CU Boulder's Leeds School of Business is one of the few undergraduate business schools in the nation that emphasizes socially responsible conduct in business throughout its curriculum. The Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility (CESR) helps undergraduate students become outstanding business leaders of tomorrow by preparing them to meet the ethical challenges posed by an increasingly competitive, globally connected business world.

CESR offers the certificate in social responsibility and ethics (SRE) to business students who seek to distinguish themselves in the field of socially responsible business, whether their unique interests lie in environmental sustainability, social entrepreneurship, corporate ethics or values-driven leadership. Students who complete the certificate will develop the practical knowledge and marketable experiences that will distinguish them as business professionals who strive to make a positive social impact.


The Social Responsibility and Ethics (SRE) Certificate is available to business students who seek to distinguish themselves in the field of socially responsible business, whether their unique interests lie in environmental sustainability, social entrepreneurship, or ethical leadership. Interested students need to register with the SRE office, then meet with CESR's Program Manager, and must graduate with a 3.00 GPA.

Required Courses and Credits

Business Core
BCOR 2301Business Law1.5
BCOR 2302Business Ethics and Social Responsibility1.5
Business Coursework
Select three of the following courses. All courses have the minimum prerequisites of 52 credits completed and the completion of BASE 2104. Some courses have additional prerequisites.9
Critical Leadership Skills
Fundamentals of Socially Responsible Leadership
Sustainable Space Governance
Leadership Challenges
Business Solutions for Global Development
Sustainable Operations
Global Business Ethics
Leading Diverse and Inclusive Organizations
Corporate Boards in Action
New Venture Creation
The Sustainable Firm: ESG Strategies and Practice
Total Credit Hours12

Note: These courses are in addition to BCOR, the capstone course, as well as any other prerequisites. See course descriptions for prerequisite details.

Experiential Learning

SRE students gain practical experience working in a field of their personal interest within sustainability and/or social responsibility. Examples include: 

  • Internship (for-profit or nonprofit). Acceptable internships will be characterized by substantive work that adds value to the organization and contributes to the student's learning. Internships must be approved for SRE credit. 
  • Service learning through the Education Abroad Office. The Office of International Education offers study abroad programs focused on service learning, generally spanning one academic quarter or semester in the host country, during which the student will participate in, and gain credit for study in a school of higher education partnered with work for local institutions and non-governmental organizations on service projects that promote community development.  
  • Related coursework. CESR 4005, MGMT 4140 and advisor-approved courses may count toward the Experiential Learning requirement or toward the Business Coursework requirement, but not both. 

For course descriptions and program details, visit the CESR Learning webpage.

MGMT 4140Project Management3
CESR 4005Business Solutions for Global Development3
ESBM 4830New Venture Creation3
Advisor-approved independent study in a related topic; or an advisor-approved internship of an appropriate nature

Personal Reflection and Exit Interview

Before graduation, students synthesize their academic and experiential experiences and set goals for their future. Students write a short essay (2-3 pages), reflecting on their experience and setting out the values that will guide their conduct and their careers. Students then meet with a staff or faculty member associated with the certificate program for their exit interview.