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Stern Students on SIV Ghana
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Social Impact

We’re eager to use business to create a positive impact, and we take this responsibility seriously.

Explore the Social Impact Core

As a Stern undergraduate, you are the future of business. Inside the Stern classroom, you will take part in the groundbreaking Social Impact Core curriculum, recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a model for undergraduate business education. The Social Impact Core is a required four-year, four-course sequence designed to immerse you 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 introduces you to the complexity of the relationship between business and other societal institutions. Through a series of eminent guest speakers and small group discussions, you will explore a series of global challenges through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and learn about corporate strategies that create value for society.
  • Organizational Communication and Its Social Context: This course focuses on the societal expectations that companies must address, and helps you understand processes of influence and persuasion while gaining the skills required to communicate effectively to different stakeholders.
  • Law, Business, and Society: In this course, you will 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 you to reflect on why you are embarking on a career in business, and how you intend to act as business professionals. You will think systemically about the risks and sources of resilience relevant to your professional life and will cultivate the habit of engaging in reflective dialogue with diverse stakeholders.

Concentration, Minors, and Additional Classes

At a time of indisputable societal and environmental change, you will examine the unique role of the private sector and gain a broad understanding of how embedding sustainability into core business strategy benefits financial performance and management practices.

Learn Through Experience

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

SEG: Social Entrepreneurship in Ghana

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

Social Impact Consulting

In this course you will work in a team with a faculty mentor as strategy consultants, collaborating directly with nonprofit organizations to create value for the organization and the people it serves.  Since 2012, 284 students have completed 93 projects with over 40 different organizations, including the UN, Rainforest Alliance, Democracy Works, Teach for America, and the 92nd Street Y.

Social Innovation Practicum

This course is designed to help you gain actionable insights into the nexus between economic and social value creation. You will gain: increased ability to recognize and critically assess various forms of social enterprise strategies as tools of economic development and social transformation; greater understanding of the challenges of growing and sustaining a social enterprise, as well as special insights into enterprise development and growth; improved consulting skills, including project planning, issue analysis, formulation of strategic and tactical recommendations, and client relationship management.

Get involved in Social Impact beyond the classroom

Engaging in social impact at Stern means becoming part of a new generation of socially-minded business leaders—one that will have a long-term impact on the health and prosperity of society. Building on the Social Impact core, we offer a variety of opportunities outside of the classroom to enrich your knowledge and experiences, and to prepare you for making an impact through business. 

Apply for the Social Impact Fellows Program

Through a four-year progression, with a program complementing each of the four social impact core courses, Social Impact Fellows have the opportunity to build the skills needed to thrive as well-rounded leaders in today’s complex world, and to cultivate a sense of purpose. 

The Social Impact Fellows program provides an opportunity to: 

  • Join a community of students who share your interests in social impact and sustainability
  • Dive deeper into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and make an impact by on the goal of your choice by pursuing research or an entrepreneurial endeavor
  • Hear from a diverse range of industry professionals and social entrepreneurs, and explore possible future career paths that blend business, social impact and sustainability
  • Discuss and debate difficult and timely topics in the news through the lens of human rights
  • Broaden your network and engage with external stakeholders in New York City and beyond

Learn more and apply here to become a Spring 2023 Fellow.

Apply for a Social Impact Stipend

If you are pursuing an early-stage social venture, or are planning to intern with a government or non-profit organization, you can apply for funds each semester to support your endeavors. 

Since 2006, we have awarded more than 333 stipends to students seeking to apply their business and entrepreneurial skills to tackle a social, environmental, or economic problem. The social impact stipend program is another great way to join a community of like-minded students seeking to create change. Undergraduate Stern students are eligible to apply here (note you must be logged in). 

Book Club

Join us for the Stern Undergraduate College Book Club series.  Book Club offers an opportunity to connect with professors, staff, and fellow classmates in an informal setting, and to read a book for pleasure a few times each semester over lunch. Check out the latest Book Club selections (both fiction and non-fiction options are available each semester), and RSVP through Stern Life.

Student Clubs

There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with socially responsible clubs at Stern, such as:

  • Net Impact

  • Economic Development Group

  • Undergraduate Stern Women in Business

  • 180 Degrees Consulting

  • PrideCorps

... and more!

Email Mara van Loggerenberg, Associate Director of Social Impact Programming

Questions about how to get involved?

The Latest from the Business and Society Program Faculty
Stern Life
SeaStraws co-founders with President Hamilton
Social Impact Stipend Recipient

Antonio DiMeglio (BS '20), Co-founder of SeaStraws

"We have learned that sustainability is more than the story behind a product, but rather a commitment to tangible change in the environment and the community. Personally, I am fully committed to developing SeaStraws wholly and am committed to studying Sustainable Business at Stern."
UC Image: Christine Anabo
Social Impact Fellow Recipient

Christine Anabo (BS/MS '20), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Summer Internship

"My UNDP experience really proved one-of-a-kind; because of it, I got to work with some of the kindest, most passionate people I have ever met and rub elbows with huge names in the international field."