Find purpose, master skills & launch a career in changing the world.

Find your purpose & gain in-demand skills for a career in social impact startups. Get personalized learning, delivered online with one on one support and passionate community. Only pay after you land a job making $40,000 or more.

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What is Plato University?

Plato University provides a path for aspiring, young professionals seeking meaningful careers. Our programs are personalized, flexible, and focused on helping you make an impact on the world.

What makes Plato University different?

Declare a Mission, Not A Major

Passion Inspired Education

We combine your passions and desire for purpose with in demand career skills to create personalized learning paths. We will help you foster a deeper understanding of yourself, your interests, passions and talents, as well as your dreams, aspirations and goals.

In-Demand Career Skills

We partner with mission driven startups and social enterprises to understand the specific competencies required for skilled roles. We focus on high-demand fields with meaningful upward mobility, such as UX Design, Project Management, Marketing, Sales, and Analytics.

Solving Global Challenges

Our program is for young adults who want to solve the world’s most pressing challenges like climate change, healthcare, education, poverty, and equality. We combine an in-depth curriculum with a world-class community to help you make an impact on the world.

Personalized Curriculum

Personalized, self-paced learning to master skills

We don't believe in set majors, rigid courses or spoon-feeding information. Instead we create customized, self-paced learning paths tailored to your interests and to master skills demanded by employers. Our goal isn't to help you just find a job, but help you launch a career. Our goal isn't to teach you to do a task, but to teach you how to deconstruct and problem solve in your personal and professional life.

Foundational Skills

Build foundational and practical skills - critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and character - that are necessary to solve any problem and highly sought after by professional employers.

Career Skills

We work with the top companies to develop real projects for you to build a portfolio of career-relevant skills for high paying roles in mission driven startups.

Challenge Skills

Learn skills directly related to the local and global challenges most important to you like climate change, healthcare, education, poverty, or equality.

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Passionate Community

Social learning with peers and circle of support

Meet regularly with a career coach and cohort of your peers to keep you on track. Practice you skills with other passionate people who want to make the world a better place. After you graduate, you'll join a community and network of Plato University grads dedicated to life long learning.

Live workshops and real projects

Engage with other students in live virtual workshops that develop skills through group projects, role-playing, breakout groups, and active learning exercises.

Build relationships in a powerful network

Engage in weekly small group conversations with others who are at similar stages in their  journeys and work through challenges together.

personal coach, mentors, & Support team

Juggling work, school and life can be challenging.  For this reason we equip you with an entire team that is committed to focusing on you at every stage of your learning journey.

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Purposeful Careers

Launch a career in mission driven startups

Join our trusted community and learn how to navigate the startup ecosystem, choose the right organization to work with, and land your dream job.

Fulfilling career Opportunities

Get exclusive access to early-stage job opportunities within mission-driven startups, nonprofits, and social enterprises. Work with our team of experts who can help you explore career pathways, help you network, and guide you through your entire career long after graduation.

in-demand industry certifications

Earn skill credentials from industry leaders like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce to signal to employers that you’re job-ready.

Ongoing career services & coaching

Gain clarity on your career goals with coaches and industry mentors. Boost the mechanics of your job search by mastering a range of areas, including storytelling, interviewing, and portfolio building.

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Here's How We Support Our Students

Person on laptop holding checked off task.

Flexible Online Learning

Take courses built from the expertise of mentors, industry leaders and top-tier universities that fit into your busy schedule.

Personal Coach

From personal discovery to charting your career roadmap, your dedicated coach will help you achieve your goals.

Community of Peers

Actively engage with other smart, passionate people in real projects, live workshops, and online social events.

Person earning a certificate

In-demand Certifications

Earn skill credentials from industry leaders like Google, Facebook, and Salesforce to signal to employers that you’re job-ready.

Ongoing Career Services

Get customized career support to land roles with mission-driven startups, nonprofits, and social enterprises.

Expert Industry Mentors

Engage in sessions with industry mentors who are experts in the skills you are learning and can guide career choices.

How Does Plato University Work?

Join The University Customized To You


Application Process

Apply to the program and learn more. Through our application process, you’ll learn about Plato University and whether it’s a fit for you. We review each application, putting special emphasis on our core values. Successful candidates will be invited to an interview with the team.

