Overview

Sustainability, at its core, is the pursuit of maintaining ecological and environmental balance. It’s considered part of the “green revolution,” but it’s also a career path. Many graduate students are enrolling in courses to earn their Master of Business Administration degrees in sustainability with one goal in mind: to put environmental and social effects before profits. According to PayScale, the average sustainability manager’s salary starts at $70,000, making it an attractive career choice for those who want to make a positive environmental impact.

Earning an MBA in sustainability is twofold. It provides students with important business foundations as well as specialty skills and knowledge in their chosen concentration. Students learn how to assess risk and to make sustainability a part of a business’s success, helping it to align with the needs of both the environment and a global society. Graduates with a sustainability MBA are skilled evaluators and implement policies on their organizations’ energy use, waste management and overall resource conservation.

There are several professional options, including sustainability specialist, climate change analyst, sustainability consultant, environmental specialist, renewable project manager, and corporate sustainability strategist. The career options depend on your specialized field of study.

Online degrees are usually indistinguishable form their on campus counterparts. Schools offer the same curriculum, but with the added benefit of convenience for working professionals. However, something to consider is whether the program is accredited as that may affect if the degree will be accepted by current or future employers.

Most schools and programs require a minimum GPA, letters of recommendation, and an acceptable GRE score. Students may need to complete certain courses and a capstone at the conclusion of their degree program. For specific requirements, it’s recommended to check with the school’s program.

Depends on the school, but most programs take between 16 months to two years to complete. Some schools allow students an accelerated pathway or an option to take additional courses, which may reduce the time it takes to earn your degree.

Yes. With population and global warming on the rise, this degree can help students and professionals distinguish themselves in a competitive field of energy conservation and renewable energy.

Supervisors in this position also manage the organizations’ employees on sustainability ventures. Therefore, students who want a career in which they can grow and become managers and directors will benefit from this career path. The MBA degree gives them the skills to grow in the field, to become leaders in sustainability and to make a difference in how their organizations affect society and the environment.

Best Online MBA in Sustainability Programs

We took a deep-dive and analyzed every online MBA in Sustainability degree program. Below are the results of our analysis and a list of the 16 best online MBA in Sustainability programs in the nation.

Read about our methodology here.

School Type
Public
Tuition
In-state: $505 per credit; Out-of-state: $635 per credit
Most Prestigious

Oklahoma State's program is renowned for its high-level courses and expert instruction, making it the ideal choice for managers and executives who want to enhance their skills for career advancement in business sustainability. The MBA program prepares graduates for leadership positions in startups, corporations and international organizations.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Spears School of Business
Program Name: MBA
Available Certificate: Business Sustainability
Accrediting Body: AACSB

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree. GMAT/GRE scores
Credit Requirements: 42 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: April 15 (Priority), July 1 (Final); Spring: November 1

Address:

Business Building

Stillwater, OK 74078

405-744-2951

School Type
Public
Tuition
$731 per credit
Best in Distance Education

CU Denver excels at delivering a quality education to distance learners across the country. It offers a highly regarded MBA in sustainability program and provides the coursework in a convenient online format for professionals who can't commit to a full-time schedule on campus.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: CU Denver Business School
Program Name: Professional MBA
Available Specialization: Managing for Sustainability
Accrediting Body: AACSB

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree from an accredited US college or its equivalent from another country. GMAT/GRE scores
Credit Requirements: 48 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: April 15 (Priority), June 30 (Final); Spring: October 15 (Priority), November 30 (Final); Summer: February 15 (Priority), April 30 (Final)

Contact:

Linda Brooker

Admissions Contact

Address:

1475 Lawrence St

Denver, CO 80202

303-315-8000

Graduation Rate
48%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$553 per credit
Most Unique

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth offers an MBA in sustainability program with a unique approach to raising awareness of sustainable living. Students can participate in experiential camps and learn how to develop practical solutions to environmental issues through real-world experience.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Charlton College of Business
Program Name: MBA
Available Certificate: Environmental Policy
Accrediting Body: AACSB International

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. GMAT scores (waived with 5 years of managerial/supervisory work experience)
Credit Requirements: 33 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program start dates: Fall 2018: September 5, Spring 2019: January 22

