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 sustainable 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
SIV: 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.
Experiential Learning Seminar: 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, 260 students have completed 87 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, volunteering, or an entrepreneurial endeavor
Explore possible future career paths that blend business, social impact and sustainability
Broaden your network and engage with external stakeholders in New York City and beyond
Each Spring, as First or Second-year Fellows, you will explore the SDGs as a framework for the biggest challenges facing society, develop solutions to the issue you care about most, hear from guest speakers, and learn about how businesses can thrive while creating economic, social and environmental value.
Each Fall, as a Junior or Senior Fellows, you will debate current events, explore your own values, and consider how these questions apply to your longer-term career and purpose.
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 and break 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.
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.
There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with socially responsible clubs at Stern, such as:
Economic Development Group
Stern Women in Business
180 Degrees Consulting
... and more!