Consulting on behalf of social impact clients—nonprofits, socially responsible businesses, social movements, associations, government offices, and many other organizational types—is important, yet challenging work. A consultant focused on serving the rapidly evolving social impact sector is a unique professional with a mandate to not only deliver useful professional services, but also to assist clients in realizing their vision for improving lives and society.
The expanding social impact sector is being called upon to lead with an ethos of inclusive social justice while proving the presence of impact. A social impact consultant must navigate changes to the traditional professional consultancy model and remain ahead of the curve in order to become a trusted advisor to clients while also creating a sustainable business model to ensure their work succeeds.
With curriculum developed from Georgetown University's renowned Center for Social Impact Communication, the Online Certificate in Social Impact Consulting is the first program of its kind to teach current and aspiring consultants how to work nimbly in the quickly evolving landscape to become effective mission-driven professional advisors.
Upon successful completion of the program, you’ll be able to:
- Differentiate how and why consulting in the social impact sector is different than within other sectors
- Navigate the lifecycle of a client engagement while analyzing the complexities of uncovering the client’s problem or opportunity
- Establish trust with a client through your personal values and strengths, amidst the dynamics of resistance and power dynamics uniquely at play within social impact organizations
- Evaluate business development approaches to advance your consulting
- Assess how emerging trends in social impact consulting apply to your own work
- Create a personal action plan, through a specialized capstone project, to become a more effective social impact consultant and changemaker
Curriculum & Schedule
In order to receive a Certificate in Social Impact Consulting, you must successfully complete all six modules, for a total of 12.6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), which is the equivalent of 126 contact hours.
The fully online program combines asynchronous instruction with six live bi-weekly online class cohort meetings via Zoom that are one-hour in length to facilitate cohort networking and discussions with special guests. Each module is two weeks in length within the 3-month program.
Module 1: Fundamentals of Social Impact Consulting: Consulting in, and on behalf of, the social impact sector is not only hard work, but it takes a set of integrated skills and a nuanced mindset. In this module, you’ll analyze the key ways in which this type of consulting is unique in order to become a consultant with purpose.
Module 2: Navigating the Lifecycle of a Client Engagement: The purpose of consulting is to identify and then solve a client’s challenge or activate an opportunity. In this module, you’ll learn more about the dynamic life cycle of a client engagement and how to navigate the complexities encountered while working in the social impact sector.
Module 3: Overcoming Resistance and Navigating Implicit and Explicit Power Dynamics To Earn Your Client’s Trust: Trust is an essential ingredient in effective social impact consulting. Power dynamics often lurk below the surface of client engagements. In this module, you’ll learn how to navigate these forces, overcome resistance, and achieve impact.
Module 4: Business Development: Effective social impact consultants not only help clients advance important missions, but are also savvy business leaders. In this module, you’ll learn and evaluate business development approaches to advance your consulting.
Module 5: Special Topics in Social Impact Consulting: Social Impact consulting brings with it many considerations that are unique: your sector, your orientation toward social justice, your personal vision, and evolving technologies. In this module, you’ll strengthen your own unique approach and consider a variety of special topics.
Module 6: Capstone: In this final module, you’ll synthesize the knowledge you’ve attained in this program through the creation of a capstone project that will strengthen your practice and ability to create change as a trusted advisor in the future.
What Is Live Online Learning?
Live online instruction is enhanced by incorporating various instructional practices and technology tools. Features such as Zoom video conferencing, breakout rooms, and chat allow for real-time interaction and collaboration among learners. Tools like Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Canvas Groups facilitate teamwork and information sharing within the learning community. Polling, surveys, and threaded discussion boards promote active engagement and the expression of opinions. It is important to foster social respect, privacy, and incorporate Jesuit values to create a supportive and inclusive online environment. By utilizing these practices and tools effectively, live online instruction can be engaging, interactive, and conducive to meaningful learning experiences.
How to Apply
Application Opens—Jan 1
Application Opens—Sep 1
Please review the refund policies in our Student Handbook before completing your registration.
You must hold a bachelor's degree or the equivalent in order to enroll in our certificate programs. For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a diverse group of students to enrich the classroom experience.
Tips for the Online Application
- Our online application securely stores your information and saves your progress so you can update and complete your information at your convenience
- Click the “SAVE” button at each stage of the application process to ensure that your work and documents are uploaded
Tips for Your Letter of Recommendation (not required for all programs)
- Your recommender is notified when you submit your online application
- Notify your recommenders ahead of time and submit your application at least one week prior to the deadline to allow time for them to complete and submit your recommendation
- A personal email address for your recommender works best
- Government, military, and corporate email servers often have filters that delay or prevent messages from being delivered
International students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in certificate courses. However, Georgetown University cannot sponsor student visas for noncredit professional certificate programs.
A TOEFL examination is not required for non-native speakers of English but students are expected to read, write, and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program.
Students from most countries may register for our online certificate programs, however, due to international laws, residents of certain countries are prohibited from registering.
