Learn more about the intersection of social impact and business with Wharton courses next semester.
Students—it’s time to think about your Fall 2021 courses.
If you’re interested in social impact, Wharton offers numerous courses that will help you understand and tackle many of the most pressing social and environmental challenges in the world.
We’ve updated our Social Impact Courses page so that Penn and Wharton students can explore and find a course that matches their interests for the Fall 2021 semester.
Below in alphabetical order by department, we’ve highlighted just a few of the many undergraduate and graduate courses available.
FNCE 251 AND FNCE 751: FINANCE OF BUYOUTS AND ACQUISITIONS
Professor Burcu Esmer
Meets Monday/Wednesday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m., and 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (MBAs)
Meets Tuesday/Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m., 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (undergraduates)
This course explains key financial and strategic concepts in buyouts (financial buyers) and acquisitions (strategic buyers). You’ll explore how different buyers approach the process of finding, evaluating, and analyzing opportunities in the corporate-control market, how they structure deals, and how the deal structure affects economic and social value creation and value sharing among players involved in the deal. This class also touches upon new trends such as impact investing in private equity and shareholder activism.
LGST 215 AND LGST 815: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT: LAW & POLICY
Professor Sarah Light
Meets Tuesday/Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (undergraduates and MBAs)
The law and public policy shape the relationships between business firms and the environment, including the climate. In this course, you’ll learn to think critically about: (1) the relationship between business and the natural environment including the climate; (2) the existing legal and policy framework of environmental and climate protection and its effects on what business managers are charged to do; and (3) the potential to effect change in that legal and policy environment.
LGST 242: Big Data, Big Responsibility
Professor Mihir Kshirsagar
Meets Thursdays 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (undergraduates)
Data analytics and artificial intelligence create massive opportunities for both financial gain and social good. They also create dangers such as privacy violations, discrimination, and manipulation, as well as simple hubris about the effectiveness of management by algorithm. This course introduces students to the legal, policy, and ethical dimensions of AI, big data, and business analytics.
MGMT 212 AND MGMT 812: SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Professor Valentina Assenova
Meets Monday/Wednesday 3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. (undergraduates and MBAs)
Take this course if you’re interested in how to create businesses that attack social problems and accomplish both social impact and financial sustainability. You’ll learn about how to articulate your target problem and proposed solution, understand the beneficiary experience, navigate the socio-politics, and frame and scope the venture.
MGMT 401: GROWING SOCIAL IMPACT
Professor Tyler Wry
Meets Wednesdays 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. (undergraduates)
Take this course if you’re interested in how to build social impact into a growing startup venture. Students will work hand-in-hand with pre-selected startups to develop a strategy for measuring social impact, and ensuring fidelity to social goals as the venture goes to market and begins to scale. Projects will be group-based, and will ask students to integrate learnings on social enterprise, impact measurement, and impact investing, with prior coursework on entrepreneurship, social impact, business ethics, leadership, team dynamics, and venture finance.
MKTG 266: MARKETING FOR SOCIAL IMPACT
Professor Deborah Small
Meets Tuesday/Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (undergraduates)
Take this course if you are interested in applying marketing and behavioral science concepts to support social causes, such as health/well-being, financial decision making, poverty alleviation, environmental sustainability and political participation.
REAL 230 AND REAL 730: URBAN FISCAL POLICY
Professor Fernando Ferreira
Meets Monday/Wednesday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (undergraduates and MBAs)
This course will examine the provision of public services through cities and other local governments. How to improve school quality, investments in infrastructure, and all realities faced by local governments (such as inequality, crime, corruption, high cost of living, and congestion) will be covered. We will pay special attention to recent topics, such as the effects of COVID-19 on cities, racial differences in police use of force, environmental challenges such as sea level rise, and policies that may promote housing affordability.