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.


Below is an overview of the required coursework. For detailed information, view the program checksheet


CORE-GP.1011, Statistical Methods
CORE-GP.1018, Microeconomics
CORE-GP.1020, Management and Leadership
CORE-GP.1021, Financial Management
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

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
PADM-GP.4319, Financing Inclusive Businesses

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.2249, Scaling Social Enterprises - Experiential Field Course
PADM-GP.2430, Multi-Sector Partnerships: A Comparative Perspective
PADM-GP.4111, Leading Service Delivery
PADM-GP.4112, Building Effective Teams
PADM-GP.4137, Communications and Branding for Nonprofits
PADM-GP.4414, Corporate Philanthropy and Engagement

Policy, Advocacy & Innovation

PADM-GP.2109, The Legal Context for Policy and Public Management
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, Gender & Sexuality in U.S. Policy Formation
PADM-GP.2445, Poverty, Inequality, and Policy
PADM-GP.2505, Big Data Analytics for Public Policy
HPAM-GP.2836, Current Issues in Health Policy
PADM-GP.4101, Conflict Management and Negotiation
PADM-GP.4116, Participatory Policymaking
PADM-GP.4190, Job Creation and Public Infrastructure
PADM-GP.4311, Lean Approaches to Social Innovation
PADM-GP.4318, Social Impact and Emerging Technologies
PADM-GP.4401, Race, Crime, and Incarceration Policy in the United States
PADM-GP.4440, Education and Social Policy
URPL-GP.4636, Housing and Community Development Policy
URPL-GP.4638, Advanced Topics in Housing and Community Development: Policy and Politics

Impact Measurement & Investment Returns

PADM-GP.2149, Cost-Benefit Analysis
PADM-GP.2170, Performance Measurement and Management for Public, Nonprofit, and Health Care Organizations
PADM-GP.2171, Evaluating Programs and Policies
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