University of Vermont

Environmental Sciences

SEMBA Rises to No. 2 on Princeton Review's "Best Green MBA" List

Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA in the Grossman School of Business also lands two major awards

UVM Business Professor Stuart Hart in his classroom
Professor Stuart Hart, one of the world's top authorities on the implications of environment and poverty for business strategy, has been a driving force behind SEMBA's rise in national prominence as its co-director along with Professor David Jones. (Photo: John Turner)

The University of Vermont’s Sustainable Entrepreneurship MBA (SEMBA) program in the Grossman School of Business continues to bolster its growing reputation as one of the nation's most innovative business programs by climbing to the No. 2 spot on The Princeton Review's “Best Green MBA” list, and claiming two other major awards in October.

SEMBA moved past the Yale School of Management and the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business to ascend to the second position in the Princeton Review rankings, trailing only the University of Oregon’s Charles H. Lundquist College of Business. The “Best Green MBA” rankings are based on students’ assessments of how well their school is preparing them in environmental/sustainability and social responsibility issues, and for a career in a green job market.

One week earlier, SEMBA was ranked as the 10th best MBA program in the world by Corporate Knights, a Toronto-based media and research company focused on clean capitalism including social, economic and ecological factors, in its Better World MBA Rankings. MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Duquesne's Palumbo Donahue School of Business were the only US schools ranked ahead of UVM in the only major global rankings that evaluate graduate business programs on their integration of sustainability into the education of future business leaders.

Compared to traditional MBA rankings, the Better World MBA rankings are designed to help students and corporate leaders identify solid programs that have the infrastructure to support sustainability skills and knowledge. The rankings also recognize programs that prepare graduates to solve business problems that intersect with larger social problems, such as climate change and inequality.

SEMBA, which has won multiple awards for sustainability, picked up its first award for Excellence in Specialty Entrepreneurship Education at the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference on Oct. 1. The Outstanding Specialty Program Award is given to business programs that excel in a specific area of entrepreneurship education. SEMBA was recognized for its ability to create “change agents rather than implementers by focusing on four primary domains for placing graduates: intrapreneurs, consultants, entrepreneurs, and investors.”

The award also took into account SEMBA’s experience-based learning as a central component of its curriculum, including summer practicum projects “designed to create mutual value, creating benefits for the sponsoring organization and important problem-solving learning experiences for the students.” SEMBA's reliance on entrepreneurs and business leaders to conduct workshops and serve as “entrepreneurs in residence” also stood out.

“Thus far, SEMBA has received awards for being the best program in the category of sustainable business,” said Sanjay Sharma, dean of the Grossman School. “This award recognizes the program in the category of entrepreneurship, which is fitting since the program has a focus on both sustainability and entrepreneurship. We have invented a new category and blazed a new path. Possibly in the future, awards may be created in a category that combines the critical combination of sustainability and entrepreneurship.”

Now in its third year, SEMBA has also been included in the Princeton Review's list of the “Best 295 Business Schools” in the U.S.; CEO Magazine's list of top MBA programs in North America; and was named as the 2015 Grand Prize winner of the Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula by the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.