Submit an application

Learn about our Plato Payment Program

Interview with Plato University Coach


4-Week Onboarding

Once accepted, your experience with Plato University begins with a four-week (100% free) Onboarding experience to see if Plato is right for you. You will learn the ins-and-outs of how learning at Plato works, get immersed into the community, & meet your personal support team that will help you achieve your goals!

Attend the cohort kickoff to build connections

Meet your personal support team

Learn the skills for success


Build the Foundations

The onboarding was just the beginning! Once complete, you will begin building the foundational skills - critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and character- that will make you successful in any endeavor. Our unique curriculum is informed by the most in-demand skills in the emerging workforce, the catalysts for a meaningful life, and the requirements for solving global challenges.

Begin the discovery of meaning and purpose

Master 21st century professional skills

Learn the frameworks to solve complex issues


Master the Skills

At Plato University we focus on skill mastery, not grades, credit hours, or standardized curriculum. You will learn only the exact skills you need through a range of formats, from live small group workshops and 1:1 mentor sessions to self-paced multi-media learning modules.  Unlike most college programs, learning at Plato University is flexible, yet structured: you can go as fast or slow as you want. To demonstrate mastery you will complete real-world projects and industry informed assessments.

Master skills through social & self-paced learning

Build a portfolio of real world projects

Earn stackable skill badges and credentials


Land Your Dream Job

After you have mastered your skills, all of our energy goes into landing you a new job. You’ll apply to quality jobs every week while working with your coach to navigate the startup ecosystem, tighten your interview skills and personal brand, and land your dream job.

Hands on career coaching and job placement

Exclusive access to opportunities in our network

Guidance on portfolios and personal branding



Once you’re a Plato University alumni, you’re an alumni for life. If you ever need help changing jobs, your passions change, or your skills need updating, we’re here for you. Our goal is to help you change the world, and that goes beyond your first job after graduation.

Graduate with job signaling certifications

Recieve ongoing career support

High-Quality Online education, at a price you can afford

We designed flexible and simple terms for alumni launching their careers. Pay each upfront each month or defer payment until after graduation.

Easy Monthly Tuition


Pay as you go. Cancel anytime.

Pause with no penalty and continue where you left off.

Owe nothing after you graduate

Apply Now

Save money paying upfront

Deferred Payment Program

after you land a job

Learn now, pay later with $0 upfront and 0 interest.

Start paying only once you get a job.

Get a job paying at least $40,000 a year or pay nothing.

Apply Now

Free until you're hired

Who is Plato University For?

Passionate People Seeking Purposeful Careers

College Avoiders

No degree? No problem. We understand that traditional colleges are not for everyone. We provide flexible and affordable pathways for quickly advancing your career.

Underemployed Grads

Did your degree turn out not to be as lucrative or fulfilling as you thought? Get highly in-demand skills in a meaningful career quickly without having to go back to traditional college for more degrees.

Early Career Changers

Deeply dispassionate about the work your doing? Start a more purposeful career in social impact by learning the skills you need to solve real world challenges. Get a direct path to new, meaningful jobs in tech and startups.

What does a typical week look like at Plato University?

Combination of Social & Self-paced, Mastery Based Learning

Learning at Plato University uses a blended approach, combining the best of independent, self paced learning with active, social learning and live support.

Independent Learning

Interactive Skill Mastery Modules

Our self-paced interactive modules allow you to learn actively through multimedia content, complemented by activities and projects.

Live Active Workshops

Engage in live collaborative projects group activities, peer instruction, Socratic discussions, debates, or problem based learning that is both engaging and challenging.

Independent Learning

Flourishing Activates

Daily activities on self-discovery, purpose-building, mindfulness, life skills, and other tools to enable your self-actualization.


1 on 1 Coaching

Learners meet weekly with their coach to set goals, talk through their progress and overcome challenges.

Independent Learning

Mentorship Sessions

Learners will engage in sessions with industry mentors who are experts in the skills they are learning.

Community Events & Socials

We organize regular virtual community events with learners and annual gatherings for the entire cohort.

