About Sapphire

Sapphire Leadership Academic Program at Penn State has a specialized curriculum, dedicated program adviser, access to business leaders and a collaborative learning environment.

Sapphire Leadership Academic Program

The Sapphire Leadership Academic Program is designed for high-achieving students who have been accepted to the Smeal College of Business and would like to enhance their business school experience. By providing unique academic content, leadership and professional development opportunities, and real-world application of knowledge gained inside the classroom, the Sapphire Leadership Academic Program empowers student leaders to make an impact on business and society.

Specialized Curriculum

As a Sapphire student, you will engage in specialized course sections designed to identify, improve, and enhance your leadership qualities. The courses in this curriculum, which are done in small section sizes, encourage interaction with faculty and challenge students to demonstrate both academic and leadership characteristics. 

  • PSU 6– The First-Year Seminar is a small class designed to allow students to learn about opportunities in Smeal such as majors and potential career paths, and to engage in classroom discussions. The seminar focuses on business and society, leadership, ethics in business, diversity in the workplace, and community service and corporate citizenship. It is an interactive experience that encourages student participation and contribution.
  • MGMT 397 – This course provides an introduction to the body of knowledge that exists about the management of modern organizations and the relationships between management and leadership. The concepts cover in this class will help students understand the practice of management and the behavior of employees, managers, and organizations. The small class size promotes group discussion and student participation.
  • SCM 301 H– This optional honors course focuses on supply chain management concepts, principles, and methodologies for effective and efficient management of product and service operations across supply chain networks. The course explores the framework for supply chain management, the key issues and challenges, the key cost and service elements, the basic analytical tools, and the strategic role of information technology
  • BA 297 S– The purpose of this course is to expose Sapphire students to the leadership team in the Smeal College of Business. Although the specific topics will be decided by the instructors, they will cover global and domestic business issues, leadership, and current events at Penn State and in Smeal. The course is designed to be very discussion oriented, focusing on issues that have direct impacts on Sapphire students, specifically, and Penn State students, generally.
  • MGMT 355– This course focuses on understanding yourself as a leader, particularly as a leader in organizations, and especially a leader of organizations undergoing change. You will learn about the concepts and skills that will help you become an effective leader of yourself, of others, and of organizations. Throughout the course, you will improve your personal and managerial effectiveness, identify current issues in leadership thought, translate leadership concepts into practical applicability, understand how others influence you and how you influence others around you, and recognize the fundamentals of leadership, change, and performance. The classroom will provide a stimulating forum for discussing leadership issues with your classmates, stressing the development of your ability to apply leadership concepts.
  • MGMT 451– This course provides advanced examination of social, ethical, legal, economic, equity, environmental, public policy, and political influences on managerial decisions and strategies. It focuses on the knowledge, skills, and perspectives that a manager must have in order to deal with the social, legal, ethical, and political demands in society. Ecological, ethical, and public policy dimensions of various managerial decisions are examined.
  • BA 497– Senior capstone course exclusively designed for Sapphire students.

Dedicated Program Adviser

All Sapphire students have a dedicated adviser in the Undergraduate Education Office. Your adviser is responsible for monitoring your progress to ensure completion of all requirements in the Sapphire program.

Access to Business Leaders

A critical component of the Sapphire program is providing unique access to business leaders, through workshops, seminars, and one-on-one discussions. As a Sapphire student, you will have many opportunities to connect with leaders from top companies, which will enhance your own leadership knowledge and abilities.

Collaborative Learning Environment

As part of a cohort of students with similar levels of motivation, Sapphire students benefit from a close-knit community of talent and drive. In addition to small course sections, Sapphire students are encouraged to list the Business and Society House (BASH) as a housing contract preference. In close proximity to the Business Building, residents can take advantage of study groups, mentoring programs, and a variety of social activities with their Sapphire peers.