Leadership for Society
Scholars Program

Earn credit for exploring a topic of great interest to you and critical importance to society and be a founding member of the Leadership for Society Scholars program.

Apply by December 7, 2020

Program Overview

The Leadership for Society Scholars program provides MBA students with the opportunity to deeply engage on a policy issue. Participants will develop a course of inquiry on a policy question in partnership with advisors. The program is designed to help students over their time at the GSB cultivate an understanding of the historical and social context for their chosen issue area, develop a perspective on existing and possible solutions, and identify opportunities for societal progress.

Upon completion of the program, participants will have:

Focus on an Issue of Societal Importance

Participants may choose any line of inquiry that falls under the broad theme of the Leadership for Society Program this year: Race and Power

Example of possible student projects include, but aren't limited to:


The Scholars Program will require an ongoing engagement over the course of multiple quarters. For the 2020-21 pilot program, the experience will primarily be self-directed coursework, with the support from GSB faculty and staff members to gauge progress and provide introductions to key stakeholders.

Academic Credit

Students will enroll in an independent study course (GSBGEN 390) during their spring quarter. GSBGEN 390 may be taken for 1-4 credits per quarter. Students are expected to work 3 hours each week per credit received: 1 unit of credit = 3 hours per week, 2 units of credit = 6 hours per week, 3 units of credit = 9 hours per week, 4 units of credit = 12 hours per week. Course workload and credit will be reflective of the weekly hours committed to the policy project. 

Based on your input and contribution, we may develop a 1 unit seminar that participants can take part in during the winter quarter. Possible components for this seminar include a deep dive into policy analysis, system thinking, and research methodologies.


The scholars will work toward a conference in the spring of their second year designed to raise the awareness of their classmates about the issues they focused on. The event will bring experts to learn from and showcase the result of their work.


Candidates can apply individually or as a group for the Scholars Program.

For the 2020-21 pilot program, candidates should: