Environmental Management MBA Online

Those who have an MBA in Environmental Management can work in a variety of different fields. The goal of their job is to study and minimize environmental impacts and to ensure the continued survival of our planet. The degree combines environmental knowledge with business administration.

What We Do

Graduates of an MBA in Environmental Management have a strong foundation in business administration. This means they have completed courses in financial management, financial accounting, business laws and ethics, operations management, information systems for managers and marketing management. On top of that, they have also specialized in a field of environmental management, which includes such aspects as climate change, clean technology, energy policy and law, environmental economics and so on.

Why It’s Hot

There are several reasons as to why this degree pathway is in such high demand. Firstly, those with MBA degrees are almost guaranteed to find employment as their knowledge and experience are so relevant to today’s global markets. Additionally, the environmental impact agenda is important all over the world. Businesses are all looking at ways to lower their carbon footprint. This is due to ethical reasons (wanting to make a positive difference to the globe), and also because they will receive various tax incentives from the government and because their customers and clients look for green companies.

Another reason why this career is so hot is because of the associated salaries. A corporate sustainability manager tends to earn between $61,415 and $86,476 if they work in the construction industry. An energy efficiency manager in the field of Medical Device Manufacturing earns between $64,595 and $142,950 per year. Finally, a project manager could earn between $74,694 and $108,176 in IT consulting, or between $73,915 and $103,238 in financial services.

According to The Graduate Forum, the green MBA became popular when Enron collapsed back in 2001. Greenbiz agrees with this assessment. Both state that sustainability needs to be at the top of the agenda for any organization to survive in today’s economic and environmental climate.

Work Environment

Graduates of MBA in Environmental Management will almost always work in an office, behind a desk. However, much of their role will also extend outside of their office walls. They will often be on site to review the environmental implications of any company that they work for. They may also spend time in laboratories, testing various samples and other products to calculate a carbon footprint. Hence, although much of their job will be done sitting down, making decisions or talking to others in a decision making process, they also work directly with their companies. This is particularly true for someone who works as a consultant or project manager. Furthermore, there is a strong possibility of international travel. This is due to the fact that many countries are showing themselves to be leaders and role models in terms of sustainable solutions. Some countries of particular interest include Germany for solar energy, China for changing fossil fuels into sustainable sources, reducing pollution, and Spain, which uses hydroenergy to power around 90% of the country on a good day.

How to Do It

To complete an MBA in environmental management, you must first obtain a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years to achieve. The bachelor’s major can be in a variety of different fields, relating either to business administration or to environmental management. After that, you can apply to a graduate school for the continuation of the program. However, the number of slots for these programs are very limited and admission criteria are tough. This is why it is advisable to send an application to several universities if you want to increase your chances of getting accepted. It is also recommended that you spend quite a bit of time preparing for your studies, particularly because you are likely to have to take the GMAT exam.

An MBA in Environmental Management can be completed either on campus or online. One highly acclaimed on campus option is offered by Duke, the Fuqua School of Business. Their MBA in Energy & Environment is a highly acclaimed degree program. The program is offered in three formats, namely: daytime, cross-continent and weekend programs. This ensures more students have the opportunity to study towards such a valuable degree. The areas of focus include environmental management, corporate sustainability, cleantech/energy entrepreneurship, energy policy and science, environmental law, carbon markets and various other topics.

Another fantastic on campus option is offered by Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, for instance.

MBA in Environmental Management Online

The following listing includes 20+ of the best online programs for earning an MBA degree with a focus in environmental management. The varying options and degrees are listed, with the name of the school, and any interesting options or choices about that particular program. Some of the online programs do require occasional visits to a campus location, so that is important to consider as well. Each degree also specifies whether or not a GMAT test score is required for admission.

