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 Learners’ Day 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 coffee chat with TFC SIC Graduate Assistant for Certificate planning.
  3. Hold ongoing coffee chats with assigned TFC Staff Mentor.
  4. Attend at least one Social Impact Certificate Learner’s Day.
  5. Collect 10 credits as described below.
  6. Present final learnings at the TFC’s Social Impact Learners’ Day.

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 Social Impact Certificate Graduate Assistant or TFC Assistant Director, Kathleen Fuchs Hritz at tfc@vanderbilt.edu / kathleen.hritz@vanderbilt.edu. Reach out 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 graduate assistant 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 complete all requirements before graduation. Students interested in pursuing the certificate must complete the Social Impact Certificate Intent Form 2021-22.

How do I track my progress for the certificate?

Students pursuing the Social Impact Certificate will work with the Social Impact Certificate Graduate Assistant to design a path and select opportunities aligned with student goals and certificate objectives. The TFC Academics & Experiences team will review student plans 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 2021. 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 Enroll Form the following semester. The Intent to Enroll Form gives the TFC an idea of which students are actively pursuing the certificate. Additionally, submitting the Intent to Enroll 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.

Contact Information:

For further inquiries please email TFC Social Impact Certificate Graduate Assistant or TFC Assistant Director, Kathleen Fuchs Hritz at tfc@vanderbilt.edu / kathleen.hritz@vanderbilt.edu.