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Address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems.

You want a job that has a positive impact on society. Get the skills and experience you need to forge a career with purpose.

The need for innovative entrepreneurs and leaders has never been greater. SIT’s Master of Arts in Global Leadership and Social Innovation will equip you with cutting-edge, 21st-century skills for a competitive global market. You’ll gain practical tools to lead organizations and innovative business ventures that address social issues.

In this 12-month program, you’ll cross the globe, traveling from Washington, DC, to India as you explore the latest business models and learn from innovators from all walks of life. You’ll also spend a full semester getting hands-on experience in an organization working toward positive social change. By the end of the program, you’ll be prepared for a career in nonprofit, government, and private sectors.


With SIT’s experiential curriculum, you’ll learn how to put theory into practice. In addition to core courses, a broad range of elective choices let you focus on courses that will help you meet your career goals.

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In this program, you’ll learn:

  • Underlying causes of challenges faced by organizations and communities in different contexts
  • Theory and methodology of strategic social policy planning and implementation
  • Leadership models, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and prototyping through design thinking
  • How to design and apply innovative and novel tools to address pressing social and environmental issues and practical tools and frameworks for strategic interventions
  • Operational and strategic management of mission-driven organizations
  • Grant writing, generating resources, and maintaining financial sustainability for nonprofits
  • Monitoring and evaluation tools for assessing the impact of social enterprises
  • How to bridge differences across cultures and sectors including working with marginalized populations
  • International perspectives on social innovation

Sample Courses

  • Leadership and Management for Social Change
  • Social Innovation
  • Global Challenges
  • Research Methods
  • Social Entrepreneurship in Global Comparative Context
  • Design Thinking
  • Leading Strategic Planning for Social Innovation
  • Measuring Social Impact
Professional Practicum

A cornerstone of SIT degree programs is the practicum. This allows you to apply learning from the classroom in real-world settings while getting hands-on, professional experience.

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The semester-long practicum can take place in the United States or anywhere else in the world at an organization of your choosing. Your practicum work will be related to your coursework and career goals. Practicums may be paid professional positions or unpaid internships.

During this period, you’ll remain engaged with faculty and other students and receive course credit for documenting the integration of your knowledge and skills while working in a professional context.

Practicum placements provide in-depth, hands-on learning; enhance résumés; and expand professional contacts.

Alumni Careers

Career opportunities in the field are numerous. Possible career paths include:

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  • Nonprofit management
  • Research design
  • Development
  • Financial management
  • Human resources management
  • Fundraising and grant writing
  • Advocacy and lobbying
  • Public policy
  • Public administration
  • Health management
  • Policy analysis
  • Project management
  • Planning and community development
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Education
  • Sports and social change

SIT’s faculty are practitioners in their fields. Our diverse, multicultural faculty have worked across the world as leaders, trainers, and developers in the business, nonprofit, education, and public sectors.

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Core Faculty

Katy de la Garza
Katy de la Garza

Faculty and Chair
Global Leadership and Social Innovation

EdD, Columbia University
MA, Columbia University
BS, Georgetown University

Dr. de la Garza holds a doctorate in education from Teachers College, Columbia University; a master’s in international development management from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs; and a bachelor of science from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.

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Admissions Criteria

We strive to create a diverse and experienced student body to enhance the learning experience both inside and outside the classroom. To be considered for admission to this program, you must meet the following criteria:

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To be considered for admission to the MA in the Global Leadership and Social Innovation program, an applicant must meet the following criteria:

  • US bachelor's degree or an equivalent that demonstrates academic ability
  • Demonstrated English language ability (see details below)
  • Intercultural and professional experience
  • Demonstrated ability to use experience as a source of learning

SIT Graduate Institute’s Selection Process

Our admissions staff work one-on-one with every applicant to facilitate a highly informed and multidimensional admissions experience: applicants are encouraged to attend an open house, talk with SIT faculty and staff, and hear from current students and alumni. As applicants become familiar with the attributes of an SIT education — grounded in the experiential learning model and focused on social justice and leadership skills in intercultural environments — they determine for themselves in what ways SIT can help them meet their educational and career objectives.

English Language Ability

Applicants whose first language is not English and who did not graduate from an English-speaking institution in a country whose official language is English submit test scores for the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), the IELTS (International English Language Testing System), or the PTE (Pearson Test of English). (Applicants can access free TOEFL and IELTS  practice tests online.)

Applicants taking the TOEFL must receive a minimum score of

  • 600 on the paper-based test (PBT)
  • 250 on the computer-based test (CBT), or
  • 100 on the internet-based iBT.

Applicants taking the IELTS must receive a score of Band 7.0 or higher. Applicants taking the PTE must receive a minimum score of 68.

These scores are considered the minimum proficiency needed to undertake graduate-level work. Scores must be dated within two years of the start date of your academic program at SIT.


See a breakdown of the costs for this program.

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Semester 1 Tuition: $16,925
Semester 1 Fees: $990

Semester 2 Tuition: $16,925
Semester 2 Fees: $990

Semester 3 Tuition (Reflective Practice Phase): $3,354

MA degree total tuition and fees (all terms combined): $39,184