Managing for Sustainability (MSUS)

Major Requirements

Sustainability has emerged as one of the foremost challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. All organizations, from businesses to governments to civic organizations, seek to generate value with finite resources. We have a deep need to recognize that economic sustainability can be achieved in the long term only by realigning business models and strategies to become ecologically and socially sustainable. MSUS graduates should not only understand the managerial challenges to realizing sustainability but also possess the courage and passion for achieving sustainable environmental, social, and economic goals. Students’ knowledge and managerial competence should grow through studying theories and concepts from a range of relevant disciplines, engaging in experiential learning, dissecting key organizational successes and failures, crafting oral and written reflections, and honing analytical abilities with multiple types of data. By building our students’ awareness of sustainability issues on all levels – from local to global – our program strives to develop the managers that organizations need to meet the sustainability challenge.

Graduates of the Managing for Sustainability program will complete a curriculum designed to help them achieve four specific learning objectives.

  1. They will understand sustainability as an interdisciplinary phenomenon that includes science, technology, history, ethics, socio-cultural circumstances, legal aspects, political conditions, and economic factors.
  2. They will understand organizational roles in sustaining our world, including how the various functions of an organization – such as finance, marketing, operations, and others – can contribute to meeting sustainability challenges.
  3. They will be stimulated to reflect regularly on the knowledge they have acquired and on their particular experiences in order to determine additional areas to explore, and they will use this reflection to foster innovative ways to address sustainability challenges.
  4. In senior-level Sustainability Action Learning Projects, MSUS students will have opportunities to manage actual efforts to foster change and to grapple with potential barriers to success.

BSBA Core Curriculum Requirements

Foundational Literacy Requirements

MGMT 100Exploring Management.5
MGMT 101Introduction to Organization and Management1
MGMT 102Quantitative Reasoning for Managers1
ECON 103Economic Principles and Problems1

Managerial Literacy Requirements

MGMT 104Foundations of Accounting I1
MGMT 201Marketing1
MGMT 202Operations1

Integrative Literacy Requirements

MGMT 302The Stakeholder Organization1
MGMT 303The Technological Organization1
MGMT 304The Strategic Organization1

All BSBA majors must satisfy the Culminating Experience component of the College Core Curriculum. MSUS majors typically fulfill this requirement by successfully completing MSUS 400 Management Consulting. In addition, all majors will take core curriculum coursework that addresses the instruction in writing, speaking, and information literacy goals of the College Core Curriculum. 

In the spring of their sophomore year, all BSBA students will, in consultation with their advisers, select a major from among one of the Freeman College of Management departments and will complete the specific major requirements in addition to the BSBA core curriculum requirements. Transferring between majors within the Freeman College of Management is possible as long as the student will be able to meet all degree requirements of the new major and still graduate on schedule.

Managing for Sustainability Requirements

Beyond completion of the BSBA core curriculum requirements, all MSUS majors must take the following two courses:

MSUS 200Managing for Sustainability I1
MSUS 400Management Consulting1

All MSUS majors must also take one 300-level MSUS course credit.

In addition, all MSUS majors must work with their MSUS adviser to determine FIVE elective courses that create a coherent course of study in sustainability, broadly defined, that can be applied to the management of organizations. The following restrictions and guidance apply to the selection of these electives:

  • At least four of these electives must come from outside the Freeman College of Management; one may come from within the Freeman College of Management. 
  • At least one of the electives must be a course that provides significant background in science associated with the environmental challenges of sustainability.
  • At least one of the electives must be a course that provides significant background in social or cultural challenges associated with sustainability.

For the use of MSUS majors, the MSUS Program will maintain a list of courses approved as MSUS electives; students may request Program approval for courses not on the preapproved list.

Freeman College of Management students will take core courses and courses within their specific major that incorporate learning goals:


  • Understand and demonstrate how to analyze and use data to model and improve organizational processes.


  • Understand technology's impact on organizations and the interplay between technology and the organization.


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to deliver effective oral presentations in a team environment.