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1, August 1; Spring: December 1, December 15
GPA: 3.0

Contact:

Daniesha Tobey-Richards

Admissions Contact

Address:

333 South Street

Shrewsbury, MA 1545

508-999-9202

Graduation Rate
82%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$1,560 per credit
Most Accessible

Northeastern University offers a highly accessible MBA in sustainability program for students seeking their degrees for career advancement. With no GRE or GMAT required, students can enter the program immediately and start working toward a leadership career in business and environmental sustainability.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: D'Amore-McKim School of Business
Program Name: MBA
Available Concentrations: Sustainability
Accrediting Body: AACSB International

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning
Credit Requirements: 50 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: September, January 7

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: September: February 20, March 27, May 1; January: September 10, October 15, December 6
GPA: 3.0
Work Experience: Currently employed with 5 years of demonstrated professional experience in participation and leadership of work teams, financial and/or budgetary responsibility, and management of staff in a direct reporting relationship

Contact:

Kate Klepper

Admissions Contact

Address:

360 Huntington Ave

Boston, MA 2115

617-373-5992

Graduation Rate
44%
School Type
Public
Tuition
$707 per credit
Most Accelerated

Western Kentucky University offers a customizable MBA in sustainability program for students who want to take as many courses as they can to graduate quickly. In just 12 months, students can complete the entire program and earn their MBA degrees for career advancement.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Gordon Ford Colege of Business
Program Name: MBA
Available Certificate: Sustainability
Accrediting Body: SACSCOC, AACSB International

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree. GMAT score of 500 and a written GMAT score of 3.5

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program Length: Few as 12 months
Program start dates: 6 points of entry. Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Address:

1906 College Heights Blvd

Bowling Green, KY 42101

270-745-5458

School Type
Private
Tuition
$780 per credit
Best Personalized Instruction

Webster University's MBA in sustainability students benefit from small class sizes, providing a personalized experience as they work toward their degrees. Students receive more one-on-one support and are able to get assistance when they need it at any time during the program.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology
Program Name: Master of Business Administration
Available Emphasis: Environmental Management
Accrediting Body: ACBSP

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution
Credit Requirements: 51 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling. Advised to apply at least one full semester prior to desired semester enrollment
GPA: 2.5

Address:

470 E Lockwood Ave

Saint Louis, MO 63119

314-246-5951

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1,431 per course
Best for Self-Starters

Wilmington University designed its MBA in sustainability program for self-starters who are pursuing the skills for career advancement in their organizations. This self-paced, self-managed program provides everything that students need to complete the coursework on their own schedules.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Business
Program Name: MBA
Available Certificate: Environmental Sustainability
Accrediting Body: IACBE

Delivery
Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree. Completed undergraduate coursework in: Mathematics, Economics, Accounting, and Finance.
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: Little as 1 year
Program start dates: Two starts per term. Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

320 N DuPont Hwy

New Castle, DE 19720

877-967-5464

Graduation Rate
61%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$719 per credit
Most Innovative

Concordia University Wisconsin offers an in-depth MBA in sustainability program that prepares graduates to make a positive impact in their organizations, making sustainable decisions for the future. This program provides the skills and knowledge for graduates to assume positions as sustainability specialists, industrial ecologists and sustainability officers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Department of Business
Program Name: MBA in Sustainability Management and Analytics
Accrediting Body: Higher Learning Commission

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, Economics, Statistics
Credit Requirements: 39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Contact:

Tracey Barnett

Admissions Contact

Address:

12800 N Lake Shore Dr

Mequon, WI 53097

262-243-2120

School Type
Private
Tuition
$650 per credit
Best Foundational Studies

Bard College provides students with a solid foundation of knowledge and skills for career advancement in sustainability. Students focus on and solve real-world challenges, developing skills that will serve them well in their own careers.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Graduate School of Business and Technology
Program Name: MBA
Available Emphasis: Sustainability & Environmental Management
Accrediting Body: HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Undergraduate degree from a regionally accredited instituion. GMAT/GRE scores are only required if you have less than 5 years of working experience
Credit Requirements: 30 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 18 months or less
Program start dates: Fall, Spring, Summer

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Contact:

Carlie Derouin

Admissions Contact

Address:

2500 Park Ave

Minneapolis, MN 55404

877-308-9954

Graduation Rate
56%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$930 per credit
Best in Leadership Education

Chatham University develops current students into career professionals with its MBA in sustainability program. Graduates undertake a rigorous curriculum and emerge with the skills to design and implement sustainable business opportunities for their respective organizations.


