Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI) at Grand Valley

The Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI) is designed to prepare graduate students to be change agents who will foster and lead cross-sector innovation throughout their organizations, businesses, and communities.

Social innovation is an emerging professional field focused on impact-driven, cross-sector careers (e.g. governmental and non-profit work, socially-focused entrepreneurship, B Corps). Social Innovation is engaged in addressing complex social problems such as:  childhood hunger, illiteracy, domestic violence, air pollution, food deserts, contaminated drinking water, poverty, and homelessness.

The Social Innovation degree is housed in the Liberal Studies Department in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies.


  • In-Demand. Sustainability consultants make a median salary of $60,926 in the United States according to
  • Desired Skills. Nationally, employers in major metropolitan areas post jobs for master’s level skills such as leadership, teamwork, communication (written and verbal), problem solving, and analytical/qualitative skills, which are taught in this program.
  • Local Demand. Local and regional organizations are including cross-sector social innovation skills in their position descriptions.
  • Flexible. Courses will be offered in a combination of hybrid and face-to-face formats. The latter will be held in the evening at our downtown Grand Rapids Pew Campus.
  • Unique. Our program is the only Social Innovation program in Michigan that offers a focus on critical humanistic, integrative, and interdisciplinary approaches to social issues.


The Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI) is a 36-credit hour program. There are no prerequisites to this program. Students with any Bachelor’s degree program may be accepted into this program.

The program features courses in Social Innovation, Public Administration, Social Work, and Management:

  • Six core courses in Social Innovation: 18 credits
  • Three application courses in preparation for applied student projects: 9 credits
  • Three synthesis courses, including a required internship: 9 credits

Students also have the option to experience additional internships, global learning, study abroad options, collaborative assignments and projects, problem-based learning, and a blending of traditional disciplines, resulting in a unique degree experience.

See the full course list.


Graduates can expect to be employed in the following industries:

  • Government
  • Non-profit
  • Health
  • Human services
  • Urban planning
  • Education
  • Sustainable energy

Here are a few of the job titles graduates can expect:

  • Sustainability consultant
  • Executive director, nonprofit
  • Project leader/manager
  • Sustainability program director
  • Business development associate or manager


In addition to Grand Valley's admission requirements, all students seeking a Professional Master of Arts in Social Innovation (PMASI) must also meet the following:

  • A Grade point average of 3.0 (B) on a 4.0 scale for the last 60 hours of undergraduate coursework.
  • A combined GRE score (for verbal and quantitative reasoning) of 300
  • A personal statement of career goals and background experiences, including an explanation of how this program will help achieve educational and professional objectives.
  • 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.

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 deadlines for applications are:

  • June 1 for the Fall semester
  • November 1 for the Winter semester
  • April 1 for the Spring/Summer semester

These are soft deadlines. The $30 application fee is waived for previous applicants or alumni of Grand Valley.


The current cost per credit may be found at the tuition website. For more information on tuition and fees, please visit the costs portion of the GVSU Financial Aid website. For financial support, scholarship search, and filing for FAFSA, please visit the GVSU Financial Support website.

Page last modified October 23, 2018