During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 4-month, virtual Watson Semester Accelerator was launched to accelerate the ventures and careers of college students, recent graduates, and gap-year students with an early-stage social venture. The deadline for the Spring cohort is November 1.

During the program, a cohort of next generation innovators, leaders, and entrepreneurs from across the globe will convene virtually to tackle complex problems and forge lives and careers of impact. From climate change to social justice and from poverty to access to quality education, students selected to the Watson Semester Accelerator leverage training, mentorship and community to accelerate their ventures and unleash lives of impact.

An overview of how the virtual Watson Semester Accelerator will be delivered.

We have modeled our virtual program to meet the same expectations as the in-person program while adding new aspects that the virtual space allows.

The courses, mentorship, master courses, and community will be delivered in three distinct ways:

Entire cohort experiences events together at the same time. There will be approximately 9 hours of synchronous programming per week.

Localized Synchronous:

Small student pods grouped by geography convene at convenient times according to time-zone for various small-group events. There will be approximately 6 hours of localized synchronous programming per week.


Students complete work/experience individually at their own pace, given specific due-dates and clarity of outcome and quality expected.


The Watson Semester Accelerator curriculum was developed by examining best practices in supporting social entrepreneurs worldwide and consolidated into a curriculum that provides students with the hard and soft skills, methodologies, and frameworks required to successfully grow a social venture and lead an impactful career. Each course is led by one of Watson Institute’s Preceptors, who themselves are accomplished entrepreneurs, leaders, and expert facilitators.

Watson workshops typically take place Tuesday-Thursday between 8am and 10am MT.

Cost and Session Information

Spring 2021 (January 19 - May 7, 2021) | Fall 2021 (August 23 - December 10, 2021)

Tuition: $6,000

Scholarships covering up to 50% of the cost of tuition are available based on merit and financial need.


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