Online Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership

Are you passionate about carrying out new sustainability practices in your organization? The sustainability leadership executive master’s degree will help you move these initiatives forward in the face of obstacles. You'll explore sustainability strategy, communication and leadership from a global perspective. Your knowledge of sustainable practices will be ready for direct and immediate use.

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Quick facts

Next start date: 08/19/2021

Total classes: 10

Weeks per class: 7.5

Total credit hours: 30

Degree questions, answered.

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The demand for sustainability initiatives in the workplace is growing fast. Yet, many working professionals may not be ready to meet this demand. If you want to further develop your skills, the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership may suit you. You'll work on practical case studies from your workplace to overcome sustainability challenges. Program coursework covers sustainability communication, leadership and strategy from a global perspective. You'll learn how to use sustainability practices to enhance societal and environmental systems. This knowledge can help you embed sustainability throughout your career and organization. You'll also be encouraged to take leadership-focused electives. These will hone your ability to be an effective leader and move initiatives forward.

Our faculty have years of direct experience in sustainability science, business and governance. They have developed powerful and integrated course content for the program. The curriculum was created by academic and industry leaders to give you practical tools for immediate use. As a student, you'll also get individual mentorship and access to networks of sustainability leaders.

You'll join a diverse cohort of professionals with at least five years of experience. This enables you to gain perspective outside your routine sphere of influence.

Interact with executive-level sustainability managers and strategists


In this executive sustainability leadership degree, you’ll take an immersive course. The three-credit course takes place during a week-long stay in Washington, D.C. The immersive course will take place around spring break in March. You’ll interact with executive-level sustainability leaders and strategists. They'll give you firsthand knowledge about addressing sustainability challenges and solutions. You’ll engage in site visits with various entities. These might include corporations, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and the private sector. You’ll also interact with other members of your student cohort. This experience gives you the chance to brainstorm sustainability solutions and gain consultancy experience.

Students in the Executive Master of Sustainability Leadership program can participate in 1:1 coaching sessions once-a-month with program faculty to help with career planning and professional development.

Sustainability leadership skills for executives


As an executive sustainability student, you’ll gain the skills to drive high-impact results. You'll be better prepared to move sustainability initiatives forward in your organization.

Students graduating from this program will:

  • Apply solutions-based knowledge and tools for institutional development.
  • Build and communicate cases for sustainability initiatives in organizations.
  • Gain critical knowledge, approaches and tools for sustainability leadership.
  • Lead institutional change and development toward sustainability.
  • Understand the emerging global sustainability context.

What is an executive master’s degree?


This executive master’s degree is an accelerated one-year program. It's designed for working professionals with five or more years of experience. Potential students may have any number of academic credentials. These may include degrees in business, education, engineering, health care and more. The curriculum is a result of input from sustainability executives and advocates. As such, students develop sustainability leadership skills to advance their careers.

The first School of Sustainability in the U.S. developed this executive leadership program. It’s one of the only programs of its kind offered 100% online with an immersive experience in Washington, D.C.

Have less than five years of experience? Or do you need a more flexible, part-time schedule? You might consider the Master of Sustainability Leadership program. The curriculum is almost identical, but it doesn’t offer an immersive experience in Washington, D.C.

Sustainability leadership courses for executives

The courses in this executive master’s degree give executives a comprehensive understanding of sustainability. You’ll explore approaches for achieving sustainability initiatives. You’ll also learn how leaders must weigh social and environmental issues in corporate decision-making.

Required core

Pathways to Sustainability

Required core

Leading Sustainability Transitions

Required core

Mastering the Global Sustainability Context

Required core

Strategic Sustainability and Leadership

Required core

Sustainability Storytelling and Communications

Required core

Essentials for Transformative Leadership in Sustainability

Required core

Immersive Experience in Sustainability

Capstone course

Where can I use my executive education in sustainability leadership?

The career options for graduates with a master’s degree in sustainability leadership are diverse. They can apply their solutions-based knowledge to their current careers. Or they can seek new opportunities for sustainable development in a range of industries. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Business optimization manager

Chief executive officer (CEO)

Chief sustainability officer (CSO)


Director of strategic initiatives

Sustainability analyst

Sustainability coordinator

Sustainability director

Sustainability manager

Executive education created and taught by leaders in sustainability

ASU’s School of Sustainability recruits faculty from practitioners in sustainability science, business, governance and mission-driven organizations.

They cover a vast array of disciplines, such as business and policy, renewable energy and environmental science.Through use-inspired research, our faculty strives to make our world more sustainable.

Executive education created and taught by leaders in sustainability

ASU’s School of Sustainability recruits faculty from practitioners in sustainability science, business, governance and mission-driven organizations.

They cover a vast array of disciplines, such as business and policy, renewable energy and environmental science.Through use-inspired research, our faculty strives to make our world more sustainable.

Apply to the executive sustainability leadership program

Applicants must fulfill the requirements of the Graduate College and the School of Sustainability. Applicants are eligible to apply to the program if they have earned a bachelor's or master's degree, in any field, from a regionally accredited institution. They should also have a minimum of five years of professional or organizational experience or the equivalent. The program will accept applications until August 1.

Application requirements

Work history

English proficiency

Study at the nation’s first School of Sustainability

ASU is a global university recognized for its commitment to innovation, research and high-quality academic programs. Our university has been recognized with peer-reviewed honors from U.S. News & World Report. We’ve also received accolades from other prestigious organizations, showcasing our commitment to excellence across all disciplines.


university in the U.S. in pursuit of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Top 10

Coolest Schools by Sier ra Club for campus sustainability.


in innovation for 6 consecutive years, ahead of Stanford and MIT.

Top 10%

Best Global Universities.

Tuition calculator

Our tuition calculator can help you estimate full-time tuition fees for this program without financial aid. Keep in mind: More than 80% of our students receive financial aid.

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