Social Enterprise Goes to Graduate School

Sections of this topic

    In case you haven’t noticed, there’s been an explosion of colleges and universities offering social enterprise or variations of that theme at the graduate level.

    Many of these programs are tied to a business school, which can really help when you bring your great social change idea to the marketplace. And if you’re already mid-career seeking an advanced degree in social enterprise, there are many opportunities to do that as well.

    Here’s a sampling of some well-regarded programs:

    Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business has an Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship. Details at

    Harvard University’s MBA program has a social enterprise component and several CEU programs that specialize in social enterprise. Details

    Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at the Fuqua School of Business has what I consider to be the best professor in the field, Greg Dees. Details at:

    Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) has a Master of Arts in Social Entrepreneurship, with a mixture of classroom and online education. Details at:

    Bainbridge Graduate School specializes in online programs with short stints, with an MBA program emphasizing social justice and environmental sustainability. Details at:

    Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs and the Kelley School of Business offer a Social Entrepreneurship certificate program.

    Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work offers an SE specialization track as part of its MSW program that includes courses co-listed with the Olin Business School. For details

    New York University’s Stern School of Business and Wagner School of Public Service has a well-regarded and well-funded social entrepreneurship track. Details at

    Finally, some general resources to help you evaluate programs:

    Aspen Institute does a periodic study of MBA programs that address social and environmental stewardship. Details at

    ASHOKA lists a group of American universities offering courses social enterprise that are “committed to setting the global standard for excellence in social entrepreneurship education.” Details at

    Good luck!

    Copyright © 2010 Rolfe Larson Associates – Fifteenth Anniversary, 1995 – 2010
    Author of Venture Forth! Endorsed by the late Paul Newman of Newman’s Own
    Read my weekly blogs on Social Enterprise and Business Planning