Top Business Schools for Sustainability / CSR / Social Entrepreneurship 2020

MBA programs in sustainability are on the rise, simply because sustainability is becoming increasingly important to businesses everywhere. 

An MBA can boost careers for managers working in sustainability roles, such as strategic functions and corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments of companies committed to improving their social/environmental footprint or stakeholder engagement.

A number of business schools are now offering MBAs in Sustainability and CSR. The curriculum of MBA programs in in sustainability typically explores business ideas through different lenses: the “triple bottom line,” for example, gauges success based on not only a business' profit, but also how it effects the planet and humanity.

MBA programs in social entrepreneurship help students create and manage businesses to create social change. Nonprofits and social enterprises are often linked to sustainability objectives. (See the best MBA programs for Nonprofit Management here.)

The best business schools for sustainability will often host specialized, sustainability-oriented centers, which may produce research, put on events, and provide networking opportunities.

With an MBA in Sustainability, graduates can go on to a variety of different careers, such as sustainable accounting, CSR positions in private industry, or a range of jobs in nonprofits or social enterprises.

Oxford, United Kingdom 61 Followers 256 Discussions
Oxford - Said

The school's Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship provides resources for students looking to create social change through innovation. The MBA program’s curriculum includes elective options like “Social Enterprise Design,” and “Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.”

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Berkeley, California 88 Followers 111 Discussions
UC Berkeley - Haas

The school's Center for Responsible Business organizes a range of sustainability-oriented events and provides resources like fellowships and scholarships for CSR-minded MBAs. Elective courses like “Social Finance” examine core business topics through the lens of sustainability.

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Ithaca, New York 81 Followers 128 Discussions
Cornell - Johnson

Launched in 2003, Johnson’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise publishes relevant research in the fields of sustainability and CSR. MBA students can pursue a concentration in “Sustainable Global Enterprise,” as well as a company project focusing on CSR topics.

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Exeter, United Kingdom 9 Followers 68 Discussions

The school’s MBA is one of the few programs in the UK focusing on sustainability and CSR-related themes. The school’s Sustainability & Circular Economy research cluster publishes a range of topics, such as agricultural systems, climate change, and low-carbon transitions.

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Boston, Massachusetts 77 Followers 197 Discussions

With the Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard was one of the first business schools to build research capacity in the CSR space. Many of the classes in the MBA program’s core curriculum integrate CSR case studies.

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Madrid, Spain 106 Followers 328 Discussions

Ranked the top sustainability-oriented school in Europe by the now-defunct sustainability rankings from “Beyond Grey Pinstripes,” IE Business School offers relevant courses, and puts on an annual “Social Responsibility Forum” that explores CSR-related issues.

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Nantes, France 11 Followers 45 Discussions
Audencia Business School

In 2013, the school announced that it had completely revamped its traditional full-time MBA, transforming it into an “MBA in Responsible Management,” which focuses on sustainability and CSR issues. The school’s Institute for Global Responsibility and Entrepreneurship publishes research and provides networking opportunities.

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Rotterdam, Netherlands 73 Followers 213 Discussions
RSM Rotterdam

Through courses like “Business, Society, and Sustainable Development,” the MBA program's core curriculum places a strong focus on sustainability and CSR. In fact, the school has integrated the UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education into the MBA programs’ curriculum. The school also produces a range of research in the sustainability field.

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Vancouver, Canada 58 Followers 92 Discussions
UBC - Sauder

Students interested in sustainability and CSR can pursue the MBA program’s specialization in “Sustainability and Business.” The school’s Centre for Sustainability and Social Innovation publishes relevant research.

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Ann Arbor, Michigan 38 Followers 84 Discussions
Michigan - Ross

Founded in 1996, Ross’ Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise is a thought leader in the space. Students interested in sustainability can pursue a dual-degree MBA / Master of Science offered in partnership with the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and Environment.

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