Friday Factoid: Earn a Sustainability Certificate at MIT Sloan

Sustainability is at the heart of MIT Sloan’s nonprofit/social entrepreneurship curriculum. In 2007, the school launched the Initiative for Sustainable Business and Society, with its ultimate goal being to “enable people, communities, businesses, organizations, and the planet to flourish while taking an in-depth, integrated look at existing structural models; and to redefine the notion of sustainability by incorporating social equity, economic development, and environmental restoration at all levels,” according to the school’s Careers into Action roadmap for this study area. The initiative serves as an umbrella for the many components that fall under its purview, including a “Leading Sustainable Systems Lab” course and a “Sustainable Business Lab” course co-taught by eight faculty members, a speaker series and an internship program. Examples of the more than a dozen sustainability-focused courses from which students can choose (as of 2012–2013) are “Leading Profound Innovations for a More Sustainable World,” “Enabling an Energy-Efficient Society” and “Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations.”

In February 2010, Sloan announced its third specialty certificate option, the Certificate in Sustainability. Open to any master’s level MIT student as an add-on to an existing degree program, the new certificate “views sustainability as a function of the interdependent dynamics of economic, societal, and environmental systems, where success overall is influenced by success across all areas and not upon a single factor” (quote from a February 2010 MIT Newsroom article). Required courses for the certificate program are “System Dynamics,” “Strategies for Sustainable Business,” “Sustainable Business Lab” and a capstone course that launched in spring 2011. Students in the program also choose three electives from a list of nearly 40. In addition to receiving the certificate along with their MBA, students who pursue it will receive access to Summer Sustainability Internships and a special resume book for sustainability.

For more information on other defining characteristics of the MBA program at MIT Sloan or one of 15 other top business schools, please check out the mbaMission Insider’s Guides.

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