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Social Enterprise Program

Are you interested in creating social impact?

Join the Social Enterprise Program at the School of International Service (SIS) to:

  • Engage with other activist students who prioritize social impact over personal gain
  • Learn social entrepreneurship outside of a commerce-focused MBA program
  • Gain a global perspective by earning a Masters degree in Social Enterprise from a top ranked international relations school
  • Create a customized specialization from courses taught throughout the university
  • Study in a practitioner-oriented, real-world based program aimed at doers, not scholars
  • Build your professional network by being based in Washington DC, a city with a large and vibrant social enterprise sector

The Program is intended to support SIS students who want to become social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs or infrapreneurs. They drive societal change by providing innovative, economically sustainable solutions to public problems.

Build a Masters Degree around your passions

This is not a slogan; it’s the organizing principle of our Program.  The Social Enterprise Masters is designed to serve as a flexible incubator or accelerator for your ideas and plans.   It does this in two ways:

  • You have freedom to choose 6 courses (almost half of those required for your Masters) around your personal interests.  This gives you an opportunity to explore the many facets of this rapidly evolving field using courses from across the graduate programs of American University.  Or you can use this flexibility to deeply immerse yourself in a specific subject, region, or technique, and create your professional identity around it.
  • Most Social Enterprise courses and your Capstone Practicum involve real world projects, and many of these are about issues, people, and organizations you select. Some of our students connect these projects to jobs or internships; others use them as steps toward launching or growing a venture.

Watch our videos and talk to our students and alums about how they’ve done this. Everyone’s story is different. And click here to see a roadmap for customizing the curriculum around a problem you feel passionate about solving.

Stay Informed

Subscribe to the Social Enterprise listserv (SE-L).

Read the SE Newsletter

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Spring 2016 Newsletter

Screenshot of the SIS Social Enterprise Program Newsletter for Spring 2016

Read our Spring 2016 Newsletter

1776 Partnership

1776 where revolutions begin

The Social Enterprise Program is excited to be partnering with 1776, a global hub for startups tackling major challenges in education, energy, health care, government, and other critical industries

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Meet our students

group of diverse students in the Social Enterprise program are all smiles posing in a classroom

Our SE students come from a variety of background. Check out their profiles.

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SE Practicum

a family plays with a camera while someone watches over a young girl's shoulder

The Social Enterprise (SE) Practicum is the capstone of your 2-year masters program. Want to know more about these exciting projects?

Learn more