Social Impact FAQ

How can I receive more information about the Social Impact pathway?
Our website provides the most comprehensive information available regarding the Social Impact pathway. If you would like more information, please contact us. You can also talk to current students, through the Net Impact Club.

Does Social Impact offer its own separate degree?
All Kellogg School of Management students receive an MBA degree. The school offers majors in one of 7 functional areas (marketing, advertising, accounting, finance, operations, strategy, managing organizations) and 7 pathway options for specific interests and career preparation. If you are interested in pursuing non-profit, public policy, and/or social enterprise and entrepreneurship as a means to achieve one of the 7 majors, the Social Impact pathway is for you.  Read more about the majors and pathways here.

What are the admission and tuition requirements?
For complete information on applying to the Full-time MBA program at the Kellogg School, please visit the Full-time Admissions Web site. If you live in the greater Chicagoland area and want to get your MBA degree while you continue working, explore the Part-time MBA program.

How do I apply?
Contact the Kellogg School Admissions office at 847-491-3308 or visit their website.

What are some examples of current curriculum options?
The Social Impact curriculum is created to be flexible to meet student interest in a variety of areas. All students are required to take one and a half foundational strategic courses focused on the “non-market” environment: Leadership and Crisis Management and Strategy Beyond Markets. From there, students can select a track of coursework that meets their academic needs and interests. For example, students interested in the nonprofit field, may consider  Leading Mission-driven Enterprises or one of several courses that address board governance of nonprofit organizations. Students focused on the public or governmental sector, may choose - Public Economics for Business Leaders: Federal Policy, Public Economics for Business Leaders: State and Local Policy, or explore Issues in Antitrust and Strategic Challenges in Emerging markets. Students interested in social enterprise and entrepreneurship are encouraged to explore Social Enterprise: Designing for Change, Corporate Social Innovation, or Impact Investing.

Where can I find information regarding Social Impact Professors?
Please see information on Social Impact faculty here.

Why was the Social Impact curriculum created at the Kellogg School of Management?

Kellogg created Social Impact to provide a rigorous, relevant experience for students interested in the intersection between management and society. Social Impact is focused on building leadership skills and awareness to help Kellogg’s graduates be socially responsible, global leaders. Socially responsible global leaders are not characterized by their sector (for profit, nonprofit, government) but by combining a principled leadership approach with superior management skills and the ability to think and act strategically in an environment characterized by various stakeholders, value systems and constituents.

Have the course offerings changed over time? 
The former Social Enterprise major (SEEK) launched in the fall of 2005 and combined the academic curriculum of the Public Nonprofit Program and the Business and the Social Environment Program and supplemented those courses with new offerings in Values-based Leadership, Leadership and Crisis Management, and Public Policy Analysis for Managers. From there, it grew to incorporate Kellogg’s new academic initiative, specifically the Kellogg Public-Private Interface initiative (KPPI). In 2015, Kellogg elected to adopt a model that allows students to major in one of 7 functional areas (marketing, advertising, accounting, finance, operations, strategy, managing organizations) and 7 pathway options for specific interests and career preparation. Courses in the major formally known as SEEK are still available in the Social Impact pathway. Read more about the majors and pathways here.

Why should students participate in Social Impact?
Social Impact prepares students to be socially responsible global leaders, regardless of the sector they select upon graduation. The traditional academic model prepared students for a specific, long-term career path. In today’s global society, individuals move among sectors, often participating in multiple sectors simultaneously. (Think of the investment banker serving on the board of a local nonprofit, a product manager serving as Village Trustee, of the finance professional working with a microfinance entity.) The curriculum offers students the skills to manage successfully in a variety of for profit corporations including management consulting, CSR, financial services, consumer products; nonprofit organizations including educational institutions, social service agencies or consulting firms; and governmental entities including local, state or federal agencies.

Specifically, how does Social Impact prepare students for careers in the nonprofit sector?
Building on Kellogg’s long tradition of educating nonprofit leaders, both staff and board members, Social Impact provides curricular and co-curricular activities enabling students to gain critical thinking and management skills related to the nonprofit sector. Specific course offerings including Leading Mission-driven Enterprises and Board Governance of Nonprofit Organizations provide practical applications of management theory to the non-profit sector. The Kellogg Board Fellows program and Education Consulting Lab provide experiential learning targeted at students interested in this sector.  In addition, the Net Impact Club presents seminars, speakers and the Innovating Social Change conference to deepen students' understanding of the nonprofit sector. Finally, there are resources through the Career Management Center and Nonprofit Management at Kellogg that will help students pursue summer internships and full time opportunities in the nonprofit sector nationally and internationally.

If I am not interested in a career in nonprofit management, is Social Impact relevant for me?
Yes, Social Impact provides opportunities for students who want to be successful socially responsible global leaders. These leaders will serve a variety of sectors throughout their careers. Courses within Kellogg's Social Impact Pathway provide skills and awareness valuable for management consultants, CSR professionals, leaders of social enterprises, consumer products executives, financial services professionals, and many others. All these leaders participate in shaping the social and political environments of their organizations in a responsible fashion.

How can I benefit from engaging in this pathway, and how can it contribute to my MBA experience?
In addition to exposure to world-class faculty and progressive courses, the Social Impact pathway offers students several opportunities for engagement. We encourage you to join one of our nationally recognized and ranked clubs to broaden your experience in policy, education, service, and impact. Also consider participating in several events that challenge students to conceive and pitch ideas, analyze and present cases, and convene crucial conversations. Social Impact is also proud to offer students experiential learning courses, the chance to apply their learning abroad, and the opportunity to receive financial aid for their engagement in careers of Social Impact.

Why is the Social Enterprise (SEEK) major being eliminated, and will I still be allowed to take courses related to this area even if this major isn’t offered?

We are pleased to share that Kellogg has transitioned to a streamlined major system, in which students can major in one of seven functional areas (marketing, advertising, accounting, finance, operations, strategy, or managing organizations) and select from seven pathway options for specific interests and career preparation. Courses formerly included in the SEEK major are still available under the new Social Impact pathway. If you are interested in pursuing nonprofit, public policy, and/or social enterprise and entrepreneurship as a means to achieve one of the seven majors, the Social Impact pathway is for you.

What are some of the classes at the core of the Social Impact pathway?
At the core of the pathway, with the intention of creating social value in a business and market environment, students will find Leadership and Crisis Management, Strategy Beyond Markets, Values-Based Leadership, Public Economics for Business Leaders: Federal Policy, and Public Economics for Business Leaders: State and Local Policy.

I would like to pursue a career in corporate social responsibility. How can the Social Impact pathway help me execute that?

Corporate social responsibility has grown increasingly important to not only businesses, but also consumers and investors. In addition to the core classes, all of which offer strong foundations for leading responsibly, we recommend you consider Thought Leadership Seminar, Corporate Social Innovation, Social Enterprise: Designing for Change, and Sustainability Reporting and Analysis.

How can I take my Social Impact experience at Kellogg beyond the classroom?
There are several engagement and lab courses which exist to give Kellogg Social Impact students the opportunity to apply their skills to real-world scenarios. Students interested in immersion in global  health solutions should consider Medical Technologies in Developing Countries and Health and Human Rights. Students may also engage with Chicago Public Schools to solve real-time issues by participating in Education Consulting Lab, or explore the world of venture capital in the hands-on Venture Lab. Lastly, students have the opportunity to travel to 1 of 15 countries to learn about non-U.S. business environments through structured, in-country field reserach in Global Initiatives in Management- Social Impact.