Sustainability issues have long plagued the business world, but without government intervention, most businesses choose the least expensive choice, not the socially responsible one. With a very legitimate threat of climate change forever looming, business leaders acknowledge the need for businesses to advocate and support the application of socially responsible business principles. To meet this genuine business need, the education community developed a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with an academic specialty in sustainability. An MBA sustainability degree integrates the theories & practices where the realms of environmental science, technology, social responsibility, and business intersect.
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As business settles into the 21st century, business executives must begin to plan for a future that requires companies to remain profitable without depleting the earth’s resources or contaminating the air and the water on earth. In other words, business leaders must reorganize their priorities as their current agenda, unfortunately, and unacceptably, leaves little in the way of resources for future generations or a healthy environment.
The educational community has playfully named these MBA sustainability programs the Green MBAs. An MBA in Sustainability degree program is designed to augment the tried and true conventional Master of Business Administration (MBA) curriculum with coursework in the ethical application of resources and the best sustainability practices. There are many on-campus, and online sustainability degree programs that help students explore the many tangled, complex roles and available sustainability applications that can help private or public industry become more socially and ethically enterprising.
MBA in Sustainability Management is generally offered in a two-year format, although many programs offer accelerated options. Students explore ways to solve the many challenges businesses face in remaining profitable while ensuring resources are available for the future, and the environment remains clean for today.
A Word About Accreditation
Graduate business degrees are generally accredited by three sanctioned accrediting agencies – the ACBSP, the IACBE, and the AACSB. It is noted that AACSB accreditation is generally acknowledged to be the gold standard in business education.
|1||Maharishi International University||Fairfield, Iowa|
|2||The University of North Alabama||Florence, Alabama|
|3||Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, Oklahoma|
|4||Duquesne University||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania|
|5||The University of Maine||Orono, Maine|
MBA sustainability Degrees with Specialized Accreditation
If you have a strong interest in a meaningful business degree that will positively impact your career and the environment, an MBA sustainability degree option just might be the perfect fit. As you consider your academic sustainability degree options, consider the essential factors like tuition, program length, and accreditation status.
Maharishi International University
The Maharishi International University, a member of AASHE, offers an MBA degree in Sustainable Business that is recognized among the top MBA sustainability programs by MBA Central. Maharishi International University’s online MBA sustainability program can be completed entirely online or on the school’s Iowa campus in Fairfield.
*Depends on the foundation course waiver. A maximum foundation of 18 credits may be waived.
The University of North Alabama
The University of North Alabama’s College of Business offers an on-campus or online MBA degree program that allows students to customize the graduate degree in sustainability . The University of North Alabama’s MBA sustainability Programs are offered for those with five-years of professional experience, known as the Executive MBA, or the MBA, for those with limited experience or a new baccalaureate graduate.
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University’s Spears School of Business offers an MBA degree program with a business sustainability concentration that requires degree candidates to complete 12 credit hours from the sustainability curriculum to meet major requirements. This MBA in sustainability program is available online and in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Duquesne University’s Graduate Business School offers an MBA in sustainability that is an accelerated degree program that can be completed in one year. Classes for Duquesne University’s MBA Sustainable Business Practices degree include strategic innovation, leading sustainable change, managerial economics, sustainable business practices, plus a business sustainability practicum, to name a few.
The University of Maine
The University of Maine’s Business School offers an MBA in sustainability that is ranked among US News’ best online degree graduate degree programs in business. sustainability majors in the University of Maine’s MBA program complete coursework in business & sustainability , environmental law & policy, launching sustainable ventures, and sustainable communities, to name a few.
Wilmington University’s College of Business offers an MBA is Sustainability degree program that is available fully online. The MBA in Sustainability includes a seven course MBA common core that includes courses in financial analysis, marketing, information technology, strategy and others along with a five course sustainability concentration. The sustainability concentration includes courses in principles of sustainability, project management, sustainability operations, and sustainability strategy.
The University of Houston, Clear Lake
The University of Houston’s Business College, located at Clear Lake, offers an MBA in sustainability that requires nine credits to be pulled from the sustainability curriculum directly. Coursework for this MBA sustainability degree program includes environmental economics, environmental law, foundations in sustainability , and global sustainability , to name a few.
