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Social Change Courses @ Northeastern

Northeastern is a leader in experiential teaching, scholarship and activism that advance the solving of real-world problems. The following is a list of Spring 2023 courses that address social change and social justice.

For information about course requirements, please contact the college. Click on “filter” to sort by college or topic. For more about institutes and centers that address public problem solving, click here. To register for one of these courses, please visit the Northeastern Student Hub.


The following is a partial list that will be regularly updated. Notice something missing? Let us know at [email protected]


Courses: Social Change @ Northeastern

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  • Social and Political Philosophy

    Course Number: PHIL 2303

    Department: Philosophy (PHIL)

    Focuses on basic questions about the nature of the state and the relationship of individuals to the state. What basis is there for individuals to obey the laws of the state? What conditions must a government meet to be legitimate? What justification can be given for democratic forms of government? Also examines what sorts of controls the state should exert over citizens, and what benefits citizens have a right to expect from the state. Includes readings from both classical and contemporary sources. Not open to freshmen students.

  • Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurship

    Course Number: NPM 6310

    Department: Nonprofit Management – CPS (NPM)

    Seeks to introduce students to the meaning of social entrepreneurship. Exposes students to the social entrepreneurship term that has come to be applied to the activities of grassroots activists, NGOs, policymakers, international institutions, and corporations, among others, which addresses a range of social issues in innovative and creative ways. Offers students an opportunity to learn how to address complex sustainability challenges using experiential problem-based learning, current research, and best practices connected to social/sustainable enterprises. Topics include the design of social and sustainable enterprises, frameworks for problem solving and planning, analysis of social and environmental impact, and private-public partnerships.

  • Social Movements

    Course Number: COMM 1412

    Department: Communication Studies (COMM)

    Examines the communication strategies (including rhetorical messaging, public advocacy, grassroots organizing, fund-raising, and media outreach) of historical and contemporary social movement and activist organizations. Social movements considered may include immigration protests, AIDS activism, environmental advocacy, disability movements, racial justice, and feminism.

  • Social Responsibility of Business in an Age of Inequality

    Course Number: ENTR 2414

    Department: Social Enterprise Institute (ENTR)

    Studies how businesses can be agents for social good, both locally and around the world. In an era of growing social and economic inequality both in the United States and globally, many “enlightened” businesses are reconsidering their roles in creating opportunity for disadvantaged or marginalized people and communities. Focuses on businesses that have the resources to invest in innovative social responsibility programs that address the impact of rising social and economic inequality. Considers the tension between the single-minded notion of maximizing profit for investors and serving a broader stakeholder community. The role of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking plays a key role in student learning. This is an integrative course that includes areas such as business policy, governance, strategy, and decision making.

  • Social Value Investing and Effective Partnerships

    Course Number: NPM 6210

    Department: Nonprofit Management – CPS (NPM)

    Explores cross-sector partnerships as an effective way to build social impact and serve the greater good. Research has proven that government alone cannot address the major societal challenges; new kinds of collaboration have emerged between the public and private sectors. Leaders from nonprofit organizations are engaging in implementing new approaches that require innovation, inclusivity, shared value, and sustainable solutions. Specifically examines the reasons parties come together, the collaborative approach in which they build their agreements, and the measurement of their social impact.

  • Social Welfare Law

    Course Number: LAW7358

    Department: Law (LAW)

    This course examines American public assistance as a legal institution. After reviewing the historical, sociological and juridical roots of the welfare system, students examine the laws governing major assistance programs, especially eligibility requirements, rules governing grant determination, work and family rules, and procedural rights. Primary emphasis is on statutory and regulatory construction. The course explores methods by which lawyers can deal with the system: advocacy in the administrative process, litigation, legislative reform and representation of recipient organizations.

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