Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment Specialization


The Social Impact, Innovation, and Investment specialization blends financial management, impact investment, operations, and policy to prepare students to develop entrepreneurial solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. You will learn the key skills needed to create sustainable solutions to a variety of issues. Graduates will be prepared to enter the burgeoning social innovation sector as policy leaders, social entrepreneurs, impact investors, and nonprofit and for-profit managers.

This unique specialization trains you to be an agent of social change. By speaking both the business and the policy language, you’ll be able to innovate policy, products, services, delivery systems, enterprises, and investment approaches necessary to improve lives and solve major domestic and global challenges.


CORE-GP.1011, Statistical Methods for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Management
CORE-GP.1018, Microeconomics for Public Management, Planning, and Policy Analysis
CORE-GP.1020, Management and Leadership
CORE-GP.1021, Financial Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Organizations
CORE-GP.1022, Introduction to Public Policy

Required Courses

Students complete the following courses:

PADM-GP. 2132 Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation By Design OR PADM-GP 2310 Understanding Social Enterprise

PADM-GP 4130 Fundamentals of Accounting (1.5 credits)


Students must also complete one course from each area below:

Financial Management

PADM-GP.2142, Financial Management for Global Nonprofit Organizations
PADM-GP.2147, Corporate Finance and Public Policy

Impact Measurement & Investment Returns

PADM-GP.2311, Social Impact Investment
PADM-GP.2312, Managing Financial and Social Returns of the Social Enterprise

Operations & Enterprise

PADM-GP.2173, Operations Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Contexts
PADM-GP.2174, The Intersection of Operations, Policy, and Leadership

Policy, Advocacy & Innovation

PADM-GP.2106, Community Organizing
PADM-GP.2145, Design Thinking: A Creative Approach to Problem Solving and Creating Impact
PADM-GP.2407, Advocacy Lab: How to Make Change Happen
PADM-GP.2411, Policy Formation and Policy Analysis


Students choose electives (10.5 credits) from a wide array of Wagner courses, and may want to focus on the areas below:

Financial Management

PADM-GP.4131, Fundamentals of Fundraising
PADM-GP.4315, Advanced Financial and Impact Modeling for Nonprofit and Social Enterprises

Operations & Enterprise

PADM-GP.2110, Strategic Management and Leadership
PADM-GP.2119, Marketing for Nonprofit Organizations
PADM-GP.2127, Corporate Social Responsibility: Social Finance Partnerships and Models
PADM-GP.2135, Human Resources: Leading Talent Development
PADM-GP.2430, Multi-Sector Partnerships: A Comparative Perspective
PADM-GP.4111, Leading Service Delivery
PADM-GP.4112, Building Effective Teams
PADM-GP.4414, Corporate Philanthropy and Engagement

Policy, Advocacy & Innovation

PADM-GP.2109, The Legal Context for Policy and Public Management
PADM-GP.2129, Race, Identity and Inclusion in Organizations
PADM-GP.2186, Leadership and Social Transformation
PADM-GP.2202, Politics of International Development
PADM-GP.2223, Advocating for International Human Rights: Strategies and Theories of Change
PADM-GP.2416, Segregation and Public Policy
PADM-GP.2444, LGBTQ Issues in Public Policy
PADM-GP.2445, Poverty, Inequality, and Policy
PADM-GP.2447, Identity, Policy and Politics
PADM-GP.2505, Applied Data Analytics for Public Policy
URPL-GP.2629, Urban Innovation: New Ideas in Policy Management & Planning
HPAM-GP.2836, Current Issues in Health Policy
PADM-GP.4101, Conflict Management and Negotiation
PADM-GP.4116, Participatory Policymaking
PADM-GP.4129, Race, Identity and Inclusion in Organizations
PADM-GP.4137, Strategic Communication
PADM-GP.4312, Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy
PADM-GP.4340, Digital Innovation Lab
PADM-GP.4341, Data for Social Innovation
PADM-GP.4401, Race, Crime, and Incarceration Policy in the United States
PADM-GP.4440, Education and Social Policy
URPL-GP.4638, Housing and Community Development Policy

Impact Measurement & Investment Returns

PADM-GP.2170, Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations
PADM-GP.2171, Program Analysis and Evaluation
PADM-GP.2213, Immigration Politics and Policy -- Past and Present
PADM-GP.2413, Strategic Philanthropy
HPAM-GP.2825, Continuous Quality Improvement
PADM-GP.4313, The Intersection of Finance and Social Justice
PADM-GP.4314, Environmental Finance and Social Impact
PADM-GP.4316, NYU Impact Investment Fund I
PADM-GP.4317, NYU Impact Investment Fund II