Program OverviewProgram Name: Master of Business Administration
Available Concentrations: Sustainability
Accrediting Body: IACBE

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: July 1, then rolling admissions until August 1; Spring: November 1
GPA: 3.0

Address:

Woodland Road

Pittsburgh, PA 15232

412-365-1825

Graduation Rate
50%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$627 per credit
Best Career Network

Southern New Hampshire University's MBA in sustainability program has developed leaders who make positive impacts in their organizations. Students in this program can tap into SNHU's alumni network for career advice and opportunities as they work toward earning their degree.


Program OverviewProgram Name: MBA in Sustainability & Environmental Compliance
Accrediting Body: NEASC, ACBSP

DeliveryFormat: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Program requirementsCredit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: 5 start dates per year

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Rolling
GPA: 2.75

Contact:

Amanda Flores

Admissions Contact

Address:

2500 North River Road

Manchester , NH 3106

888-387-0861

Graduation Rate
58%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$525 per credit
Best Value

The University of Saint Francis offers exceptional value in terms of flexibility, career-focused coursework and affordability. Students in the MBA in sustainability program develop skills that encourage an environmentally friendly approach to business and earn their degree from an institutionally accredited school in 24 months or less.


Program OverviewProgram Name: MBA in Sustainability
Accrediting Body: NCA-HLC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program Length: 12 months - 24 months
Program start dates: January 14

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.75

Address:

2701 Spring St

Fort Wayne, IN 46808

260-399-7700

Graduation Rate
32%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$4,800 per semester
Most Flexible

Maharishi University of Management designed its sustainability program to be flexible for full- and part-time students, providing both synchronous and asynchronous course schedules. Students who opt for distance learning can view live or recorded classroom sessions when it's most convenient for them.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: College of Business Administration
Program Name: MBA in Sustainable Business
Accrediting Body: IACBE

DeliveryFormat: Online, On-campus
Instruction Style: Asynchronous, synchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 58 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2 years
Program start dates: August, February

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1000 N 4th St

Fairfield, IA 52557

800-369-6480

Graduation Rate
46%
School Type
Private
Tuition
$665 per credit
Best for Social Entrepreneurs

Franklin Pierce University offers an MBA in energy and sustainability program for busy professionals. It's the ideal program for social entrepreneurs and others who want to make a positive impact on the environment and help to sustain an organization's growth through ethical and responsible business practices.


Program OverviewProgram Name: MBA in Energy and Sustainability
Accrediting Body: New England Commission of Higher Education

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university
Credit Requirements: 39 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, Part-time
Program Length: 18-24 months
Program start dates: 4 start terms per year

Admission RequirementsGPA: 2.8

Address:

40 University Dr

Rindge, NH 3461

800-325-1090

School Type
Private Non-profit
Tuition
$1160 per credit
Best Curriculum

Presidio Graduate School's MBA in sustainability program features a rigorous, in-depth curriculum that blends management theory and practice with social awareness and sustainable leadership. Graduates develop the skills to become leaders of their organizations and to design and apply sustainable, ethical business practices for future growth.


Program OverviewProgram Name: MBA in Sustainable Solutions
Accrediting Body: WSCUC

DeliveryFormat: Online, Hybrid
Instruction Style: Synchronous, Asynchronous

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Online, On-campus
Credit Requirements: 45 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time, part-time
Program Length: 2-3 years
Program start dates: Fall, Spring

Admission RequirementsApplication deadline: Fall: January 15 (Early Admit), March 1 (Round 1), May 1 (Round 2), June 1 (Final); Spring: August 15 (Round 1), October 15 (Round 2), December 1 (Final)
GPA: 3.0

Address:

985 Atlantic Avenue, #100

Alameda, CA 94501

415-655-8912

School Type
Private For-profit
Tuition
$375 per credit
Most Comprehensive

Anaheim University offers a comprehensive MBA in global sustainability management program for professionals who want to enhance their knowledge for career advancement. This program includes core courses in business administration, green courses in sustainable management and electives in entrepreneurship and international business, equipping students with the skills to succeed at the next level.


