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MS Social Entrepreneurship (MSSE)

Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship


Solving world problems is no longer solely the province of social workers and policy professionals. Today’s complex problems require business acumen and leadership to provide sustainable change.

Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship

    Pacing: Full-time, Part-time, full-time/part-time

    Program Length: 1 year, 2 years, 1.5 years (15 months - summer year 1 to end of summer year 2; or 18 months - summer year 1 to end of fall year 2)

    Format: In-person

    Class Schedule: Core classes - weekday evenings and Saturdays in-person, electives classes vary

    Student Profile: Early and mid-career professionals

    STEM Designation: Not STEM Certified


Based in the Marshall School of Business and hosted by the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, the MSSE offers you a solid business foundation to create lasting social change.


With an emphasis on best practices in management and leadership to solve the world's most pressing social challenges, the skills-based curriculum for the MSSE requires 30 units, consisting of seven required courses and four elective courses. You will learn from Marshall School of Business faculty— award-winning teachers, scholars, and practitioners – on the University of Southern California University Park Campus. In each required course, faculty members will teach their area of expertise through a social impact lens.

For degree requirements, please check the COURSE CATALOGUE.



Message From the Director: Jill Kickul

The only program of its kind in the country, the Master of Science in Social Enterpreneurship (MSSE) combines social impact with concrete business skills to create the next generation of changemakers, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and leaders. We welcome students from all academic disciplines and career spaces, and aim to serve as a launchpad for individuals driven to address the world’s most pressing issues through business and innovation.Disrupting models that traditionally equated business leadership and acumen with corporate profits and relegated social impact and change narrowly to nonprofit and policy work, the #2 ranked MSSE gives students a mix of perspectives no one else has.

This perspective–understanding the core business strategies and tools required to sell a product or service profitably and applying that to address issues like hunger or climate change–gives our students a unique seat at the table whether in existing organizations or in new ones.To this end, we teach the building blocks of profitable business models including accounting, finance, strategy and marketing, as well as key concepts related to entrepreneurship—everything from ideation using human-centered design to testing and feasibility to how do I build and finance this company.

We welcome career changers and value mentorship, immersive experience and community. Our program is a part of the highly ranked USC Marshall School of Business and is housed at the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.


— Jill Kickul, MS Social Entrepreneurship Academic Director, Acting Director Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, Narayan Research Directorship in Social Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship



Round 1 December 1, 2023
Round 2 March 1, 2024
Round 3 April 15, 2024

*Round 3 For domestic students only

Note for international students:

Deadline for initial I20 applicants February 1, 2024

Deadline for transfer I20 applicants March 1, 2024

Applications received after the deadlines are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Please email for more information.


For more information about this program, please fill out the form below. If you have further questions you may EMAIL the admissions team directly or call 213-740-7587.


The mission of the Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship Student Association (MSSE SA) is to advocate on behalf of MSSE students in order to enhance the student experience.

This includes improving students’ academic, professional, and social experience during their time here at USC Marshall.

  • MSSE Student Association

    MSSE Student Association

    The mission of the Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship Student Association (MSSE SA) is to advocate on behalf of MSSE students in order to enhance the student experience.

Pioneer For Change

This program is the first of its kind at a U.S. business school and is among the very few graduate degrees available worldwide that directly addresses social entrepreneurship. The program curriculum includes an exploration of the field of social enterprise and practice in feasibility analysis, impact investing, cause-related marketing, environmental sustainability, and global social impact.

The MSSE will give you the business knowledge and skills to make sustainable social impact. Students graduating from the MSSE may launch a social enterprise or play a key leadership role in an existing one. These enterprises may be stand-alone ventures or embedded in existing organizations.


  • Contact

    MS Social Entrepreneurship
    3670 Trousdale Parkway, BRI 105
    Marshall School of Business
    University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA 90089-0803