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Discovery Projects

Discovery Projects

Discover new insights + new ways of thinking.
Experience a real-world challenge.
Impact a global organization.
All in one 6-credit project.



Discover new ways of thinking about customers and  leadership, and gain a deeper understanding about how you think and present. Learn Yale’s proprietary Insights Discovery Process, which builds on the latest theories in behavioral science. There’s also a healthy dose of self-discovery as faculty push you to challenge the intellectual rigor of your thinking.



Work on a real project, not just theories. Gain firsthand experience tackling a real-world challenge facing a business leader, with the underlying “cushion” of senior faculty leadership and alumni mentorship.  Learn how to go from problem to insight, and how to use insights to generate creative strategies and recommendations.


Classroom lecture

Generate insights that can drive meaningful change within an organization and learn from senior leadership about how your team’s ideas might be used during key client milestones. Having the support and guidance of faculty along the way will ensure that your final deliverables are both innovative and impactful.

What will I learn?

Rigorous critical thinking skills and the ability to translate learnings from data into strategic recommendations are valued in leaders across industries and sectors. Whether you’re going into consulting, strategy, design or marketing, you will benefit from learning how to more effectively and succinctly present your ideas in team meetings, oral presentations, and written PowerPoint slides.

Methods and Theories Frequently Used:

  • Behavioral Economics / Behavioral Science
  • Beliefs-Goals-Choices  Framework
  • Nudges
  • Habits
  • 4 P’s Framework
  • Decision Making / Decision Science
  • Yale Insights Discovery Process
  • Design Thinking / Innovation Through Customer Empathy
  • Big Data Analytics
  • Concept Testing
  • Survey Creation & Experimentation
  • In-Depth Behavioral Interviews
  • Ethnography
  • Social Media Scraping

Click here to learn more about experiential learning through Discovery Projects.

Frequently asked questions

Six credits.

The course is by application only.  You do not need to use your points to bid on this course.

 In the spring, the course is open to first- and second-year MBA students and MAM students. In the fall, the course is open to second-year MBA students and MAM students.

Fall 2023 applications are due by 11:00pm on Friday, July 14th.

Apply to more than one project to increase your likelihood of being selected.  You can note your order of preference  in your statement of interest, along with why you’d be a great fit for your top choice. 

A few practical notes

These are highly selective projects that are very time intensive and require a great deal of flexibility with scheduling.  You will earn six (6) credits upon successful completion of this course.  

Student Responsibilities:

  • Attend mandatory Discovery Project kickoff meetings, midterm and final presentations, and weekly meetings with faculty advisors/student team throughout the semester (dates/times TBD by team).
  • Attend five mandatory lectures and other project events most Wednesday evenings throughout the semester.
  • Plan to spend approximately 12-14 hours per week on this course, and potentially 16+ hours during midterm and final presentation prep. 
  • Conduct interviews among consumers, generate insights, test insights, and provide recommendations to affiliate companies. 


  • Final team presentation to the affiliate with midterm check-in.
  • 7-10 page white paper summarizing findings.


Ravi Dhar, George Rogers Clark Professor of Management & Marketing, Yale SOM;  Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Yale University; Director, YCCI

Nathan Novemsky, Professor of Marketing, Yale SOM; Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, Yale University

Treeny Ahmed, Executive Director, YCCI; Lecturer in the Practice of Management, Yale SOM

Student spotlight

With lessons from this course and real-world opportunity as a guide, I am able to better navigate the complexity and ambiguity of my research at Google with confidence.

Betsy Rives​ ’17
Preview image for the video "CCI: The Value of Discovery Projects".

This program is uniquely Yale and definitely worth exploring if you enjoy being challenged and pushing the bar for what excellence looks like day in and day out!

Challenging, engaging and ultimately rewarding work…

The YCCI Discovery Project was a genuinely meaningful complement to my classroom experience and amplified my learning and growth during my first year at SOM in surprising ways.