Courses and Focus Areas

The Bard MBA curriculum is built to simultaneously provide students with the core business competencies needed to pursue business management careers while exploring new ways of managing organizations to pursue an integrated bottom line strategy. Bard’s curriculum—where sustainability principles are embedded in a core business curriculum—challenges students to examine not just the economic impacts of the decisions they make, but the social and environmental impacts as well, while also giving them the skills to make the business case for sustainability. 

In addition to the specialization in sustainable business earned by all of our graduates, the Bard MBA offers two Focus Areas:

-Impact Finance
-Circular Value Chain Management

These focus areas, as well as the courses offered in the program, with course descriptions and recent syllabi, are described below.

Focus on Impact Finance
Bard’s Focus on Impact Finance trains a new breed of investment professional to move dollars from negative investments that are undermining communities and the natural world into positive investments that are regenerating the future. The field of Impact Finance has evolved to include Sustainable and Responsible Investing; shareholder activism; environmental, social and governance risk evaluation; green capital budgeting decisions; “patient capital” impact investing, and much recent, evidence-based practice that finance for impact done right will generate market returns.  At the same time, a new generation of investors has arisen, seeking positive social and environmental outcomes from their investments. Bard's Focus prepares students for careers leading the transformation of conventional finance into impact finance. 

Students who complete the requirements for this curricular focus will have it noted on their graduation transcript.  To earn the Focus Area, students must complete the following courses:

Principles of Sustainable Management (3 Credits)
Accounting and the Integrated Bottom Line (3 Credits)
Finance for Sustainability (3 Credits)
ImpactLab  (3 Credits)

In addition, students must complete a nine-credit Capstone project that engages substantially with impact finance.  The content of the Capstone must be approved by the Program Director to insure that it qualifies for inclusion in the Focus. This approval should be obtained in writing prior to September 30 of the year the Capstone has been initiated, and confirmed as the Capstone reaches completion prior to graduation.

Focus on Circular Value Chain Management
Bard’s Focus on Circular Value Chain Management trains students for a role that they will create:  the “Chief Circularity Officer” or CCO.  For true circular economy business models to succeed, CCO’s or their equivalent will be needed to drive the far-reaching operational and cultural changes required. Bard's Focus supports students to execute on these circular economy business models by integrating successful supply chain management with a deep understanding of circular economy strategy.

Students who complete the requirements for this curricular focus will have it noted on their graduation transcript. To earn the Focus Area, students must complete the following courses:

Principles of Sustainable Management (3 Credits)
Operations and Supply Chains (3 Credits)
Circular Value Chain Management (3 Credits)

In addition, students must complete a nine-credit Capstone project that engages substantially with Circular Value Chain Management.  The content of the Capstone must be approved by the Program Director to insure that it qualifies for inclusion in the Focus. This approval should be obtained in writing prior to September 30 of the year the Capstone has been initiated, and confirmed as the Capstone reaches completion prior to graduation.
 

Sion Burnette (MBA ’19)

"After completing a year in the Bard MBA in Sustainability program, I’m confident I’ve begun developing core business skills that will help me for many years to come. By completing the NYC Lab course, a yearlong consultation between Bard MBA Students and real businesses, the Bard MBA taught me how to manage client relationships, work effectively on a team, and produce well-researched recommendations. The integration of sustainability into all classes and coursework sets this program apart and I’m excited to learn more about the role of business in meeting challenges of the 21st century."

Current Course Descriptions

  • Principles of Sustainable Management (POSM)
  • Economics for Decision-making
  • Personal Leadership Development
  • Accounting and the Integrated Bottom Line
  • NYCLab
  • Globalization and Emerging Markets
  • Operations and Supply Chains
  • Finance for Sustainability
  • Customers and Marketing
  • Data, Analytics, and Decisions
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Leading Change in Organizations
  • Strategy for Sustainability
  • Employees and Organizations
  • Circular Value Chain Management
  • Sustaining a Mission-Driven Organization
  • ImpactLab: Defining the Future of Finance
  • Business and Sustainable Development
  • Capstone