Social Impact Core

Inside the Stern classroom, you will take part in the groundbreaking Social Impact Core curriculum, named by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a model for undergraduate business education.

Social Impact Core Curriculum

The Social Impact Core is a four-year, four-course sequence designed to immerse students in the fundamental issues facing society, and how business, in concert with other organizations, can be used to solve them. In the Social Impact Core, you will take the following courses:
  • Business and Society: This course required of all first-year students introduces students to the evolving role of business in society and challenges students to explore how business can and should create value for society. It includes a plenary session in which thought leaders present their distinct perspectives on current and historical issues related to business and society. It also includes small group discussion sessions in which students reflect critically on the plenary perspectives in reference to alternative perspectives drawn from course readings.   
  • Organizational Communication and Its Social Context: This course focuses on the societal expectations that companies must address and helps students understand processes of influence and persuasion while gaining the skills required to communicate effectively to different stakeholders.
  • Law, Business and Society: In this course students study the role of law in shaping and governing the conduct of business, and the role of commerce in our society.
  • Professional Responsibility and Leadership: This capstone course allows students to reflect on why they are embarking on a career in business, and how they intend to act as business professionals; to think systemically about the risks and sources of resilience relevant to their professional lives; and, to cultivate the habit of engaging in reflective dialogue with diverse stakeholders.

Additional Social Impact Academic Opportunities

Concentrate in Sustainable Business

The Sustainable Business Concentration helps Stern undergraduate students to gain a broader understanding of how businesses can profit while benefiting society and protecting the environment. It allows students to develop the perspective and skills necessary to position themselves in the future to lead organizations that effectively create economic, social and environmental value. Students pursuing the sustainable business concentration gain a greater understanding of the environmental and social challenges that are shaping business strategy, the current state of sustainable business practice, and how to lead organizations that create economic, social and environmental value. Students must complete a minimum of four courses and earn at least 12 credits.

Minors offered jointly by the Stern School of Business and Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Social Entrepreneurship Minor
Social entrepreneurs are transforming the business and societal landscape by applying the tools and principles of entrepreneurship to confront some of the world’s most intractable problems. Whether it’s ensuring clean water, addressing illiteracy, preventing human rights abuses, bringing economic development initiatives to poor communities, or providing access to healthcare, social entrepreneurs are at the forefront, offering sustainable, business-based solutions to meet these and other critical challenges. This interdisciplinary minor includes a range of course options that help students become effective “changemakers”.

Public Policy and Management Minor
In today’s global society, the interdependencies of the market, community, and state sectors have created a need for individuals who possess a deep understanding of both the public and private spheres. This interdisciplinary minor includes a range of courses that focus on sector-specific challenges in management practice; political influences on local, domestic, and international policy; sustainability issues within the sectors; and the nuances of effective leadership.

Students must complete a minimum of four courses and earn at least 14 credits, with at least 6 credits from Stern and 6 credits from Wagner. Stern undergraduate students cannot double-count requires Business Core or concentration courses toward the minor. Open to all NYU undergraduate students.

Spotlight on Experiential Learning

A number of elective courses offered by Stern's Business & Society Program are designed to provide students with opportunities to combine business theory with hands-on implementation, from consulting for impact with New York City-based non-profit partners to tackling real-world sustainability challenges in Ghana, Costa Rica, India, and beyond. A few examples are highlighted below.

SIV: Social Entrepreneurship in Ghana
SIV: Social Entrepreneurship in Ghana provides a unique educational experience, combining business theory with hands-on implementation and cultural immersion in the country of Ghana. Students will study how to design and implement social entrepreneurship and volunteer projects that support long-term socio-economic development and empowerment. Students will then travel to Ghana over spring break and apply their ideas and business knowledge "on-the-ground" in NYU Stern’s partner Ghanaian village, Woadze Tsatoe.

Experiential Learning Seminar: Social Impact Consulting
The Social Impact Consulting course is an Experiential Learning Seminar that involves students working closely with participating nonprofits as strategy consultants creating project outcomes that add value to the organization’s strategic objectives. Since 2012, 216 students have completed 55 projects with 28 different organizations, including the Rainforest Alliance, Democracy Works, Teach for America, and 92Y.