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Unique Graduate Programs for Social Impact Careers

Two people's feet on a sidewalk with 'Passion Led Us Here' written on it.

Looking to take the next step in your career and wishing you had a larger support network? Wondering whether your passion and interests translate into a degree? Here are a few unique graduate programs that will be represented at our New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC Idealist Grad Fairs. Whether you want to pursue grad school in the US or abroad, this is an opportunity to learn about degrees you may not have thought of, meet face to face with hundreds of representatives, and ask questions specific to your social impact career goals!

MSc, Humanitarian Action (University College Dublin)

What it is: this master’s program is for those who work in, or would like to work in, humanitarian action and related areas. As part of the inter-university multidisciplinary joint master’s program in International Humanitarian Action with the Network on Humanitarian Action, students have the opportunity to study at partner universities, go on field trips, and benefit from a dynamic variety of teaching methods.

What you can do with it: work in the field or at headquarters for any size organization dedicated to humanitarian relief and international cooperation. Roles include program manager, researcher, protection officer, emergency team leader, and more.

Some scholarships are available for full-time, self-funding students. Meet representatives from this school at the New York Idealist Grad Fair.

Forestry and Environmental Studies Joint Degree (Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, New York Botanical Garden)

What it is: train with fellow botanists and biological scientists to solve problems associated with tropical environments through an interdisciplinary approach. Develop skills in areas such as plant biodiversity and conservation, nutrition, computer modeling, and ecosystem analysis.

What you can do with it: impact conservation, education, and biodiversity research. Alumni hold various leadership positions at government agencies, research centers, botanical gardens, and related areas.

This program is funded by the Lewis B. Cullman Fellowship. Meet representatives from this school at the New York, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco Idealist Grad Fairs.

Social Engagement (Moore College of Art and Design)

What it is: a practical and theoretical study of socially-engaged art practices. Theory focuses on the ethics, authorship, cultural influences, and history of community-based art. In partnership with the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, students will engage in diverse projects in the public sphere under the mentorship of currently practicing experts.

What you can do with it: use your program experiences of collaborating with communities and organizations to continue your career as an artist creating socially impactful work, work in the public sphere, or teach.

The Locks Career Center provides extensive services for students and alum in obtaining employment, funding, and other aspects pertinent to a career in the arts. Meet this school’s representatives at the Philadelphia Idealist Grad Fair.

Comics and Graphic Novels (University of Dundee)

What it is: master’s level program that fosters analytical, creative, and communication skills for understanding comics and navigating the professional industry. The only program of its kind in the UK, students practice various techniques for creating comics and analyzing their form to understand comics through theory, context, politics, and history.

What you can do with it: alumni have gone on to work as professional and freelance comics artists, commissioning editors, PhD students, and scholars. The annual postgraduate conference and postgraduate forum allow opportunities for networking and further learning.

The University offers 60 full-funding scholarships and has dedicated pages by country that detail relevant information, including funding for international students and eligibility. Meet representatives from this school at the Idealist Grad Fairs in Washington DC and Minneapolis.

Coexistence and Conflict (Brandeis University-Heller School for Social Policy and Management)

What it is: learn peace research, conflict resolution practices, and professional skills useful for designing and successfully implementing interventions that enable people - groups, nations, and regions - to come together and embrace coexistence values. Students spend three months in the field with peacebuilding organizations or conducting independent research.

What you can do with it: work locally or internationally with governments, intergovernmental organizations, and non-governmental organizations. Alumni hold roles such as civic education officer, conflict management consultant, political specialist and translator, resettlement officer, and more.

There are dedicated scholarship opportunities for AmeriCorps, City Year, and Commonwealth Corps alumni, as well as guaranteed partial-tuition scholarships of at least 50% to Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. Meet this school’s representatives at Idealist Grad Fairs in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. 

By Jhia Jackson

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