  1. *MBA in Sustainability and Environmental ComplianceSouthern New Hampshire University (Editor’s Pick!) – There is no requirement for a GMAT test score for this program, and it is incorporating the legal framework that exists currently with forward thinking that can focus future policies and decisions in the right direction for environmental responsibility. On a full time basis, this degree can be completed in as little as 18 months. The total curriculum includes 39 total credits. The instructors in these classes are a combination of business experts and environmental advocates, so a broader understanding of the field will result.
  2. *Online MBA in Sustainability Management Northeastern University (Editor’s Pick!) – Consisting of 17 courses designed to develop skills in all areas of businesses, as well as create expertise in sustainability, this degree program does not require a GMAT test score for application. By considering policies that do not hurt the environment and resources it provides, these professionals seek to protect the world for future generations. Sustainability is addressed through courses that cover leadership, strategy, economics, innovation, and the supply chain.
  3. MBA in Environmental Management Post University – This multidisciplinary degree provides the student with the ability to choose between all available electives in order to custom create their specialization in environmental management. The flexible online schedule makes possible for current working professionals to maintain current employment situation while achieving this advanced degree. The GMAT test score is not necessary for application to this school.
  4. MBA in Sustainable SystemsPresidio Graduate School – This unique hybrid program is mainly online, but includes some weekend intensive studies throughout the program. There are a total of 60 credits needed to graduate and the curriculum is divided up into three sequences, including capitalism in context, values and value creation, and means and measures. There is no GMAT test score required for application.
  5. MBA in Energy and Sustainability Studies Franklin Pierce University – The option is available to complete this program on a fast track basis, and complete it in as few as 12 months. The regular schedule provides options for completion in 18 to 24 months. GMAT scores are not necessary for this degree program, which focuses on how resource management and utilization of renewable resources can be used to improve the way that each organization impacts the environment.
  6. MBA in Environmental Management University of Houston at Clear Lake – Environmental studies enable graduates to be more prepared for the legal issues and risks involved in business decisions and their environmental impact. This 36 credit hour program  includes all MBA fundamentals plus the flexibility to choose courses and electives to feature particular corners of the market of interest to each student. A GMAT test score is required for application to this school.
  7. MBA in Environmental Management Webster University – This curriculum is made up of 54 total credits needed for graduation, 30 for the MBA core classes, and the other 24 credits for the specialization. There is an additional option to take a global track, which requires more credit hours, but includes unique global perspective to all business areas. This global option requires an international study experience to get first hand exposure to the culture, thoughts, and business practices. There is no GMAT test score required for admission to this program.
  8. MBA in Environmental Management Indiana University  – The top ranked Kelley School of Business at Indiana University has added the online MBA program for working professionals that cannot give up their homes or their current employment, but still want to increase their competitive advantage in the marketplace by pursuing this advanced degree. The 51 required credit hours make up the core classes as well as the specialized field of choice. They have 60 courses available to choose from, several of which pertain specifically to environmental management. The GMAT test score is a requirement for admission to this school program.
  9. MBA in Environmental Management Ashford University – There is no need to submit a GMAT test score for this program. The 36 total credit hours needed for graduation include having a business undergraduate degree. If not, then graduation will require 42 total hours. The program is designed to take one class at a time, each of them lasting for six weeks. The environmental management specialization includes courses covering environmental law and compliance, energy, environment and economics, and strategy for the sustainable enterprise.
  10. MBA in Global Sustainable Management Anaheim University – This program is designed around courses that start every six weeks, and the whole intensive curriculum can be completed in 18 months. There is no requirement for a GMAT test score for application to the school. Their overriding philosophy is that there is a way that people, planet, and profit can all meet in a place that creates a positive outcome for all, and the purpose of the study of this degree is to educate all students on how to find that perfect balance in business situations.
  11. MBA in Environmental Stewardship Wilmington University – Evaluating all relevant business decisions with an eye towards ecological sustainability is the motivation behind this degree program. The GMAT test score in not necessary for admission to this school. The total credit needed to graduate from this program is 36 credits and is made up of 12 courses, five of which are under the environmental stewardship study. Due to the increased consumer awareness of environmental and social issues, these companies are looking to help bring products to market that cater to those interests from the consumers.
  12. MBA in Environmental and Social Sustainability Colorado Technical University – The flexible options with this degree help for those needing to maintain current employment while pursuing their advanced degree. The development of teams as part of the program enable students to participate in evaluation and decision making in situations that mirror those they will find in real business applications as upper management or executive level positions. There is no GMAT requirement for this program. CTU is one of many schools which waive the GMAT requirement for Online MBA entrance.
  13. MBA in Environmental Studies Concordia University of Wisconsin – This school does not need a GMAT score in order to admit a prospective student. This 39 credit curriculum includes a core of courses from the MBA with the choice of many courses to provide expertise to the student in environmental studies. Courses available include ecology of the tropics, environmental chemistry/toxicology, sustainable business practices, ecology, and readings in environmental science. There is also the option to participate in an internship during your studies into environmental education, which can count as credits towards graduation.
  14. MBA in Sustainable Enterprise University of North Carolina  – Within the specialization of sustainable enterprise, there are 20 courses to select from in choosing the sector of that field you would particularly like to gain expert knowledge of. Students are also able to add studies from cross-functional avenues, such as public policy, social work, city planning, and environmental studies. This degree program offers a wide variety of courses in this new field. They do require the GMAT test score for application to the program. The online curriculum involves both live weekly courses via internet as well as open scheduled lectures and virtual office hours with the instructors.
  15. MBA in Environmental Management Antioch University of New England – This school does not have any requirement for a GMAT test score. This program is available for their primarily online hybrid program, which is designed to be completed in 27 months on a part-time basis. There are five weekends throughout the program where there are weekend class times at the campus location. This program uses the cohort method for teamwork and team building to replicate real employment situations. During the course of the studies, all students engage in practicum and consulting projects in order to develop the skills involved in putting their new knowledge to use.
  16. MBA in Leadership and Sustainability University of Cumbria – This international program is designed to instill a new environmentally conscious form of leadership into future business executives. It is not necessary to have taken the GMAT test for admission to this program. This program can be completed in as few as 18 months, or as long as five years. The summer session does involve a mandatory residency in the United Kingdom as part of the requirements for graduation.
  17. MBA in Sustainability Western Kentucky University  – This 33 credit hour program is currently available in their campus location, but is being rolled out to their online program soon. They have arranged “mini class sessions” of 1.5 hours to cover more topics relevant to studies in sustainability. There is a requirement for a GMAT test score for admission, and they have minimum scores of 500 overall and written score of 3.5
  18. MBA in Sustainability Bard Center for Environmental Policy – This highly regarded program consists of monthly “weekend intensives” at their location in New York. In between the monthly residencies, all other coursework is available and completed online. This program is designed to work with students and their existing lives, and believes that they can still work up to 30 hours each week and still have adequate time for the fulfilling of all degree requirements. They do require GMAT test scores for admission.
  19. MBA in Environmental Management University of Wisconsin – This 30 credit hour program is highly flexible and customizable for each student and their intentions. There are four modules that make up the studies for this degree, and they include the different types of decision-making opportunities that they will have in the workplace in their new, upgraded positions of leadership. Strategies for managing Maintaining ongoing operations, new products development, international management, and future oriented planning. GMAT test scores do need to be submitted for consideration to be admitted into the program.
  20. MBA in Environmental Management St. Joseph’s University – Choosing the sustainability coursework within the MBA program enables a student to get current, relevant studies related to this newly emerging field. Choices include leading for sustainability, sustainability for business, global strategy simulation, and ethical practices in business. The GMAT test score is required for application to this program.
  21. MBA in Environmental Health University of Saint Francis – This online program involves all aspects of the health of the environment as it pertains to business enterprises and the impact of the decisions that are made on the environment. The degree can be earned in 12 months if taken on a full-time basis, and 24 months if taken part-time. There is a GMAT test score required for applying to this school.

