Berkeley Haas to Launch Combined MBA and Master of Climate Solutions Program

The Berkeley Haas combined master of business administration and master of climate solutions program will launch in fall 2024.
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Published on January 26, 2024
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  • The University of California, Berkeley's Haas School of Business and Rausser College of Natural Resources are launching a concurrent master of business administration (MBA) and master of climate solutions program.
  • The program will launch in fall 2024.
  • Applications for the first cohort are due March 28.
  • The program will mix business fundamentals with climate and sustainability training to prepare students for a wide variety of roles.

Master of business administration (MBA) programs are increasingly incorporating sustainability into their curriculum — and another top school is debuting a new program in 2024 to prepare the next generation of climate leaders.

The University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business and Rausser College of Natural Resources will soon offer a concurrent MBA and master of climate solutions (MCS) program, the school announced in December. Students will be able to finish both of those degrees in just five semesters, or 2.5 years, according to a release from the school.

"Future business leaders will require a depth of training in both business and climate change to work across disciplines and execute competitive strategies," Berkeley Haas Dean Ann Harrison said in the release. "This new program will provide a breadth of skill sets, equipping our grads to lead in building a sustainable, low-carbon future."

An MBA in sustainability can prepare students for roles in a wide variety of industries as more employers incorporate roles like chief climate officer into their businesses. A 2023 survey by the United Kingdom-based consulting firm CarringtonCrisp found that prospective MBA students value the field of sustainability, with climate change breaching the top 10 most important topics for the first time in the firm's Tomorrow's MBA report.

Students in the concurrent program cohort will spend their first year working on Haas MBA coursework. They will then move to study at Rausser, according to the release. That will include a core curriculum around climate change and climate policy, as well as data and analytical skills.

Michele de Nevers, managing director of the Haas Office of Sustainability and Climate Change, said in the press release that the program will have "a keen focus on professional students, who are clearly positioned to make an immediate impact, and who serve a critical role as translators of academic insights and enacting these insights in the world."

Rausser College Dean David Ackerly said the concurrent program will not only serve students but the world as a whole.

"The Master of Climate Solutions represents a critical step forward in expanding the interdisciplinary and highly interconnected community of practitioners needed to solve the climate crisis," Ackerly said in the release. "Students in the concurrent program will be able to leverage the critical climate knowledge and tools taught in the MCS, as well as the leadership and business skills that are core to Haas."

The dual MBA degree program will be Haas' fourth, joining public health, engineering, and Juris Doctor (JD) programs. Applications for the first cohort are due March 28.

A growing number of business schools are embracing climate change and sustainability in their curriculum, reflecting growing demand from students and employers alike.

The international business graduate school INSEAD this January launched a new MBA curriculum focused on sustainability.

The University of Colorado Denver plans to launch a new master's in sustainable business in fall 2024, featuring stackable certificates. Stanford last year launched an "ecopreneurship" program as a collaboration between its new Doerr School of Sustainability and Graduate School of Business with the aim of preparing students to build climate-friendly ventures.