Program OverviewDepartment Name: Kisho Kurokawa Green Institute
Program Name: MBA in Global Sustainable Management
Accrediting Body: DEAC

DeliveryFormat: Online

Program requirementsPrerequisites: Bachelor's degree
Credit Requirements: 36 credits

Program LengthProgram Options: Full-time
Program Length: 18 months
Program start dates: 8 starting terms a year

Admission RequirementsGPA: 3.0

Address:

1240 S State College Blvd

Anaheim, CA 92806

714-772-3330

What Can I Expect from an Online MBA in Sustainability?

The online MBA in sustainability provides the skills and knowledge needed to implement social and ecological business practices in today’s organizations. With many businesses going green, a career in sustainability opens doors in a variety of industries. The online degree program combines the traditional education of an on-campus program with the convenience of taking classes from home. Because no two degree programs are identical, it’s important to research and find the one that most suits your goals.

Concentrations Offered for an Online MBA in Sustainability

Some MBA in sustainability programs offer concentrations that focus on the environmental aspect of the degree. These programs are ideal for those following a specific career path.

CONCENTRATIONDESCRIPTIONPOTENTIAL CAREERS FOR THIS CONCENTRATION
Environmental LawIdeal for the individual who eventually wants to complete a Juris Doctorate. It combines the disciplines of law, policy analysis, science and economics and involves current global problems like pollution and global climate change.Environmental journalist, environmental lawyer, environmental professor, high school biology teacher and environmental scientist
Environmental Risk ManagementPrepares professionals to identify environmental risks and address these issues.Environmental coordinator, environmental manager, risk consultant, waste management coordinator and risk analyst

Curriculum for an Online MBA in Sustainability

Courses for a graduate degree in business with a concentration in sustainability combine core business principals with a focus on the environment. While classes may vary depending on the school, there are several common core classes you might encounter.

COURSESDESCRIPTION
Business EthicsStudy proper business policies and practices regarding sensitive social issues, corporate governance, insider trading, discrimination and corporate social responsibility.
Sustainable SystemsCovers the advancing solutions for businesses that promote sustainability or a healthy environment.
Business LeadershipFocuses on what is necessary for leaders in business to succeed and to reach career goals while managing an organization.
Data AnalysisExamines data within an organization to make informed financial and production decisions.
Information SystemsExplores the different types of hardware and software that organizations use to collect, process and use collected data.

How Long Does It Take to Get an Online MBA in Sustainability?

An online MBA in sustainability varies from 32 to 40 credit hours depending on the concentration and the university. An individual taking a full-time load can complete the coursework in approximately two years. It takes around five years when taking classes part-time, and those on a fast-track can complete the degree in 12 to 18 months.

Another factor that affects the time of completion is the method of delivery. Cohort classes group a set of students together who complete the degree on a rigid schedule. Self-paced programs let the student take classes on their own schedule.

Certifications and Licenses an Online MBA in Sustainability Prepares For

CERTIFICATIONDESCRIPTION
Registered Environmental ManagerREM is a certification for professionals who are in charge of managing environmental health and safety projects. The certification requires at least five years of experience in an environmental position.
Certified Environmental AuditorThis specialty certification is for environmental compliance auditors who conduct risk audits of equipment and procedures. It is recognized by the U.S. Air Force.
ISSP Sustainability AssociateThe International Society of Sustainability Professionals Sustainability Associate is for new graduates who work in sustainability or allied professionals, such as purchasing or human resources.
SSC Green Auditors CertificationThis certification provides proof of the skills needed to help organizations go green.
Certified Environmental and Safety Compliance OfficerThis certification is intended to identify professionals who are proficient in environmental laws and regulations.

Accreditation for Online MBA in Sustainability

Accreditation is an important factor when choosing a graduate degree program. An MBA program may receive national or regional accreditation. Both types are based on industry standards and excellence; however, regional accreditation requires higher standards and is recognized as more favorable by employers. The Association of MBAs and the International Accreditation Council for Business Education are two accrediting agencies that evaluate business degrees. This accreditation may affect an individual’s ability to get certain jobs or to obtain financial aid.

