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, which can be taken from departments across campus that challenges students to think both globally and locally about the impact of enterprises on society.
  • 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

Ethics Requirement
The minor requires that all students take an Ethics course.

ENG 234 Chaucer: Topics
ENG 235 The Once and Future King
ENG 312 Bible as Literature
ENG 432 Malory: Morte D’Arthur
PHIL 150 Justice and Equality
PHIL 151 Crime and Punishment
PHIL 152 Philosophy and Feminism
PHIL 154 Environmental Ethics
PHIL 155 Morality and War
PHIL 156 Biomedical Ethics
PHIL 159 Philosophy and Contemporary Issues: Global Justice
PHIL 162 Ethics of Civic Engagement
PHIL 234 Moral Theories: Understanding Right and Wrong
PHIL 235 Morality and Self Interest
PHIL 315 Social Justice
REL 108 Religion and Alienation
REL 219 Intro to Islam
REL 225 Japanese Philosophy and Religious Thought
REL 226 Religion and Nature
REL 228 Religion and Resistance
REL 238 Liberating Theology
REL 239 Nihilism East and West
REL 242 Islamic Mysticism
REL 253 Creation Stories: why they matter
REL 255 Peace and Violence in the Qur’an
REL 257 What’s love got to do with it?
REL 271 The Holocaust
REL 273 Jewish Thought
REL 278 Modern Judaism
REL 286 Islam and the Environment
REL 288 Religious Extremism
REL 311 Mahabharata
REL 345 Tradition Transformers
REL 401 Responses to the Holocaust
REL 461 Seminar: Theory in Religious Studies
SJSP 100 Intro to Social Justice
WMST 204 Politics of Health
WMST 212 Gender and Geography
WMST 305 Food Feminism and Health

List of Electives for Two Interdisciplinary Electives Requirements

Students must take two classes from two different departments

Africana Studies

  • Black Popular Culture (AFS 326)


  • Early Cities (ANTH 206)
  • NGOs and Development (ANTH 212)
  • Urban Anthropology (ANTH 247)
  • Environment and Culture (ANTH 280)
  • Modern Japan (ANTH 298)
  • Anthropology of Creativity (ANTH 330)
  • Ethnographies of Capitalism (ANTH 323)
  • Anthropology of Global Commons (ANTH 340)

Art and Architecture

  • Three-Dimensional Design (ARTS 115)
  • Theories of Modern Architecture and Urbanism (ARCH 312)
  • Senior Seminar: Arch Portfolio Design (ARCS 405)

Asian Studies

  • Contemporary China Literature (ASN 236)
  • China Goes Global (ASN 268)


  • Community Arts (DAN 230)
  • Arts and Human Development (AEP 335)


  • Principles of Accounting (ECON 196)
  • Business Law (ECON 198)
  • Between Labor and Management: Unions (ECON 203)
  • Environmental Economics (ECON 212)
  • Behavioral Finance (ECON 219)
  • International Trade (ECON 240)
  • Managerial Economics (ECON 315)
  • Labor Market Issues (ECON 316)
  • Institutional Economics (ECON 331)
  • Economics of Non-Profits (ECON 338)
  • Natural Resource Economics (ECON 348)
  • Economic Development (ECON 344)
  • Game Theory (ECON 415)


  • Educational Leadership (EDUC 225)
  • Creating Children’s Literature (EDUC 321)


  • Globalization and Literature (ENG 270)

Environmental Studies

  • Environment and Society (ENV 201)
  • Human Values and the Environment (ENV 202)
  • Environmental Development in East Asia (ASN/ENV 215)
  • Sustainability, Commodities and Consumption (ENV 330)
  • Sustainable Community Development Methods (ARCH 351/ENV 402)


  • American Urban History (HIST 215)
  • History of American Thought from 1865 (HIST 234)
  • Technology and Society (HIST 256)
  • Rise of Industrial America (HIST 310)
  • 20-Century American (HIST 311)
  • The United States Since 1939 (HIST 312)+
  • Britain in the Age of Industry and Empire (HIST 473)

Media and Society

  • The Visual Story (MDSC 150)
  • Cultures of Advertising (MDSC 200)
  • Script to Screen (MDSC 206)


  • Debating Public Policy (PHIL 158)
  • Semiotics (PHIL 220)

Political Science

  • Introduction to International Relations (POL 180)
  • Visions of the City (POL 211)
  • Urban Politics (POL 236/326)
  • Politics of Development (POL 248)
  • Globalization (POL 254)
  • State and Markets (POL 387)
  • Senior Research Seminar (topic: Varieties of Capitalism) (POL 401)

Public Policy

  • Social Policy and Community Action (PPOL 364)


  • Intro to Personality (PSY 220)
  • Intro to Social Psychology (PSY 227)
  • Cognitive Psychology (PSY 231)
  • Intro to Cross Cultural Psychology (PSY 245)


  • Introduction to Sociology (SOC 100)
  • Inequalities (SOC 223)
  • Working Families (SOC 225)
  • Sociology of Sex and Gender (SOC 226)
  • Sociology of Business (SOC 242)
  • Sociology of the City (SOC 251)


  • Stage Management (THTR 280)
  • Theater for Social Change (THTR 290)

Writing and Rhetoric

  • Introduction to Publishing (WRRH 311)
  • Professional Writing (WRRH 225)

Off Campus Courses

  • Italian Food, Culture, and Society (ROME 219)


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.