Sustainability & Social Impact

Impact Academy programs are currently unavailable. We’re working with our partner GVI to make these programs available as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience.

In partnership with GVI, the School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers Impact Academy, a career-oriented international program focused on sustainability and social impact. Through rigorous online coursework and an immersive international fieldwork experience, Impact Academy provides participants the practical skills, theoretical understanding, on-the-ground experience, career guidance and support needed to launch a career in international development.

Impact Academy is designed to help students launch purposeful careers in sustainable international development to make a social impact. We offer programs in eight career sectors that are designed to fill the skills gap identified by global organizations working in international development and conservation.

Understanding context in sustainable development is vital. With better-trained graduates who are equipped to analyze and adapt to context, development projects are more successful, and more sustainable.

Over 80% of employers in nonprofit organizations, development-focused corporations, and social enterprises say that candidates’ lack of practical experience on how to deliver change is the biggest barrier to them achieving their career goals.

Impact Academy was developed with this need in mind, to be applied to projects across all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. And to close this gap even further, participants will also have unique access to industry opportunities and updates through a dedicated careers portal.

Online Options Available

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re also offering Impact Academy Online, a fully digital program that allows you to add the international fieldwork component at a later date, if you choose.

Program Summary

After an online learning experience (2, 8 or 16 weeks), informed by international best practice and innovation, students will embark on a field experience (2 or 4 weeks) at a global impact hub. Based in low and middle-income contexts, students will have the opportunity to analyze development theory in action, learn from local actors through masterclasses and gain an understanding of how culture, politics, economics and logistics influence development work.

The Impact Academy prepares participants for career placements in the sustainable development field, in eight subject areas:

  1. Climate Crisis and Clean Energy
  2. Education for Development
  3. Environmental and Corporate Sustainability
  4. Global Public Health
  5. Human Rights and Access to Justice
  6. Marine Conservation
  7. Social Economic Development
  8. Wildlife Conservation

Graduates of Impact Academy will be a step ahead in their careers, as they receive an education guided by a deep understanding of the talent needs for organizations in sustainable development, and grounded in contextually relevant practices in the field.

Learn More about Impact Academy

To learn more about Impact Academy powered by GVI, visit

GVI has partnered exclusively with three U.S. educational partners to launch Impact Academy: the University of Richmond, University of California, Riverside (UCR) Extension and University of North Carolina, Charlotte.