Sustainability issues are being addressed in many industries, nonprofits and governmental agencies and are incorporated broadly into different organizational functions, all with the common goal of creating a sustainable economy, society, and environment.

The Earth Institute School of Professional Studies


There is a growing demand for sustainability professionals in a range of sectors, and many lawyers, engineers, marketers, communications professionals, policymakers and scientists now have some form of sustainability responsibility in their positions. The M.S. in Sustainability Management, co-sponsored by The Earth Institute and the School of Professional Studies, addresses the need for formal training and education in sustainability.

To help students fully understand the systematic and organizational role of sustainability in any organization, the program draws upon sophisticated environmental measurement tools, cutting edge environmental science, and world class management and policy studies. It draws also on environmental and sustainable development research, providing practical training to a new generation of professionals who will address critical interdisciplinary issues.

The M.S. in Sustainability Management is based upon years of experience in bridging research and practice, with a curriculum based on new and existing courses at the University, taught by faculty and researchers who are leaders in the fields of environmental management, earth science, and engineering. In response to the increasing global challenges all organizations face, from limiting their carbon emissions to managing their water resources, the program melds academic leadership, scientific rigor, and professional practice to form a unique interdisciplinary community dedicated to making lasting advances in global sustainability practice.

The program takes a bold and innovative approach to sustainability that prioritizes the protection of Earth’s systems and resources as well as the spread of social and economic opportunities for all people. To achieve sustainable development, the Earth Institute is conducting and applying interdisciplinary scientific research to address many cross-cutting issues while training a new generation of problem solvers to tackle these issues in all areas of society. Finding solutions to one problem, involves tackling other related challenges. This is at the core of sustainability management. This new generation of problem solvers needs to be able to account for complex systems of water, environmental services, climate, waste and energy to be able to maximize efficient usage and minimize their negative impacts.

The Earth Institute is affiliated with 30 academic programs at Columbia University, and has developed numerous innovative courses training students to understand and address the pressing and complex issues of environment and sustainability management, and provides seminars and events in the field. Students enrolled in the M.S. in Sustainability Management are an integral part of this engaging and forward-looking community.

Who Should Apply

The M.S. in Sustainability Management is ideal for professionals currently working in or aspiring to be in management positions in regulatory compliance, facilities management, operations, and environmental stewardship. The program is geared towards those who have some form of sustainability responsibility in their current position, are looking to incorporate this into their current organization practices, or are looking to switch current career paths to pursue opportunities in this field. It is an innovative program that is applicable to many fields including the growing field of sustainability management, environmental stewardship, risk and environment management, financial services, utilities, industrial manufacturing, energy, pharmaceuticals, media, transportation, food service, and technology.

College level science, math and economics are preferred but not essential if familiarity with these subjects has been developed by other means. Practitioner experience is greatly valued and accomplishments in the fields of sustainability management will be considered.

More program options in sustainability management


Certification of Professional Achievement
in Sustainability Analytics

Develop skills in analytic methods and quantitative analysis for measuring, reporting, and communicating the sustainability of organizations, products, and services.

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Certification of Professional Achievement
in Sustainable Water Management

Receive sophisticated and multidisciplinary training in water issues — the nexus of natural science, social science, and public policy.

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Certification of Professional Achievement
in Sustainable Finance

Build a foundation in the core concepts of corporate finance and an understanding of how environmental commodities markets regulate and incentivize polluting industries.

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