Social Impact Specialization


The MBA social impact specialization enables students to build expertise in any chosen career. It encourages them to graduate with a common language and the ability to address sector-specific challenges, and equips them with such core competencies as corporate social responsibility and sustainable business practices.

You must complete this course to qualify for the Social Impact Specialization
Impact Creation, Analysis and Evaluation (4 Units)


Complete 8 units from this list of electives:

  • Social Entrepreneurship (4 units)
  • Business & Environment (4 units)
  • Real World Challenges Leaders Face (2 units)
  • Affordable Housing Development (2 units)
  • Global Immersion: South Africa (4 units)
  • Healthcare Technology (4 units)
  • MedTech Innovation (4 units)
  • Law and Management of Nonprofit Organizations (4 units)
  • Business of Healthcare: Global Perspective (4 units)
  • Fundamentals of Impact Investing (4 units)
  • Ethical Considerations in Business (4 units)
  • Responsible Supply Chain Management (4 units)


Complete at least 4 units from this list of electives:

  • Managerial Decision-Making (4 units)
  • Market Entry Strategy (4 units)
  • Topics in Business Law (4 units)
  • Managing Entrepreneurial Operations (4 units)
  • Global Supply Chain Management (4 units)
  • International Political Economy (4 units)
  • Brand Management (4 units)
  • New Product Development (4 units)
  • Entrepreneurship and Venture Initiation (4 units)
  • Small Business Management (4 units)
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship (4 units)
  • Business Plan Development (4 units)
  • International Business Strategy (4 units)
  • Business and Economics in Emerging Markets (4 units)
  • Evolution and Innovation in the Global Mobile Industry (4 units)
  • Global Economy (4 units)

Field Programs


Field programs are designed help solve real-world problems by immersing students in boots-on-the-ground field study. They conduct empirical research in partnership with leading companies dedicated to social impact. All MBA students complete the field study requirement.

Applied Management Research

Global Access Program

Strategic Management Research


Global Impact


Each year our Applied Management Research, Global Access Program and Strategic Management Research student consulting teams partner with organizations across the globe to enable them to take a deeper look at social impact issues and gain first-hand experience in the field. These programs represent the masters theses for the students involved.

From the Blog

It Takes a Village Bank

A UCLA Anderson field study team helped expand microfinance capabilities in rural regions of Peru

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A Strategy to Encourage Sustainable Production of Rubber in Indonesia

UCLA Anderson MBA team and Conservation International partnered to benefit communities and businesses by protecting nature

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UCLA Executive MBAs Optimize Funding Strategy to Restore a Vital Natural Resource

A field study team helps determine how governments can involve coastal communities in Suriname and Guyana

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How do I specialize in Social Impact?


Students need to complete a social impact Applied Management Research (Full-time MBA), Global Access Program (FEMBA), Strategic Management Research (EMBA), or Business Creation Option program and have it count as two courses, or 8 units, subject to approval by the Faculty Director of Impact@Anderson. Students completing a social impact field study project take the required MGMT 298D course and may choose either a Category I or a Category II course for their final 4 units.


What is the Leaders in Sustainability Certificate?


This interdisciplinary certificate program through the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability (IoES) enables students to pursue coursework in sustainability across campus and complete a capstone leadership project designed to solve a sustainability problem. For more information, visit


When will the require course be offered?


MGMT 298D – Impact Creation, Analysis and Evaluation will be offered in the Winter Quarter.


I’m a second-year MBA student. Can I still complete the specialization?


Yes! You may have already completed many of the courses that qualify for the specialization in Social Impact, but make sure to enroll in the required course Impact Creation, Analysis and Evaluation, which is only offered in Winter Quarter. Please refer to the course requirements above.


Is the specialization available to students in the Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) Program?


Yes, students in the FEMBA program are encouraged to complete the specialization. Several of the courses that qualify for the specialization are offered at FEMBA-friendly times.


Can courses outside of UCLA Anderson count towards my specialization?


Yes, we encourage you take rigorous, graduate-level courses outside of Anderson to gain a multidisciplinary perspective on social impact. You may find several valuable courses at other UCLA graduate schools that advance your knowledge of both impact measurement and social impact content. These courses are subject to the approval of the Faculty Director of Impact@Anderson in order to qualify for the specialization in Social Impact.


Why is there a required course?


We believe it is important to gain a common understanding for and establish a foundation in social impact. There can be confusion about the meaning of basic terminology in this field, not to mention major concepts, methods and principles.


What if I complete a social impact AMR or GAP Project?


We encourage you to complete a social impact AMR or GAP project. A social impact AMR or GAP project will count for 8 units toward your specialization. This means you will need the required course and one additional course from either Category I or II to complete the specialization.


Is a social impact Applied Management Research (AMR) or Global Access Program (GAP) project mandatory?


No, neither a social impact AMR or GAP project is mandatory.


What if I plan to start a social enterprise through the Business Creation Option (BCO)?


We will consider a social venture BCO in place of a social impact Applied Management Research (AMR) project on an individual basis.