Certificate in Responsible Management



About the Certificate

The Certificate in Responsible Management (CRM) program is designed to enhance the preparation of students as responsible leaders. The CRM offers students the opportunity to participate in seminars, projects, courses, and service in a variety of topic areas such as Global Strategy, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, International Development, Peace, Energy and Environment.

These tasks are designed to prepare students for leadership roles in the modern world and offer students the knowledge, diverse proficiencies, and the skill-set necessary to succeed in an era of governmental, industry, and consumer oversight.

The development of this certificate program signals a shift in business education toward an emphasis on corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership. The requirements behind the certification are designed to encourage future business leaders to work toward a more inclusive and sustainable global economy. GW was one of the first and among 500 organizations to sign the United Nations’ Principles for Responsible Management Education Initiative (PRME), whose mission is to inspire and champion responsible management education, research and thought leadership globally.


Who can earn the CRM?

Graduate students at the George Washington University can obtain the CRM. The CRM was created to recognize students who transcend a typical elective concentration in an effort to become responsible corporate citizens and are dedicated to the mission of responsible management.

GW has long demonstrated a strong commitment to ethics and responsible management in its undergraduate and graduate curricula. Our University is uniquely positioned at the intersection of business, policy, and society drawing on the input and influence of all three sectors to develop research and curricula that promote ethics, sustainability, and corporate responsibility.


What are the CRM Requirements?

  • Complete required course of (i) Business Ethics and Public Policy, or receive equivalency approval from the SMPP Department. In addition, complete 9.0 credit hours of approved CRM elective coursework.
  • Attain project approval from the CRM faculty advisor (Professor John Forrer, jforrer@gwu.edu) and complete a project relating to the CRM mission. A wide range of project topics can count toward this requirement with past examples available on Blackboard in the SMPP 6292 Co-curricular Activities CRM course (zero credit).
  • Attend two (2) seminars, panel discussions, conferences or other events relating to the CRM mission, and write a short summary on each event to share.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities by (i) participating in a qualifying student organization and/or (ii) performing community service for a combined total of 20 hours.

Admissions and How to Enroll

Students must apply to the CRM program via a paper application no later than the first day of classes of their final semester at GWU.  Students enrolled in a GWSB MS or MBA program should reach out to their academic advisor to request the admissions application.  Students enrolled outside of GWSB should contact Cara Richards at crichards@gwu.edu.

Students often begin the CRM program as early as their first semester and at least one year prior to graduation. Participants must complete the CRM certificate requirement prior to receiving their graduate degree.

  1. Sign up for SMPP 6292 – Co-curricular Activities Responsible Management (zero credit course)
  2. Submit a Program Registration Form through Blackboard at least one semester before graduation (after reviewing the program requirements).
  3. A Final Acceptance Form must be submitted through Blackboard no later than one month before your graduation date.

Submit all required forms through the SMPP 6292 course in Blackboard and direct all other questions to icr@gwu.edu.


Track Descriptions & Coursework

Track Descriptions

Students may choose to select a specific area of interest and focus their program requirements as part of the CSR experience. Selecting a Certificate track is optional since students may choose to learn about a variety of topics related to the Certificate but selecting a focus area is recommended and many courses fall under more than one track.

The three suggested Certificate in Responsible Management track descriptions are:

  • Corporate Responsibility, Strategy, and Ethics
    Analyze complex interrelationships between business and society. These efforts help to provide an understanding and awareness of ethical, environmental, economic and social concerns with the business environment. Topics touch on the many ways that government, civil society and private industries interact to encourage responsible management within the global marketplace.
  • International Development and Peace
    Topics of international and human development and the desire to provide a greater quality of life for all humans around the world. This is a very broad discussion that includes topics such as non-profit management, micro-finance, healthcare, education, human rights, affordable housing, poverty and wellness, foreign partnerships, disaster relief, infrastructure, and foreign aid.
  • Energy & Environment
    Describes best practices of individuals and businesses as relating to the long term maintenance and improvement to the quality of our natural environment and the planet, which in turn will contribute to a healthy and prosperous economy. Examples of topics include green building, sustainable development, renewable energy, energy management, resource conservation, and climate change.

Students are required to complete the “Business Ethics and Public Policy” course and an additional 9.0 credit hours of approved courses. The courses identified below and all SMPP electives are pre-approved Certificate electives that count towards the 9.0 credit hour requirement. Other courses, including those in other Schools at GW or through the consortium, may also qualify. This list will grow but students should get approval by sending a syllabus and rationale to icr@gwu.edu.

For example, check out the “Green Leaf” courses.


Pre-Approved CRM Courses

Note: All SMPP electives are pre-approved

CR/S/E = Corporate Responsibility, Strategy, & Ethics
ID = International Development
E/E = Energy & Environment

Code Course Name Credits CR/S/E ID E/E
DNSC 6401 Sustainable Supply Chains 1.5 X  X
FINA 6290 Microfinance: Fin. Services for Poor 1.5 X
MKTG 6290 Marketing for Social Causes 1.5 X X
SMPP 6202 Business & Gov’t Relations 3 X  X
SMPP 6215 Corp. Governance & Ethics 3 X
SMPP 6241 Global Corp. Responsibility 3 X X
SMPP 6290 Adv. Issues in Ethical Decision Making 3 X
SMPP 6290 Clean Tech & Competitive Energy 1.5 X
SMPP 6290 Corporate Social Responsibility 1.5 X
SMPP 6290 Public Private Partnering 1.5 X X
SMPP 6290 Strategy & International Political Economy 3 X  X
SMPP 6290 Sustainable Enterprises 1.5  X X
SMPP 6290 Sustainable & Responsible Investing 1.5 X X
SMPP 6290 Worldwide Energy Challenges 1.5 X X
SMPP 6293 The Corporation/American Business History 3 X X

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