Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability

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About This Program:

Exploring sustainability and social entrepreneurship, this master’s degree provides a holistic view of business for social impact, focused on applied research and real-world sustainable business solutions. Students apply concepts of responsibility and sustainability to the business field, as well as learn to approach challenges as potential innovation opportunities.

This program empowers innovators and entrepreneurs to harness business models and financial tools for the Common Good.

September Term Priority Deadline: July 15, 2022

Time to Complete Degree

Part-time: Approximately 19-24 Months

Full-time: 16-18 Months

Jobs in this Field:

  • Social Impact Consultant
  • Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) Director
  • Environmental Manager
  • Sustainability Program Director
  • Sourcing Manager 
  • Sustainability Communications Manager
  • Compliance Officer

90% of Graduates

Advanced in career or pivoted to a career in social impact or sustainability

97% of Graduates

Are employed or starting a business

Our Graduates are Working at:

  • Forum for the Future
  • Climate Nexus

  • Thousand Fell

  • The Savory Institute 

  • Gotham Greens

  • Bowery Farming

  • Uptex, IDC

  • And more!

Your Professors are Scholars + Practitioners in Their Field

Gastón de los Reyes

Gastón de los Reyes

Associate Professor and Director of the Center for Social Impact & Innovation
Diana Won

Diana Won

Scholar-Practitioner, Program Manager at the Pershing Square Foundation
Dmitri Shuster

Dmitri Shuster

Scholar-Practitioner, Global Financial Executive, Credit Agricole

Program Structure

Participating in a research-based curriculum, students in the program will write master’s theses designed to address real-world challenges, collaborating with partner companies and organizations.

Thesis partnerships are facilitated by GCNYC’s Center for Social Impact and Innovation, which provides a support network and collaborative research opportunities for students, social entrepreneurs, and leaders in sustainability across industries.

8

Courses

 

36

Credits Earned

 

Making Impactful Education Affordable

90%

Of Students Get Scholarships
Must be enrolled in at least two courses per term.

Tuition and Scholarships

Learn about financial support

33% Less Expensive

Than competitive grad programs in NYC

Learning Options

Create a schedule that dovetails with your busy life and additional commitments!

Flexible Live Classes

  • Join live courses with our expert faculty
  • Classes are hosted in the evenings to accommodate busy working professionals
  • Students have the option to attend either in-person on campus or via Zoom
Online

  • Study at your own pace with our online programs, designed for students who need maximum flexibility
  • Same expert faculty, same cutting-edge curriculum
  • Courses run over the period of a standard trimester

Request More Information

Do you have any specific questions or want to learn more about our Master of Science in Business for Social Impact and Sustainability? Fill out the below form and GCNYC Admissions will be in touch!

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Alumni Spotlight

Most if not all classes highlight the systemic challenges and nuances that have to be considered when trying to make sustainability-based decisions. I now feel more empowered and capable of incorporating business and profit strategies into sustainability plans.”

Megan Meiklejohn

“The systems and design thinking approach to almost everything, where we had to look deeper into every project we worked on and how creating a great solution, might simultaneously cause a new problem in a different way or area. I also liked the well-being aspect to the program, most of the instructors were quite mindful and challenged us as well in a positive way.”

– Peju Onile-Ere

“At GCNYC, we were in small, intimate classes that were conversation-based. In addition to intellectual conversations, my professors also made space for emotional health, emphasizing meditation, movement and honest self expression.”

– Kiki Van Son

Courses & Curriculum

Learning Objectives

  • Critically examine the business implications of recent and future changes in the global business environment by applying a range of analytical tools and frameworks for assessment and development of a firm’s strategic capability, competencies and competitive position in a variety of global settings.
  • Appraise the causes and consequences of shifting contours of global politics, economics and social developments, and their implications for organizational leadership and responsible management.
  • Identify and evaluate organizational factors affecting leadership, including structure, culture and sources of power, enabling them to devise a strategic leadership-development plan.
  • Critically assess the contested concept of social entrepreneurship, identifying the range of contexts in which social entrepreneurship can take place and evaluating the circumstances by which business can play a role in driving positive social change.
  • Understand and critically assess the evolution of social business and innovative finance tools through various cultural, political and economic contexts from the perspective of investors and social enterprises.

Values-Based Leadership for an Interconnected World

 In Values-Based Leadership Skills for an Interconnected World, students will accelerate their leadership by reflecting on their own assets and developmental needs, learn how others perceive them and leverage this new self-awareness to create their own leadership development action plan. Because performance in a leadership role requires more than just knowledge and skills, we will use group experiential activities to help students gain an understanding of the factors that drive effective values-based leadership across the spectrum of contexts affecting their ability to achieve great results.

