Your Guide to Social Enterprise Master's Degrees, MBA Programs and Online Courses

Top universities and online educators alike recognize a growing trend of sustainable business that place a premium on caring for people and the planet. These universities have crafted programs specifically intended to educate a new wave of entrepreneurs that aspire to more than a single financial bottom line. In the guide below, we've compiled the best of MBA Programs, Master's Degrees and Online Courses that offer instruction in social entrepreneurship.  

Social Enterprise MBA Programs


Columbia Business School (The Tamer Center of Social Enterprise)

Location | New York City, NY
Part Time or Full Time | Full Time
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $65,000
Highlights | Signature Social Enterprise Conference annually, experiential learning

Columbia Business School is home to more than 40,000 MBA graduates. They offer a concentration in Social Entrepreneurship through the Tamer Center, where students can choose elective courses from Marketing the Arts and Culture, to a Social Venture Incubator. They host the Social Enterprise Conference each year, which we have been lucky to attend, and they draw in big names such as Dr. Paul Farmer and Echoing Green fellows. In the heart of New York City, it’s the ideal place to be if you’re interested in the hustle and bustle of business and social impact.


Harvard Business School’s Social Enterprise Initiative

Location | Boston, MA
Part Time or Full Time | Full Time
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $61,000
Highlights | New Venture Competition, strong alumni network

As part of their MBA Program, students interested in Social Enterprise can apply to Harvard Business School who offer a multitude of opportunities to get involved, including their New Venture Competition. Over 65% of their students receive some level of financial aid, making finances that much easier for up-and-coming entrepreneurs. Ranked one of the highest quality universities in the US and with over 90 HBS faculty focused on social enterprise alone, you are sure to receive the education of a lifetime.


Duke University (The Fuqua School of Business)

Location | Durham, NC
Part Time or Full Time | Depends
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $60,500
Highlights | Various MBA program formats (Daytime, Weekend, Global)

If you’re looking for flexibility, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business might be perfect for you - they offer various program formats suited to all professional schedules. In addition to their stellar classes, they offer a Social Enterprise Concentration that include courses like Impact Investing and real-life Client Consulting praticums. There are also courses available as part of the Concentration in global health, international development, nonprofit management, and more. We think finding the right option for you has never been easier.


University of Oxford (Said Business School)

Location | Oxford, UK
Part Time or Full Time | Full Time
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | £50,200 (approx. $70,000)
Highlights | One year program, high rate of international students

Universally known and renowned, Oxford’s MBA program through the Said Business School is a one-of-a-kind global experience that offers partnerships with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. With 340 students per class and 95% international students, diversity is always emphasized and celebrated here. Their opportunities with the Skoll Centre range from Social Impact conferences to venture competitions. If your interests lie across the pond, you can’t go wrong with their MBA.

MA/MS Social Enterprise Degrees


University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business)

Location | Los Angeles, CA
Part Time or Full Time | Both options available
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $49,000
Highlights | MS in Social Entrepreneurship, flexible program formats

In order to accommodate working professionals, the University of Southern California’s MS in Social Entrepreneurship has both a one year full-time option and part-time options over several years. Located in sunny Los Angeles, courses are offered in the evenings and on weekends over 30 units. Elective courses include Leading Innovation and Change and Corporate Entrepreneurship - preparing for just about any post-graduate role. And worry not, they do not require a GRE or GMAT to apply.


Pepperdine University (Graduate School of Education and Psychology)

Location | Malibu, CA and Los Angeles, CA
Part Time or Full Time | Part Time
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $42,500
Highlights | Ed.MA in Social Entrepreneurship, blended options (online and in-person)

Pepperdine University’s Ed.MA in Social Entrepreneurship is near and dear to our hearts, as it’s the program two of our staff will be graduating from! Nestled under the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, this program tackles the world’s most pressing social issues through a humanitarian lens. Through their mix of in-person and online classes spread over 5 semesters, it is ideal for any student or working professional no matter where they are located in the world. Doing good and doing well, and we think that’s pretty awesome.


American University (School of International Service)

Location | Washington, DC
Part Time or Full Time | Full Time
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | $1500 per credit, 39-42 credits needed in total
Highlights | Two year program, customization for courses

If you’re wondering why American University’s MA in Social Entrepreneurship is located in their School of International Service, it’s because they believe this field is a global cutting-edge one. Upon arrival at their Washington, DC campus, students spend their first few weeks helping to solve a local social need known as the sink or swim “plunge”. Over two years, you’ll spend time bonding with your cohort and choosing classes for your own personal concentration. Pretty innovative if you ask us!


Goldsmiths Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship

Location | London, UK
Part Time or Full Time | Both options available
Tuition Cost (as of Feb. 2016) | £16,770 per year (or $23,000)
Highlights | Full-time and part-time options available,

For future changemakers and intrapreneurs alike, Goldsmiths offers their MA in Social Entrepreneurship to both full-time students and part-time students who are full-time working professionals. With a focus on creativity, they seek out innovative solutions to various social issues, and their graduates have gone on to work at places like the Yunus Institute. Those with an artsy side encouraged to apply.

Online Introductory Social Enterprise Courses

Cost | Free
Format | Ranges from 5-12 weeks
Highlights | Courses from universities around the globe

Low on time or funds for tuition but interested in learning about the world of social enterprise? is a one-stop shop for online education. With free Social Entrepreneurship courses from institutions like the Copenhagan Business School or University of Pennsylvania, you can get a high-quality first look at what this field is all about, without spending a dime. They also sometimes offer classes in multiple languages, including Spanish and French. 


Acumen Fund (PlusAcumen)

Cost | Free
Format | 4 Weeks
Highlights | Take on your own time, experts to assist you

The Acumen Fund is a global leader in the field of social innovation, and now they’re offering a free Social Entrepreneurship 101 class through their educational division, PlusAcumen. Hear from 4 distinguished social entrepreneurs and pace yourself each week as you learn about how you too can do social good. It’s the perfect interactive way to learn and get your feet wet with this engaging topic.


Cost | Starting at $24
Format | On your own time
Highlights | Lifetime access to information

Join a global community of learners at Udemy, and check out their introductory Social Entrepreneurship Course! With over 25 lectures and 12.5 hours of learning content, you’ll have plenty to ponder over as you learn about impact and social entrepreneurs like Muhammad Yunus and Wendy Kopp. Don’t like it? You get a 30-day guarantee that you’ll love the course or your money back. Plus, once you buy it - the content is yours forever! Here’s to learning over a lifetime.