Entrepreneurial Studies


The HWS Entrepreneurial Studies Program challenges students to become well-rounded leaders and resourceful innovators who are globally aware and community-centric. With an emphasis on the conceptual understanding, practical skills and ethical structure necessary for business or civic leadership, the Entrepreneurial Studies Program cultivates agents of change across a wide-range of causes and careers. These future leaders of the 21st Century explore and hone the analytical and critical thinking skills of a liberal arts education as they stoke their passions and animate their ideas – whether creating new non-profit or for-profit enterprises, or leading innovation within existing organizations.

The Entrepreneurial Studies Program offers an interdisciplinary minor.


Requirements for the Minor

interdisciplinary, 7 courses

  • Three required core classes:
    • ENTR 101 Entrepreneurial Leadership As technology and globalization continue to spur interconnectedness, leaders must navigate tumultuous environments where change is rapid, discontinuous and unpredictable. Innovation, ingenuity and an ability to add value by solving problems are necessary. This course will examine the attributes required of successful entrepreneurs in contemporary leadership roles. Students will learn how to take an idea to impact. They will consider important concepts, such as ethics, sustainability, economic Darwinism, and managing uncertainty. They will discuss product invention, service implementation, economic choice, risk and return, scale and scope, value creation, and small business generation. As a significant course assignment, students will develop a strategic plan for a product, service or startup or organization that is worthy of implementation.
    • ENTR 120 Economic Principles for the Entrepreneur The course seeks to provide students with the foundational understanding of microeconomic theory necessary to pursue entrepreneurial enterprises in contemporary markets. Students will acquire the analytical tools for solving complex organizational or policy issues. Key topics will include: economic principles guiding various types of organizations; rational behavior; competition vs. monopoly power; simple game theory; pricing strategies; and production costs and behavior in the short and long-term. This course will be more applied than a traditional intro to economics class, relying on entrepreneurial case studies and news reports as appropriate.
    • ENTR 201 Quantitative Tools for the Entrepreneur This course teaches the basic accounting, statistical, and Excel skills necessary for success in the Entrepreneurial minor. All of the examples will be done using Excel. The accounting techniques covered will include: accounting terminology; the accounting equation; how to prepare and analyze financial statements (the balance sheet, income statement, and statement of cash flows); operational costing considerations; cost behavior and cost-volume-profit analysis; differential analysis and product pricing; and budgeting. The statistical concepts which will be covered include: data collection; basic measures of summarizing data; presenting data in tables and charts; hypothesis formulation and testing; sampling techniques; normal distributions; and simple regression techniques.
  • One ethics class
  • (PHIL 157 Ethical Inquiry; PHIL 159 Global Justice; PHIL 162 Ethics of Civic Engagement; PHIL 233 Cosmopolitanism and Global Ethics; PHIL 234 Moral Theories: Understanding Right & Wrong; PHIL 235 Morality and Self Interest; PHIL 250 Feminism: Ethics and Knowledge; or PHIL 315 Social Justice.)
  • Two Electives from two different departments. As an interdisciplinary minor students are asked to take two courses from the list below.
  • Senior Capstone Experience Students in this senior capstone experience will identify and tackle a real-life challenge in the social, economic and global environment using skills developed in other courses in the minor (and likely from their major). Capstone projects could include the development and launch of a product, service or organization (for-profit or non-profit).

Course List

If you'd like to view a full listing of our course options in Entrepreneurial Studies or any other subject, please visit the Online Course Catalogue.

Click for the Course Catalogue

  • Anthropology/Sociology
    • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100)
    • Inequalities (SOC 223)
    • Sociology of Business (SOC 242)
    • Technology and Society (SOC 249)
    • Theories of Social Movements (SOC 259)
    • Anthropology of Creativity (ANTH 330)
    • Ethnographies of Capitalism (ANTH 323)
    • Anthropology of Global Commons (ANTH 340)
  • Dance
    • Community Arts (DAN 230)
    • Arts and Human Development (AEP 335)
  • Economics
    • Principles of Accounting (ECON 196)
    • Business Law (ECON 198)
    • International Trade (ECON 240)
    • Economics of Non-Profits (ECON 338)
    • Managerial Economics (ECON 315)
  • Education
    • Educational Leadership (EDUC 225)
  • Environmental Studies
    • Environmental Development in East Asia (ENV 215)
    • Sustainability, Commodities and Consumption (ENV 330)
  • International Relations
    • Intro to International Relations (POL 180)
  • Media and Society
    • Cultures of Advertising (MDSC 200)
  • Philosophy
    • Debating Public Policy (PHIL 158)
  • Political Science
    • Urban Politics and Public Policy (POL 236)
    • Politics of Development (POL 248)
    • Globalization (POL 254)
    • State and Markets (POL 387)
    • Varieties of Capitalism (POL 401)
  • Public Policy
    • Social Policy and Community Action (PPOL 364)
  • Psychology
    • Intro to Cross Cultural Psychology (PSY 245)
    • Organizational Psychology (PSY 243)
  • Writing and Rhetoric
    • Writing in the Professional World (WRRH 352)


Our students choose from a variety of introductory and advanced courses, each designed to provide students with strong grounding entrepreneurship in its various forms.

Below you'll find a sampling of some of our most popular classes, as well as suggestions for making Entrepreneurial Studies a part of your larger interdisciplinary experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

SOC 249 Technology and Society


Explore the impact that technologies have on human beings and their societies by examining the history of technological development. Topics covered include family relations, work patterns, energy and the environment, domestic and international social stratification, and social organization. Next, study the enviorment further by enrolling in ENV 202 Human Values and the Environment, which looks at the role of the humanities in creating a just and sustainable planet.

ECON 240 International Trade


Learn about the theory of gains from trade, comparative advantage and international monetary relations using the analytical tools of micro- and macroeconomics. Use this theory to examine issues such as protectionism, economic integration (e.g., NAFTA and the European Union), and international investment, with an emphasis on how economic and financial relations among countries have very different consequences for different groups of people. Continue to delve into this topic by enrolling in POL 296 International Law.

POL 254 Globalization


Examine the themes of global economics, global migration, global civil society, global human rights, and global institutions, and look at how international mobility of both capital and labor transforms both lives and politics, and in different ways in different places. Then, take PHIL 159 Philosophy and Contemporary Issues: Global Justice to furter explore the ethical issues that arise from the relations among nations and their peoples in the light of increasing global interdependence.


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.