Classes

Various departments offer social innovation classes ranging from introductory to graduate-level work.

Ballard Center Courses

Classes covering social innovation topics are offered in a number of different departments across campus. Below are a few examples of classes specifically offered through the Ballard Center to help students learn how to Do Good Better. Many of these classes are broadly applicable to a number of different programs and majors, even if they’re not listed in your major’s Changemaker MAP. Be sure to talk to the Ballard Center and your adviser about incorporating them into your graduation plan.

  • Social Innovation: Do Good Better+*^@ (MSB 375; 3 credits): The Do Good Better course helps students from all majors discover various ways that they can get involved in social innovation (e.g. starting a social venture, working for a nonprofit, volunteering, etc.); develop skills to critically analyze social ventures; and develop a personalized plan on how to create a life of purpose.
  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship Lecture Series~^+ (MSB 381R; 1 credit): Come listen as various social innovators discuss their various paths to making the world a better place. This course is offered in the fall and winter.
  • Social Innovation Projects (SIP): On-Campus Internship^+ (MSB 491R**; 3 credits): Taught by Alicia Becker, SIP is the Ballard Center’s on-campus internship program that allows students to work on semester-long projects from top-tier social innovation organizations. To learn more and to apply, click here. Available only during fall and winter. Credit towards graduation possible, see your college’s internship coordinator for more information
  • Corporate Social Impact Projects: On-Campus Internship+ (MSB 491R**; 3 credits): Taught by Reid Robison, the CSI on-campus internship program partners student teams with top companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, BrainStorm, and doTERRA. Students have the opportunity to work directly with CEOs and directors of world-class organizations to solve social issues and gain project management, teamwork, and communication experience. Credit towards graduation possible, see your college’s internship coordinator for more information
  • Corporate Social Impact  Course (MSB 491R**): Taught by Brent Goddard, Corporate Social Impact (CSI) is a three-credit course in which you design a social impact program for a company. You will learn why corporations are becoming more involved in social issues, but more importantly, you will learn how to design and propose CSI programs.
  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship* (MBA 692; 1.5 credits): This class focuses on solving issues that social innovators face; understanding complex systems of for-profit, nonprofit and hybrid social ventures; and outlining involvement in social innovation as part of a lifetime of meaningful service. Available only during the first term of fall semester.
  • Social Innovation Masters Classes* (MBA 693R; 1 credit): Classes will vary by semester/block. Courses may include Corporate Social Responsibility, Impact Measurement, Microfinance, Impact Investing, Microfranchising, Philanthropy, and others. This course is offered only during the second term of fall semester.
  • Impacting Investing (MSB 491R**; 3 credits): Taught by Kurt Brown. Open to students from all backgrounds and majors, impact investing helps students learn how to invest in social businesses that are creating positive social impact. Students will gain a foundation in understanding venture capital and impact investing, hear social ventures pitch their ideas, and learn how to think critically and analyze social impact, business models, and other aspects of a business.
  • How to Live a Meaningful Life: Using Social Innovation, Positive Psychology, and Life Design to Find Lasting Joy+ (MSB 491R**; 2 credits): Taught by Curtis Lefrandt, this course is an introduction to the principles, skills, and tools that lead to a life of meaning, joy, and enduring happiness. As one of the foundational classes offered through BYU’s Ballard Center for Self-Reliance, this course is based on decades of research and experience in the fields of social entrepreneurship and innovation, positive psychology, financial freedom, and life design. The course is designed around the lessons that “we wish we knew as students”—concepts that have helped us develop our signature strengths, build deeply meaningful relationships with others, and engage in causes with lasting impact. 
  • Ballard Brief (MSB 491R**, 2 credits): Taught by Aaron Miller, this course provides assistance to those who are working on getting their Ballard Brief published. 

+ Counts towards Ballard Scholar for Social Innovation.
* Counts towards the MBA Social Innovation Emphasis.
~ Counts towards the Management Minor.
^ Counts towards the International Development Minor.
Counts towards the Civic Engagement Leadership Minor.
** Please see the official course listing for the appropriate section number.

Major-Specific Courses

For more major-specific social innovation classes, check out our Changemaker Maps.

"After taking these classes, I had a better understanding of the kind of career I wanted to develop and the life I wanted to live. They helped me realize that social innovation means never settling for what is good enough. In whatever sector you are in, whatever career and lifestyle you choose, there will always be better ways of doing things. The act of doing good better is ongoing, and Ballard Center classes help you get started on that path." —Ailyn Cabezas
“After taking these classes, I had a better understanding of the kind of career I wanted to develop and the life I wanted to live. They helped me realize that social innovation means never settling for what is good enough. In whatever sector you are in, whatever career and lifestyle you choose, there will always be better ways of doing things. The act of doing good better is ongoing, and Ballard Center classes help you get started on that path.”
— Ailyn Cabezas, public health major