Florida State University

Interdisciplinary Social Science Program

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Student in the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences have the option to pursue a secondary concentration.

In the SIE Program students can expect to be fostered in the following competencies, attributes, and values. Empathy, Leadership, Curiosity, Creativity Collaboration, Teamwork, Self-Awareness
Emotional/Social Intelligence, Global Awareness, Cross-Cultural Competence, Social Justice, Community Empowerment, Optimism, Grit, Resilience, Perseverance, Systems Perspective, Integrity.

Mission Statement

“To inspire, prepare, and support a community of innovative and entrepreneurial leaders who apply a human-centered and systems mindset and skillset to systemically address the urgent social & environmental challenges in our rapidly-changing world.”

Defining Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Social innovation & entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary approach to creating systems-level change that applies the best thinking and practices from across the nonprofit/civic, private, and public sectors. It aims to address a complex problem or “unjust equilibrium” through which the value created is targeted primarily to a segment of society experiencing marginalization or to society as a whole.

This approach includes:

  • Understanding a social/environmental problem through a lens of empathy, including its social, political, economic, cultural, environmental, and personal dimensions.
  • Identifying an opportunity; ideating, testing, and refining an innovative, impactful, and systemic approach to the problem through a human-centered process that is iterative and collaborative; and ensuring that its social value proposition is realized for the key stakeholders.
  • Implementing and scaling that approach or social innovation through a sustainable social impact model—via a mission-driven, triple bottom line-focused organization or partnership
    such as a social enterprise, high-impact nonprofit, socially-responsible business, or cross-sector/collective impact initiative.

The Interdisciplinary Social Science (ISS) Program within COSSPP offers a secondary concentration in Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The secondary concentration consists of four courses and works within a larger major of 43 credits to support an interdisciplinary understanding of complex problems and a holistic approach to solutions. SIE coursework provides a human-centered design to social innovation, a holistic, systems-based and cross-sector, collective impact approach to “solution” finding, and a global perspective.


Course Requirements (updated July 8, 2021)

In order to complete the SIE Secondary Concentration, students are required to successfully complete the following:

  • Foundations of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship course (ISS 3241)
  • Three electives chosen from the list below of pre-approved skill-based courses from within COSSPP and across the university.

The skill-based electives include courses focused on designing and implementing social enterprise and innovation, practice in the field (internships), entrepreneurship, leadership, research methods & inquiry, intercultural communication, funding and resource development, finance and accounting, and marketing.

To encourage the cultivation of a diverse set of requisite skills, each elective must come from a different skill area (in other words, students may only apply one course from any one skill area).

ISS majors are encouraged to choose a relevant “issue/theory-based” primary concentration focused on the issue areas they are interested in and passionate about. The primary concentration or specialization could be focused on an impact that you would like to make. For example, complex issues such as international development, environment, poverty, equity, education, etc. provide substantive knowledge about complex social problems that can be address through social innovation. 


Required Course:

  • ISS 3241 Foundations of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship (3) (Interdisciplinary Social Sciences)
  • Skill-Based Electives.  Choose 3 classes from skill areas below (Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Non-Profit Management, Leadership, Research and Evaluation, Intercultural Communication, Funding and Resource Development, Finance and Budget, Marketing.)

Innovation/Social Innovation/Human-Centered Design

  • ENT3607. Innovation by Design (3).
  • ISS 4308 (Section) Human-Centered Design for Social Innovation (3) Prerequisite: ISS 3241 Foundations of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship; Instructor Permission Required.


  • ENT 3423. Funding Sources for Entrepreneurial Opportunities (3)(ENT 3003 or both ENT 2010 and ENT 2011 are ideally taken beforehand, but are not required.)
    (Jim Moran School – Entrepreneurship)
  • ENT 3173 Franchising (3). Prerequisites: ENT 3003 or both ENT 2010 and ENT 2011. (Jim Moran School – Entrepreneurship)
  • ENT 3203 Managing Growth (3). (Jim Moran School – Entrepreneurship)
  • ENT 4114. Business Plan Design (3) Prerequisite: ENT 3423. (Jim Moran School – Entrepreneurship)
  • * ENT 3003. Introduction to Entrepreneurship (3). (Jim Moran School – Entrepreneurship) [* This is not a skill-based course – and will not count towards the
    Concentration – but is recommended – although not required – to take before the Entrepreneurship courses listed above.]

Nonprofit Management

  • PAD 4144 – Managing the Nonprofit Organization.


  • INR 3932-03 Intercultural Dialogue and Leadership Seminar (3). (International Relations) (Also listed under Intercultural Communication; Note that this course has very limited openings for undergraduate students.)
  • LDR 3215. Leadership and Change (3). (Educational Leadership and Policy Studies)
  • ISS 4931 (Section). Social Science Scholars Leadership Seminar (3). Only open to Social Science Scholars.

Research and Evaluation Methods

  • ISS 3330 (Section). Interdisciplinary Social Science Research Methods (3)
  • SYA 4300. Methods of Social Research (3).
  • ECP 4618. Research Methods for Studying Housing, Land, and Cities (3).
  • PAD 4432. Program Evaluation (3).

Intercultural Communication

  • INR 3932-03 Intercultural Dialogue and Leadership Seminar (3). (International Relations) (Also listed under Leadership; Note that this course has very limited openings for undergraduate students.)

Funding and Resource Development

  • SOW 4454. Grant Writing and Grant Management (3). (Social Work) (This course has very limited spaces for non-Social Work students on a case-by-case basis; interested students should consult the instructor.)
  • PAD 4936. Fundraising and Fund Development (3). (Public Administration and Policy)
  • ENT 3423. Funding Sources for Entrepreneurial Opportunities (3). Prerequisites: ENT 3003 or both ENT 2010 and ENT 2011. (COB – Entrepreneurship) (Also listed under Entrepreneurship)

Finance and Budgets

  • PAD 4223. Budgets and Finances in Managing Public Affairs (3). (Public Administration and Policy)


  • MAR 3023. Basic Marketing Concepts (3). Prerequisites: ECO 2023 and one behavioral science course.

SIE Internships

ISS 4944 (Section) SIE Internship through ISS Internship Course (3) The ISS Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship program benefits from experiential learning that ties theory to practice.  Students are encouraged and supported in experiential opportunities through competitive local, national, and international internships. These experiential education opportunities help students integrate theory and knowledge from the classroom with practical application and skill development in a professional setting.