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Educating leaders for business & society

You care about the world.

You want to make a difference in the big problems afflicting people’s lives—like climate change, systemic racism, and the pandemic response—while launching a rewarding career.

Combining seemingly incompatible goals—and perspectives, ideas, people, needs, industries—is at the heart of our mission of educating leaders for business & society. In fact, we see this act of combining as the essential skill you’ll need to become a leader who improves lives.

Success & impact

We approach every challenge as a chance to think about both immediate questions and big questions, the metrics of organizational success and impact on people’s lives. A successful SOM career is measured in how it ultimately affects lives and strengthens communities. 

Curriculum: classroom & real world

Across programs, our curriculum takes a broad view of management challenges and teaches students to draw on ideas from different arenas in solving the problems that afflict people’s lives.

Leadership perspectives

Students at Yale School of Management

In the Executive, the capstone course of the MBA core curriculum, students tackle complex challenges created when business success depends on addressing entrenched societal problems. Cases in the Executive push students to analyze raw data about current situations, and each is taught by two instructors to bring multiple perspectives to bear.

Art & economic growth

Faculty teaching two seemingly very different courses—one on real estate investment and one on community development—came together to develop a case study about how an arts incubator in New Haven was seeking to revitalize the community.

Two ways of thinking in one course

SOM’s Modeling Managerial Decisions, a core MBA course, is co-taught by a data scientist and a psychologist. The two instructors combine a data-driven perspective with the behavioral view of human decision making to help students better use all the tools available to lead an organization.

Globetrotting for good

In the spring, teams of Yale SOM students span out across the globe. They use their spring break to work with NGOs and nonprofits in developing countries—for example, helping a Kenyan partner improve the career services they provide to disadvantaged students or giving a fledgling social enterprise in Brazil the tools to monitor its impact.

Students in a classroom
Farm laborers

Rigor & heart

Passion gets you started. It’s essential and irreplaceable, but it won’t get you to the finish line. Our approach to management focuses analytical tools on the issues you care most about to help you find the ideas and resources to advance toward your real goals.

Our intellectual approach: analytical tools & keen passion

At Yale, you’ll find leading scholarship built on a foundation of more than 300 years of inquiry and study. We turn the resources of a great university to better understanding the knotty problems that weigh on modern life and blight human flourishing. SOM is a place with a fervent interest in making a difference—and in making it measurable.

Quant courses that matter

Students in the classroom.

SOM faculty use analytical and empirical tools to understand the biggest and messiest problems facing society—including the drivers of the climate crisis, how to prevent financial disaster, the behavioral biases that lead people into unhealthy behaviors, and the mechanisms by which misinformation spreads on the internet. Then they teach this approach in the classroom, and students learn to apply the sharpest tools to the issues they care most about.

Big issues from all angles

The school attracts leading thinkers, students, and practitioners working to address the biggest challenges in the world, through careful study, dialogue, and collaborative action. Faculty centers, student groups, and academic programs focus on the stability of the financial system, sustainability and the climate crisis, public education, healthcare, and other issues of broad public interest. Students benefit from being in an environment with rich discussion of issues that will shape the future of organizations of all kinds.

Self & community

Your sense of your own purpose will only be strengthened by joining a community that values values. At Yale SOM, your convictions will be tested by difference and ultimately made stronger. Your experience here will set you up to build thriving organizational cultures throughout your working life.

Community: aspiration & collaboration

We assemble students who bring a strong set of values to our community, and the Yale SOM experience is designed to help each of them hone and strengthen their sense of individual purpose. Being part of a community with this orientation serves as training for cultivating healthy communities in organizations of all sorts and scales.

Mission-oriented, from day one

Historical image of students in class.

When the first students walked through the doors of the Yale School of Management in 1976, they were attracted to what was essentially an experiment in creating a different kind of business school—one that sought to train leaders with a deep understanding of both the private and public sectors who would be able to lead important institutions with the best technical skills and an eye on the common good. Much has changed since then, and more than 10,000 students have followed in the footsteps of that inaugural class, but that core mission remains our driving impulse.

A tradition of helping (and having fun)

Students at Internship Fund auction.

The Yale SOM Internship Fund has been revolutionary for 40 years. It brings the whole community together to support students who want to do internships in the government or nonprofit sectors. It enables more SOM students to pursue their interests and contribute to impactful organizations. And the Internship Fund fundraisers, including a live auction and a talent show, give everyone a chance to cut loose.

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A continuous focus on values

Values that aren’t tended—discussed, questioned, forced to grow and develop—will die. Like other organizations around the world, we were prompted in 2020 to reassess and reinvigorate our commitment to racial justice. Along with institutional steps aimed at increasing diversity and assessing our own performance against our ideals, the school fostered dialog, in part by welcoming a range of speakers who shared expertise and insight into the challenges of eradicating bias across a range of institutions and organizations. It’s an ongoing conversation.

More about Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion at SOM