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Social Innovation and Impact Specialization

Social innovation and impact specialization courses blend social, environmental and more traditional economic perspectives to provide the innovative conceptual frameworks, strategies, and implementation skills necessary to create substantial social and economic value in for-profit, nonprofit and public sectors.

In a social impact career, one works to further the social good either through a specific role or through an employer. Social impact careers are not exclusive to any group of industries. Below is the complete course list for the social impact and innovation specialization. Additionally, there are five career tracks within the specialization that represent the scope of industry and function available to those seeking a career in social impact.  

Academic Advisor: Professor Jill Kickul, 212-998-0079 

Full Course List

Course List

Full Course List

BSPA-GB.2306 Social Enterprise in Sustainable Food Business
BSPA-GB.2113 Cuba: Sanctions, Reforms, Opportunities
BSPA-GB.2140 Law and Business of Social Enterprise
BSPA-GB.2331 Law, Business and Human Rights
BSPA-GB.3105 Global Markets, Human Rights, and the Press
BSPA-GB.3122 Ten Top Trends in Social Innovation
DBIN-GB.3110 Doing Business in Costa Rica: Sustainable Business in Latin America
ECON-GB.2105 Energy & the Environment
ECON-GB.2110 Economics of Healthcare
ECON-GB.2195 Advanced Global Perspectives on Enterprise Systems
ECON-GB.2320 The Future of the Global Economy
ECON-GB.2346 Growth in the Developing World and the Global Economy
ECON-GB.2350 Global Poverty Alleviation
ECON-GB.3375 Urban Systems
FINC-GB.3148 Social Venture Capital
FINC-GB.3348 Investing for Environmental and Social Impact
FINC-GB.3354 Investing in Microfinance
INTA-GB.2120 Business and the Federal Government
INTA-GB.2170 Evolution, Human Nature, and Business
INTA-GB.2323 Sustainability & the New Economy
INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
INTA-GB.3360 The Project
INTA-GB.3361 Corporate Social Responsibility
MGMT-GB.2178 Business of Sustainability
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies
MGMT-GB.2368 Strategy with a Social Purpose
MGMT-GB.3336 Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship
MGMT-GB.3359 Leading Sustainable Enterprises
MKTG-GB.3101 Corporate Branding & CSR

For course descriptions, please see the Office of Records & Registration website.

Possible Specialization Tracks

CSR and Branding

CSR and Branding broadly encompass a company's efforts to become a better corporate citizen as well as their marketing of this work. These efforts could be associated with the environment, human rights, employee diversity, and corporate philanthropy, among others. Additionally, companies are increasingly realizing the importance of such activities to their brand, and as such, place a growing emphasis on publicizing this work both internally and externally.

The following courses are recommended for students interested in this track:

INTA-GB.2170 Evolution, Human Nature, and Business
INTA-GB.3361 Corporate Social Responsibility 
MKTG-GB.3101 Corporate Branding & CSR
MGMT-GB.2178 Business of Sustainability
MGMT-GB.3359 Leading Sustainable Enterprises


The following courses vary in subject matter either from year to year, or based on what the student chooses to focus on in their coursework. Depending on the subject matter, one or more of these courses could complement studies in this track:

INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
​INTA-GB.3360 The Project
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies

International Development and Human Rights

The International and Human Rights track focuses on the importance of emerging and developing markets around the world - the lessons that we can learn from them, as well as how we can work with other markets to help them develop in a sustainable manner. Additionally included in this track is a focus on human rights and the need to promote transparency and accountability in labor practices around the world. 

The following courses are recommended for students interested in this track:

BSPA-GB.2113 Cuba: Sanctions, Reforms, Opportunities
BSPA-GB.2331 Law, Business and Human Rights
BSPA-GB.3105 Global Markets, Human Rights and the Press
DBIN-GB.3110 Doing Business in Costa Rica: Sustainable Business in Latin America
ECON-GB.2195 Advanced Global Perspectives on Enterprise Systems
ECON-GB.2320 The Future of the Global Economy
ECON-GB.2346 Growth in the Developing World and the Global Economy
ECON-GB.2350 Global Poverty Alleviation
ECON-GB.3375 Urban Systems
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies

The following courses vary in subject matter either from year to year, or based on what the student chooses to focus on in their coursework. Depending on the subject matter, one or more of these courses could complement studies in this track:

INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
​INTA-GB.3360 The Project

Social Enterprise

The Social Enterprise track focuses on the business of social impact. What constitutes a social enterprise and how can businesses succeed in generating profit while also doing social good? This track is not only intended for those students interested in starting their own social enterprise, but also anyone hoping to understand alternative business models. Students looking to pursue careers that support social enterprises, impact investing or impact consulting, for example, will also benefit from a focus in this area.

The following courses are recommended for students interested in this track:

BSPA-GB.2140 The Law and Business of Social Enterprise
BSPA-GB.2306 Social Enterprise in Sustainable Food Business
BSPA-GB.3122 Ten Top Trends in Social Innovation
FINC-GB.3354 Investing in Microfinance
INTA-GB.2323 Sustainability & the New Economy
INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
MGMT-GB.2178 Business of Sustainability
MGMT-GB.2368 Strategy with a Social Purpose 
MGMT-GB.3336 Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship
MGMT-GB.3359 Leading Sustainable Enterprises


The following courses vary in subject matter either from year to year, or based on what the student chooses to focus on in their coursework. Depending on the subject matter, one or more of these courses could complement studies in this track:

​INTA-GB.3360 The Project
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies

Social Impact Investing and Finance

The Social Impact Investing and Finance track includes careers that seek to direct capital toward causes of social/environmental good and/or to mitigate the negative environmental and social effects associated with the investment or deployment of capital. This could include such fields as impact investing, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) analysis, and clean energy finance, among others. 

The following courses are recommended for students interested in this track:

FINC-GB.3148 Social Venture Capital
FINC-GB.3348 Investing for Environmental and Social Impact
FINC-GB.3354 Investing in Microfinance

The following courses vary in subject matter either from year to year, or based on what the student chooses to focus on in their coursework. Depending on the subject matter, one or more of these courses could complement studies in this track:

INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
INTA-GB.3360 The Project
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies

Sustainability and Environmental Management

The Sustainability and Environmental Management track encompasses the wide range of careers that aim either to lessen the negative environmental impacts associated with business or to promote environmental sustainability through a certain product or service offering. Careers within this track might include the corporate sustainability department of a large company, an environment-focused NGO, or a clean energy startup.

The following courses are recommended for students interested in this track:

BSPA-GB.2306 Social Enterprise in Sustainable Food Business
DBIN-GB.3110 Doing Business in Costa Rica: Sustainable Business in Latin America
ECON-GB.2105 Energy & the Environment
INTA-GB.2323 Sustainability & the New Economy
MGMT-GB.2178 Business of Sustainability

The following courses vary in subject matter either from year to year, or based on what the student chooses to focus on in their coursework. Depending on the subject matter, one or more of these courses could complement studies in this track:

INTA-GB.3337 Social Problem-based Entrepreneurship
​INTA-GB.3360 The Project
MGMT-GB.2366 International Social Impact Strategies