Social Impact

Make Your Desired Impact on the World

Students and faculty at Berkeley Haas are at the forefront of sustainable, responsible, 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 the Haas Socially Responsible Investment Fund.

Participating in the Global Social Venture Competition, Berkeley Board Fellows, and the Net Impact Club are other ways to build relationships for good.

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
  • Inside the Boardroom
  • Business Solutions for Global Megatrends
  • The Business Case for Investing in Women
  • Human Rights and Business

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.

Social Lean Launchpad

Social Lean Launchpad applies the Lean Launchpad and Social Blueprint Business Design methodologies to frame the integral insights, strategies, and practices that distinguish social ventures. It strives to create the conditions where students become Social Venture designers, founders and leaders.

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 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 for Nonprofits, a partnership with McKinsey & Company that deploys consultant teams of students to work with nonprofit organizations.

The Institute for Business & Social Impact is home to the Centers for Gender Equity, Gender and Leadership, Responsible Business, and Social Sector Leadership. Founded and led by Profess 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 Dow Sustainability Innovation Challenge engages students from 18 universities worldwide in forward thinking in social and environmental responsibility.

The Global Social Venture Competition empowers social entrepreneurs with mentoring and exposure and awarding more than $80,000 in prize money to help them transform ideas into ventures that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The Haas Impact Investing Network (HIIN) provides students with first-hand experience in impact investing as part of a national network bringing together socially minded MBA students from top business schools.

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

Recruiters for organizations dedicated to or interested in social impact consider Berkeley Haas a great place to find talent. As a result, students have access to a large number of job postings and resources, and have recently been hired in such roles as consultant with Bridgespan Group, program associate with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and Sustainability Manager at Nike, among others.

The MBA-Nonprofit Connection (MNC) offers a broad range of opportunities and counseling, and advice on preparing cover letters and resumes for nonprofit job searches. The UC Berkeley Nonprofit & Public Management listserv and the Haas Social Impact LinkedIn Group connect students with career opportunities in social impact.

In addition to the skilled, experts services offered by the Career Management Group, the Center for Responsible Business offers targeted advising and a network job search team. 

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.”