Navigating Global Change: Business Practices for the Common Good

This course reflects the fact that organizations do not operate in a vacuum: they are both shaped by and themselves also shape the geo-political, economic, social and technological environments in which they operate. Understanding the interaction between organizations and their wider contexts is essential to effective management and responsible leadership. This course is designed to equip students with the information and analytical skills required to critically reflect upon some of the most significant issues which pose challenges to business managers and organizational leaders in the modern world.

Business Strategy for the Common Good

This course aims to provide students with academic knowledge and analytical tools with which to discuss and practice strategic management in a world characterized by rapid change and increasing concerns for economic, social and environmental sustainability. The course seeks to address the who, what, why, where and how of strategic decisions, with an emphasis on generating sustainable growth across national boundaries. Students will develop the knowledge and skills required to undertake the necessary research and analysis to advise a firm on the issues that organizations face, and the choices they must make, to develop strategies for sustainable growth.

Introduction to Quantitative Analysis

This course on introduces the necessary toolkit for applied research in the sustainability fields and takes advantage of the ever-growing volume of data being collected to support the decision-making in both the public and private sectors. Students gain practical knowledge on effective data representation, basics of financial accounting and financial metrics to understand the practical language of today’s public and private business, foundational information on national economic statistics, valuation methods for cost-benefit analysis, and statistical techniques for the practical business needs of sustainability.

Economic Concepts and Policy

This course is designed to provide students with the analytical tools to understand the contemporary world economy within a historical context and analyze trends, issues and dynamics of political and economic environment that shape our day-to-day life and international business, in particular. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach engaging students with foundational aspects of moral philosophy, political philosophy, political science, as well as macro- and micro-economics.

Sustainability Policy & Metrics

Sustainability Policy & Metrics prepares students to discern the variety of influences on policy in the sustainability space and to map out ways that companies and NGOs can successfully participate in the policy-making process. Measurement of environmental and social impacts is critical to (i) assess policy-making needs, (ii) track progress, and (iii) speak a shared language to facilitate collaboration, and this course focuses on the case of carbon footprinting as an exemplar of the methods, challenges, and potential of impact measurement and how participants in sustainability policy-making translate such metrics into practice.

Money as a Force for Social Good

The course aims to equip students with a general overview as to how global and local circumstances shape social business and microfinance, and to equip them with the knowledge and skills to determine what factors they should take into account when developing their own social ventures, or when creating an enabling environment for social business and microfinance. Particular attention is paid to how different political, cultural and economic institutional environments favor the evolution of different forms of social business and how different forms of social business negotiate tensions between social and commercial objectives

Impact Through Social Entrepreneurship

This course introduces the student to the concept of social entrepreneurship (and related concepts of social enterprise and social innovation). The notion of social entrepreneurship as a contested concept with competing definitions pushed by different actors with different (political) agendas is developed. Students are taught to critically assess these different agendas and to gain a broader understanding of social entrepreneurship by placing it within the wider social, economic and political contexts in which it occurs. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge and skills to make up their own minds as to whether (and how) business can change the world, and to prepare them to enter a world where business and society are intertwined.

The Chief Sustainability Officer

The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) prepares students to speak the language and scan the external environment the way CSOs must to succeed. The role of the CSO is to: (i) assess the impacts of business on people and planet, (ii) conduct stakeholder analysis, (iii) develop sustainability initiatives and (iv) set and measure strategic and compliance goals, all with a commitment to (iv) fully integrate sustainability into the core of the business. This course prepares students to understand the scope and role of the CSO in leading corporations and to design a comprehensive sustainability initiative that is responsive to the key issues facing a company today.

Research Methods I, II, and III

This course sequence aims to develop foundational skills in social science research that are needed for basic and applied research at the master’s level. Students will be introduced to research design, measurement and sampling, methods of data collection and analysis, and research ethics. Students should be able to critically evaluate new concepts, ideas, evidence, and empirical data from a range of sources and transfer their skills into practice.

Thesis

The aim of this course is to conduct business research/consultancy and report on the findings. Drawing on the proposal developed in Research Methods, the course focuses on the business research project, which involves an investigation of a substantial business issue or problem. Students are required to demonstrate critical awareness of business practice, relevant theories and research techniques and approaches. The project element of the course in particular offers students the opportunity to apply course concept, theories and techniques, draw on internationally published literature and good practice, and develop and interpret knowledge about management practice in their area of study.

Apply to GCNYC

Our Master of Science degrees aim to further your sustainability and social impact career
through flexible, rigorous coursework promoting the Common Good.