Undergraduate

Information about coursework and involvement opportunities related to sustainability for undergraduate students at the Penn State Smeal College of Business.

Jessica Commisso giving a presentation to her class.

The undergraduate academic experience at the Penn State Smeal College of Business offers many opportunities for students to engage in sustainability-related material as it relates to their understanding of the modern business world. The college offers a two-piece sequence in Business Sustainability as well as introductory and specialty courses in all majors. Students can also apply sustainability principles outside of the classroom through organizations such as Net Impact, which has an active undergraduate chapter at Smeal.

Two-Piece Sequence

The sustainability two-piece (BA441 and BA442) was created to help students develop a global mind set and an understanding of the social and environmental challenges and opportunities in business. Because sustainability spans all majors at Smeal, our students will learn to appreciate the global challenges and discuss how business can help solve the world’s toughest problems (e.g., climate change, plastics pollution, water and food insecurity, poverty, etc.). They will learn that good stewardship of environmental and social resources is not only the right thing to do, it is the necessary and profitable thing to do.  As we like to say, sustainability is just, good business.

Both courses are project-driven and provide students real-world learning opportunities with external clients. To complete the semester project, students will collaborate across majors.

BA 441 - Strategies for Enterprise Sustainability
BA 442 - Sustainable Marketing Strategy for Consumers, Firms and Society

Coursework

There are many opportunities for students interested in sustainable business practices in all majors to build their expertise. Examples of sustainability-related courses offered at Smeal include:

  • Socially Responsible, Sustainable, and Ethical Business Practice: Begins with the personal, organizational, national, and global dynamics in ethical decision-making and is followed by a "stakeholder" model for both domestic and international responsibility.
  • Strategies for Enterprise Sustainability: Examines the external and internal forces such as environmental groups, policy-makers, and consumers that impact business strategies to help students gain a better understanding of environmental issues that impact business operations.
  • Sustainability and International Business: Examines the global business environment in the context of sustainability, focusing on sustainable development strategies, and how corporations interact with nations to develop partnerships that support sustainable economic development.

View a listing of undergraduate sustainability-related courses available at Smeal.