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.
    1. Any credits earned before submitting the Intent to Enroll form will still apply towards certificate completion.
    2. You can use the “Save and Return Later” feature of this form to record and track your progress toward certificate completion.
  3. Complete all certificate requirements as outlined in the Requirements section below.
  4. Ensure all credits are accounted for by the end of March if you’re planning to receive the certificate by the end of this academic year.
  5. Receive the Social Impact Certificate.


The Social Impact Certificate is designed to encourage each student’s unique goals and priorities. Accordingly, students have the flexibility to choose activities and experiences that align with their interests within social impact.

Students pursuing the Social Impact Certificate 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 credit category and provides examples of credit-bearing activities.

*Note, the qualifying activities listed are examples and don’t represent all options available. We are open to other options so long as they align with the mission of the certificate. If you have questions and/or would like to confirm whether outside activities are eligible for credit, you can reach TFC staff by emailing tfc@vanderbilt.edu.

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 to Enroll Form.

How do I track my progress for the certificate?

The TFC staff records student engagement across our programming and can support students in tracking their progress toward certificate completion. However, because social impact-related programming and opportunities outside of the TFC can be eligible for credit, students should plan to keep record of their individual progress as well. Students who would like to use non-TFC experiences and programming for credit should email TFC staff at tfc@vanderbilt.edu to confirm eligibility.

TFC staff will send out certificate credit completion updates throughout the academic year and will verify the completion of credits and requirements at the end of the academic year.

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

Absolutely! Let’s say you took Project Pyramid last year and attended a Lunch & Learn earlier this year. Both of these experiences can be applied as credits for the certificate.

Is there a deadline to submit the Intent to Enroll Form?

No. Intent to Enroll forms are reviewed by TFC staff on a rolling basis.

Contact Information:

For further inquiries please email the TFC at tfc@vanderbilt.edu.