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The 10 Best Online Sustainability MBAs

To succeed in today’s competitive consumer environment, the majority of global businesses implement green initiatives. Sustainable business practices in today’s world are more than just a nice gesture, they’re what’s expected from consumers as a “green economy” is ever evolving, innovating, and present. Today’s green economy employs nearly 3.1 million people in the United States. The purposes of green and sustainable business practices are multi-faceted- to protect the environment, increase productivity, and increase net revenue. Studies show that sustainability has grown increasingly important to the business community as business increasingly adopt a triple bottom line measuring success as socially important, environmentally important, and economically important. An MBA in Sustainability is more valuable than ever. We selected ten great MBA programs that are flexible, affordable, and of high academic caliber. These programs address the laws of sustainable enterprise as well as best business practices that utilize sustainable practices across all facets of running a business. From sustainable accounting practices to entrepreneurship in developing economies, this top 10 MBA programs in sustainability are paving the way for a greener future.


  • Affordability (1/3):
    • Average indebtedness of program graduates in the last calendar year.
    • Percentage of graduates who needed to take on student loan debt.
  • Support Services (1/3):
    • Online-specific flexibility, accessibility and support measures for online and non-traditional students
  • Quality Classes (1/3):
    • The average class size
    • The percentage of faculty with terminal degrees in their field

1.) Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota is a private Roman Catholic University located in Winona Minnesota. There are additional campuses in the Twin Cities, Rochester, Apple Valley, Minnetonka, and Oakdale. There are 5,931 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. According to U.S. News Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota ranks as the 49th best school in the Midwest, and the 23rd best value school. Money Magazine ranks SMUM highly for its affordability and educational quality. The Higher Learning Commission accredits Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certifications. There are over 120 academic programs offered in fields that range from accounting to zoology. Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers a number of online degree programs including three fully online MBA programs.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota offers a MBA with a concentration in sustainability and environmental management. This accelerated MBA may be completed in 18 month or less. All of these courses are offered completely online. The MBA consists of 10 core courses for a total of 30 credit hours, and the sustainability and environemetal management requires three additional courses or 9 credit hours of material. The total credit requirement for this programs is 39. Students will learn about quantitative decision making, managerial economics, international operations management, managerial accounting, corporate finance, special topics and complete a capstone project as part of the core MBA. The sustainability classes are sustainability marketing, case studies in corporate social responsibility, and law and ethics in environmental management. We like this program for its flexible accelerated programming and academic prestige. This program cost $650 per credit hour.

2.) Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University is a private non-profit university with more than 60,000 students, and is one of the fastest-growing institutions in the country. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges accredits SNHU to offer hundreds of associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and certificates. G.I. Jobs regularly recognizes its military friendly status and the U.S. News ranks SNHU as the 101st best university in the region. Fast Company named Southern New Hampshire University the 12th most innovative organization in the world. Online degrees range from accounting to business to nursing. In fact, Southern New Hampshire University offers more than 50 specialized MBAs. All business degrees are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Southern New Hampshire University offers a MBA in Sustainability in Environmental Compliance. This online MBA may be completed full time in just over a year. The sustainability and environmental curriculum is a combination of best practices in business with the most up-to-date information in environmental regulations and policies. There are 5 prerequisite courses that may be exempt based on undergraduate course material: mathematics and statistics for business, economics for business, financial reporting and analysis, business law, and human behavior in organizations. Once those are completed all students move on to complete MBA Core 1 and MBA core two- a series of 8 MBA classes that harmonize giving advanced knowledge of business through courses on marketing, leading, accounting, ethics and more. The MBA portion of this degree culminates with a capstone experience. There are three additional degree courses: environmental issues, energy and society, and environemental compliance and sustainability. This program requires 36 credit hours for completion and costs $627 per credit hour.

3.) Concordia University Wisconsin

Concordia University is a private liberal arts college located in Mequon, Wisconsin and Ann Arbor, Michigan. There are 8 additional locations of the Concordia University across the U.S. as well as the online university. There are 8,268 students enrolled who benefit from the small classes and student-to-faculty ratio of 12:1. According to U.S. News Concordia University ranks as the 56th best university in the region. The online programs that rank highly include their online graduate nursing programs, online graduate business programs, online MBA program, and online graduate education programs. CU provides 8 associate degrees, 77 undergraduate bachelor’s degrees, 42 master’s degrees and 4 doctoral and professional program. The Higher Learning Commission accredits CU to award comprehensive degrees and certifications.

Concordia University offers a MBA in Sustainability Management and Analytics. This is one of 15 award-winning degrees offered at CU. The program is designed to provide learners with the necessary tools for to make an impact on today’s business model utilizing Six Sigma, lean, and operations research. Through this, students learn to improves processing, reduce waste, and make better social and environmental decisions. This program does not require a GMAT or GRE for entrance. Evidence of student ability is assess at the end through a capstone experience. Students are required to complete the core MBA material that includes managerial economics, ethics and leadership, applied statistical methods, corporate finance, HR, and others. Additionally, there are a wide-range of Sustainability Management and Analytics programs to choose from including: industrial ecology, ecological economics, sustainable business practices, environmental law, Six Sigma, global productions and operations, environmental chemistry and toxicity and several others. We selected this program for its vast range of on-topic courses which give it added flexibility, accelerated pace, and quality of classes. This is a 39 credit hour MBA that costs $682 per credit hour.

