The Catholic University of America

Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship


The solution to today’s urgent social problems -- whether it is to address global health challenges or produce in a world with limited resources -- requires groundbreaking ideas and approaches.  The Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship is designed to help develop innovative and insightful change agents who may choose to run their own ventures or influence the activities of organizations in which they work.  Consistent with Catholic University’s rich tradition, this certificate program will help students create, develop, and sustain innovative ideas that will integrate theory and practice in pursuit of social justice, teaching students how to incorporate entrepreneurial methods in solving social problems.


To earn the Certificate, students must complete seven core courses (21 credits) with a "C" or better. Students who have already completed similar courses at other institutions may apply for transfer credit, but they must complete at least five of the courses at CUA to earn the certificate.


Courses are scheduled on an accelerated basis, enabling students to complete the entire program in as little as one calendar year. Courses typically meet either:

  • One evening per week, 5:30 - 9:45 pm, for a half-semester, OR
  • One evening per week, e.g., 6:10 to 8:40 pm, for a full semester. Courses involving more complex concepts and quantitative courses tend to meet on this schedule.
The four core courses are offered online during the summer. 

Typically, credits earned toward a certificate program may be applied toward CUA's bachelor's degree programs as well.

Gainful Employment Data

The Department of Education requires that schools post Gainful Employment Data for certain types of programs, including this one.  The required information on this program is available here.

Required Courses (Seven courses required)

Course Number Title Description
MSO 384
Principles and Practices of Social Entreprenurship

This course will provide an introduction to principles and practices in social entrepreneurship.  Students will gain an overview of the perspectives and strategies of visionaries who are creating new ways to address intractable social problems.  Students will identify and assess social needs and how they are addressed by entrepreneurs, philanthropists and government.

MSO 385 Public Private Partnerships
This course provides an introduction to the role that public agencies and private corporations play in partnership to solve social problems in a variety of sectors.  We will discuss the framework used o identify, establish, and sustain partnerships.  Several case studies from the U.S. and internationally will be reviewed.
MSO 386
Corporate Social Responsibility
Through thought leadership and effective maangement, socially responsible corportions can expect to attract investors, customers, recruit and retain highly-talented employees, and improve their bottom line.  This course explores how corporations design, manage, and measure social strategies to generate social and business value.  Students will learn the frameworks, methodologies, and tools used by leading corporations to create socially-responsible businesses. 
MSO 417
Social Enterprise Development

This capstone course will focus on innovative approaches to creating social value through the development of social businesses. Students will learn about the strategic tools social entrepreneurs use; factors pivotal to success and the challenges from social enterprises face from inception to maturity.  Students will prepare a blueprint to address a social problem of their choice.

PLUS, three elective courses (Recommended: three of the following courses):

MBU 201
Management & Organizational Behavior

This course will examine the multifaceted concepts of organizational theory and management, what they are, and their relevance to organizational practices and processes.  The primary goal of the course is to provide practical and foundational knowledge in the social sciences that can impact the leader's role in determining the future direction of a changing organization.

MSO 101 Introduction to Human Services
An overview of human/social service professions within the institution of social welfare. The course covers basic definitions, historical development, trends in social welfare and social work, and a survey of various social agencies.
MSO 190

This course examines the vital effects of group membership on our lives, the interconnections, and the ways in which these components join together.  Coverage focuses on how culture influences us, social groups and social control, social inequality and the broader context of social stratification, how social institutions encompass our lives, and finally why our world is changing so rapidly.

MSO 417
Social Enterprise Development

This course is designed to identify the nature and degree of social problems, examine the causes, and evaluate proposed solutions.  The course addresses sociological perspectives on social problems, contributing individual behaviors (e.g., mental illness, addiction, crime), social inequality and discrimination, broad societal issues (e.g., the changing family, education, the economy), and social problems of global significance. 


 See Also: