Chatham University

Sustainability & Business Administration (MSUS/MBA) Curriculum

The program gives students an understanding and skills from both sustainability and business. Through this program, students earn both the Master of Sustainability and the Master of Business Administration. It includes core courses in both business and sustainability, and courses that provide breadth and depth in sustainability, business, and sustainable business. The degree requires 57 credits, and is designed to be completed by full time students in two school years and one summer. An optional first summer is offered for students who require prerequisites or simply want more time to take classes.

Each student also engages in, a Business Consulting Capstone or (individual or group) Sustainability Final Project, and a summer-long professional placement. During the summer semester, students will engage in projects centering on real world challenges such as consultation with sustainable businesses, making business plans for sustainability businesses, or individual or group sustainability projects for businesses. Graduates will be uniquely prepared to champion sustainability in the business world.

Students meet all of the requirements for both the Master of Sustainability and the Master of Business Administration. Please refer to those programs for details.

Program Requirements

+Major Requirements

Students must meet all of the admission requirements for both the MSUS and MBA programs, and complete any prerequisite associated with either program. A total of 57 credits are required to earn the dual degree:

SUS504 Foundations of Sustainability

This course provides students the skills to understand, communicate, and critique the fundamentals of sustainability at multiple scales and across disciplines and cultures. It explores sustainability's origins and foundations, application, and assessment. We evaluate the inter-relationships among environmental, societal, and economic well-being and the implications on individual and social decision-making.

SUS511 Project Design, Methods, and Evaluations

BUS641 Sustainable Supply Chain Management

This course provides students with an understanding of how supply chain works, how and where along the supply chain sustainability questions should be addressed/considered, and the impacts of those decisions on stakeholders further down the chain. Topics include: packaging, transportation, energy use, and waste.

SUS580 Sustainable Behavior Change

This hybrid course combines classroom and online instruction with real-world application. Students learn the latest science concerning sources of environmental degradation. In teams, students apply motivational theory, collect secondary and primary data, and develop an action plan for increasing pro-environmental behaviors (PEB) in a specific context.

BUS570 Global Business

This course introduces students to international business and management by studying cultural influences, government, and business structures in our global economy. Students also learn about trade relations, international finance and legal and labor agreements. Also covered, are topics on information needs, production systems, marketing and promotion, and career planning.

BUS577 Information Systems and Analytics

This course explores the strategic management of technology, information, and people from a Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) perspective. The business value and organizational challenges of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, data warehouses, analytics, and Big Data are critically examined through cases and hands-on projects.

SUS516 Sustainable Decision Analysis

The class contributes to a foundation for sustainability management by exploring different quantitative approaches to sustainable decision-making including: Life Cycle Analysis, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Carbon and Water Footprinting, and DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, States, Impacts and Responses) Society-Environment interaction framework. Finally, the class explores how quantitative decision-making is shaped by various stakeholders.

SUS602 The Political Economy of Sustainability

This course will examine the economic dimensions of environmental change through the frameworks of political ecology, political economy, development studies, and sustainability. Through case studies and current theory, we will investigate the costs, benefits, and sustainability of environmental governance.

BUS671 Marketing Management

This course takes the Chief Marketing Officer’s (CMO) perspective to explore marketing as a core business practice. Discussions focus on theories and principles for interfacing with customers, competitors, partners, and the external environment. Concepts are applied to planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of goods and services.

BUS698 Strategy and Entrepreneurship

"Develop strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantage. Examine the goals of an organization, the social, political, technological, economic, and global factors in the business environment, industry structure, market dynamics, and firm strengths and weaknesses. Develop and implement strategy across industries, and as an entrepreneur, through case analyses and simulations. "

BUS672 Corporate Finance

This course deepens an understanding of financial analysis tools and concepts. Students will learn how and when to use the financial-analytical tools required to make effective business and policy decision. Functional areas addressed are assessing financial health, planning financial performance, interpretation of data and recommendations, supply-chain management.

BUS576 Sustainable Human Capital

Cultivate theoretical understanding and ethical and practical skills for managing human capital. Explore individual, group, and organizational levels of analysis focusing on topics of motivation, communication, group dynamics, decision making, culture, power, and politics. Analyze the effectiveness of tools for talent acquisition and development, such as compensation, feedback, and assessment.

SUS601 Applied Ecology

The overall goal of this course is to examine the role that ecological science contributes to sustainability. Students will critically assess, process evidence, and enhance communication skills for scientific methods. All topics and applications considered will be centered on issues of sustainability in the ecological sciences, such as climate change, water pollution, land use change, and the loss of biodiversity.

BUS699 Business Consulting Capstone

This course is the culminating experience in the MBA program. Students apply professional-level business consulting skills learned in the MBA program. Business Consulting Capstone student teams solve business problems for businesses and entrepreneurs.

SUS605 Leadership for Transitions to Sustainability

This class builds a foundation for sustainability management through exploration of Transition Management, a methodology for sustainable innovation. Students study innovation management, learn steps in managing a transition through analyzing systemic socio-technical problems, learn to develop potential solutions, and understand the organizational and societal structures necessary to support long-term change.

SUS603 Sustainability: Ethics, Equity, Justice

This course focuses on the role of the "social" as one of the three pillars of sustainability. It explores historic and contemporary notions of ethics, social equity and social justice. It examines how these concepts can be applied to sustainability by studying local and global case studies.

SUS699 Advanced Seminar in Sustainability

In this course students in the final semester of the Master of Sustainability program revisit materials from the first semester of the program in the context of their projects, areas of focus, and summer placements.

BUS652 Managerial Accounting

This course examines accounting information that is used in managerial decision making within the organization. Focus is on interpretation of financial statements, cost accounting, financial planning and analysis, the development of internal controls, and constructing budgets.

Summer Immersion Experience