With the Full-Time MBA Energy & Environmental Sustainability concentration (EES), you’ll cultivate your passion for energy and sustainability and could find yourself in a role working in areas like: life science, insurance, medical devices, or hospital administration. Wherever you end up, this concentration is for students looking to lead organizations increasingly concerned with climate change and environmental sustainability.
Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business offers a Sustainable Business MBA degree to main campus students. The degree is customizable to include courses such as Sustainability Performance Assessment, Environmental Economics and Policy, Sustainable Business for a Global Economy, Benefit-Cost Analysis and others. Students can also choose to complete independent studies, practicums, theses, or internships. Qualified undergraduate business majors or minors at Appalachian State University can opt for accelerated admission into this program. For our Online MBA, currently a limited number of sustainability-related electives are available.
Franklin Pierce University
Franklin Pierce University’s College of Graduate & Professional Studies offers an MBA in sustainability and Energy that is recognized among the best MBA sustainability degree by US News and World Report. Classes for this sustainability graduate degree include energy economics, ethical issues of business, building a sustainable enterprise, and the future of energy and business, among others.
The University of South Carolina
The University of South Carolina’s Moore Business School offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in sustainability (Sustainable Enterprise & Development) that is designed to prepare tomorrow’s business sustainability leaders. The University of South Carolina’s business school building has achieved the highest in LEED certifications – Platinum – by the USGBC.
Norwich University offers an online MBA sustainability degree program with a focus on energy management that is available entirely online and a class size that maxes out at 15 students. Applicants to Norwich University’s MBA in sustainability do not need to submit a GRE or GMAT score to apply and can transfer up to twelve eligible credits. Degree candidates for this graduate degree program are required to pass a comprehensive MBA exam to meet graduation requirements.
The University of Colorado at Boulder
The University of Colorado’s (UC Boulder) offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with an academic track in corporate social responsibility. Students explore the moral, economic, and social principles of business and its relation to corporate responsibility. Classes for the University of Colorado, Boulder’s MBA sustainability Programs include leadership and management, plus an assortment of Leeds sustainability -related classes to help students explore environmentally conscious business objectives and solutions.
Chatham University offers an MBA sustainability dual degree with a Master of sustainability that is considered a program from one of the most environmentally responsible higher learning institutions in the nation. Combing these degrees saves students thousands of dollars by saving 21 credit units. Students graduate from Chatham Univdersity’s dual-degree MBA sustainability programs prepared for leadership roles in sustainability across sectors, including nonprofits, businesses, and government entities.
Drexel University’s Lebow College of Business offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) that is highly customizable that allows students to create an MBA sustainability program to meet each student’s specific education and goal goals. Drexel University’s online MBA sustainability program is available in a traditional and accelerated format. Drexel’s MBA sustainability Programs are recognized among the top in the world.
St. John’s University
The MBA concentration in Sustainability at St. John’s University enables their graduates to pursue business careers that focus on the environment and the economy. Graduates are able to transform how organizations do business by formulating and implementing sustainable strategies. The Sustainability concentration challenges their graduates to offer sustainable long-term solutions to a range of critical business issues, and to develop resource and systems solutions that can be implemented by businesses and non-profit organizations.
Fordham University’s Gabelli School of Business offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with a global sustainability concentration that is designed for working business professionals. Students enrolled in Fordham University’s graduate degree program complete classes both online and on weekends/weeknights. The capstone experience from Fordham’s MBA sustainability Programs requires a two-day business full immersion experience after a student has completed a minimum of 39 credit units.
Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management, in collaboration with the College of Engineering & Computer Science and SUNY’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry, offers an MBA degree program paired with a Certificate of Advanced Study in Sustainable Enterprise (CASSE), a New York State certificate program that is available on-campus with a full-time cohort. Students enrolled in the CASSE program explore entrepreneurial thinking from a sustainability perspective through coursework and experiential learning to complement the MBA.
Tulane University’s Freeman Business School, in partnership with the School of Architecture, offers an MBA sustainability degree as a dual degree program with a Master of Science (MS) in Sustainable Real Estate Development. Students explore enrolled in this graduate degree in sustainability explore the rapidly changing need for the real estate community to begin to establish sustainability standards. This dual degree prepare students for the next generation of real estate development leaders.
