The Marshall School of Business announced Tuesday it will launch a new Masters of Science in Social Entrepreneurship program beginning fall 2014.
The program, established by Marshall’s Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab, aims to educate students who hope to solve social problems such as poverty, education and gender equity by creating their own enterprise or working for an existing enterprise.
“The new Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship will further our goals by offering advanced study in business, entrepreneurship and social impact,” said Adlai Wertman, the founding director of the Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab and a professor with joint appointments at USC Marshall and USC’s Rossier School of Education, in a statement.
“It’s a program for people who want to change the world,” said Abby Fifer Mandell, the lab’s executive director.
During the five years that the lab has been on USC’s campus, Fifer Mandell said Wertman has taught a graduate introductory course in social entrepreneurship through Marshall that has always filled up quickly.
“We’ve encountered students from all around the university and in the community who are really seeking these kinds of business courses to give them the skills and the confidence they need to start their own enterprise or work at a social enterprise,” said Fifer Mandell. “That’s why we created this program.”
The program — which does not require business experience nor completion of GRE or GMAT — can be completed in one year or multiple years if students choose to enroll part-time. All courses will be held in the evening and weekends to accommodate students who wish to work full time.
Adlai’s social enterprise course will serve as the foundation of the program along with six other required courses. Students can then choose from a series of elective courses in areas such as leadership, sales management or environmental sustainability in which they hope to specialize.
The program’s capstone course requires students to create a business plan for a new social enterprise.
Fifer Mandell said that, though universities across the country may offer similar programs in schools of public policy, education or international relations, USC is the first to offer such a program at a business school that will focus on aspects of marketing and finance.
“There are a lot of people out there who are interested in the field of social entrepreneurship,” she said. “A student who has a great idea of a social enterprise [he or she] wants to launch can come in this program and within a year have taken all of the courses, met industry leaders in the field, have a great network, have a community of like minded students that share their vision for how they think the world should be and have a business plan for the idea that they want to pursue.”