Penn Grad to Offer Dual Degree: Master of Environmental Studies Along With Wharton M.B.A.

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Media Contact:Julie McWilliams | juliemcw@upenn.edu | 215-898-1422December 2, 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and School of Arts and Sciences have launched a new program to enable participants to earn a dual master of business administration/master of environmental studies degree in three years or less. This course of study will groom environmental-issues students for global leadership roles in environmental management, finance and other business specialties.

The students will take business classes full-time for three semesters at Wharton and spend a year in SAS’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies, which oversees the environmental-studies portion. LPS offers evening and summer classes, enabling students to work at the same time. Also, each student will select a research focus in a concentrated field of study and develop a thesis, which can be done simultaneously with the LPS work, enabling some students to finish in two and a half years.

“Wharton is very pleased to establish this new multi-disciplinary degree that advances educational goals in both the business and environmental studies disciplines,” said Eric Orts, a professor of legal studies and business ethics and director of the Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Penn/Wharton. “It is a good example of the Penn Compact’s promise to integrate knowledge across disciplines.”

IGEL is supported by a group of leading companies, including BASF, GE, Exelon, Goldman Sachs, Interface, International Paper, Merck, Rohm & Haas, Suez Environnement and Xerox.

Classes in Wharton’s environmental and risk management track will help students develop a range of skills and knowledge they can apply in business practice. The M.E.S. portion will deepen their knowledge of environmental issues, teach them technical environmental evaluation and offer them practical field experience.

“This degree will close the gap between business and the environmental sciences,” Yvette Bordeaux, director of the M.E.S. and other programs at LPS, said. “We envision that our students will develop new approaches solving the problems of sustainability in the business world.”

Potential students must apply and gain admission to both schools independently. Once admitted, they may choose the joint-degree program.

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