Business Sustainability Strategy Graduate Credit Certificate Program

Person-in-ChargeJudd Michael
Program CodeBUSSUS
Campus(es)World Campus

The Graduate Certificate in Business Sustainability Strategy (BSS) is offered by the Smeal College of Business. The BSS covers intermediate to advanced content for integrating sustainability into core business strategy and operations. The integration occurs by identifying and managing the environmental and social impacts of a business in order to drive
profitability, reduce cost and risk, and build long-term value. BSS provides students with knowledge, skills, and practical tools for developing a sustainability strategy and measuring financial, environmental and social returns.

The nine-credit graduate certificate is aimed toward students that wish to further graduate study in the area of Business sustainability. Course content focuses on: (1) an exploration of sustainability and what it means to business regarding changes to the regulatory, consumer, and competitive landscape; (2) analysis of differences across a variety of domestic and international markets; (3) strategy development including external and internal analysis, employee engagement, governance, and ensuring sustainability is built in, not bolted on; and (4) the latest business models and sustainable design solutions to drive business value and environmental/social performance up and down the value chain.

Effective Semester: Spring 2024
Expiration Semester: Spring 2029

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies. International applicants may be required to satisfy an English proficiency requirement; see GCAC-305 Admission Requirements for International Students for more information.

Exceptions to GCAC-305 will be considered by the program. Exceptions may or may not be granted by the Graduate School.

Other admissions requirements include:

  • Statement of Purpose — Applicants must describe how professional experience and goals align with the Certificate in Business Sustainability Strategy, not to exceed 500 words.
  • Vita or Résumé — Provide a one- to two-page listing of professional experience and education.
  • Application –Completion of the Graduate School certificate application.

GRE/GMAT scores are NOT required.

Certificate Requirements

Requirements listed here are in addition to requirements listed in Graduate Council policy GCAC-212 Postbaccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs.

Required Courses
MGMT 811Sustainability Strategy Development3
SCM 813Sustainable Supply Chain Management3
Select 3 credits from the following courses:3
Strategy Implementation and Organizational Change
Global Strategic Management
Managing and Leading People in Organizations
Executive Leadership
Total Credits9


Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

  • Graduates will be able to make a general business case for sustainability
  • Graduates will be able to make a specific business case for a particular proposed investment, initiative, product or process change
  • Graduates will be able to develop a sustainability strategy for any size or type of company/organization from start-up to large incumbent multi-national corporation
  • Graduates will be able to quantitatively and qualitatively assess opportunities in their supply chain
  • Graduates will be able to create a strategy for incremental to transformative improvements to supply chain operations that result in greater business and social value
  • Graduates will have the knowledge for leading organizational change for sustainability


Campus World Campus
Graduate Program Head Judd Harrison Michael
Program Contact

Michelle Kristen Rockower
(814) 865-5290

Program Website View