4.) University of Saint Francis

University of Saint Francis is a private liberal arts university located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It was founded in 1890 by the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration. There are 2,240 students enrolled where the majority of the student body is female. Students benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1. U.S. News ranks University of Saint Francis as the 79th best school in the region, and 29th best value school. The Higher Learning Commission accredits USF to award associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. There are numerous degree paths students may select from including everything from animation to sustainability.

University of Saint Francis offers a MBA in Sustainability. Graduates from this program are in the top 5% of all MBA Programs when it comes to the results on the Peregrine Test, and 93% of graduates were employee, enrolled in further educational programs of active military. USF offers tremendous flexibility and students may earn this degree in as little as 12 months. All students learn about the fundamentals of business administration and engage in classes like accounting, finance, law, organizational development, human resource management and others. The 4 courses that focus on sustainability include: environmental epidemiology, occupational health- which examines chemical, biological, and physical hazards in the workplace, environmental law, and applied statistics for environmental studies. This program culminates with a capstone experience. This degree is 36-48 credit hours in length (depending on prerequisites) and costs $475 per credit hour.

5.) Maharishi University of Management

Maharishi University of Management (MUM) is a not-for-profit institution located in Fairfield, Iowa. Originally founded in 1973 by yogi Maharishi Mahesh to practice the Transcendental Meditation technique, MUM features a “consciousness-based education system.” Consciousness-based education is a philosophy of education that seeks to bring the consciousness within the individual as a source for learning. The focus becomes also about the process of acquiring knowledge and retaining knowledge which Maharishi argues is lacking in conventional university settings. There are unique programs available on-campus and online that include media, sustainable business, organic agriculture, accouting, screen writing, film production and more. The Higher Learning Commission accredits MUM to award bachelor, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as professional certifications. Environmental Science ranks MUM as the 4th best environmental science school in the nation.

Maharishi University of Management offers a MBA in Sustainable Business that is offered 100% online and runs in conjunction with the online/everning weekend schedule. Classes are filmed so that students may view them at a convenient time. This 60 credit hour MBA may be completed in 2 years full time including two summer semesters. There are 16 credit hours of MBA foundational classes required for completion including in marketing, accounting, finance, business law, management, operations, and management information systems. Students must additionally select a minimum of 16 credit hours in sustainable business courses including green investing, sustainable community development, sustainable technologies, business process improvement, operations management for sustainable business and several others. The unique classes offered at MUM focus on consciousness and transcendental meditation. The cost of this 60 credit hour program is $465 per credit hour.

6.) Marylhurst University

Marylhurst University is a private liberal arts and business university located in Marylhurst, Oregon. It awarded its first degree in 1897, making Marylhurst University one of the oldest degree-granting institutions in the state of Oregon. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools accredits Marylhurst University to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as professional certifications. Marylhurst prides itself on the quality of degree programs and their degree completion status. As a degree completion school, it means that many people enroll at Marylhurst to finish what they have started. Knowing this, Marylhurst accepts a wide range of transfer credits from multiple institutions, boosts partnerships with community colleges, sets clear degree pathways where students can check for their specified courses up to a year in advance, and finally offers a top-notch prior learning assessment program and will accept credits for learning that took place outside of the classroom. G.I. Jobs lists Marylhurst University as a military friendly school.

Marylhurst University is the only institution in our top ten that offers three areas of concentration in sustainable business. Students may select from an MBA in Renewable Energy, MBA in Environmental Law, and a Sustainable Marketing MBA. There is no GMAT required for entrance to this program. This program is flexible and may be completed in an accelerated format over 18 months. The program is composed of 12 5-week courses and one 10-week courses. Green practices are embedded in every class at Marylhurst. For example the accounting class discusses environmental cost and “triple bottom line” accounting. The business core courses are in the foundations of business, organizational behavior, managerial economics, managerial accounting, financial management, principles of sustainability, sustainable marketing, research methods for sustainable business, modeling and decision making, operations management, alternative and renewable energies, and environmental law. This program culminates with an integrated capstone project which is both research and project based.

7.) Wilmington University

Wilmington University is a private research university located in New Castle, Delaware. There are 15,533 students enrolled who benefit from small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits comprehensive programming ranging from an associate to doctoral degree program. Wilmington University focuses on career-centric degree programs like criminal justice, education, accounting, business, media design and more. Online degrees offered range from an associate in liberal studies to a bachelor’s in early childhood education to a doctor of education in higher education leadership and innovation. Students entering enjoy the following flexibility perks to programming: a transfer allowance of up to 90 credits, flexible course options both in terms of location and schedule as well as experiential learning opportunities.

