Boom in Green MBA Programs Help Students Get Sustainably Smart

Boom in Green MBA Programs Help Students Get Sustainably Smart

College campus image CC-licensed by Queen's College/Flickr

 The times of environmental programs being seen as niche offering at colleges are getting further and further away.

In Net Impact's latest roundup of graduate programs with an environmental edge, the organizations looks at 106 programs, nearly triple the number of schools covered in its first "Business as UNusual" report five years ago.

Sierra Club, meanwhile, published the fifth iteration of its Coolest Schools list, rating 118 colleges and universities. Its first crack at ranking schools based on their operations and environmental academic offerings had just a top 10 and eight honorable mentions.

Net Impact's report is centered around extensive profiles of all 106 MBA programs, developed with input from the more than 2,500 students that are part of the Net Impact network. The report chronicles the rise of corporate social responsibility themes in MBA curricula, as more and more students go to business school to learn how to do well by doing good.

The profiles look at MBA programs and their social and environmental curricula, student activities, career services, alumni and administrative support. The 2011 edition include an additional 29 schools not covered in last year's report.

In the Sierra Club's Sierra magazine, the environmental group looks beyond green MBA programs to gauge how well schools are walking the walk, compiling information on their energy use, food options, class offerings, purchasing policies, waste handling and more.

The University of Washington takes the No. 1 spot on the strength of its environmental-focused department and programs as well as the fact that 90 percent of its energy is from hydropower. 

The top 20 are:

  1. University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.)
  2. Green Mountain College (Poultney, Vt.)
  3. University of California, San Diego (San Diego, Calif.)
  4. Warren Wilson College (Asheville, N.C.)
  5. Stanford University (Stanford, Calif.)
  6. University of California, Irvine (Irvine, Calif.)
  7. University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
  8. University of California, Davis (Davis, Calif.)
  9. Evergreen State College (Olympia, Wash.)
  10. Middlebury  College (Middlebury, Vt.)
  11. University of New Hampshire (Durham, N.H.)
  12. Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.)
  13. Colby College (Waterville, Maine)
  14. Western Washington University (Bellingham, Wash.)
  15. University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Calif.)
  16. University of Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.)
  17. Clark University (Worcester, Mass.)
  18. Cornell University (Ithaca, N.Y.)
  19. Bowdoin College (Brunswick, Maine)
  20. University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)

College campus image CC-licensed by Queen's College/Flickr