University of Vermont

School of Business Administration

SEMBA Curriculum

Classroom-based learning is critical and the SEMBA curriculum is unique in its design and focus. However, real world exposure and experience are also crucial to the development of the personal perspective and skills needed to be an effective sustainable entrepreneur. Accordingly, SEMBA integrates several elements that provide practical, hands-on experience and connections.

2015/16 Calendar of SEMBA Courses

Modules and Courses:

The program is structured in 4 modules of 8 weeks each. Each module is made of a series of short, intense courses. The number of courses per module varies. The students in each cohort learn and grow together as a cohesive group, taking the same courses at the same time, and forming life long professional and personal relationships.

Every course addresses issues of sustainability. Business cases are shared across courses and these business cases focus on how certain corporations are building a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economy. The curriculum will discuss in depth how the global challenges associated with sustainability, when viewed through a business lens, can help identify managerial strategies and practices to achieve sustainable economic growth while simultaneously driving shareholder value.


Experience-based learning is a central component of the SEMBA curriculum. The summer practicums or externships are designed to bring benefits to an organization. Students will work in teams to bring real value to an existing firm or develop a business plan for a new venture focusing on sustainability. Student teams will be working for firms recognized for their sustainable brands and practices. Projects will be available locally in Vermont and around the globe with world-class organizations like Pepsico, Novelis, Novo Nordisk, Intel, Ben & Jerry's, Keurig Green Mountain, Seventh Generation, and Burton.

Sustainable Entrepreneurs in Residence:

SEMBA brings leading-edge practitioners-both executive change agents in companies, and start-up entrepreneurs-- to campus to share their personal experience and perspective with the SEMBA students. Attendance is a requirement for all students and the sessions are only open to SEMBA students and faculty. This provides you with unparalleled networking opportunities through direct and personal contact with leading practitioners. Past Sustainable Entrepreneurs in Residence have included:

  • Jostein Solheim, CEO, Ben & Jerry's
  • John Gardner, Chief Sustainability Offcer, Novelis
  • David Blittersdorf, Founder, AllEarth Renewables
  • Iqbal Quadir, Founder, Grameen Phone
  • Brian Kelly, CEO, Keurig Green Mountain
  • Matt Arnold, Head of Sustainable Finance, JP Morgan Chase
  • Richard Stammer, CEO, Cabot
  • Katie Lewis, Founder, dMass
  • Justin Bakule, Director, Shared Value Initiative, FSG

Dual Degree with Vermont Law School:

Climate-change models now predict catastrophic environmental and social impacts by the year 2050. If carbon levels continue to rise, we face significant disruptions to existing weather patterns, food and water availability, sea levels, and polar ice cover. That is why a partnership between Vermont Law School, the nation's top environmental law program, and the SEMBA program are putting a new kind of leader on a fast track—professionals trained in environmental or energy law and schooled in the best practices of sustainable business.

The accelerated dual-degree program combines the one year MBA with a two-year JD or master's degree from Vermont Law School. The combined degree program cuts as much as two years off what would normally be required. In addition to significantly reducing costs at a time when many students are struggling to afford advanced education, the goal of the collaboration is to train tomorrow's leaders in both business and law to create profitable and sustainable business and social enterprises—and to get them out into the world doing good work as quickly as possible. In its focus and accelerated time frame, the program stands apart from other dual-degree programs.

Contact us to learn more!

Last modified January 29 2016 04:14 PM