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Participate in the Social Innovation Challenge

Jumpstart Your Journey Of Changemaking

Masters in Social Innovation

Spotting the need for change isn't hard and it is possible to make a difference; all you need is a passion for social change and the skills necessary to put your ideas into action.



What is the Social Innovation Challenge?

Through the Social Innovation Challenge, university students from San Diego and Tijuana generate ideas for innovative ventures that respond to a social, economic, environmental or justice issue of their choice, and compete for over $50,000 in seed funding to launch or expand their ventures.  

Only MA in Social Innovation rooted at a Peace School

No GRE required

9-month program

Offered through the only designated Changemaker campus in California

Only MA in Social Innovation offered in a Ashoka U Changemaker Campus - the leading designation for social innovation in higher education.

Why Choose USD's Masters in Social Innovation?

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Leading social change is hard work that requires innovative vision backed by entrepreneurial skills and a deep understanding of the problem at hand. Students pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Innovation (MASI) look critically at the roots of social challenges and injustice, then seek to create real change through bold new responses to poverty, inequality, human rights abuses and humanitarian crises

Design, implement and manage innovations for social change.

Whether working in existing organizations and programs or through new ventures:

  • Develop new ways of thinking, learning and connecting for addressing social problems in ways that are effective and sustainable.
  • Emerge ready to transform existing structures that are inefficient and perpetuate issues of poverty, conflict, and injustice.  

Past Social Innovation Challenge Winners:

W.E. Do Good (World Engineers Do Good)

W.E Do Good is a collaboration between business and engineering students whose goal is to help reduce poverty and social issues across the globe. Their innovation is a human-powered mechanical threshing machine, which will provide rural farmers in developing countries with a more efficient agricultural tool to harvest their fields.


Parawater Systems (formerly H2Go)

H2gO is a groundbreaking human and solar powered technology that produces clean safe drinking water through the removal of hazardous pathogens and desalination of brackish water. From individual home hurricane preparation in Florida to tsunami humanitarian relief in Indonesia, H2gO is a viable, reliable, and deployable solution.


No other master's degree brings together the unique skills and expertise gained at a peace school in collaboration with leadership, humanities, science and business.

The MASI program provides a deep understanding of social challenges – obtained in classes like Social Entrepreneurship, Global Challenge and Development and Conflict - and then pairs that knowledge with critical thinking, inventiveness, leadership and sustainable business design, which come from classes offered in the Business and Leaderships Schools.

Finding the balance between people, planetpeace and profit.