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Graduate Certificate in Business Sustainability

Business Sustainability Graduate Certificate

The Graduate Certificate in Business Sustainability provides an educational framework of sustainable business opportunity to equip current and future business leaders. You can choose sustainable business as an emphasis area along with your M.B.A. or take it as a stand-alone program.  The program is available in a convenient online format featuring bi-term courses of approximately 7 weeks. 

Skill sets you will gain include the following:

  • Fluency in current major legal, governmental, and business standards related to sustainability
  • Ability to identify opportunities for sustainable actions and policies throughout the value chain
  • Proficiency with quantitative operations models and techniques to analyze and evaluate the viability of sustainable opportunities throughout the product life-cycle
  • Social Entrepreneurship acumen
  • Understanding of the major voluntary codes and best practices about sustainability which impact business. As well as how the activities and reports relating to sustainability fit into the broader policy arena of corporate social responsibility (CSR).
  • Providing oversight for sustainability initiatives in your organization
  • Evaluating and creating effective sustainability marketing strategies

Whatever your business niche, sustainability will occupy a heightened role in organizations in the foreseeable future. The WKU Graduate Certificate in Business Sustainability can prepare you in this growing area.  In the coming years, business and industry will expect candidates for positions in engineering, business, marketing, and management to have an understanding of sustainability, regulations, compliance, and corporate social responsibility.  

“Today’s most innovative leaders are recognizing that for the sake of our companies and our world, we must implement revolutionary—not just incremental—changes in the way we live and work.”  
- Peter Senge 

The minimum requirements for acceptance into the Graduate Certificate in Business Sustainability are as follows:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Application & Fee
    Students seeking this certificate must apply online. There is a $40 application fee. 
  • Transcript Record
    Graduates of accredited institutions other than WKU must submit an official transcript showing the completed degree to the Graduate School.

The Certificate is offered through the MBA Program but Admission to MBA program is NOT required.  Students only need to have “graduate standing”.

Talk with your advisor about incorporating this certificate into your MBA or degree program, if applicable. 

The graduate certificate in Business Sustainability requires one core course and three electives for a total of 12 credit hours. All courses are 3 credits and offered as 8 week bi-terms. Courses may be taken in any order, but students are encouraged to take the one core course as soon as possible in the certificate program. One course can be substituted from another sustainability graduate certificate for one of the Business Elective Courses upon approval by the MBA Director. For instance, a course from the WKU Global Pathways to Sustainability graduate certificate program may be appropriate for your professional development plan.

3 credits (Fall Term)

Required Core Curriculum

Course Overview: Survey course exploring the definition of, and key issues concerning, business sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

-Provides overview of regulations regarding issues of sustainability as applied to business organizations.  

-Introduces international standards and other global issues of sustainability which affect businesses.

-Explores compliance approaches, important metrics, and best practices businesses use in addressing sustainability issues.

-Discusses political, environmental, other pressures surrounding these issues especially as related to current and future standards, regulations, and best business practices. 

3 credits (Spring Term)


Course Overview: Exploration and development of definitions of sustainability and sustainable operations. The value chain perspective is taken to implement sustainability measures and different motivations for companies to engage in sustainable efforts.

3 credits (Summer 2017)

Course Overview: An examination of the impact of sustainability on global forces that are restructuring the world economy and driving opportunities for related new entrepreneurial ventures in that context.

3 credits (Summer 2016)

Course Overview: This course integrates marketing fundamentals with the environmental, social, and economic principles of sustainability. In this course, students analyze current sustainability trends that influence marketing applications and the influence of marketing on sustainability trends.


Department Contact
MBA Office
Gordon Ford College of Business
Email: mba@wku.edu
Phone: (270) 745-5458
Department Website: wku.edu/mba/sustainability

WKU Online

Email: learn.online@wku.edu
Phone: (888) 4WKUWEB


For more information about the cost of the program, average time to complete the program, and other important information, please visit this website.

For more information about the program, fill out the form below.

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 Last Modified 8/23/19