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2020-2021 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Social Innovation

The professional Master of Arts in social innovation is housed in the Integrative, Religious, and Intercultural Department within the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.


Minimum number of credit hours in program: 36


  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework
  • Submitting a GRE score is not required. However, applicants who have neither a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework or five years of professional experience may consider submitting a GRE score to strengthen their application.
  • Personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.
  • Written recommendations from at least two individuals who are in positions to attest to the applicant's successful completion of the program.
  • An official transcript from each undergraduate and graduate institution
  • TOEFL test scores (Test of English as a Foreign Language), or IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or MELAB (Michigan English Language Assessment Battery) for applicants whose native language is not English. The following minimum scores are expected: TOEFL is 80, IELTS is 6.5, and MELAB is 77.

Applications will not be reviewed until they are complete. Admissions may request additional information or request a personal interview. The Admission Committee is looking for evidence that a candidate will be successful if admitted into the program and considers each applicant as a whole student.

Retention and Termination Standards

A cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or higher must be earned in the entire program in order to graduate. Students may be terminated for serious violations of university rules or standards of conduct, as enumerated in the Graduate Catalog, the GVSU Student Code, or other official university publications.

The 36-credit social innovation program at Grand Valley State University is designed to prepare graduate students to be change agents who will foster and lead innovation throughout their organizations, businesses and communities both in terms of specific projects and in structural ways that impact daily operations. The primary goal of the SI program is to provide graduate students from a variety of undergraduate disciplines with key social innovation skills to engage in interdisciplinary innovation across sectors, including skills in sustainability, environmental and social justice, human-centered design, interdisciplinary research methods and critical assessment of social innovation practices. Students will enter the program with a variety of content expertise from their various undergraduate degrees. Through a focused core of interdisciplinary SI courses, students will develop their social innovation skill set and will hone this expertise through internship, project, and application credits. In this way students will transform their existing knowledge into professional expertise through the acquisition and practice of key skills in social innovation.


The professional Master's in social innovation is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission

Program Requirements

The following program is available:

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