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Sustainability MBA at Duquesne University and Social Impact MBA at Boston University

Appealing to professionals at all stages of their careers, Duquesne University’s Palumbo Donahue School of Business offers an accelerated, 12-month MBA Sustainable Business Practices program with an integrated focus on sustainability and the environment. With core course work centered on such focus areas as “Business Ethics and Global Responsibility,” “Managing People for Sustained Competitive Advantage,” and “Strategic Innovation Management,” students gain exposure to the basic problems and frameworks of sustainable development beyond conventional notions of “green” business. In addition, the program includes global study trips, in which students have traveled to such countries as Peru, Denmark, Spain, and Estonia, to examine global sustainability practices firsthand; two required sustainability consulting projects with sponsoring nonprofit or governmental organizations; and a capstone practicum course that challenges students to develop strategy and management skills.

A bit farther east, the Boston University Questrom School of Business has offered a Social Impact MBA (formerly the Public & Nonprofit MBA) since 1973, specifically designed to cultivate business management skills that can make a real difference in the world. According to the school’s website, the program gives students “the opportunity to gain crucial business skills that allow [them] to create positive social change.”

Standing at 44th among U.S. MBA programs in the The Economist’s 2019 rankings, Questrom exposes students to a robust general management core curriculum and also offers specialized courses and resources targeting the governmental, public, and private nonprofit sectors. Elective courses include “Sustainable Energy Business Models and Policies,” which features 13 speakers from different areas of the sustainable energy business; “Behavior Change Practicum,” in which students work in teams to provide business solutions to real-life organizations; and “Social Impact Seminar,” an action-based learning experience in which student teams are paired with client companies from foreign countries to produce recommendations for their businesses.

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