Curriculum

Recognized for its excellence and leadership in business and sustainability, Johnson offers various curriculum options for students and executives to develop knowledge and expertise in this domain.

SGE Intensive

The SGE intensive provides both first and second year residential MBA students a unique opportunity to develop a practical understanding of sustainability issues in the context of business, as well as how to deploy strategic business decision-making in the context of sustainability as a driver of business growth and innovation. As climate change, social and environmental justice, and environmental degradation threaten the foundations of economies around the world, sustainability literacy is fast becoming a critical must-have skill from the c-suite to the factory floor.

The intensive includes a combination of experiential courses rooted in strategic management that are designed to help students develop and practice key leadership skills — Learn, Engage, Articulate, and Develop (LEAD) — in order to prepare them to influence others to achieve organizational success. Students put their coursework into action by working in multidisciplinary teams with graduate students from across Cornell on a client-facing project consisting of a strategic sustainability-related issue facing a real organization.

Non-Johnson students should contact the Center directly for details about the application process.

Read about the SGE experience from the student perspective here:

Environmental Finance and Impact Investing (EFII) Fellows Program

This program aims to train Johnson students for emerging opportunities at the intersection of sustainability and finance, including project finance that addresses climate change, ecosystem services, and poverty alleviation. Through a series of courses, coupled with applied projects, EFII Fellows are trained to invest in, manage, or regulate businesses or projects seeking financial, environmental, and/or social goals. Fellows gain experience in a range of topics, including finance and analytics, markets and regulation, science and technology, and economic and political analysis. In addition, they are required to engage in professional learning opportunities that include internships and hands-on, applied projects with investors, industry, government, and the NGO community.

Graduate students must apply to be EFII Fellows during their first semester. Selection is based on academic performance, as well as career interest.

SGE Concentration

Johnson allows second-year MBA students the opportunity to better position and train themselves for their specific career through the concentration program. The Sustainable Global Enterprise concentration is one of twelve breadth concentrations students can choose from. Students are required to complete nine credits worth of specialized classes including one required “Foundation” course.

SGE Electives

There are a number of sustainability-related electives available at the Johnson as well as elsewhere on the Cornell campus. Johnson students can take a limited number of electives outside of Johnson and are encouraged to explore these opportunities based on their specific interests. Non-Johnson students can take Johnson classes with permission from the instructor. A list of Cornell classes related to energy, environment, and economic development is maintained by the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, although it may not capture the most recent course changes.


Keith Liao, MBA ‘20

As a non-traditional MBA the SGE treks were fantastic. Visiting companies and interacting with people working in sustainability who often have a non-traditional mindset made me realize how I can make an impact or contribution at "traditional" companies coming from a non-traditional perspective.

Keith Liao, MBA ‘20
Hayley Farr

I use the skills I developed in the SGE program every day to tell data-driven stories that support strategy and process recommendations that I am making to my division.

Hayley Farr, MBA '12