Take a Social Impact Course in Spring 2022

Learn more about the intersection of social impact and business with Wharton courses next semester.

Are you interested in learning more about social impact? It’s time to plan your Spring 2022 courses.

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 Spring 2022 semester.

Below in alphabetical order by department, we’ve highlighted just a few of the many undergraduate and graduate courses available. Note: always double check MyWharton and PennInTouch for the most up-to-date course information!


ACCT270: FORENSIC ANALYTICS

Professor Daniel Taylor

Meets Monday/Wednesday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (undergraduates)

Recent trends in Big Data and predictive analytics are revolutionizing the way stakeholders analyze financial data. This course teaches students the hands-on skills necessary to manipulate large-scale financial databases and build predictive models useful for strategic and investment decisions. Take this course if you are interested in learning about red flags of accounting fraud and insider trading.


BEPP 201 AND BEPP 770: PUBLIC FINANCE AND POLICY

Professor Alex Rees-Jones

Meets Monday/Wednesday 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (undergraduates and MBAs)

How does the government raise money? What does it spend that money on, and why? Why even have a government in the first place? This course approaches these questions from an economic point-of-view, and goes into detail on major programs in the United States.


BEPP 220 AND BEPP 620: BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS, MARKETS, AND PUBLIC POLICY

Professor Judd Kessler

Meets Monday/Wednesday 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (MBAs) and 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (undergraduates)

Behavioral economics has revealed a variety of systematic ways in which people deviate from being perfectly selfish, rational, optimizing agents. This course brings the insights of behavioral economics into public policy debates about when and how the government should intervene in markets and into C-Suite discussions about how firms should optimally price and produce.


BEPP 233: CONSUMERS, FIRMS AND MARKETS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Professor Shing-Yi Wang

Meets Tuesday/Thursday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (undergraduates)

Nearly four-fifths of the world’s population lives in low income or developing countries. Though currently far behind the U.S., the 15 fastest growing economies/markets in the world are all developing countries. And developing countries already account for 6 of the world’s 15 largest economies. Take this course if you’re interested in the economics of developing countries. You’ll learn about consumers, firms, and markets in low income countries.


FNCE 739: BEHAVIORAL FINANCE

Professor Marina Niessner

Meets Monday/Wednesday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (MBAs)

There is an abundance of evidence suggesting that the standard economic paradigm – rational agents in an efficient market – does not adequately describe behavior in financial markets. This course will examine how psychological biases among investors and managers affect financial markets (including ESG investing), and corporate governance.


HCMG 860: LEADING HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS

Professor Ingrid Nembhard

Meets Monday/Wednesday 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (MBAs)

Take this course if you want to improve your ability to effectively manage and lead health care organizations (HCOs, including hospitals, medical groups, insurers, biopharmaceutical firms, etc.). The course is designed to further your understanding of organizational, managerial, and strategic issues in health care, and will provide you with a foundation for developing, implementing, and analyzing efforts to improve HCOs’ performance. A major objective of the course is to sharpen the leadership, problem-solving, and presentation skills of those who aim to hold operational and strategic positions in health care organizations.


LGST 100: ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITY

Professor Brian Berkey

Meets Monday/Wednesday 5:15 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. (undergraduates)

What are the central issues in business ethics? This course covers topics including theories of business ethics (e.g. shareholder, stakeholder, etc.), poverty and aid, distributive justice, capitalism and socialism, CEO pay, deception in business, sweatshops, advertising, discrimination, advertising, climate change, and meaningful work.


LGST 220: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ETHICS

Professor Brian Berkey

Meets Monday/Wednesday 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. (undergraduates)

How do you address ethical challenges as they arise within and across different countries? This course covers a range of ethical issues relevant to international business. Topics include bribery, human rights, humanitarian aid, sweatshops, intellectual property, trade justice, brain drain, global taxation, and climate change.


LGST 226: MARKETS, MORALITY, AND THE FUTURE OF CAPITALISM

Professor Robert Hughes

Meets Monday/Wednesday 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (undergraduates)

Are economic liberty and economic equality fundamentally at odds, or can governments reduce inequality without infringing on people’s liberty? What ethical and legal limits should there be on markets? Take this course to examine the market from the perspective of various social values.


LGST 299: Climate and Environmental Leadership in Action: Building a Sustainable Future

Professor Sarah Light

Meets Tuesdays (from 2/1/22-3/1/22) 3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. plus Spring Break Expedition (undergraduates)

This half-credit course integrates scholarship on leadership, environmental and climate management, public policy, and ethics to explore questions such as: What are the greatest challenges in environmental and climate leadership today? How can a firm, nonprofit organization, or individual lead in this space? What can we learn about leadership from being in “the environment” or “the field”? This class combines mandatory class sessions and a Leadership Venture during the week of Spring Break.


MGMT 117: GLOBAL GROWTH OF EMERGING FIRMS

Professor Natalie Carlson

Meets Tuesday/Thursday 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (undergraduates)

Take this course if you’re interested in startups and innovation outside the United States, particularly in emerging economies. We will discuss the challenges faced by founders in different global contexts, the components of a robust institutional ecosystem, and the ways in which creative solutions may flourish in response to local problems.


MGMT 209: POLITICAL AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT OF THE MULTINATIONAL FIRM: ALIGNING STAKEHOLDER ANALYTICS & STRATEGY AND MGMT 720: CORPORATE DIPLOMACY: ALIGNING STAKEHOLDER ANALYTICS & STRATEGY

Professor Witold Henisz

Meets Monday/Wednesday 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (undergraduates) and 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. (MBAs)

Managers, consultants, investors and creditors increasingly acknowledge the importance of stakeholder opinions of the acceptability of a company’s operations (i.e., the social license to operate) for that company’s ability to achieve its organizational mission and to deliver a sustainable long-term financial return. We will explore ways to align corporate and investment strategy with stakeholder demands on issues ranging from environmental externalities (e.g., climate change) to human rights. Learn about data, tools, analytics, and behavioral skills helping in meeting stakeholders’ demands.


MGMT 241: KNOWLEDGE FOR SOCIAL IMPACT: ANALYZING CURRENT ISSUES & APPROACHES

Professor Katherine Klein

Meets Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (undergraduates)

How do you create deep and sustainable social impact? In this class, we will examine two critical challenges in the US today: (a) barriers to college access and completion and (b) barriers to employment following incarceration. We will dig into the research literature on these topics and meet with for-profit and non-profit leaders working on each of these issues. You’ll engage in passionate debate and reflection as we explore the research evidence, leadership approaches, and innovative strategies to fuel lasting and positive social impact.


OIDD 255: AI, BUSINESS, AND SOCIETY

Professor Prasanna Tambe

Meets Monday/Wednesday 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (undergraduates)

Artificial intelligence: how does it provide societal value, and how does it create new challenges? This course is about how artificial intelligence (AI) transforms business, which includes the implications of the broad use of algorithmic systems to society. For instance, we cover the challenges of using AI-based systems related to algorithmic bias, data privacy, and potential workforce displacement.


Check out our full running list of social impact courses. We list courses that are available in Spring 2022 as well as courses that may be offered other semesters.
For more information about available courses, professors, evaluation data, or registration, visit MyWharton. Undergrads, don’t forget about the Social Impact & Responsibility concentration, housed in the Legal Studies and Business Ethics department.