Sustainability Degree and Certificate Programs Part 1: The Green MBA

by Shannon Houde

With the influx of “green” degree programs popping up at universities around the world, my clients who are considering going back to school often ask me what type of degree is best. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to education and training in the sustainability realm, some options are better than others depending on your individual experience level and professional goals. In this five-post series I will review some of the most popular types of sustainability degree and certificate programs to help you choose the one that fits you best. Let’s start with the Sustainable MBA:

The Sustainable MBA

A sustainable or ‘green’ Masters in Business Administration (MBA) is much like a traditional MBA but with a special focus on social and environmental issues. Students in sustainable MBA programs still study traditional business subjects like economics and finance, but their curriculums emphasize triple bottom line and often include dedicated modules on green business issues. There are three general types of sustainable MBA programs:

    • Dedicated programs – These are MBAs offered by business schools with an exclusive focus on sustainability (ex: Presidio Graduate School in California).
    • Specialized tracks – Some schools offer an optional specialization, certificate, or additional degree in sustainability in conjunction with a general MBA. (ex: the University of Michigan’s joint MBA/MS in Global Sustainable Enterprise).
    • Traditional MBAs with a ‘green tint’ – An increasingly popular approach to the sustainable MBA is for business schools to adapt their traditional MBA to emphasize social and environmental sustainability as a core part of its curriculum. (ex: Stanford Graduate School of Business).

Who it’s for:

Like a traditional MBA, admission into a green MBA program is highly competitive, usually requiring at least three to five years of professional experience, high GMAT scores, and relevant prerequisite courses. Also like a traditional MBA, an MBA in sustainability can be an excellent choice for rising executives, career changers and aspiring entrepreneurs wanting to lead in their fields. 


Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Sign up

Example Programs:

Stay tuned for part 2 of this series on Master’s Degrees in sustainability.

This article originally appeared on Acre


You may also like...

Book Launch! Good Work: How to Build a Career that makes a Difference in the World

Joel Makower interviews Good Work author, Shannon Houde, about the evolving impact economy and how to shape a career that makes a difference. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde
How to find your place in the purpose economy

We’re all looking for a little more purpose in our lives Even more so with the uncertainty that currently swirls around us on a daily basis. In fact, a strong desire to make a difference within their professional lives is one of the key reasons that two thirds of women say they want to substantially shake up their career in 2021. The great news is that there’s rarely been a better time to find your place within the burgeoning ‘purpose economy.’ A

By Shannon Houde
10 biggest sustainability & social impact trends going into 2021

In so many ways 2020 was a seismic year for sustainability and social impact. From a global pandemic, to raging wildfires, and the changing face of both work and wellbeing, the last 12 months will have a legacy that lasts far beyond Covid-19. Here are 10 trends that came out of 2020 that all sustainability / CSR professionals need to know about.   DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up The threat of climate change

By Shannon Houde
Webinar: Reset Your Compass and Navigate Through Uncertainty with Clarity and Confidence

OnPurpose 2020 Shannon was delighted to speak at OnPurpose 2020. You can view her Reset Your Compass and Navigate Through Uncertainty with Clarify and Confidence session by clicking the video below. If you’d like some help gaining clarity, you can book a 30 minute trial session here to discuss your challenges and objectives in more detail. DON’T MISS OUTON MORE FREE TIPS Sign Up For Our Newsletter Sign up

By Shannon Houde


Book a 30-minute trial session with Shannon