The University of Texas (UT Dallas)
The Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas offers an MBA with a concentration in energy management and it is 53 credit hours. Students with an MBA and a concentration take 9-12 credit hours in energy courses. They also are able to do a double degree with an MBA and a Masters degree where they take 12 core classes for the masters (some overlap with the MBA core) and another 12 elective hours in energy.
The University of Vermont
The Sustainable Innovation MBA at the University of Vermont is a leading program for emerging changemakers who believe business can — and must — become a force for good. It is ranked the No.1 “Best Green MBA” by Princeton Review in 2020, 2019, and 2018, and No.1 US-based “Better World MBA” by Corporate Knights in 2019 (No.4 globally).
Our fully integrated sustainable business curriculum creates impact because it was designed from the ground up to integrate environmental, social, and governance challenges. The Sustainable Innovation MBA (SI-MBA) is a rigorously accelerated program that focuses on the essential toolkit needed to lead businesses to profitable, sustainable, and transformational growth. The program is delivered in one year, which helps reduce the financial burden of studying and means our graduates get back out into the world in less time.
During the full-time, on-campus program, SI-MBA students gain unique access to Vermont’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Students learn from sustainable business leaders working to transform business into a force for good. The SI-MBA experience is capped off with a practicum project, where students work on consulting engagements within sustainable businesses across Vermont, the US, and beyond.
The UVM Sustainable Innovation MBA is one of the best values on the market. Tuition for the year long program for the 2021-2022 cohort is estimated* to be $52,976 for out-of-state students and $32,028 for Vermont residents.
GMAT/GRE is not required and application fee waivers are available.
Non-Specialized-Accredited MBA sustainability Degree Programs
The sustainability specialty options offered by MBA programs are considered a relatively new graduate degree specialty. As a result, many of the newer, quality programs have yet to be accredited through the voluntary process of specialized accreditation. However, there are a lot of bachelor’s in sustainability degree programs that are offered.
Because business sustainability degrees are a new specialty, it is important to pay attention to some of the more innovative and smaller programs carving out sustainability niches in the education industry.
Here are a few of these quality MBA sustainability degree programs to consider
Unity College, located in Maine, bills itself as America’s Environmental College. Unity College offers an MBA in sustainability that is ranked among US News’ best online degree graduate degree programs in business. Classes for this MBA sustainability degree include finance for sustainable businesses, communication corporate social, and leading sustainable change, among others.
Mary Baldwin University
Mary Baldwin University offers one of Virginia’s most affordable online MBA sustainability programs, with its Master of Business Administration with an academic emphasis in Sustainable Enterprise. This MBA in sustainability degree requires the completion of an apex project at the end of the student’s coursework. Work experience is preferred, although all applicants are welcome to apply.
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers an online MBA sustainability degree program that is also available on-campus or through a hybrid delivery. This customizable MBA in sustainability from Saint Mary’s University offers classes in sustainability studies in measuring the value of social & environmental responsibility, ethical leadership, monetary policy, and international development, among others. Students enrolled at Saint Mary’s University have the option of transferring a maximum of six eligible credits earn prior to program entry.
Antioch University offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with an academic emphasis in sustainable business that is designed to be completed by working business professionals in less than two years. Antioch University’s MBA in sustainability does not require applicants to submit a score for a GMAT or GRE exam.
Prescott College offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree program with an academic track in corporate sustainability Leadership. Classes for Prescott College’s MBA in sustainability include organizational behavior through the sustainability approach, sustainability leadership, intercultural leadership, and economics of sustainable communities, among others. Students graduate to find rewarding careers as business consultants, sustainability specialists, or social responsibility coordinators, to name a few.
The MBA sustainability programs ranked above have first been reviewed with the most affordable of MBA sustainability Programs that have both regional and specialized accreditation.
The next section ranks those MBA sustainability programs that have yet to receive specialized accreditation for their on-campus or online MBA sustainability degree programs.
Note that additional information was obtained from the most recent edition of the National Center for Education Statistics database.