By Gigi Jeddi | The Duquesne Duke
Duquesne’s Masters of Business Administration with a Sustainability Focus is the 4th best MBA program in the United States and 10th best in the world, according to recent rankings in Corporate Knights Magazine.
Diane Ramos, associate director of graduate business programs, teaches outreach classes for the program. The sustainability MBA launched in 2007 and was an immediate success, since it was one of the first sustainability programs like in the country, according to Ramos.
“The first year we were ranked seventh or eighth [in the world],” Ramos said.
The full year program enrolls between 25 and 35 students each year, according to Ramos.
Students complete three “live opportunities” during their studies, which are projects that require students to interact with real-world companies. Some projects also involve international businesses.
Three live opportunities, which are cases dealing with real-life problems and people, are required to pass the program. Two of these are projects and the third is in a practicum which includes working with real-world clients on an international level, with constant opportunities to study abroad and deal with clients overseas.
“They require students to use theories and models to solve these challenges with real world clients “ Ramos said.
The program consists of 45 credits for the total of 20 classes over the course of 3 semesters. The classes start in the middle of August, and continue until the following July.
Jordan Oeler is a current MBA student who will complete the program in the spring.
“The MBA is a fantastic way to exercise in a professional setting with the things learned in the classroom,” Oeler said.
According to Corporate Knights, the ranking given in 2015 had left Duquesne’s program “just behind Harvard Business School.”
Students in the program complete projects like interviewing Environmental Protection Agency associates and solving waste problems for chocolate companies.
Oeler said the MBA program is not only for business majors, but any major that would like to have a background in management and business.
“An MBA is meant to give you the skills… because it’s so short, you get kind of a crash course you get the multiple disciplines behind a business,” Oeler said.
To be considered sustainable, MBA programs must encourage students to confront social, environmental and financial responsibilities, according to Corporate Knights.
Duquesne’s program has won several awards, including “Best Environmental Curriculum” in 2008. This year, Duquesne’s MBA program is considered an International Finalist for the 2015 Innovation Award from the MBA Roundtable, a group of 160 business schools working to encourage curriculum innovation in MBA education.