Penn Social Impact Accelerators

A short, intensive bootcamp designed to support people with big ideas. The Penn Social Impact Accelerators are two- and three-day long experiences offered online or in-person on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Students of both programs have the opportunity to earn a certificate in Social Impact from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Students are invited to join from all sectors, including non-profits, for-profits, government agencies, and community organizations. Our students are looking to re-energize and renew their passion, learn more about the social impact landscape, working to grow their social enterprise, bring tested approaches to their initiatives, and expand their network. Our Accelerators are an additional opportunity for those who are looking for executive learning in a structured and condensed program.

Click to see our Viewbook!

If you sign up for our news updates (below), you will automatically receive email alerts about the 2023-2024 Penn Social Impact Accelerators. Email our team at if you have any questions.

Enroll Now!

Enrollment is now live!

Online vs. In-Person Programming

Online Program Dates
April 11-12, 2024; May 1-2; or May 9-10, 2024
In-Person Program Dates
June 5-7, 2024 (on University of Pennsylvania campus)
Online Program Tuition
$950 per course or $2,565 for all 3 courses
In-Person Program Tuition
Online Enrollment Deadline
Enroll at least 3 weeks before course
In-Person Enrollment Deadline
May 15, 2024

Get Tools You Can Use Immediately

Our Accelerators are designed to introduce you to the most impactful tools and frameworks to effectively drive social change in your communities and work. Each resource is carefully selected to help you advance your own social impact ideas and initiatives and put your learning into practice right away.

Earn Ivy League Credentials

Upon completing either the online or in-person program, you’ll receive a certificate from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania. **The online program consists of all three online courses.

Join a Supportive Global Community

Launching and scaling solutions can feel lonely sometimes. You’re not doing it alone — the Penn community is made up of global thought leaders and world changers who are ready to support your impact idea. You will have the opportunity to grow your network by meeting new classmates and joining the CSIS alumni network, where you will be invited to future exclusive events.

Learn from Wherever You Are

Complete our online Accelerator from wherever you are in the world. All of this program is completed synchronously, online. All you need is a good internet connection and the ability to stream video in order to access our educational materials, teaching team, and an incredible group of world-changing classmates.

Visit a vibrant campus

Or you can select to join us on campus at the University of Pennsylvania for our in-person Accelerator June 5-7, 2024. Our in-person Accelerator will feature all of the tools and frameworks from our three online courses, spread out across 3 full days of instruction. In-person programming will also feature community-building activities, three meals a days, and optional evening activities.

Please follow Penn’s Coronavirus site for the most updated information on safely gathering on campus.

Keep your Day Job

Whether your impact idea is directly related to your job or you’re building it on the side, our Accelerators are designed to be structured and intense so that you can quickly complete your program and apply new resources immediately.

What is included in the Penn Social Impact Accelerator program?

April 11-12, 2024
Course 1 – Personal Transitions (online)

This course will involve deep reflection and future planning around your personal and professional lives. Intentional goal setting will help create clarity around any next steps.

May 1-2, 2024
Course 2 – Strategy (online)

This course will dive into deliberate and tactical exploration of your social impact goals. Among other objectives, participants will examine their stakeholders and create/update logic models.

May 9-10, 2024
Course 3 – Social Innovation Design (online)

This course will combine practices from design thinking and human-centered design to prepare changemakers for problem solving in a 21st century world.

*Upon completion of all three online courses, students will be eligible for a certificate in social impact from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.


June 5-7, 2024
Courses 1, 2 & 3 (in-person)

The in-person Accelerator will combine material from all three online courses into 3 full days of instruction on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Sessions will be broken up with community-building activities, meals, and other option events.

*Upon completion of the in-person program, students will be eligible for a certificate in social impact from the School of Social Policy & Practice at the University of Pennsylvania.

Program Team

Ariel Schwartz
Managing Director
Montana Tamny
Program Manager
Carl Sveen
Program Manager
Mandisa Thomas
Program Coordinator

Accelerator Information Sessions

Register for the 2024 Information Sessions by clicking on the registration link. We will be adding more so stay tuned for other opportunities to hear from the CSIS team about the Executive Program in Social Impact Strategy. We have also linked recorded information sessions from 2023 below.

Info Session: Choose a Program for Arts and Culture – September 12th at 4:00 pm ET
Info Session: Choose a Program for Education Leaders – September 13th at 4:00 pm ET
Info Session: Choose a Program for Director of Social Impact & CSR – September 14th at 4:00 pm ET

Sign up to receive updates on all of our programs!

Receive updates straight to your inbox on all of our programs and events. Once you submit the information below, you will automatically be signed up for emails containing the most relevant information around programs, dates, and tuition for our 2023-2024 programs, including the Penn Social Impact Accelerators. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How will my registration be evaluated?

The Penn Social Impact Accelerators do not require an application. After enrollment, students must complete a short registration form through Canvas that will help us design a customized curriculum for your group. In order to officially reserve your space, all tuition costs must be paid prior to programming.

Are financial aid or scholarships available?

No. Our program is designed to have the lowest tuition possible without losing the integrity of the educational experience. We’re proud to say it is the most affordable comparable executive program that we are aware of. Since the program tuition is already being offered at a discounted rate relative to similar programs, we’re unfortunately unable to offer scholarships. We can, however, offer students who would like additional time to complete their payment the option of an interest-free payment plan over the course of 3 months, as long as the total is paid in full prior to programming. Some students have received partial or full tuition from their employers or a donor. Feel free to use this template to calculate the program cost for you and to share with your employer if it is useful in your funding applications.  


What is the refund policy for the Executive Program?

The $950 tuition deposit is not refundable. Refunds on balances paid will be made consistent with the School of Social Policy and Practice OpenSP2* refund policy.


Refund requests must occur within 14 days of the start of the class or program (the first materials-release date, for on-demand classes or programs, or the orientation date, for structured programs). Programs that include live class sessions require cancellation and refund requests to be made at least 14 days in advance of the course start date.


The school may provide a transfer option to individuals who cancel beyond the limits of this policy, at the discretion of the program leader.


Refund requests will be honored only if less than 25% of course materials have been engaged with (based on course data analytics).


*OpenSP2 is a division of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) which reserves the right to change, alter, adjust this policy. OpenSP2 reserves the right to cancel any program for low enrollment or other extenuating circumstances at any time, before the start of the program. If SP2 cancels a program, all participants will receive a full refund. Please also note programs offered on 3rd party platforms (edX or Coursera) are subject to the policies of that platform.


Official communications may be sent to


Are there any prerequisites to enroll?

There are no educational prerequisites to enroll in this program — we are looking for leaders across all industries with a variety of perspectives. Applicants should be comfortable learning in the English language, and have the capacity to connect to our livestream for online programming.  

If you have questions, or if you think you might need a learning accommodation, please don’t hesitate to reach out at so we can discuss your questions.

What opportunities do you provide alumni?

Students who complete an entire program will automatically join our alumni network. Alumni are a critical part of the CSIS family, and they receive lifelong access to the CSIS community. We have a private LinkedIn and Facebook group dedicated to conversations online for anyone in our network to share resources and support one another. We also host a free alumni summit in Philadelphia to bring our diverse community together and offer one another a deep sense of community and connection. In September 2023, we will be hosting our annual alumni summit online.

Ready to get started?
Enroll Now in the PSIA Online Program

via the Penn Online Learning Platform

Enroll Now in the PSIA In-Person Program

via the Penn Online Learning Platform

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