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2023-2024 Undergraduate & Graduate Catalog

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Social Innovation


The professional Master of Arts in social innovation requires 36 credit hours of coursework. There are no prerequisites, and students with any bachelor's degree may be accepted. Courses are offered in hybrid format, meeting both face-to-face and online. In-person courses meet at the Robert C. Pew Grand Rapids Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. The program features courses in social innovation, public administration, social work, education, and management.

Housed in the School of Community Leadership and Development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the social innovation program is designed to prepare individuals to foster and lead innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities in ways that impact daily operations and strategic goals. Students are trained how to critically examine and address complex social problems such as childhood hunger, illiteracy, domestic violence, air pollution, food deserts, contaminated drinking water, poverty, homelessness, and racism, among others. The program combines internships, global learning experiences, and collaborative projects for a unique degree experience. Current students can access the student handbook and other program information through the SI program website.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Additional requirements include:

  • 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.


The professional Master of Arts in social innovation is accredited through the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Requirements

The following program is available:

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