Sustainability isn’t just another buzzword—it’s a new way of doing business that requires organizations to make a positive impact on surrounding communities. When you earn your Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Business from Northeastern, you’ll develop a foundation of skills for creating sustainable business strategies that can make you a more well-rounded leader.

Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Business Program Overview

  • Program Structure: 4–5 courses
  • Class Schedule: Monday–Thursday evenings at 5:20 p.m. and 7:30 p.m; you may also take one course online
  • Time to Complete: 1 to 3 years
Graduate Certificate Part-Time Timeline

Unique Features

12 or 15

Credits may be applied toward a future MBA

Top 50

Among national universities (U.S. News & World Report)

  • Learn strategies for addressing climate change, social justice, community impact, and governing transparency that give your organization a competitive edge in the marketplace
  • Specialize your studies with electives relevant to your goals, such as social entrepreneurship, public policy, or sustainable supply chain management
  • Build experience through applied project work and case studies—key components of Northeastern’s practice-oriented approach to learning
  • Access expert career guidance from an experienced counselor at Northeastern’s office of Employer Engagement and Career Design
  • Complete your certificate in as few as four courses, with the option for one additional elective to deepen your knowledge
  • Build the foundation for a future master’s degree from Northeastern—you may be able to apply your certificate credits toward an eligible master’s program

Admissions

  • GMAT Required? No.
  • Where do I apply? Apply using this application.
  • Interview required? Upon request.

Helpful Guides

Application Checklist

Need guidance on completing your application? The application checklist provides step-by-step instructions and tips from our admissions team.

Personal Statement Guide

Need guidance in composing the personal statement for your application? The essay guide will help you organize your thoughts and draft your copy.

There are three entry terms each year in January, May, and September.

Deadlines & Decisions

Find the deadlines and decision dates you need to know. Submit your application by the earliest date possible for priority consideration.

Please visit the Northeastern Student Financial Services page. Click the dropdown under “Graduate Programs” and you’ll find the cost per credit listed next to “D’Amore-McKim School of Business Programs.”

At Northeastern, we value and celebrate diversity in all its forms and strive to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds community, which is vital to learning and discovery.

Clubs and Organizations

Northeastern has many opportunities for you to be engaged with our community. Examples include the following:

Graduate Students of Color Collective

The purpose of the GSCC is to build community for graduate students of color at Northeastern University by promoting education, professionalism, and civic duty. The GSCC fosters student, staff, and faculty relationships to establish a campus home for higher education at Northeastern. Through civic engagement with surrounding communities, the GSCC recognizes the continued struggles of marginalized populations, and the need for those who have succeeded to give back.

Grad Q

Grad Q is a student organization for LGBTQ+ graduate students at Northeastern. Grad Q is focused on building community, social events, advocacy, and mentoring undergraduate students.

Campus Resources

We have a number of cultural centers on campus to support our campus community by providing programs, lectures, and events for students with a range of affiliations and interests including the LGBTQA Resource Center, Office of Global Services, Latinx Student Cultural Center, Asian American Center, and many more.

Curriculum

The Part-Time Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Business—designed for working professionals in the Boston area—examines how successful companies engage in sustainability efforts to increase operational efficiency, drive shareholder value, and build trust by supporting local communities.

Your required coursework will cover the essentials of global competition and market dominance, including best practices for creating value sustainably and making your organization more competitive. You’ll choose electives that reflect your goals—such as social entrepreneurship, public policy, or sustainable supply chain management—enhancing your ability to integrate the bottom line and the greater good.

Required Course

Trains managers to understand the competitive implications of global economic policies, the business effects of technological change, and the commercial imperatives of alternative political systems at a macro level. At a micro level, it creates a framework for industry analysis in a global setting that combines economic analysis, competitive analysis, and business decision-making skills.

MECN 6200 | 3 credits

Electives (Choose 3-4)

Examines the idea that building a sustainable business enterprise often involves correcting market failures. Examines the responsibilities of the business enterprise to society at large. Also explores the causes of and remedies for market failures, such as immigration, education, healthcare, climate change, and finance, and what these mean for governments, businesses, and individuals.

MECN 6205 | 3 credits

Examines how organizational leaders influence decisions to advance an environmental agenda. Studies the scientific knowledge that organizational leaders must have to make effective sustainability decisions. Analyzes how a variety of organizations, including businesses, governments, government-sponsored enterprises, and nongovernment organizations, interact on environmental issues.

MGMT 6225 | 3 credits

Examines how the environment affects corporate strategy, public policy, and individual decision making. Exposes students to the skills and knowledge needed to help organizations understand and act upon the principles of sustainability. Examines a variety of environmental problems, including global warming, use and disposal of toxic substances, and depletion of natural resources. Also studies how companies solve these problems by reducing their impact on the environment through solutions such as zero emissions, green design, and corporate environmental reporting.

MGMT 6226 | 3 credits

Focuses on how to create sustainable supply chains that profitably yield high-quality, safe products without supply interruption while creating a net benefit for the employees, community, and the environment. Studies how companies measure environmental performance and use the data to motivate associates, suppliers, customers, policy makers, and the public. Also addresses the impacts of global sustainability frameworks and measures.

SCHM 6221 | 3 credits

Designed to provide students with an in-depth exposure to entrepreneurship in the social sector, a rapidly growing segment of the global economy. Uses the case method to expose students to leading entrepreneurs who have developed and implemented business models to solve social problems such as extreme poverty, disease, illiteracy, and economic and social dislocation. Focuses on uniquely creative and driven people who have dedicated their lives to making a difference in the lives of others through values-based entrepreneurship.

ENTR 6214 | 3 credits

Explores using innovation to build and create value in the larger global context. Examines some of the latest innovation practices: (1) to build and create value within emerging economies, (2) to facilitate social entrepreneurship, (3) to promote sustainable development, and (4) to build and create value at the bottom of the pyramid. Exposes students to what successful entrepreneurs must learn to balance business demands with the larger need for innovative thinking. Stresses the application of successful practices to generate results. Topics include creating and sharing knowledge and intellectual property, exploiting systems and networks, redefining disruptive innovation, and the steps necessary to make innovation and entrepreneurship happen in a variety of global contexts. Uses real-life examples and case studies to illustrate successful practices.

ENTR 6214 | 3 credits

Offers students an opportunity to learn about how companies overcome the barriers to managing global new-product development. Studies how distance, along with differences in culture, capabilities, costs, and customers, make the task of managing global new-product development efforts incredibly difficult and delicate. Also studies how firms develop and execute global innovation strategies, build and leverage global networks, create R&D capabilities abroad, manage distributed projects and virtual teams, and how emerging market firms innovate globally.

INTB 6217 | 3 credits

The curriculum is subject to change by D’Amore-McKim faculty. Course offerings may vary by semester.

“More and more, companies are coming to realize the value of making sustainability integral to their business strategies. The Graduate Certificate in Sustainability and Business equips you with the knowledge to incorporate sustainable practices into all aspects of a company, from building customer trust, to attracting and retaining a committed workforce, to developing reliable supplier relationships and obtaining social impact financing.”

Sheila M. Puffer, University Distinguished Professor
Professor of International Business and Strategy

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