Concentration in Social Impact and Responsibility

What is Social Impact and Responsibility?

Social Impact and Responsibility is a broad, multidisciplinary, and evolving area. The secondary concentration is designed to help students address the question, “How should business enterprises and business thinking be engaged to improve society in areas not always associated with business?”

Who are the sponsors?

The secondary concentration in Social Impact and Responsibility was developed through the work of the Wharton Dean’s Undergraduate Advisory Board with support from the Wharton Undergraduate Division. The Legal Studies and Business Ethics Department houses this University concentration given the re-search interests of faculty and the fact that several existing LGST courses are included in the curriculum. The concentration reflects the interest and support for Social Impact and Responsibility at The Wharton School and at the University of Pennsylvania.

Why concentrate in Social Impact & Responsibility?

For students dedicated to working in the social sector, the secondary concentration helps to put their specific interests into a broader context. For other students, the secondary concentration allows them to build on their primary concentration with a social impact perspective, and to think critically about the role of business in society.

What are the requirements?

The secondary concentration requires students to take at least one course in each of the following:

Foundation Course: LGST 230 Social Impact & Responsibility

Focus Course: (Choose one of the following)
FNCE 230: Urban Fiscal Policy
FNCE 254: Impact Investing
HCMG 204: Comparative Healthcare Systems
HCMG 213: Healthcare Strategy and Management
LGST 100: Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
LGST 202: Law of Corporate Management and Finance
LGST 215: Environmental Management: Law and Policy
LGST 216: Emerging Economies
LGST 220: International Business Ethics
LGST 224: Human Rights and Globalization
MGMT 241: Knowledge for Social Impact
MGMT 209: Political Environment of the Multinational Firm
MKTG 266: Marketing for Social Impact

Application Course: (Choose one of the following)
BEPP 214 – Nonprofit Sector: Economic Challenges and Strategic Responses
BEPP 261: Risk Analysis and Environmental Management
BEPP 289: Nations, Politics and Markets
BEPP 305: Risk Management
FNCE 250: Venture Capital and the Finance of Innovation
HCMG 212: Healthcare Quality and Outcomes
HCMG 391: Health Care Entrepreneurship
LGST 213: Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship
LGST 226: Markets, Morality, and Capitalism
LGST 299: Corruption
MGMT 208: Globalization and International Political Economy
MGMT 212: Entrepreneurship & Societal Wealth Venturing
MGMT 235: Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship
MGMT 238: Organizational Behavior
MGMT 246: Social Innovation and Social Enterprise

Elective Course:
Electives can fall under multiple categories. Students may choose to take a focus or application course. Students also can choose to take a relevant non-Wharton course with the approval of the concentration advisor (for example, “Urban Education”).

Experiential Component:

The secondary concentration also requires an experiential component–a meaningful project or other exercises. This requirement is met by a course that also fulfills one of the above four requirements. For a course or activity to count, it must be approved by the concentration advisor.

What are the ways in which students benefit from the secondary concentration?

  • Gives students a more holistic approach to examine the intersection of business and social value–through the theoretical foundation, study of current approaches, and experiential requirement.
  • Encourages students to be proactive in exploring a new field by pursuing an experiential component.
  • Complements students’ primary concentration and allows them to appreciate the intersection of social impact with their primary concentration.
  • Contextualizes students’ extracurricular involvement and gives them greater knowledge and skills to succeed in social impact organizations (e.g., Penn International Business Volunteers, Microfinance Club, Social Impact Consulting).


Social Impact & Responsibility Secondary Concentration

The Wharton School
University of Pennsylvania
3730 Walnut Street
6th Floor Jon M. Huntsman Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6340

Phone: 215.898.1166
Fax: 215.573.2006

Faculty Advisor
Philip M. Nichols