Master of Environmental Studies/Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Program overview

Currently there is a need for individuals skilled in both business and environmental science. The MES/MBA Dual Degree was formed by the Wharton School and the School of Arts and Sciences to meet this need. This course of study prepares students interested in environmental issues for global leadership roles in environmental management, finance, sustainability, and other business specialties. The ubiquity of environmental policy issues across all parts of the private sector makes this area of study relevant to students who can then go on to careers where they may demonstrate their expertise in environmental policy and its effects on particular industries.

About the program

The MES/MBA dual degree program is designed to be completed in 2.5 years including at least one summer semester. Over these 2.5 years, students are in residence at Wharton for three semesters and complete a minimum of 15 course units of Wharton courses, including the core course curriculum. The MES/MBA student is in residence at the School of Arts and Sciences (SAS) for three semesters, at which time they complete a minimum of 9 course units of MES courses that qualify for the MES degree.

  • Of the 9 course units taken in SAS, Wharton will accept 4 at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 19 course units required for the MBA degree
  • Of the 15 credit units taken at Wharton, MES will accept 3 course units at the graduate level, bringing the dual degree student to the minimum 12 course units required for the MES degree
  • This standard format reduces the typical residency for the two programs from 7 to 6 semesters and reduces the total required credit units from 31 to 24

Course sequence

The timeline below has been designed by the faculty of both Wharton and the School of Arts and Sciences and should be followed if the student is admitted to both programs simultaneously. Students already in one program when admitted to the other work with directors of both programs to properly sequence their remaining courses.






1 (Fall)


Wharton core course curriculum


5.5 course units

2 (Spring)


Wharton core course curriculum


4.5 course units

3 (Fall)


  • ENVS 601 Proseminar
  • 3 MES Foundation courses

4 course units


4 (Spring)


  • 2 MES Concentration courses
  • 1 MES Foundation course
  • ENVS 699 Capstone Seminar

4 course units


5 (Summer)


MES Research Methods course

1 course units


6 (Fall)


Wharton electives


5 course units


9 course units

15 course units


  • MES courses that also count for Wharton are taken in semesters 1, 2, or 6
  • Wharton courses that also count for MES are taken in semesters 3, 4, or 5

Capstone requirement

The Wharton MBA program does not require a thesis/capstone, while the MES does. Topics for the MES capstone should have a business, management, or sustainability focus to highlight the knowledge obtained in each program.

Career opportunities

Graduates from this dual degree may work for corporations on issues related to environmental management, sustainability and/or resilience and adaptation. Recent graduates have taken positions such as Director of Communications and Development at NYCEEC and Senior Vice President, Investment Performance & Optimization at Orion Energy Partners.

How to apply

Students may apply to both programs simultaneously or may apply in the first year of either the MBA or MES program. When applying, the student should indicate on each separate application that they are applying to the MES/MBA dual degree program. The applications are reviewed separately by the admissions committees for each program. Acceptance into one program of the dual degree does not guarantee acceptance into the other program. Students applying to the MES/MBA dual degree may submit their GMAT scores to both programs (the GRE will be waived for applicants submitting the GMAT for the MES). Once the student is admitted to both programs the dual degree program will be initiated.

See details about the MES application >
See details about the Wharton MBA application >

Contact information

MES program:

Yvette Bordeaux, PhD, Director, Professional Masters Programs in Earth and Environmental Science

MBA program:
Visit the Wharton website to get more details about the dual degree.

Master of Environmental Studies Virtual Café

Join us on the first Tuesday of every month for an online chat, hosted live from noon - 1 p.m.

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See deadlines, review our application materials checklist, and get ready to apply.

Photo of Marina Battle Rullo (MES ’23)

MES in the Community

A building doesn’t exist in a bubble, says Marina Battle Rullo (MES ’23); as a sustainability consultant for an architecture firm, she can weigh in on energy, water, and community impacts that add up over time.