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Executive Program in Digital Media for Social Impact

Frequently Asked Questions

How will my application be evaluated?

We want to hear your story, your hopes and dreams and what you want to accomplish in your career. We are looking to learn about you, what you’re passionate about, what you want to learn and why. Whether you’re looking to grow your current organization, want to transition into more social impact work, or you’re trying to have the time and space to reboot and consider what’s next, be honest about where you’re at in your journey. We hope that the application process might serve as a reflective practice for you to step back and articulate what you’re hoping to accomplish. If you have questions about admissions, please don’t hesitate to reach out at so we can discuss.

Do you offer financial aid or scholarships?

Our program is designed to have the lowest tuition possible without losing the integrity of the educational experience. We’re proud to say it’s one of the most affordable executive programs available today. Since the program tuition is already being offered at a discounted rate relative to other similar programs, we’re unfortunately unable to offer any scholarships. We can, however, offer students who would like additional time to complete their payment the option of an interest-free payment plan. Previous students have gotten partial or full tuition covered from their employers as well. If you have questions about finances, please don’t hesitate to reach out at so we can discuss.

What is the refund policy?

The $950 tuition deposit is not refundable. Refunds on balances paid will be made according to the policy of the School of Social Policy and Practice OpenSP2 refund policy.

OpenSP2 supports requests for refunds to non-credit programs in writing only to the appropriate program leadership, please see the specific program page for contact information. On-demand programs require that refunds requests occur within 14 days of the start of the program, and only if less than 25% of course materials have been engaged with (based on course data analytics). Programs which run on a calendar basis with live class sessions require cancellation and refund requests to be made at least 14 days in advance of the course start date. OpenSP2 may provide a transfer option to individuals who cancel beyond the limits of this policy, that decision is at the discretion of the program leader. Individual programs and programs from affiliated PennSP2 centers each set final program cancellation and refund policies; participants should check program policies before registration and payment. OpenSP2 is a division of the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Policy & Practice which receives the right to change, alter, adjust this policy. OpenSP2 reserves the right to cancel any program for low enrollment or other extenuating circumstances at any time, before the start of the program. If SP2 cancels a program, all participants will receive a full refund. Please also note programs offered on 3rd party platforms (edX or Coursera) are subject to the policies of that platform.

Official communications may be sent to

Are there any prerequisites to apply?

No, there are no educational prerequisites to apply for this program — we are looking for leaders across all industries with a variety of perspectives. If you have questions about whether this program is a good fit for you, please don’t hesitate to reach out at

How much time can I expect the program to take?

We anticipate that most students will spend about 4-6 hours per week on the program, but of course this may vary. The program is a part-time program that is designed to be taken alongside, and complementary to, your existing professional responsibilities.

What opportunities do you offer alumni?

Alumni are a critical part of the CSIS and Annenberg School families, and they receive lifelong access to both communities. CSIS hosts a private Facebook group dedicated to conversations online for anyone in our network to share resources and support one another. Most years, we also host a free summit in Philadelphia to bring our diverse community together and offer one another a deep sense of community and connection.

Can I talk to someone to learn more?

Can I talk to someone to learn more?-Yes! Please join us for an info session on zoom . We have four coming up on Jul 19, 2023 4:00-5:00 US ET, August 23, 2023, 4:00-5:00 US ET, September 20, 2023 4:00-5:00 US ET, and October 18, 2023 4:00-5:00 US ET - click on the date to register - or view our recording from a 2023 info session on the Next Steps page. You can also schedule a call with someone from our admissions team.

How does the relationship between the Executive Program and Master’s Program in Nonprofit Leadership work?

Students who complete the program will be eligible to complete Penn's Master's Program in Nonprofit Leadership in an accelerated format. The DMSI certificate will count toward three CUs in the master's program. Students who go on to pursue the master's after DMSI will only need to complete seven CUs to earn their degree. You can read more about what the accelerated format entails here

Julia Blumenstyk Headshot

Keep Pace with Changes

“Being able to execute digital media is critical for social change organizations to be able to get the word out, to reach their beneficiaries, to make sure their partners know about them. It’s also a space that’s changing incredibly quickly and that can be really hard to keep pace with. By learning the foundations of digital media and social change, leaders will be set up to keep pace with those changes and implement all things digital within their organizations.” —Julia Blumenstyk, Product Marketing Manager, The Commons Foundation; CSIS Executive Program Alum

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Still Have Questions?

We would love to hear from you! If you have any additional questions, please reach out to us!

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Apply Now!

Join our inaugural class of DMSI scholars. We are excited to dive into these topics together!