Why we chose it: Columbia has offered elective courses in social enterprise within its MBA program for six years. The curriculum includes courses such as The Private Sector and International Development, and Social Entrepreneurship, which incorporate studies conducted by the school's Research Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship (RISE). Students conduct their own research, too; one recent project assessed the innovations within charter schools. Through the collaboration between Columbia Business School and the Social Enterprise Program, students gain an understanding of issues such as economic development, social innovation, and inner city markets. Career planning and networking experiences help round out the academic experience. Murray Low, director of the Entrepreneurship program and associate professor, says Columbia's approach does not treat social enterprise as a separate discipline. "When we work with students who want to start social ventures, we don't separate them from the other business students pursuing for-profit ventures," he says. "They all need the same skills and processes."