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Pepperdine | Graduate School of Education and Psychology

Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship and Change

Program Overview

Cost: $1,365 per unit
Units: 34
Terms: Fall
Length: 20 months
Location(s): West Los Angeles/Malibu, Washington DC
Format: Online-Hybrid

Pursue Your Purpose as a Social Entrepreneur

The Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program prepares students to solve social issues and inspire change as leaders in a wide variety of entrepreneurial, organizational, and business settings.

Designed for both working professionals and full-time students, this online-hybrid MA program equips students with the critical knowledge, skills, and resources to lead and affect change in their organizations, local communities, and across the globe.

MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change Curriculum

In this 34-unit program, you will experience wide-ranging and comprehensive instruction that incorporates a unique balance of organizational and enterprise competencies. Students analyze complex social problems, create sustainable market-based solutions, and learn management practices such as formulating strategies, leading impactful organizations, and developing business plans that include finance, economic logic, and marketing campaigns. In the second year of the curriculum, learners participate in a Global Exchange Experience in a developing country. Our Social Entrepreneurship program culminates in a two-term capstone project that includes researching and creating a social enterprise, writing a business plan, and presenting their validated idea to social entrepreneur leaders in a Fast Pitch event.  

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Quick Facts

  • 1stInstitution to Offer A Masters In Social Entrepreneurship
  • No GRERequired
  • 20moProgram Completion
  • $5.5 Million In GSEP Scholarships Offered Every Year

Program Benefits

  • Hybrid format is ideal for working professionals and full-time students allowing you to take advantage of the best features of both face-to-face and online learning.

  • Robust online modules feature engaging synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences.

  • In-person classroom component offers an enhanced experience, personalized/hands-on approach, relational interaction with peers, and increased quality of learning.

  • Cohort model designed to build upon leadership skills, peer support, and lifelong relationships with colleagues.
  • Global Change Experience creates a well-rounded global perspective of social, economic, and community issues though hands-on immersion with an organization in a developing country.

  • Capstone project provides a solid professional next step after completing the program as students are guided through the process of creating a complete business plan and go-to-market strategy in collaboration with successful mentors and faculty of scholar-practitioners who are nationally-recognized experts in all aspects of social entrepreneurship.

  • The Annual Fast Pitch Competition is one of the most inspiring and highly-anticipated events of the year. Graduating students pitch their social enterprise concepts developed in the program to address some of society's most difficult challenges. They share the vision, mission, promise, and model of their enterprise, all in less than six minutes. Qualified judges provide valuable feedback, and top-placers earn funds for their enterprise. Former students have gone on to establish impactful enterprises in international women's health, urban farming, social services for marginalized populations, ethical retail products and services, social impact publications, community development, educational entities, and many others.

  • Career opportunities are expanded considerably for graduates in many professional contexts, including businesses, non-profits, foundations, government and non-government organizations, and others. You will be prepared to start and lead impactful social enterprises and highly-qualified for leadership positions in marketing, finance, human resources, product/service development, operations, program administration, development, corporate social responsibility, and much more. Proficiency in social, entrepreneurial, leadership, and many other concepts makes this one of the most versatile and valuable master's degrees available.

Tuition and Scholarships

Pepperdine GSEP generously offers $5,500,000 in scholarships every year, with the majority of students receiving some form of financial assistance. An incoming GSEP student is eligible to be awarded up to $10,000 in Pepperdine scholarships.*

Total tuition $54,600
GSEP scholarships available -$10,000
Total tuition after GSEP scholarships $44,600

*GSEP scholarship amount is based on data from the 2019-2020 academic year and only includes new incoming students who received aid from Pepperdine within GSEP programs. Does not include other external forms of financial aid.


What is the required GPA?

We ask that program candidates have a 3.0 cumulative GPA from their baccalaureate program; however, we review all applications holistically for individuals who show potential for success in our program. If you're concerned about your GPA, you may include a brief 'GPA Statement of Explanation' with your application.

When does the program start?

The Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program starts in the fall semester. We accept applications throughout the year.

What does rolling admission mean?

We begin reviewing applications at the start of each calendar year. Once an application is complete, it typically takes 4-5 weeks to receive an admissions decision. Applications received after the deadline are reviewed on a space-available basis. If the program is full, applicants will be considered for the following year.

How long is the program?

The MA in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program can be completed in 5 terms or 1.6 years (20 months).

I am an International Applicant. What additional admission requirements do I need to submit? 

Applicants who attended schools outside the United States are required to submit certified transcripts in English. Submitted transcripts must include a cumulative grade point average (GPA on a 4.0 scale, A = 4.0) that has been evaluated by a NACES member credential service (www.naces.org) such as the World Education Services, Inc. (www.wes.org) or the International Education Research Foundation (www.ierf.org)

If you have not completed your bachelor's degree at the time of application, submit a current transcript. Upon degree completion, you are required to provide official transcripts in a sealed envelope prior to enrollment.

Mailing Address:
Pepperdine Graduate School of Education and Psychology Admissions
6100 Center Drive 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045, USA

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit a minimum passing score of 550 on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). The computer-based TOEFL test requires a minimum passing score of 80. Information concerning the availability of this test in foreign countries can be obtained by contacting TOEFL, Educational Testing Services, Princeton, NJ 08540, USA or online at www.toefl.org. As an alternative to the TOEFL, you may submit a score of at least 6.5 on the IELTS exam. You can find out more at www.ielts.org

What is the format of the program?

This is a 60/40 blended program. Sixty percent of your coursework is face-to-face and 40 percent is through synchronous and asynchronous online interactions. There are occasional asynchronous classes to provide additional information. The program will have two extended weekend face-to-
face meetings per term at the West Los Angeles Graduate Campus and once per year these classes may be held at the Malibu campus. Weekly sessions will take place online usually at 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM PST.

When are classes held?

In addition to the New Student Orientation and Onboarding, the cohort meets face-to-face twice a semester for three days. There are weekly online synchronous classes usually at 6:00 PM or 7:00 PM PST. In between face-to-face meetings and online classes, students participate in online course work, both synchronously and asynchronously, individually and in teams.

What are typical career paths for graduates of this program?

Graduates of our Masters in Social Entrepreneurship and Change program are prepared to address major social problems such as inadequate education, civic engagement, and health systems, entrenched poverty, environmental threats, and high crime rates through innovative ideas that advance solutions. Opportunities include, but are not limited to positions in non-profits, social enterprises, for-profit corporate social responsibility, and various foundations. Some students start their own social enterprises.

How can I learn more about this program?

You're welcome to attend one of our in-person or online information sessions. If you are unable to attend an information session, you can connect with the Admissions and Recruitment Team at gsep-recruitment@pepperdine.edu to schedule a personal consultation.

Contact Us

Kelley Hill
Enrollment Officer
Recruitment and Admissions
Graduate School of Education and Psychology
6100 Center Drive, 5th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90045