Michigan Ross Business School Offers ESG Concentration for Full-Time MBA Students

Master of business administration (MBA) students at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business now have access to an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concentration.
portrait of Bennett Leckrone
Bennett Leckrone
Read Full Bio

Reporter, Business Education

Bennett Leckrone is a news writer for BestColleges. Before joining BestColleges, Leckrone reported on state politics with the nonprofit news outlet Maryland Matters as a Report for America fellow. He previously interned for The Chronicle of Higher Ed...
Published on February 1, 2024
Edited by
portrait of Alex Pasquariello
Alex Pasquariello
Read Full Bio

Managing Editor, News

Alex Pasquariello is a managing news editor for BestColleges. Prior to joining BestColleges he led Metropolitan State University of Denver's digital journalism initiative. He holds a BS in journalism from Northwestern University....
Learn more about our editorial process
Image Credit: uschools / E+ / Getty Images
  • The Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is launching an environmental, social, and governance concentration for its full-time master of business administration students.
  • The concentration requires a minimum of 12 credits and includes foundational courses in areas like strategic sustainable development and equity analytics.
  • Students also have access to a host of elective courses, as well as workshops and guest speakers.
  • As employers embrace ESG practices, a growing number of prospective MBA students across the globe have expressed interest in sustainability in recent years.

A growing number of master's of business administration (MBA) students are interested in critical topics like sustainability and climate change — and one top school recently rolled out a new concentration in that field.

The University of Michigan Ross School of Business introduced a new environmental, social, and governance (ESG) concentration for full-time MBA students starting in 2024, according to a press release from the school.

ESG emphasizes corporate responsibility and building sustainable businesses that make a positive social and environmental impact.

The Ross move to debut an ESG concentration for full-time MBA students comes amid increased interest in that field from students and employers alike. A 2023 survey from the United Kingdom-based consulting firm CarringtonCrisp found that climate change ranked as one of the top 10 most important topics for prospective MBA students for the first time as more businesses adopt sustainability-related positions.

The Ross ESG MBA concentration requires at least 12 credits, including three foundational courses in areas surrounding strategies for sustainable development and equity analytics. A wide variety of electives are available for students in the concentration — from studying gender, race, and employment policy to environmental impact assessments and more.

Jerry Davis, the Gilbert and Ruth Whitaker professor of business administration and professor of management and organizations at Ross, underscored the importance of the new concentration amid global challenges like climate change.

"We aim to equip students with the tools to lead in a world where decarbonization is imperative. Business can be a positive force for progress in the world, and the ESG concentration prepares Ross graduates to make that happen," Davis said in the release.

The concentration will also feature workshops, focusing on topics like how to work with ESG data, and guest speakers.

A growing number of business schools are innovating their coursework and incorporating sustainability into their curriculum.

The international business school INSEAD this year launched a new curriculum in its MBA program with sustainability as a focus across all its core courses. Tulane University's A.B. Freeman School of Business launched a revamped MBA curriculum — focused on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and data — last fall with a new concentration in sustainability for students.

Some schools are also offering degrees tailored exclusively to sustainability.

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.

Across the San Francisco Bay, the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business and Rausser College of Natural Resources next fall will offer a concurrent MBA and master of climate solutions program. And the University of Colorado Denver will offer a new master's degree in sustainable business starting in the fall of 2024.