Sample Schedule

30-60 min

each day in self-paced learning

1-4 hrs

every week in live social learning

15-20 hrs

a week committed for learning

While actual weeks are impacted by each person's personalized learning paths, the following will give you a sense of what a learner at Plato University would feel like.

1-1 Check-in w/ Coach
Skill Module: UX Design & Empathizing with Users
Independent Learning
Skill Module: UX Design & Conducting User Interviews
Independent Learning
Skill Module: Removing Carbon to Fight Climate Change
Independent Learning
Skill Module: UX Design & Identifying User Pain Points
Independent Learning
Mentor Meeting
Skill Module: Decarbonizing the Grid to Fight Climate Change
Independent Learning
Skill Module: UX Design & Identifying User Pain Points
Independent Learning
Skill Module: UX Design & Creating Personas
Independent Learning
Skill Module: UX Design & Creating User Stories & Journey Maps
Independent Learning
What are other people saying about Plato University?

Hear From Our Learners

Chase wants to improve mental health and build a community of designers

Meet Chase Morris and hear about his journey joining the Plato community and how it changed how he was learning.

"Coming into the Plato community gave me the accountability, made what I wanted to accomplish completely achievable, and also it was just completely fun."
What makes Plato University different?

A Student-First University Built to
help you change the world

Traditional University

Students must pick a standardized degree; told what and when to learn

Curriculum based on faculty interests or academic research

Outdated curriculum consumed through passive lectures and rote memorization

Students more or less treated the same with no aid in personal discovery

Rigid schedules and timeframes based on credit hours and grades

Vibrant in person communities locked to a geographic location

Minimal career support or placement

2-4 years till graduation

$9,000+ a year in tuition; with loans and interest

Co-creation of personalized learning paths, at a pace that best suits you

Curriculum based on student's interest and global challenges

Curriculum is practical, industry informed and actively engaged with through real challenges & projects

Help to foster a deeper understanding one's own interests, passions and talents, as well as their aspirations and goals.

Based on skill mastery, allowing for flexible and adaptive learning

Vibrant online community engaging in projects and social events

Career coaching and direct employer pipelines

Graduate in 6-24 months

Affordable monthly tuition; no loans, no interest.

Online University

Students have some control over pace of learning, but not content

Curriculum strictly vocational focused

Some curriculum is industry informed but consumed through passive lectures on videos

Students more or less treated the same with no aid in personal discovery

Rigid schedules and timeframes based on credit hours and grades

Very little community interaction in person or online; learning is siloed

Some career support or placement

1-4 years till graduation

$2,000+ a year in tuition; with loans and interest

Still have questions?

What is Plato University?

Plato University is the alternative, online university that turns your passions into purpose by helping you master skills to launch a career solving global challenges. We are the best alternative to traditional master's programs providing a path for aspiring, young professionals seeking meaningful careers at high-growth, social impact startups. Our programs combine personalized curriculum, passionate community, and purposeful careers to help you make an impact on the world.

Who should apply?

Plato University was built for aspiring young professionals who want to turn their passions into purposeful careers and make an impact on the world. Our students are typically 18-35 early in their careers with 0-5 years of professional experience.

If you are considering Plato University you might be a:

  • Non-degree holder in low income job: you skipped college and now are working a minimum wage job. You are looking to access new higher-paying jobs in fast-growing industries without getting a college degree.

  • Underemployed recent grad: you got a degree but are struggling to get a professional job so you are working at Starbucks. You need additional support, guidance and skills development to secure an entry level position.

  • Career changer: your early in your career and found out you loathe the work you do. You want to transition from your current role to a better, more fullfilling career.

To be a good fit for Plato University, you are probably:

  • Purpose-driven: looking for meaning, and want to have a massive impact on the world

  • Rebellious: questioning the status quo and looking to take an unconventional path to building your career

  • Curious: consistently learning about yourself, others, and the world around you

  • Goal-orientated: take responsibility for your own learning development & have mental fortitude to reach long term goals.

Who Plato is not a good fit for...

We don't pretend that we are the right education solution for everyone. We are here to serve those who wish to take a non traditional path towards education that will help them change the world.

