures. Some of the top graduate programs for social entrepreneurs include those offered by Duke University, New York University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Oxford. These programs typically include coursework in business strategy, social impact measurement, and leadership development, among other topics. Graduates of these programs are well-equipped to create sustainable solutions to some of the world's most pressing social problems.
1. MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change
Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology
The MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program from Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology prepares students for a successful career in social entrepreneurship by providing a comprehensive curriculum that combines practical experience, innovative coursework, and mentorship from industry experts. Graduates emerge ready to create meaningful social impact and lead change in their communities.
Program Format: Hybrid format of both in-person learning in West LA and Washington, D.C., and online learning.
Length: 20 months / 34 units
- Social Entrepreneurship
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Pepperdine University is the first institution to offer a Master's In Social Entrepreneurship.
- Offers a global change experience with the opportunity to travel to a developing country and gain a hands-on global perspective of social and community issues through a two-week immersion.
- Bi-coastal completion through on-campus experiences in West LA and Washington DC in addition to online learning.
2. MS in Nonprofit Leadership
An MS in Nonprofit Leadership program equips students with the knowledge and skills to lead nonprofit organizations that focus on positive social change. The rigorous curriculum, expert faculty, and hands-on experience prepare students to make a real difference in the world.
Program Format: On-campus or online options
Length: Full-time or part-time
- Certificate in Law
- Graduate Certificate in Healthcare Innovation
- LGBTQ Certificate
- The program can be tailored to your interests through interdisciplinary electives.
- Offers hands-on, career-focused experience through a Leadership Practicum with a host organization.
- Dual degree options are available.
3. MBA With a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation
An MBA program with a Certificate in Public Management and Social Innovation, equips students with the skills and knowledge to become successful social entrepreneurs and innovators. This program combines rigorous business education with a focus on creating positive social impact, providing students with the tools to tackle the world's most pressing problems.
Program Format: In-person
Length: 2-year program
- Economic opportunity
- Environmental sustainability
- Opportunities to participate in a global experience.
- Opportunity to craft a global internship experience focused on personal academic and career goals.
4. MPA With a Concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management
An MPA with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management prepares graduate students to become effective leaders in the public sector and nonprofit organizations. This program provides rigorous education, practical experience, and extensive networking opportunities to help students pursue fulfilling and impactful careers in these fields.
Program Format: In-person
Length: 2-year program
- Public and Nonprofit Management
- Students acquire a strong set of budgeting, investment, debt financing, and data-driven analytical skills.
- The MPA is interdisciplinary, allowing students to take courses from faculty members across Cornell.
- The MPA Program offers options for off-campus study during the academic year to provide opportunities for networking and exposure to challenging professional environments.
5. Masters in Social Work: Social Innovation and Leadership Program
A Master's in Social Work prepares students to become leaders in the social work sector by offering a comprehensive curriculum that combines academic excellence with practical experience. This program equips students with the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to drive social innovation and create positive change in their communities.
Program Format: In-Person
Length: Full-time or part-time
- Afrocentric Social Work
- Children, Youth, & Families
- Global Practice
- Latinx Communities
- Mental Health
- Both clinical and macro specialization options are available.
How to Choose the Best Social Entrepreneurship Program
Choosing the best social entrepreneurship program depends on several factors, including your personal goals, interests, and learning style. Here are some key elements to keep in mind:
- Program Focus: Look for a program with core courses that align with your specific interests and goals as a social entrepreneur. Some programs may focus more on business courses and management, while others may prioritize social impact and community engagement. Make sure the program you choose aligns with your values and goals.
- Faculty and Curriculum: Research the faculty and curriculum of the program to ensure that they have a wide range of expertise and experience in social entrepreneurship. Look for faculty members who have practical experience in the field and a track record of success in creating and managing social enterprises.
- Resources and Support: Consider the resources and support that the program offers to its students, such as networking opportunities with fellow students, mentorship, and access to funding and resources. Look for programs that have a strong alumni network and partnerships with social enterprises and organizations.
- Location and Accessibility: Consider the location of the program and whether it is easily accessible to you. If you are interested in working with a specific community or social issue, look for programs that are located in or near that area.
- Program Reputation: Research the program's reputation and rankings, as well as reviews and testimonials from current and former students. This can help you gain insight into the quality of the program and the experiences of its students.
Overall, the best social entrepreneurship program is one that aligns with your goals and values, provides practical and relevant coursework and resources, and has a strong network of faculty, alumni, and partners. It's important to do your research and consider all of these factors before making a decision.
What Can Pepperdine University's MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change Degree Program Do For You?
Pepperdine University's MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change degree program can provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge to become a successful social entrepreneur. This program teaches students how to identify and solve social problems using innovative business models and strategies, a capstone experience, and fast-pitch competition with courses in leadership, management, marketing, finance, and global change.
In the MA in Social Entrepreneurship program from Pepperdine University's Graduate School of Education and Psychology, you'll work in a cohort model where you will have access to a network of like-minded individuals and resources to help you launch and grow your social enterprise. With a focus on ethical leadership and creating positive social impact, the MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change degree program can help you make a difference in the world while also achieving your career goals.
The program is designed for both working professionals and full-time students, utilizing a unique hybrid format that offers the best features of both in-person and online learning. It is one of the most versatile and valuable degrees available, offering proficiency in leadership, business, and social enterprise.
Enrolling in this comprehensive 20-month program will help enhance your proficiency in crucial aspects of social entrepreneurship. These include but are not limited to fundraising, grant writing, strategy formulation, ethical decision-making, and sustainability.
Get started today by filling out the Request Information form on this page to learn more and get in contact with an enrollment officer.