Managing organizations with a social mission, whether in the nonprofit, public or for-profit sector, requires many skills:

  • Transforming a vision for an organization or initiative into a reality
  • Understanding the political, economic and policy forces that shape the world
  • Delivering quality services while using resources efficiently
  • Achieving organizational financial health and accountability
  • Evaluating and continuously improving an organization's performance
  • Communicating and collaborating with a wide range of stakeholders
  • Mobilizing people from diverse backgrounds

Through our rigorous program of required and elective courses, students master the working knowledge needed to meet the practical challenges they will face when managing for a social mission. Students will also develop expertise through a concentration in a particular area aligned with the research institutes and centers at the Heller School.

Choose a Concentration that Speaks to Your Own Mission

In addition to the MBA core curriculum, Heller MBA students may select a concentration that enables them to develop expertise in a particular arena. These concentrations leverage the assets of Heller, a world-renowned school of social policy, to deliver state-of-the-art management knowledge in specific areas.

Learn more about each of our concentrations.

Learn about Leadership in Mission-Driven Organizations

Engage with professors who are passionate about Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Strategic Management and Operations Management and Program Evaluation – all with a decidedly mission-driven bent.

Explore New Models for Social Impact

In Social Entrepreneurship you’ll explore the many dimensions of this rapidly expanding area. In Managing the Triple Bottom Line, you’ll learn how companies measure their performance in three spheres – financial, environmental and social. Human Resources Management provides the background you’ll need to understand the dynamics of our changing workplace. Social Justice and Management probes the intersection between social impact opportunities and real-world challenges. Marketing connects students to the realities of promoting and projecting your ideas in a complex, interconnected world.

Understand Data as Never Before

From Economics to Financial and Managerial Accounting and from Corporate Finance to Financial Management, the Heller MBA gives you the quantitative background that is essential for career success.

Tackle a Team Consulting Project

Complete your degree by tackling the real-life challenges of a company in your field of interest. This is an intense course that enables you to work closely with a client to help them work on a pressing management issue, while you integrate your learning from the full curriculum. The major project culminates in a formal presentation to your client who will use the recommendations from your Team Consulting Project to rethink both strategic directions and tactical plans.

Gain Additional Practical Experience

Internships: During their MBA program at Heller, many students take advantage of the opportunity to conduct internships with mission-driven organizations. Under the supervision of a faculty member, these students complete important strategic or operational projects for their selected organizations. Internships typically last for a semester.

Board Fellows Program: This program matches students with a nonprofit board where they serve as a non-voting member for a twelve-month engagement. Both students and organizations benefit from the program: Organizations benefit from fresh perspectives and leading-edge management tools provided by students who are at or near completion of their MBA degrees, critical analysis and recommendations on strategic projects, access to future business leaders and affiliation with the Brandeis Heller School community. Students gain valuable leadership skills, experience working with challenges specific to the nonprofit sector and direct access to the organization's leadership team. 

Combine your management training with another Heller degree

By being located in a top-ten ranked school of public policy, students have the opportunity to take advantage of dual degree programs with four other master’s programs. 


Connect to 10 Centers and Institutes located within the Heller School

Whether your interest is public health, wealth and inequality, children and families, or other social issues, the Heller School’s acclaimed centers and institutes provide extraordinary opportunities for students to interact with leading thinkers and practitioners.

Heller's rigorous and versatile MBA curriculum is AACSB accredited — a distinction representing the highest standard of quality earned by only 5 percent of business schools.

From the Team Consulting Project to accounting classes to the focus on social justice and equity, Heller bolstered my technical capacities as well as refined the interpersonal skills needed to help mission-driven organizations achieve their outcomes.

--Roger Perez, Dual MBA/MA SID'16, Senior Associate at Nonprofit Finance Fund