About the Social Impact Certificate:

This certificate recognizes students that demonstrate leadership skills and understanding of social enterprise. It is open to Vanderbilt graduate students of all disciplines. Our goal is to focus your engagement with TFC programming through hands-on learning and educational programming. Students then have the ability to leverage these strengths and apply their knowledge toward their area of study and career.


Upon completing the certificate, students will be able to:

  • Define social entrepreneurship and explain how social enterprise contributes to social change
  • Apply management concepts and frameworks to help organizations achieve their social impact goals
  • Articulate the value of social impact programs and measure their impact on target communities
  • Address real-world issues through interaction and cooperation with diverse community partners
  • Collaborate with students from various academic and professional backgrounds to solve social problems
  • Demonstrate leadership competencies and the ability to carry out a project from start to finish

Steps to Earn the Certificate:

For students interested in pursuing the Social Impact Certificate, please follow these steps:

  1. Review the requirements and information on this page.
  2. Complete and submit the Social Impact Certificate Intent to Enroll form
  3. Note: If you don’t complete the intent to enroll form by the deadline, you can still apply the following academic year. Any credits earned before submitting the Intent to Enroll form will still apply towards certificate completion.
  4. Attend the Social Impact Certificate Orientation Session. Conduct an introductory coffee chat with your assigned TFC Mentor.
  5. Complete the certificate requirements as outlined in the Requirements section below.
  6. At least two months prior to graduation, complete and submit the Final Application Form for the certificate.
  7. You may initiate the form at any time during your graduate program to track your progress toward the certificate using the “Save and Return Later” feature.
  8. Conduct a final coffee chat with your assigned TFC Mentor. Present contributions during the TFC’s Social Impact Certificate Symposium and receive the certificate of completion.


Students pursuing the Social Impact Certificate must complete the following requirements by the time of graduation:

  1. Attend the Social Impact Certificate Orientation.
  2. Conduct introductory and final coffee chats with assigned TFC Mentor.
  3. Attend at least one Social Impact Certificate Learner’s Day.
  4. Collect 10 credits as described below.
  5. Present accomplishments at the TFC’s Social Impact Symposium.

The certificate was designed to encourage each student’s unique goals and priorities. As a result, students have the flexibility to choose activities and experiences that align with their interests. Students must complete 4 Connect credits, 3 Engage credits, 2 Learn credits, and 1 Lead credit in order to gain the 10 credits required for the certificate. The table below summarizes each of these categories of credits. For a list of qualifying activities and experiences, please consult the TFC Systems Map. This is not meant to be exhaustive. Reach out to the TFC Leadership Team if you have questions about the eligibility of an activity.

*Note: The qualifying activities listed above are purely for example purposes and don’t represent all options available. Please consult the TFC Systems Map for a list of qualifying activities. We are also open to other options so long as they align with the mission of the certificate. You can reach out to the TFC with questions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can enroll?

Any current degree-seeking graduate student at Vanderbilt can enroll for the certificate. You must be able to complete all requirements before graduation.

How do I track my progress for the certificate?

We provide a simple Excel sheet template to help track your progress. You are also encouraged to start the Final Application Form which will allow you to track credits on the application itself. Just make sure to select the “Save and Return Later” option. Once you submit the final application, the TFC Academics & Experience team will review your form and verify the completion of each of the credits and requirements.

Do past experiences count toward the certificate even if I have not submitted the Intent to Enroll form?

Absolutely! Let’s say you did Project Pyramid and attended TFC Summit in the Spring of 2020. Both of these experiences can be applied as credits for the certificate.

Can I still earn the certificate if I miss the deadline to submit the Intent to Enroll Form?

Yes, but you will need to submit the Intent to Apply Form the following year. The Intent to Apply Form gives the TFC an idea of which students are interested in pursuing the certificate. Additionally, submitting the Intent to Apply Form enables you to be invited to the Social Impact Certificate Orientation and Social Impact Certificate Learner’s Day events, both of which are required to complete the certificate.

What is the Social Impact Certificate (SIC) Learner’s Day?

The Social Impact Certificate Learner’s Day is an annual event specifically designed for candidates pursuing the Social Impact Certificate. It consists of a half-day of workshops, speakers, and networking events focused on topics related to social entrepreneurship and social impact. All certificate candidates must attend at least one SIC Learner’s Day; however, they are encouraged to attend additional sessions. Each SIC Learner’s Day attended grants the participant one Engage credit.

What is the Social Impact Certificate Symposium?

The Social Impact Certificate Symposium is an annual event that celebrates the accomplishments of individuals who have successfully completed the requirements to attain the certificate. It will be held in April as a year-end event. Certificate candidates who plan on completing the certificate during the current graduating year will be asked to conduct a brief presentation describing their accomplishments with the TFC as well as their key lessons from the program.

Contact Information:

For more inquiries please email Daniel Cortez, Academic & Experiences Co-Chair, and Niccolo Roditti, Graduate Assistant, at tfc@vanderbilt.edu