Employment Outlook for MBA in Sustainability Graduates

Job Placement: Master’s v. Bachelor’s

In today’s competitive job market, a master’s degree can help you stand out over those with a bachelor’s degree. Some organizations understand the value of the degree and require even entry-level applicants to have one. Having a master’s increases your chances for advancement, especially if you are interested in upper-level management.

Expected Salary

An online MBA in sustainability can open doors to both business and environmental science careers. Many occupations also offer premium salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2013, those with a master’s degree earned $12,000 more per year than those with a bachelor’s.

Source: PayScale.com

Environmental careers can be found in nearly every industry. While many professionals gravitate to corporations or in the government sector, other establishments have a need for green goods and services.

Industry SectorNumber of Established in 2009Percent Distribution
Construction820,70038.1%
Professional and Business Services779,10036.2%
Repair and Maintenance183,3008.5%
Natural Resources and Mining88,7004.1%
Information77,0003.6%
Manufacturing77,0003.6%
Trade, Transportation and Utilities49,3002.3%

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Opportunities

A master’s degree in homeland security prepares you for the challenges of a demanding yet rewarding career path with above-average employment growth rates and high earning potential. Your advanced degree prepares you to work in numerous sectors, including government agencies, medical facilities, large corporations and private institutions. Some common career choices for master’s in homeland security graduates are outlined below.

JOB TITLEJOB DESCRIPTIONMEDIAN SALARYPROJECTED GROWTH RATE
Operations Research AnalystOperations research analysts help an organization locate issues and find ways to solve them.$81,390 per year27%
Management AnalystManagement analysts find ways to make a business more productive and use resources more efficiently.$82,450 per year14%
LogisticianLogisticians manage a company’s products from production to the consumer. This includes how the product is acquired and delivered.$74,590 per year7%
Market Research AnalystMarket analysts study individual markets to determine the potential success of a product or service.$63,230 per year23%
Sustainability DirectorA sustainability director is responsible for evaluating a company’s profits, employees, ecological outlook and all factors that affect performance and success.$69,400 per year11%

Professional Organizations

Professional organizations help individuals in their field become active in their industry. It can also give you a competitive advantage when applying for jobs.

NET Impact: NET Impact is a global network of professionals across the world working towards sustainability. The group hosts several conferences throughout the year and creates environmental challenges for its members.

Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals: CSCMP is a network of supply chain management professionals. It helps members advance their careers and keep up-to-date on industry changes and provides networking opportunities.

American Sustainable Business Council: Members join together to uphold the principals of a sustainable business. The council has several levels of membership for both individuals and businesses.

National Association for Environmental Management: NAEM empower leaders in environmental, health and safety careers to advance global sustainability. The organization holds webinars, conferences and offers educational opportunities.

Sustainability Management Association: The SMA offers certifications for managers and provides networking and continuing education opportunities.

Financing Your Online MBA in Sustainability

Online degree programs are usually cheaper than traditional on-campus programs, but it can still be tricky locating financial assistance. Start by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This gives you information on any grants, loans and scholarships you qualify for through the federal government. You can also find financial assistance through public and private organizations.

Resources

Scholarships

Scholarships

Details

Commitment to Social Change Scholarship

Award: Varies

Deadline: October 1

Eligibility: Available to students pursuing a graduate or doctoral degree at Walden University who demonstrate a commitment to social change.

Annie’s Homegrown Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships

Award: Varies

Deadline: December 2

Eligibility: Applicants must be a U.S. undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in an accredited sustainable or agriculture program. The individual must submit a three-paragraph essay describing their future goals.

Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education Awards

Award: Varies

Deadline: Varies

Eligibility: The scholarship is awarded to honor students from AASHE-member institutions in an undergraduate or graduate degree program who promotes campus sustainability.

Department of Natural Resources Environmental Education Scholarship

Award: Varies

Deadline: January 31

Eligibility: Eligible students should have a GPA of 3.0 or better and be pursuing a graduate or undergraduate degree in environmental studies.