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Attention: New certificate requirements are in effect starting fall 2013. Compliance with these is required for students who have not completed the old certificate requirements by the end of spring 2014. Until then, compliance is optional, and students may receive the certificate by fulfilling the old requirements. Please refer to tabs "NEW Required Coursework" and "OLD Required Coursework" for further information.

GOAL: Provide graduate students the fundamental knowledge and skills to sustainably manage enterprises that integrate economic, environmental, and social dimensions into their decision-making.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE: Graduate students from any school on the University of Wisconsin- Madison campus.

OVERVIEW: The Graduate Certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility (BESR) offers a suite of courses addressing the interrelations between business and its natural and social environment.

Certificate students will acquire knowledge of:

  • Causes of environmental and social challenges as relating to business, and respective policy and business responses
  • Frameworks and measurement systems for incorporating sustainability concerns into business analysis and decision-making
  • Domains in which business activities and sustainability concerns intersect, and the management of these intersections

Certificate students will acquire fundamental skills to:

  • Analyze the causes of and responses to environmental and social problems, as well as develop and implement solutions to these problems as managers and policymakers
  • Identify and apply frameworks for effectively incorporating sustainability considerations into the analysis and decision-making of managers and policymakers
  • Analyze where and how environmental and social issues intersect with business, as well as develop and implement solutions for managing these intersections

As determined by each student’s individual course path, students will acquire deeper knowledge and skills in select domains such as systems designs, risk management, green real estate, and more. Students are also encouraged to participate in a variety of events and activities that provide a forum to exchange ideas and connect the business community with students and faculty interested in sustainability.

The BESR certificate is one example of the Wisconsin School of Business’ efforts to develop and disseminate insights into sustainability related issues. In the 2009-2010 Beyond Grey Pinstripes survey, the Wisconsin School of Business was ranked 17th in the world in business schools committed to environmental and social stewardship.

The coursework outlined below is in effect starting fall 2013. Compliance with this coursework is required for students who have not completed the old certificate requirements by the end of spring 2014. Until then, compliance is strongly encouraged but optional, and students may still receive the certificate by fulfilling the old requirements. Please refer to the tab "OLD Required Coursework" for further information.

The required foundation course, advanced business sustainability coursework, and electives from across the campus need to tally a minimum of 12 credits. The slate of coursework options available for fulfilling the certificate program is shown in the table below. Students are strongly encouraged to participate in related non-credit sustainability experiences via competitions, conferences, and speaker events.

The foundation course has no prerequisites and is open to all graduate students on campus. Students will: 1) take one required foundation course (MHR 765 – Sustainable Enterprise Management, 2) choose at least three (3) additional credits from a list of Wisconsin School of Business advanced business sustainability coursework, and 3) select up to six (6) credits of additional courses from other elective coursework.

Required Foundational Coursework(3 credits):
MHR 765: Sustainable Enterprise Management (spring)

Wisconsin School of Business - Advanced Business Sustainability Classes (choose at least 3 credits from list):

  • OTM 770: Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement (fall/spring)
  • OTM 860: Sustainable Design of Products, Services and Systems (spring; alternates with OTM 861)
  • OTM 861: Embedding Sustainable Strategy (spring; alternates with OTM 860)
  • RE 651: Green – Sustainable Property Development (spring)
  • RMI 650: Sustainability, Environmental, and Social Risk Management (fall)

Other Elective Coursework (Up to 6 credits from other elective coursework can be counted towards the required 12 certificate credits):a

School Courses
Businessb
  • ACCT 700: Financial Accounting
  • ACCT 710: Managerial Accounting
  • GEN BUS 600: Topics on Sustainable Business Practices
  • GEN BUS 601: Systems Thinking and Sustainable Businesses
  • FIN 700: Introduction to Financial Management
  • MHR 728: Negotiations
  • MHR 723: Business Strategy
  • MKT 700: Marketing Management
  • OTM 700: Operations Management
  • OTM 732: Economics for Management
  • RMI 700: Principles of Risk Management
  • RMI/GEN BUS 701: Managing Legal Risks
  • TRAN PU 671: Energy Economics
CALS
  • AAE 531: Natural Resource Economics
  • AAE 643: Foundations of Environmental Economics
  • AAE 729: The Microdynamics of Environment and Development
  • AAE 760: Dynamic Natural Resource Economics
  • AAE 762: Environmental Economics
  • F&W ECOL 652: Decision Methods for Natural Resource Managers
CALS/LS
  • URB R PL 734: Regional Economic Problem Analysis
  • URB R PL 841: Urban Functions, Spatial Organization, and Environmental Form
  • URB R PL 865: Water Resources Institutions and Policies
  • URB R PL 843: Land Use Policy and Planning
Nelson Institute
  • ENVIR ST 575: Assessment of Environmental Impact
  • ENVIR ST 707: Professional Skills for Global Systems Analysis (1 credit)
Engineering
  • EPD 660: Core Competencies of Sustainability
  • EPD 661: Industrial Ecology: Sustainability Tools in Context
Law
  • LAW 848: Introduction to Environmental Law
  • LAW 845: Water Rights Law
  • LAW 989: Environmental Law and Practice
  • LAW 988: Select Prbls. in Environmental Law: "Natural Resources Law"
  • LAW 988: Select Prbls. in Environmental Law: "Agricultural Law & the Environment"
  • LAW 981: Select Prbls. in International Law: "International Environmental Law & Policy"
  • LAW 981: Select Prbls. in International Law: "Climate Change, Human Rights & the Environment"
La Follette
  • PUB AFFR 881: Benefit-Cost Analysis
  • PUB AFFR 866: Global Environmental Governance
Medicine and Public Health
  • POP HLTH 740: Health Impact Assessment of Global Environmental Change

