Classes

Various departments offer social innovation classes ranging from introductory to graduate-level work. If you’d like to learn more, please sign-up for an advisement session

Ballard Center Courses

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 fulfill requirements for a number of different programs and majors across campus, even if they’re not listed in your major’s Changemaker MAP. Be sure to talk to a Ballard Center advisor about incorporating them into your graduation plan.

  • Social Innovation: Do Good. Better.+*^@ (MSB 375; three credit hours): 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 create a personalized plan on how to live a life of purpose.
  • Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship Lecture Series~^+ (MSB 381R; one credit hour): 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**; three credit hours): 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**; three credit hours): 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 experience in project management, industrial communication, and team building. 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 gain an understanding as to why corporations are becoming more involved in social issues, and how to participate in that growth yourself by designing and proposing 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, etc. 
  • Impacting Investing (MSB 491R**; three credit hours): Taught by Kurt Brown, the impact investing class is open for students from all academic backgrounds and majors. This course 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 a business’ social impact and model.
  • How to Live a Meaningful Life: Using Social Innovation, Positive Psychology, and Life Design to Find Lasting Joy+ (MSB 491R**; two credit hours): 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, positive psychology, financial freedom, and life design. The course is designed to teach the lessons that “we wish we knew as students”—concepts that have helped changemaking individuals develop signature strengths, build deeply meaningful relationships with others, and engage in causes with lasting impact. 
  • Ballard Brief+: The Ballard Brief program offers a 2-credit course (MSB 491R-006) that provides students with individual instruction in researching and writing a Ballard Brief, a multi-disciplinary paper on an approved social problem of their choice. Taught by the Ballard Brief staff, this course teaches changemakers the essential skills they need to deeply research the social issues they are most passionate about. Upon finishing the course, students’ briefs will be published to the Ballard Brief database, a comprehensive social issue reference library. Students will meet monthly as a class and weekly with their assigned editor as they work to prepare a publishable Ballard Brief.  

+ 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

Learn More About Our Classes Here:

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