Pros & Cons

There are always benefits and drawbacks to any career. This is no different for someone with an MBA in Environmental Management.


  • You are almost guaranteed to find a job, as the specialization is in high demand.
  • Salaries and associated benefits are very high.
  • You have an opportunity to make a real positive difference to the planet as a whole.
  • You may get to travel the globe.


  • Obtaining an MBA is costly both in terms of time and money.
  • Most people who obtain this MBA have a genuine care for the environment, and they will often feel as if they are being forced to cut corners, rather than actually making a difference to the carbon footprint of the company they work for.

Financial Aid

Career Paths

  • Clean energy business owner – Your job will be to promote clean and green energy options to other businesses. In this job, you can either work as a consultant or actually help to develop new sustainable technologies.
  • Corporate Sustainability Manager – Helping to structure a company in such a way that their environmental impact is minimized. Your role will be to increase profits and lower costs, while at the same time lowering a company’s carbon footprint.
  • Energy Efficiency Finance Manager – Working with organizations that implement energy efficient products or structures. You will help the organization you work for to reach its goals in terms of energy efficiency in a way that fits in with their budget as well. These managers are often consultants rather than being permanently employed by a business.
  • Project Manager – This is a very wide job description and can therefore include a huge range of different specific jobs. Overall, your role will be to manage a product that is related to environmental efficiency from star to finish.

Further Reading

Suggested Websites

Six websites with helpful resources for those working in field relevant to an MBA in Environmental Management