a: The list of electives is dynamic and will be adjusted as new courses are being offered and others dropped. Students may request to substitute listed electives with courses that are currently not listed. Such a request requires that the student explains how the substitute class meets the learning outcomes of the certificate and assists the student in reaching his or her individual goals for taking the certificate. The request requires approval by the certificate director in coordination with the Certificate Oversight Committee.

b: For courses with access restricted to Wisconsin School of Business students, non-business school students may select equivalent open-access lower-level courses numbered 300 and above (e.g., substitute MHR 723 with MHR 423).

Extracurricular Activities (Certificate students are encouraged, but not required, to engage in extracurricular activities that enhance the certificate’s learning outcomes.) These include:

  • Speaker events such as the Business Sustainability Speaker Series and Weston Lecture Series
  • Competitions such as Walmart’s Sustainable Business Plan Competition and Burrill Business Plan Competition
  • Conferences such as the Nelson’s Institute Annual Earth Day conference and Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference

Until the end of spring 2014, students may receive the certificate by fulfilling the coursework outlined below. Certificate students who have not completely met these requirements by the end of spring 2014 need to fulfill the requirements as described in the tab "NEW Required Coursework."

Students are required to complete a total of 12 credits to fulfill the requirements of the BESR certificate.

A minimum of 6 credits must be taken from the follow BESR-focused courses. Please click on the course title for a brief description of the class.*

Fall

  • Gen Bus 600 - Business, Development & the Environment (3 Credits)
  • RMI 650 - Sustainability, Environmental and Social Risk Management (3 credits)
  • OTM 770 - Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement
  • Gen Bus 765 - Clean Tech Community Forum (1 credit Speaker Series)

Spring

  • Gen Bus 601 - Systems Thinking and Sustainable Businesses (3 credits)
  • RE 651 - Green – Sustainable Property Development (3 credits)
  • OTM 770 - Sustainable Approaches to System Improvement
  • OTM 860 - Sustainable Design of Products, Services and Systems (alternates with OTM 861)
  • OTM 861 - Embedding Sustainable Strategy (alternates with OTM 860)
  • Gen Bus 765 - Clean Tech Community Forum (1 credit Speaker Series)
  • MHR 765 - Sustainable Enterprise Management

Up to 6 credits from other elective coursework can be counted toward the required 12 certificate credits. Any graduate and undergraduate class offered by the Wisconsin School of Business qualifies for this elective coursework. Students are encouraged to assemble a course portfolio that best matches their interests and builds upon potential prior business knowledge. Non-business school students, for instance, might select foundational classes such as introductory accounting, finance, or marketing. Students with some business background are encouraged to choose more advanced or specialized classes. Note that access to some graduate classes offered by the Wisconsin School of Business is restricted to current MBA students.

* A student may not use the same advanced Wisconsin School of Business course/BESR focused course to acquire two certificates from the Wisconsin SChool of Business (e.g., RMI 650 — Sustainability, Environmental and Social Risk Management and OTM 860 - Sustainable Design of Products, Services and Systems cannot be counted for more than one certificate).


Mark Finster
Associate Professor
mfinster@bus.wisc.edu
Ph.D., BS

Ann Terlaak
Associate Professor
aterlaak@bus.wisc.edu
Ph.D., MA

Thank you for your interest in the Graduate Certificate in Business, Environment and Social Responsibility. Before you begin your application, please gather the information listed below.

  • A list of your previous degrees including institution, degree, major, date granted and GPA for each degree
  • Your scores and percentiles for all applicable graduate school admission tests
  • Your current GPA
  • Your advisor's name and email
  • The semester you plan to begin the certificate

For your application to be approved, it is required that you gain consent from your faculty advisor (or, where appropriate, graduate program coordinator) to participate in the BESR certificate. Please have your advisor send an email to the certificate director at aterlaak@bus.wisc.edu confirming this consent.

Further note that your application automatically serves as a declaration of your intent to pursue the certificate. This declaration will become part of your academic record.

Proceed with Application

The following individuals welcome any questions that you may have about the Graduate Certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility.

Director, BESR Certificate
Ann Terlaak
4261 Grainger Hall
Wisconsin School of Business
aterlaak@bus.wisc.edu
Website: http://bus.wisc.edu/faculty/ann-terlaak

Oversight Committee:

  • Seth Block, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Student Representative
  • Gregory DeCroix, Wisconsin Naming Partnership Professor, Department of Operations and Information Systems
  • Mark Finster, Associate Professor, Operations and Information Management
  • John McKenna, MBA Student Representative
  • Joan Schmit, Professor and Distinguished American Family Insurance Chair of Risk Management and Insurance, Department of Actuarial Science, Risk Management & Insurance
  • Ann Terlaak, Associate Professor, Department of Management and Human Resources, Director, BESR Certificate