Tuition & Funding
Total program tuition for all 12.6 CEUs (6 modules) is $5,995. Most course materials are included.
Noncredit professional certificates do not qualify for federal financial aid, scholarships, grants, or needs-based aid. However, several finance and funding options do exist, as listed below.
Employer Education and Training Budgets
Some employers offer funding for employee education or professional development. If an employer guarantees payment for employee education and training, Georgetown will accept an Intent to Pay form. If you are using employer sponsorship or training authorizations, you must submit an Intent to Pay form with your registration.
If your employer will pay for your tuition, select “Third-Party Billing” as your method of payment when you register for courses online. Please submit an Intent to Pay form indicating that your employer or another third party should be billed for tuition. Invoices will not be generated without this form on file.
Federal Agency Training Funds*
- According to the Federal Employees Almanac 2014, federal agencies may:
- Pay training and education expenses from appropriated funds or other available funds for training needed to support program functions
- Reimburse employees for all or part of the costs of training or education
- Share training and education costs with employees
- Pay travel expenses for employees assigned to training
- Adjust an employee's normal work schedule for educational purposes not related to official duties
Georgetown accepts Standard Form-182 (SF-182) for training authorizations from the federal government.
*Federal employees should ask the appropriate budget officer about training budgets available.
Georgetown Employee TAP Benefits
Eligible Georgetown employees may use their Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) benefits to fund 90% of the certificate program tuition—employees will be invoiced for the remaining 10% of tuition and must pay any other charges associated with their certificate program. Employees using TAP benefits may work directly with the HR Benefits Office to ensure payment prior to the start of any course. This payment option is only valid if registration occurs at least 10–14 business days prior to the start date of the first course. Any fees incurred due to course withdrawal are the student’s responsibility and are not funded by Georgetown University TAP. For questions regarding TAP benefits, please contact the HR/Benefits Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 687-2500.
Interest-Free Payment Plan
The professional certificate programs offer an interest-free payment plan for certificate programs that are more than one month in duration and for which the total tuition is greater than or equal to $4,000. The payment plan is structured in the following manner:
- Payment #1: A down payment of 25% of the total tuition balance must be paid online (within 72 hours after you register and select Payment Plan) via the Noncredit Student Portal. Please submit your down payment as soon as possible.
- Payments #2, #3, and #4: Your remaining balance will be due in three (3) equal monthly installments beginning 30 calendar days after your down payment is processed. Your monthly payments must be paid via credit card in the Noncredit Student Portal. You will be able to access each invoice and payment due date in your student account.
PLEASE NOTE: Automatic Payment Service is not available. You must make each subsequent payment via the Noncredit Student Portal.
Private Education Loans
Some students choose to finance certificate programs with private education loans. Students are responsible for contacting lenders directly to find out if a noncredit professional certificate program is eligible for a loan. While Georgetown University will not recommend specific lenders, it will certify loans for eligible programs from approved lenders.
For eligible noncredit professional certificate programs, Georgetown University will certify loan amounts up to the full cost of tuition for the program. Tuition does not cover books, travel, or living expenses. Please see individual program pages for tuition rates.
Georgetown University has a unique campus code for Sallie Mae. Our Sallie Mae branch code is 001445-99.
You must be approved for a loan before registering for courses. Follow these steps to pursue a loan option:
- Check the list of lenders that have offered private education loans in the past to Georgetown University students.
- Contact the lender and confirm your program is eligible for a private education loan.
- Obtain the necessary paperwork and apply for the loan.
- Georgetown will certify loan amounts based on the information below. Please note that our branch code is 001445-99.
- If approved, register for courses:
- Payment sent to Georgetown: Select “Third-Party Payment” at the time of registration if the lender is sending funds directly to Georgetown.
- Enter the information about the lender and then contact Noncredit Student Accounts at email@example.com.
Note: It is your responsibility to contact Georgetown University Noncredit Student Accounts at firstname.lastname@example.org to ensure that your loan is processed.
Only one tuition discount may be applied at the time of registration. Tuition discounts cannot be combined. Tuition discounts are not applied retroactively. Please contact email@example.com with any questions.
GU Alumni 30% Discount
Georgetown University alumni and SCS certificate completers are eligible to receive a 30% tuition discount for many certificates offered within SCS’s Professional Development & Certificates (PDC) portfolio. When registering for an eligible certificate through the SCS website, you will see the "30% Georgetown Alumni Discount" as an option. The Enrollment Team will then verify your eligibility status as a Georgetown University alumnus or certificate completer.
Boeing 10% Discount
Employees of Boeing receive a 10% tuition discount on select programs and courses
EdAssist 10% Discount
Employees of companies that belong to the EdAssist education network may receive a 10% tuition discount on select programs and courses. Contact EdAssist directly to find out if you qualify.
Still Have Questions?
Certificate Admissions and Enrollment
Phone: (202) 687-7000
Phone: (202) 687-7696
Certifying Military Benefits
Phone: (202) 784-7321