Wilmington University offers a MBA with a concentration in Environmental Sustainability. Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge of how to align business needs with environmental needs that promote ecological sustainability and utilize management skills that work towards solving technological and ethical concerns regarding environmental problems at both the national and global level. This program is 12 courses in its entirety divided by 12 core MBA classes and 5 sustainability and environmental classes. The core MBA classes are in organizational behavior and ethical leadership, managerial accounting, quantitative business analysis, economic and financial environment of business, financial management, global marketing management, and business strategy. The environmental sustainability classes are: economic and financial analysis of environmental issues, project management with sustainable green technologies, environmental regulations and ethical issues, strategic planning for sustainable organizations, and principles of environmental sustainability. This programs is 36 credit hours in length and cost $466 per credit hour.

8.) Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University (OSU) is a public land and sun grant research university located in Stillwater, Oklahoma. There are 25,806 students enrolled and the student-to-faculty ratio is 20:1. U.S. News ranks OSU as the 78th top public school in the nation and 29th for best online MBA programs, 32nd for online graduate business programs. The Carnegie Foundation lists OSU as a research university with the “highest level of research activity.” The Higher Learning Commission accredits Oklahoma State University to award undergraduate and graduate degree programs. There are over 200 degrees offered in a wide range of fields- everything from accounting to zoology. We selected OSU for its academic prestige and flexible degree offerings.

Oklahoma State University offers an MBA with an area of concentration in business sustainability. This program is offered entirely online and may be taken full-time or part-time giving maximum flexible options for its participants. This is a 45 credit hour programs that includes a core MBA curriculum plus additional courses in business sustainability. The core programs include: financial accounting analysis, managerial accounting, managerial economics, marketing management, business finance, management and organization theory, and analytics in either upper division finance, marketing or business tools technology. All student will take prescriptive analytics and corporate strategy. Additionally, student select two classes from the following electives: leading and organizational change, creating ethical work places, managing confrontations (these are 1 credit hour) as well as ethical leadership and organizations, business and non-profit organizations, leadership challenges, management and organization theory, entrepreneurship in science and technology, and social entrepreneurship. The two courses in sustainability are sustainable enterprises and business and social responsibility. The cost per credit hour is $820.

9.) Webster University George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology – Saint Louis, Missouri

Webster University is a private independent university located in Webster Groves, Missouri. There are 15,517 students enrolled who benefit from their very small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 9:1. According to U.S News Webster University ranks as the 24th best school in the Midwest region and the 19th best college for veterans. The online programs that rank the highest are the best online graduate business programs, online graduate education programs, and the best online MBA programs. Webster has a distinct global campus network and includes campuses in Geneva, Switzerland; Leiden, the Netherlands; Vienna, Austria; Athens, Greece; Cha-am and Bangkok, Thailand; Ghana; as well as Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenzhen China. The student body is representative of a wide range of religious and cultural backgrounds. Five schools and college offer degrees: Arts & Sciences, Business & Technology, Communication, and Fine Arts. The Higher Learning Commission accredits WU to award undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Webster University offers a MBA with an emphasis in environmental management. Student are required to complete an MBA plus additional course material that focuses on environmental management. THe core MBA program includes marketing, organizational behavior, applied business statistics, finance, advanced corporate finance, corporate responsibility and society, management accounting, operations and project management, managerial economics, strategy and competition. Additionally, the emphasis in environmental management must include environmental science, environmental law, environmental regulations and compliance auditing, environmental accounting, management of land and water resources, management of air quality, waste management and pollution control, environmental risk management and strategies. The total credit requirement for this program is 54 credit hours, and the cost is $780 per credit hour.

10.) University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill) is a public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It is the nation’s first public university. There are 29,084 student enrolled who benefit from the small classes and a student-to-faculty ratio of 14:1. This diverse student body represents all 50 states and over 150 countries. According to U.S. News UNC Chapel Hill is ranked as the 30th best school in the nation, 18th best college for veterans, 12th best value school, and 5th best public school in the nation. The business programs are ranked 9th in the nation , and the online MBA programs are ranked as the 4th best in the nation. The Southern Association of College and School accredits UNC Chapel Hill to award baccalaureate, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees and certificates. There are 77 bachelor’s, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate, and 7 professional degree programs. Prominent alum include writer Thomas Wolfe and former POTUS James K. Polk.

UNC Chapel Hill offers a cutting edge MBA with a specialization in sustainable enterprise. Recognizing the ever-expanding requests for sustainable business UNC Chapel Hill has assembled a curriculum that includes a core MBA curriculum plus a curriculum on sustainability. The result is a comprehensive and versatile degree ready for today’s business expectations. The core MBA portion of this program is 36 credit hours and includes: analytical tools, business communication, business strategy, developing management and leadership skills, economics, financial accounting, introductory finance, marketing strategy analysis and development, and operations management. The sustainable enterprise curriculum includes courses in operations, sustainable enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship in developing economies, and global marketing. This 66 credit hour program may be completed in as little as 18 month to two years. Though our most expensive pick at $1726 per credit hour, this is still a best value school for academic quality. We like this program for academic prestige, the level of support provided during and after graduation and its flexible format.