Social Impact

Make Your Desired Impact on the World

Students and faculty at Berkeley Haas are at the forefront of sustainable, responsible, and inclusive business practices—in a wide variety of fields and functions.

Some students seek to add a social impact lens to their future work. Others pursue careers in corporate social responsibility, nonprofit and public leadership, or social entrepreneurship. All of them find the MBA social impact coursework and experiential learning opportunities they need to prepare, with courses that include Social Investing, Human Rights and Business, and Social Impact Marketing and hands-on learning available through Social Sector Solutions, Social Lean Launchpad, and Impact Investing Practicum.

Participating in Berkeley Board Fellows and the Net Impact Club are other ways to build relationships for good.

Video: Social Impact student perspectives


Sample Social Impact Coursework

  • Large Social Change
  • Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Networks for Impact: Social Innovation’s Next Frontier
  • Nonprofit Boards: Governance and Leadership in Nonprofit Organizations
  • Applied Impact Evaluation
  • Social Impact Metrics
  • Social Investing
  • The Business Case for Investing in Women
  • Human Rights and Business
  • Berkeley Impact Venture Partners - Investment

Social Impact Experiential Learning Opportunities

Social Sector Solutions

In Social Sector Solutions, student teams partner with McKinsey & Company coaches to provide strategic consultation to a nonprofit, social enterprise, or public organization.

Strategic & Sustainable Business Solutions

In Strategic & Sustainable Business Solutions, teams work on live consulting projects, delving into sustainability and corporate responsibility challenges, while developing their project and client management skills. Client firms have included Wells Fargo, Airbnb, Method Products, and Nike.

See the full list of Berkeley MBA experiential learning opportunities

Social Impact Fellowships and Scholarships

David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowships offer Berkeley MBA and MPP graduates the opportunity to explore a career in philanthropy while providing the Foundation access to a talented group of recent graduates.

The Haas Social Impact Fund provides support to first-year, full-time MBA students who pursue summer internships focused on achieving social impact.

Center for Responsible Business Fellowship is a $20,000 fellowship ($10,000 per academic year) encouraging the development of business leaders who will redefine business for a sustainable future and address the great challenges of our time.

Social Impact Faculty Spotlight

Ben Mangan is the executive director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership. He serves on the Federal Reserve Board Community Advisory Council and has been named a Social Capitalist of the year by Fast Company. He teaches Social Lean Launchpad and Social Impact Strategy and Leadership.

Kellie McElhaney is the founding director of the Center for Gender, Equity, and Leadership. Her recent research includes a focus on the business value of investing in equity and women as corporate leaders. Her courses include the Business Case for Investing in Women.

Nora Silver is the founder and faculty director of the Center for Social Sector Leadership. Her research interests span multi-sector leadership, networks for social impact, and next-generation social sector leadership. She teaches Large-Scale Social Change and the experiential Social Sector Solutions.

Robert Strand is the executive director of the Center for Responsible Business at Berkeley Haas. His research interests include corporate ethics, metaphors of strategic management, and corporate governance of sustainability. He teaches Strategic and Sustainable Business Solutions.

Meet more faculty connected to the Institute for Business and Social Impact.

Social Impact Research Centers

The Center for Equity, Gender, and Leadership is focused on developing equity fluent leaders and advancing the creation of a more diverse and equitable business world.

The Center for Responsible Business connects students, businesses, and faculty to mobilize the positive potential of business to create a more equitable, inclusive, and sustainable society. Experiential learning opportunities available through the Center include the Strategic and Sustainable Business Solutions course, Impact Investing Practicum, and the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund.

The Center for Social Sector Leadership provides hands-on fieldwork opportunities to connect students with top nonprofit and public sector leaders and organizations. Experiential programs include Social Sector Solutions, which provides MBA students with top-quality consulting projects that address pressing social issues for clients in the nonprofit, public, and social enterprise sectors.

The Institute for Business & Social Impact is home to the Centers for Gender Equity and Leadership, Responsible Business, and Social Sector Leadership. Founded and led by Professor Laura Tyson, the institute's mission is to inspire and empower development of innovative solutions to pressing social and environmental challenges.

Social Impact Co-Curriculars

The Berkeley Board Fellows places graduate students as non-voting members on nonprofit boards of directors, providing critical governance and leadership training.

The International Development & Enterprise Club connects the Berkeley community with leading practitioners, researchers and specialists in related fields to understand current practices and explore future career opportunities.

The Net Impact Club inspires, educates, and equips Berkeley Haas students to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world.

Support for Social Impact Careers

Students interested in careers in social impact leverage the co-curricular experience to gain valuable experience in niche areas, and network with faculty and likeminded students through specialized courses and events, and Haas’ vast alumni base. Speakers series and programs offered by social and environmental impact-focused Centers and Institutes provide a myriad of ways to learn about topics such as education and impact investing, and to meet professionals.

Additional support for this highly-networked job search comes from the Career Management Group’s Relationship Manager & Industry Specialist of Social Impact, peer advisors and additional industry specialists who bring in expertise from an array of industries and functions ranging from technology to finance to social impact consulting, energy and beyond.

All of Haas’ job postings and resources have contributed to students’ successes getting hired in such roles as associate at ADB Ventures (impact investing arm of Asian Development Bank), consultant with Bridgespan Group, program associate with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, senior lead, partnerships at Cheryl Sandberg & Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, principal and head of strategic initiatives at Gratitude Railroad, and sustainability manager at Nike, among others.

Alma Rico

Alma Rico

MBA 14

Chief Operating Officer
Voices College-Bound Language Academies

“The mentor hours available through the Center for Nonprofit & Public Leadership were invaluable. I had the opportunity to meet with alumni working in nonprofits big and small, such as Girls Who Code and WestEd, and learn how they’re using their MBAs to lead mission-driven organizations.”