Full-time, Evening MBA Programs launch ESG Leadership Specialization Program

The Foster School of Business Full-time and Evening MBA programs today announced the launch of a new specialization in ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) Leadership. The program will prepare students to serve important roles in one of the business world’s fastest-growing areas via new classes and curriculum specifically focused on environmental and social issues.

“Being true to our purpose to better humanity through business, the Foster School is 100% committed to developing the next generation of leaders who are adept at considering all aspects of ESG in the decision-making process,” said Dean Frank Hodge. “The health of our planet depends on it.”

Foster administration and faculty collaborated with current student and alumni currently working in the field to develop a specialization tailored to developing ESG leadership skills critical to the success of today’s business leaders. While students currently have some exposure to ESG in core and elective courses, this specialization will allow them to further their focus in this area.

Expanding ESG focus

The intent of the ESG Leadership specialization is threefold:

  • To prepare Foster MBA students to consider a broad range of stakeholder interests in designing and executing business strategy
  • To employ evidence-based tools to strategic challenges and opportunities
  • To lead in a world that demands consideration of a range of factors that both include and extend beyond financial performance.

“This ESG specialization is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to lead with impact and generate progress towards addressing the problems of our age,” said Associate Dean of Graduate Programs Dan Turner.

Recent analysis by the Full-time MBA Program team reveals that Full-time MBA students graduating in 2022 experienced ESG content in approximately 12% of total core class hours offered in the program experience and experienced another 55 hours of class time on ESG topics across electives. Additionally, preliminary analyses of a recent survey of Foster faculty that focused exclusively on sustainability show that 84% of faculty include at least one sustainability-oriented piece of content across their courses (case, reading, assignment, class discussion, or guest speaker).

The new ESG specialization will serve to increase these metrics across the board. Full-time and Evening MBA students will earn the ESG Leadership specialization by successfully completing:

  • The core Ethical Leadership course addressing essential corporate social responsibility and governance topics
  • 12 additional elective credits from a menu of courses outlined by faculty providing fundamental environmental or social issues content
  • An experiential-learning project in the domain of ESG

A Continued Commitment

A dedicated ESG specialization is part of a continued commitment to incorporating ESG values into every aspect of the Foster School. Foster faculty are actively engaged in both infusing more ESG content into their teaching and research – nearly 60% of faculty report working on research projects in the past year that focus on an ESG topic. Students are participating in many programs with an ESG focus, including Net Impact clubs events, Ascend projects, Board Fellows participation, and service corps projects.

Foster’s commitment to ESG is reflected on campus in other ways as well. The recently opened Founders Hall was constructed using cross-laminated timber (CLT) harvested from responsibly managed forests. Founders Hall is designed to achieve a 76% reduction in cumulative carbon emissions, and to use 70% less energy and 53% less water than a conventionally constructed equivalent.

Visit the Foster MBA specialization page to learn more.