Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business

A specialized program that equips students with the skills and knowledge to address the social and environmental dimensions of conducting business in a global market. 

The Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business program prepares managers and entrepreneurs to help lead organizations toward financially viable business practices that contribute to a more equitable economy and a healthier natural environment.

The Program

This multidisciplinary program emphasizes four aspects of sustainable business that create stakeholder value and improve a firm's long-term market impact:

  • provide effective values-based leadership of green teams and responsible organizations
  • identify and pursue strategic market opportunities created by environmental and social challenges
  • devlop analytical frameworks and solutions-focused skills to address stakeholder needs
  • manage risk (regulatory, reputation, climate, market) and track/report sustainability metrics

Students in the program learn how to:

  • articulate the business case for sustainability
  • conceptualize innovative products and services
  • lead internal and external coalitions
  • drive organizational change
  • implement metrics to measure sustainability progress and incorporate accountability for responsible decision-making

Required Courses

Students specializing in sustainable business complete three required courses:

BUS 884: Business Ethics, Society, and Sustainability

The role and impact of business in society. Contemporary social, political, legal, and ethical issues that demonstrate the mutual impact of economic and non-economic institutions both domestically and abroad.

BUS 857: Business Management, Ecology and Environmental Leadership

Impact of business organizations on the natural environment. Innovative and effective approaches to environmental issues.

MGMT 858: Innovation for Sustainability 

Business innovation to meet society's emerging needs. Application of design thinking and innovation to the challenges of creating a more sustainable society, and the emerging opportunities for business to become an innovative force in addressing social and environmental problems.

How to Apply

We welcome applications from current matriculated SF State graduate students and non-matriculated post-baccalaureate domestic adults interested in the multidisciplinary study of sustainable business.

If you are a currently matriculated SF State graduate student:

  • You will need to complete the application form on Docusign.
  • Applications are due by August 15 for Fall admission or January 15 for Spring admission, unless the academic department requires an earlier deadline.

If you are not currently matriculated at SF State:

  • You must formally apply to the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business through Cal State Apply (external link).
  • Applicants are required to upload unofficial transcripts, a statement of interest, and current CV/résumé.
  • Important: To apply for certificates, please go to your EXTENDED PROFILE and under DEGREE GOAL select CERTIFICATE, then choose Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Business and SAVE.
  • Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with deadlines in May and October.

More Information

To view PDF files, you may download Adobe Reader
To view Word, Excel & PowerPoint files, you may download LibreOffice