Master of Arts in Social Innovation


Program Description

Now Accepting Applications

Spotting the need for change isn't hard and it is possible to make a difference; all you need is a passion for social change and the skills necessary to put your ideas into action. Leading social change is hard work that requires innovative vision backed by entrepreneurial skills and a deep understanding of the problem at hand. Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI) look critically at the roots of social challenges and injustice, then seek to create real change through bold new responses to poverty, inequality, human rights abuses, and humanitarian crises.

No other master's degree brings together the unique skills and expertise gained at a peace school in collaboration with leadership, humanities, science, and business.

The MASI program provides a deep understanding of social challenges – obtained in classes like Social Entrepreneurship, Global Challenge and Development and Conflict - and then pairs that knowledge with critical thinking, inventiveness, leadership, and sustainable business design, which come from classes offered in the Business and Leadership Schools.

Why Choose a Master's in Social Innovation from the Kroc School?

  • Only MA in Social Innovation rooted at a Peace School.
  • Social Innovation Challenge provides up to $50,000 dollars in seed funding for students to make their capstone project a reality.
  • No GRE required.
  • 9-month program.
  • Only MA in Social Innovation offered in an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus - the leading designation for social innovation in higher education.

Design, implement and manage innovations for social change. Whether working in existing organizations and programs or through new ventures:

  • Develop new ways of thinking, learning and connecting for addressing social problems in ways that are effective and sustainable.
  • Emerge ready to transform existing structures that are inefficient and perpetuate issues of poverty, conflict, and injustice.

Hear from a recent graduate from this program.

The Outcome

Social innovation is more than a trend. It is increasingly essential to employers across all sectors, including business, health, and education. Our students learn how to combine leadership, peacebuilding and business skills into a holistic approach that works toward innovative solutions for good. With a MASI degree, you'll become proficient in sustainable business model design, leadership, communication, human-centered design, and problem-solving, increasing your potential to develop innovations that will help communities to address poverty and social injustices.


  • Transcript(s)
  • Current Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Four Short Essays
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Two Minute Video

*International applicants must provide English Proficiency Exam Scores and transcript evaluations for institutions outside of the US.

Please visit Graduate Admissions for more information related to application requirements for international students.

Supplemental Information

Entrance Semester August
Minimum Grade Point Average 3.00 (4.00 scale) in all undergraduate coursework
Required Coursework None Required
Required Experience None Required
Standardized Admission Test None Required
Last updated Dec 2019

About the School

At the University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, we promote a multifaceted approach to peacebuilding and social justice, integrating theory and practice in the classroom as well as ... Read More

At the University of San Diego Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, we promote a multifaceted approach to peacebuilding and social justice, integrating theory and practice in the classroom as well as in communities worldwide. We research some of the toughest, most troubling phenomena of our times, producing rigorous and innovative work published in a wide variety of outlets. Students from all over the world are prepared by outstanding faculty and gain experience in the field through our Internship Program and the Kroc School institutes - the Institute for Peace and Justice, the Trans-Border Institute, and the Center for Peace and Commerce (the latter in partnership with the School of Business Administration). Read less