RIT to offer new pathway for earning MS degree in sustainable systems and MBA

University responds to growing demand for graduates with environmental and business acumen

Elizabeth Lamark/RIT

RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability and Saunders College of Business are collaborating on a new pathway for receiving a Master of Science degree in sustainable systems and a Master of Business Administration.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability (GIS) and Saunders College of Business are collaborating on an accelerated pathway that provides an opportunity for a Master of Science degree in sustainable systems and a Master of Business Administration.

The program represents a strategic response to the increasing demand for professionals equipped with expertise in sustainability and business management, positioning graduates to lead the way in addressing complex global challenges while driving organizational success.

The new master’s degree pathway in sustainable systems and business administration combines interdisciplinary coursework from GIS and Saunders College, building upon RIT’s reputation for excellence in sustainability education and business leadership and offering a unique opportunity for students to develop expertise in both areas.

“RIT's new master’s degree pathway addresses a critical need for professionals who can integrate sustainability principles into strategic business decision-making,” said Amit Batabyal, interim head of the Department of Sustainability at GIS.

“By combining advanced coursework in sustainable systems with foundational business principles, graduates will be well positioned to drive innovation and create positive social and environmental impacts within their organizations,” added Batabyal, Distinguished Professor and the Arthur J. Gosnell Professor of Economics in RIT’s College of Liberal Arts.

The program's interdisciplinary nature will enable RIT students to explore the intersection of sustainability and business through a variety of specialized courses, including sustainable supply chain management, corporate social responsibility, environmental economics, microeconomics, and strategic management. Through experiential learning opportunities, internships, and industry partnerships, RIT students will gain practical experience applying sustainability principles to real-world business challenges.

According to Bill Dresnack, director of Saunders College’s MBA program, the collaboration between GIS and Saunders College was initiated after a student expressed interest in both degrees.

“I’m thrilled that we collectively responded to a student idea and built a combined program that can serve businesses as well as communities,” said Dresnack, associate professor in the finance and accounting department. “The need to combine economic growth and innovation with environmental and social considerations will continue to increase, and at RIT we have the collective resources to play a significant role in this work. I’m proud to be a part of this.”

The new pathway is designed to be completed in two calendar years, offering RIT students the opportunity to earn two master's degrees in an accelerated timeframe. This pathway enables students to save time while positioning themselves in leadership roles in sustainability-focused industries, including renewable energy, green technology, and corporate sustainability management.

Interested students can join this new pathway by applying to the MS in Sustainable Systems program, then upon successful completion will automatically be admitted to the Master of Business Administration with scholarship guaranteed.

The program is open to students with diverse academic backgrounds, including environmental science, engineering, business, and related fields. Applications for the new pathway for a MS degree in sustainable systems and MBA are now open, with the first cohort scheduled to begin classes in the fall.

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