For this reason, we are not well suited for those who:

  • Want the traditional on campus college experience

  • Are seeking jobs requiring long traditional schooling or credentials (doctors, lawyers, accountants, psychologists, etc)

  • Want to become technical engineers or developers. We recommend looking into coding bootcamps.

  • Require an accredited degree for further education. Currently we are unaccredited but are working towards accreditation.

What is the time commitment like?

Plato University is a program specifically designed for working professionals with busy lives. We expect that you have at least 15-20 hours a week to go through this program. Keep in mind that our program is mastery focused, so if you only have 10 hours a week, that may work as well, but you will consume the courses at a much slower pace than others. If you have more time to spare, even better! There's no limit to how fast you can go. Spend more hours per week learning and you'll move through courses even quicker.

What is the curriculum and learning experience like?

Plato University's learning experience is unlike any other. You will declare a mission, a global challenge you wish to solve, rather than a major. Missions are created by combining your passions, a global challenge, and in demand career skills. We then build a tailor made curriculum that is personalized for your mission.

You then embark on your learning journey within skill courses. Think engaging, interactive online learning that helps you gain the skills you need – fast. During these courses you will complete learning activities, portfolio projects, and active learning workshops with others in the community.

The online learning environment contains everything you need to learn at Plato University. It's where you'll take courses, chat with peers and faculty, submit assignments, receive feedback, and track your progress.

At Plato University we use mastery-based education, which measures how well you know the material instead of time you spend in a class. You do assignments and coursework whenever your schedule allows, and when you feel ready you take an assessment or submit a final project that demonstrates your mastery of the material. If you pass, you move on to the next course!

Our model is also based on evidence-based methodologies and the latest findings from the science of learning including: Active Learning, Challenge-based Learning, Project-based Learning, Problem-based Learning and Competency-based learning.

Is this a fully remote, online program?

Yes. Plato University is run entirely remotely. This enables participation from all corners of the world with a diverse community. Additionally, being online offer you flexibility in your program. For example, you don't have to go to campus and sit in a classroom. You can move faster through courses. You are largely independent in your education but you will still be able to engage with a vibrant community and the Plato University support team.

What does it cost?

Affordability is part of our mission: we want you to access high-quality, online education, no matter where you live in the world. For this reason tuition is a flat monthly fee of $199/mo regardless of the amount of classes you take at one time. There are no additional fees or taxes.

Can I defer my payment until after graduation?

Yes. The Deferred Payment Program has no upfront fees and are for qualified participants to defer paying anything until they get a job. You don't have to start paying anything until you start collecting paychecks, and we'll work with you on a reasonable and no interest payment plan. We believe in our education so much that we will guarantee it: if you don't land a job that pays at least $40,000 a year, then you don’t owe us anything.

Can I pause my payments and learning?

Yes. We understand that life happens and plans can change. If you need to pause your payments and learning, you can do so without penalty. When you are able to return, you pick up right where you left off.

Is Plato University currently accredited?

Plato University is a certificate program. It does NOT confer a degree or a diploma. Most employers are not concerned with whether you have an accredited education but rather you have the skills they need to solve problems and create solutions for their businesses and organizations. However we plan to become accredited in the future. Accreditation takes time and, as we're a new university, we haven't quite built up the data we need. As an alternative we offer credentialed certificates that signal to employers your skills. If you need an official course credit or accredited degree this may not be a fit for your journey.

How will Plato University help me launch a career?

Plato University was designed to help you start a career in field of impact you care about. Our curriculum directly addresses the skills and knowledge that employers seek today, and that will continue to be necessary in the coming decades. To support job placement, you will first get to work with ICF-certified professional coaches to help build clarity around your professional goals. Our career success team will then help you build your portfolio and host career workshops around communication, networking, and outreach. During the process, you will also get to meet industry experts who will help you understand each role better in terms of the skills you need to build. Finally, our team will set up mock interviews for you with professionals already working in the desired role.

What if I don't know what my passions are or what I want to study?

No worries! Our coaches are here to help you understand and discover that. We will help you to foster a deeper understanding of yourself, your interests, passions and talents, as well as your aspirations and goals. We will then help you navigate the courses and career possibilities that exist matching those passions so you get the most out of your time at Plato University.

Ready to change the world?

Apply Now