Sustainability Management MBA Programs

Mar 15, 2018

MBA programs in sustainability management are fairly common and give students a well-rounded background in sustainable business practices. Explore the program, some common admissions requirements and typical coursework.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive MBA degree programs commonly offer a variety of concentrations, including sustainability management. These degree programs are typically 2 years in length when pursued full-time, but can be completed part-time and on campus, online or in a hybrid format. Learn more about these degree programs and some of their usual requirements below.

Information on MBA Degrees in Sustainability Management

MBA programs in sustainability management equip students to help lead their organizations to long-term success by making socially-, environmentally- and fiscally-responsible decisions. These programs usually include broad courses in business management and specific courses in sustainability management. Here we take a closer look at some of the more common courses for these programs.

Sustainable Management

Students in sustainable management courses study the analysis of sustainable business development and how organizations' interactions with the environment should be examined in short- and long-term goals. Students explore current sustainability issues, as well as the scientific foundations and economic principles behind these issues. These courses examine different management strategies and models and often include lectures, readings and class discussions.

Sustainable Design

Courses in sustainable design often include a hands-on component with project work to allow students to explore issues and possible solutions in product sustainability. Students learn about product life cycles and how recycled and sustainable materials can be incorporated into different steps of the cycle. Students also discuss ways to make production more efficient and ways production can benefit the organization, consumers and ecosystems.


Marketing courses may range in their emphasis to include international marketing, marketing for sustainability or managerial marketing. In general, these courses explore a variety of marketing strategies and how to apply these to a sustainable business. Students explore topics in consumer-focused marketing, customer value and communicating with stakeholders. These courses often include lectures as well as hands-on projects or learning experiences.

Operations Management

Students in these courses explore topics in operations strategies and sustainable operations management. Students could examine different business models for decision-making and study supply chain management, process analysis, capacity determination, distribution, scheduling and service systems management. These courses typically include case studies, readings and discussions, as well as concepts in statistics and probability to analyze various models and methods.

Quantitative Methods

Quantitative methods courses are typically applied courses that explore the metrics and quantitative analysis tools used in business, public administration and/or sustainability programs. Some of these courses also discuss the tools used by businesses with Corporate Social and Environmentally Responsibility (CR) or sustainability programs and how to implement CR strategies. Other general courses in quantitative methods in business may explore topics in managerial economics, finance, long-term strategy and more.

Common Entrance Requirements

It is common for MBA degree programs in sustainability management to require applicants to submit their official undergraduate transcripts, GRE or GMAT scores, letters of recommendation, a resume and/or personal essay. Executive MBA programs are usually designed for working professionals and, therefore, applicants are typically required to have work experience and/or be employed throughout the program. Some MBA programs may ask potential students to go through an interview process after submitting their application.

MBA degree programs in sustainability management are offered in a variety of formats to accommodate for working professionals. These degree programs cover a range of business-related subjects and may require applicants to have some work experience. Students can expect to learn about sustainable product design, sustainable operations, marketing and more.

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