Marylhurst University in Portland, Oregon

Curriculum: M.B.A. in Sustainable Business – 100% Online – at Marylhurst

  Marylhurst’s online MBA in Sustainable Business incorporates sustainability principles into every course. Students examine business practices and techniques while diving into topics like environmental law, green development and renewable energy.

Composed of one 10-week course and twelve 5-week courses, the sustainable business curriculum offers you real-world skills and knowledge that can be applied to the workplace while you complete the program.

The MBA in Sustainable Business accepts students each term (fall, winter, spring and summer).

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Sustainable Business MBA Curriculum & Degree Requirements: What You Will Study

To earn your MBA in Sustainable Business from Marylhurst, you complete 48-53 credits in a series of graduate courses and capstone project. What makes the sustainable MBA unique? You complete a traditional MBA curriculum through the lens of sustainable business. Take a look at some of the coursework preparing Marylhurst students to be a driving force in sustainability locally and globally:

Embark on your MBA studies with an introductory review of the following topics: writing and communication, accounting, economics, finance, math and graphing, statistics and Microsoft Office.
Study the theory and practical application of organizational behavior, and how individuals and groups impact behavior within an organization. Discussion topics and analysis will include decision making, motivation theories, individual and group behaviors, leadership, power and organizational politics, and organizational culture.
Develop an understanding of the basic concepts of economics. Through the application of microeconomics to your personal decision making and professional life, study concepts including scarcity, ownership and markets. Discuss macroeconomic concepts of GDP, unemployment, inflation and interest rates, and how to research these variables. Coursework will include a review of global economics, including international trade and exchange rates.
Learn accounting concepts from a decision maker’s perspective. Following an overview of the accounting cycle, financial statements, and financial reporting, special attention will be given to accounting information used to assist management in business operations.
Develop an understanding of financial theory and its important applications. With a focus on concepts including the time value of money, risk and return, valuation, investment principles, and the role of financial markets, learn strategies used by financial analysts through real-world examples and practical exercises.
Develop a basic understanding of fundamental psychological, cultural, environmental and sustainability issues and challenges affecting business and global society in the twenty-first century. Reflect upon the interconnectedness and dynamics of historical, social, ecological, governmental, economic, financial and ethical constructs associated with sustainability. Compare and contrast multiple sustainability frameworks and global approaches to sustainable business management practices to gain a solid understanding of strategies leading towards the effective integration of social, ecological and economic realities.
Discover, use, and apply powerful marketing management constructs into a reflective framework integrating the organizational, societal, environmental and global aspects of sustainability. You will be challenged to develop marketing plans and strategies that effectively address and reconcile the multiple and often conflicting dimensions of sustainable business management. Particularly, emphasis will be placed on your ability to effectively research, analyze and take advantage of market opportunities within the realm of triple-bottom-line principles.
Strong quantitative research and interpretation skills will serve as a foundation for the capstone project students develop in the program’s final two courses. Seize the opportunity to grasp and make critical use of both quantitative and qualitative data to research, analyze, and decide on critical questions related to sustainable business management.
The ability to achieve successful business results depends on sound decision-making processes. Study business model generation for developing a sustainable enterprise and further your understanding of forces resulting from constructs associated with the triple-bottom line. Course topics include emerging and alternative business models, backcasting and forecasting, design thinking, and the effective communication of data. Develop the initial draft of your capstone paper.
Strategic effectiveness requires two fundamentals aspects: strategy design and strategy implementation. Seize the opportunity to practice effective execution of strategy by discovering, researching and discussing the multiple dimensions of operational management in the energy production/utilities industry. In addition to learning traditional operational constructs such as operational strategy, process and supply chain management, production and inventory management, and Total Quality Management (TQM), you will discover crucial principles, tools and techniques associated with growing fields including business re-engineering, green management and industrial ecology.
Develop a strong understanding of the technologies associated with renewable and sustainable energy sources such as hydropower, solar, wind, hydrogen, geothermal and oceanic forces and biomass. Address operational issues associated with production, storage, transportation, distribution and industrial or consumer use of energy. Particular importance is attached to the trade-offs resulting from use and promotion of various forms energy in terms of their technological merits and economic viability.
Explore the relationships between public policy and legislation and how law both constrains and fosters opportunities for the development of sustainable energy from wind, solar, geothermal and other sources.
Establish a link between your studies, interests, and the business world at large. Participate in reflective work that expresses the highest standard of graduate research combined with a practical business project. The capstone project allows you to demonstrate a functional and integrative knowledge of the multiple dimensions associated with sustainable business management in the form of a capstone project paper.


Some of the nation’s top sustainable MBA programs only provide a green focus within certain dedicated courses. Here at Marylhurst, every green MBA course examines subjects with an emphasis on sustainability. For example, the accounting class speaks to environmental cost and triple bottom line accounting. The economics class addresses the concept of natural capital – the valuation of our natural resources. Coursework in sustainable marketing, research methods, business modeling and decision making will broaden your perspective of the role sustainability play within business  infrastructure. You will graduate with an understanding of today’s environmental law and technological considerations associated with alternative and renewable energies.

Experienced Faculty

Faculty at MarylhurstAs working professionals, our faculty members understand the needs of our dedicated students. They have proven backgrounds in business and management practice, with advanced degrees from leading academic institutions. They act as learning facilitators and content experts.

Sustainable Business MBA Program Outcomes

Students completing an MBA in Sustainable Business at Marylhurst University will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of sustainability fundamentals and the related opportunities, trends and challenges resulting from a system thinking approach
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of current trends and interrelations in key business areas, including: accounting, finance, law, organizational behavior, marketing, project management, statistical modeling and strategic leadership
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, quantitative analysis, writing, presentation, collaboration skills and project management skills
  • Develop and apply an ethical framework to executive decision making and organizational leadership
  • Analyze the domestic and global business environments, including their economic, legal, cultural and ethical contexts
  • Understand emerging business concepts, information technology and management trends

Travis Douville – Why An Online MBA was the Right Fit

Travis Douville - M.B.A. in Sustainability - Marylhurst UniversityTravis Douville speaks about sustainable energy with a contagious level of enthusiasm. This enthusiasm started as a spark while working on a wind energy research project at The Boeing Company in 2010. From there, it grew into a full-blown passion which he devoted himself to through the MBA in Sustainable Business program at Marylhurst. After graduating in 2015, Travis was hired by Vestas, a global company dedicated to wind energy solutions. He looks back on his Marylhurst experience with gratitude and looks to the future with excitement and lots of long-term ideas.

// Read more about Travis’ journey and why an MBA online was the right fit for him.

Transfer Credit and Degree Completion

Students admitted into the MBA in Sustainable Business program may transfer up to 3 classes from other schools to shorten the time required to complete their degree.  At Marylhurst, the average time to complete this accelerated online master’s degree program is 18 months.

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