Academics & Aid

Prospective MBA FAQ

Below you will find a list of questions most frequently asked by prospective students. Browse through and if you have any remaining questions, feel free to email us at socialimpact@umich.edu.

What does the Center do?

The Center for Social Impact provides students with opportunities and support to design a pathway to social impact leadership. Students in the Center’s programs collaborate with mission-driven organizations to develop innovative solutions to pressing social challenges. These action-based, multidisciplinary opportunities enable students to deliver social impact across sectors, disciplines, and boundaries, and catalyze a career in social impact.

The Center also hosts events to promote collaboration and dialogue that accelerates social innovation on campus and in the community. Additionally, the Center works closely with other Centers and Institutes that offer opportunities for social impact at Ross.

General

What is social impact?

The Center for Social Impact defines social impact as a significant, positive change that addresses a pressing social challenge.


Programs & Opportunities for Social Impact

How do students get involved with the Center for Social Impact while at U-M?

During the first few weeks of the school year, the Center holds a Kick-Off event, which introduces students to all of the programs that the Center offers. It is also a great way to network with other interested students and Center staff.

 

Beyond the Kick-Off event, students can still participate in the programs throughout the year. Visit Programs & Activities and Internships to get a sense of the programs, time commitment required, and depth of impact for each program.

 

How does the Center for Social Impact differentiate itself from other similar centers/programs at peer institutions?

The Center focuses on creating a multidisciplinary environment that leverages students’ skills and experiences to deliver social impact. Many of the participants in the Center’s programs come from the schools of business, public policy, and social work, as well as urban planning, information, public health, education, and others. Additionally, the Center is focused on providing action-based experiences that connect students with partner organizations to address pressing social issues in Detroit and around the world.


Application

Do I need to apply to or join the Center for Social Impact?

No; once admitted to any U-M school, students can apply for each of the Center’s programs on the specific program page.

 

Does the Center offer tuition assistance for students pursuing the non-traditional MBA career?

The Center does not currently provide tuition assistance, but there are various avenues of funding for students and alumni throughout the school year. The most significant are the Impact Corps program and social impact internship funding.


Academics

Is there a social impact degree or class requirement?

There is not a dedicated degree program or certification for social impact or innovation, or nonprofit management at the University of Michigan. However, numerous courses across the University of Michigan offer the opportunity for specialization and a rich study of the field of social impact.

 

What courses in social impact are available at Ross?

The Center for Social Impact culls a list of courses throughout the University of Michigan that focus on social entrepreneurship and innovation, nonprofit and public management, and related topics.

 

If I am a student at Michigan, but not in the Ross School, can I still participate in the Center’s programs?

Yes! Students from across U-M are encouraged to participate in the Center’s programs, because a multidisciplinary environment is core to the mission to prepare and inspire leaders to solve complex social challenges. Most of the Center’s programs are open to students across U-M schools. Students should check out the Programs & Activities page to see if they are eligible to participate in a specific program.


Career

What kinds of jobs are available in social impact?

The job market for social impact careers is diverse and growing. There are many factors to take into account when deciding what type of career to pursue, but students can be certain that they will have ample opportunity to explore and reflect on their career goals during their time at U-M.

Below is a list of job titles held by a single, recently graduated class of MBA students. All of these students participated in one or more of the Center’s programs.

Principal – Unitus Impact Fund
Business Development Associate – Bizcorps
Farber Social Enterprise Fellow – REDF
Portfolio Management Fellow – Agora Partnerships
Founder and CEO – BizeeBox
Education Consultant – Huron Consulting
Environmental Manager – Organica Water
Sustainability Consultant – Accenture
Foreign Service Officer – U.S. State Department
Impact Investing Initiative Manger – Northwestern University

 

What types of career resources are available to Center for Social Impact students?

The Ross Career Services Office plays an integral role in the student experience at the Ross School of Business. Most of the other schools at U-M also have their own career services center which can be instrumental in providing students with the support and advice to get their dream job. Additionally, the Center for Social Impact Career Resources page has a variety of impact-focused websites to see job listings and read about the latest trends and market news.