  • Students' written work will demonstrate ability to learn from their own performances through reflective writing.


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to articulate a moral argument, drawing on and applying insights from ethical theory.


  • Students will demonstrate the mastery of key concepts in financial literacy.


  • Students will demonstrate mastery of key Marketing concepts.


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to evaluate, identify, and understand different organizational perspectives and be able to integrate and synthesize diverse information.

Numbers in parentheses reflect related Educational Goals.


MSUS 200. Managing for Sustainability I. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
This course explores how organizations manage toward social, environmental, and economic sustainability goals. Prerequisites: sophomores, juniors, or seniors only.

MSUS 301. Managing for Sustainability II. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Advanced topics in sustainability, including triple-bottom line performance management and integrating other sustainability themes.

MSUS 310. Independent Study in Managing for Sustainability. .5-2 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Individual study or projects, supervised by instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MSUS 315. Special Topics in Managing for Sustainability. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
A seminar on selected topics in managing for sustainability. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

MSUS 316. Organizing for Justice and Social Change. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Interdisciplinary approach to studying multiple ways of organizing for the purposes of promoting justice and social change. Prerequisite: MGMT 101 or permission of the instructor.

MSUS 320. Sustainable Development Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
This cross-sectoral seminar explores civil society building, post-conflict reconstruction, humanitarian assistance and social, economic and political change, focusing on both sustainable development and development management.

MSUS 330. Sustainable Human Resource Management. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Focus is on how human resource management practices can contribute to organizations' economic sustainability while simultaneously enriching lives of employees and their communities. Prerequisite: MGMT 101 or permission of the instructor.

MSUS 335. Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Focus is on the promise and peril of social innovation and entrepreneurship. Critically examine the promise, achievements, and problems with both. Students develop a pilot project in social innovation or entrepreneurship.

MSUS 390. Honors Course in Managing for Sustainability. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Special and independent studies for Managing for Sustainability majors selected under guidelines of the school and the University Honors Council. Honors thesis required. Prerequisites: nomination by the school and permission of the instructor.

MSUS 3NT. Managing for Sustainability Non-traditional Study. 1-4 Credits.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:Varies; Repeatable
Non-traditional study in managing for sustainability.

MSUS 400. Management Consulting. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3,Other:3
Action research course exposing students to principles of organization development and change. Requires students to draw on and integrate knowledge, skills, and experiences gained from core, major, and relevant CCC courses. In teams, students develop, organize, and manage significant projects that further key sustainability goals and involve multiple stakeholder groups.

MSUS 4NT. Managing for Sustainability: Non-Traditional Study. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring or Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
A non-traditional study project arranged with an instructor and approved by the department or program chair and academic dean. Prerequisite: MSUS 200 or MSUS 300 or permission of the instructor.


Professors: Raquel Meyer Alexander (Dean of the Freeman College of Management), Douglas E. Allen (MIDE Chair-fall), Mark S. Bettner, Neil Boyd, William R. Gruver, Tammy B. Hiller, Elton G. McGoun (GLBM Chair), Adam Schwartz

Associate Professors: Matthew D. Bailey, Mihai Banciu (Associate Dean of Faculty for the Freeman College of Management), Cynthia Guthrie (ACFM Chair), Jamie R. Hendry (MSUS Chair), David E. Jensen, Michael E. Johnson-Cramer, Eric C. Martin, Stacy Mastrolia, Curtis Nicholls, Eric L. Santanen (MIDE Chair-spring), Frank Schreiner, Janice M. Traflet

Associate Professor of Management Practice: Robert A. Needham

Assistant Professors: Jimmy Chen, Annetta Grant, Richard Kedzior, Kristy Schenck, Alia C. Stanciu, Kate Suslava

Visiting Professor: Timothy Sweeney (emeritus)

Visiting Associate Professor: Stephen H. O'Connor

Visiting Assistant Professors: Ryan S. Burg, Yi (Cathy) Chen, Karen McGrath, Frances Emme Turner, Vivienne Wildes

Lecturers: Christopher W. Kisvarday, Mary F. Leshinskie