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Maggie Winslow, Presidio Graduate School’s Academic Dean and Chief Academic Officer, sat down with us to explain how recent revisions to Presidio’s MBA program curriculum ensure that students have access to a degree program that mirrors rapid and real-time changes in the sustainable business sphere.

In the spring of 2021, an initiative to review and revise our MBA program’s curriculum was launched to ensure that our courses keep up with the rapidly evolving sustainability and social impact industry and workforce changes. One of our key goals was to ensure that our courses continue to deliver the tools and knowledge students need to launch and succeed in their careers.

I was the lead on this initiative and had two excellent partners in the process: Cecily Joseph, an Expert in Residence at the time who is now teaching a course called Integrating Racial Equity into Our Sustainability Work; and Alexa Basse, a student worker who has since graduated and is currently working as a Senior Consultant for Climate Change and Sustainability Services at EY.

After an extensive review process, we were pleased to identify many of the curriculum’s strengths, but particularly opportunities for improvement over the next ten years.

As part of Presidio’s commitment to bringing cutting-edge and real-world sustainability and social justice insights into the classroom, we’ve since made the following changes to our MBA program’s curriculum:

  • We added a new one-unit course entitled Professional Skills for a Career with Purpose. This course is designed to help students make the most of their time at Presidio and to help them better prepare for their careers. It includes panels of alumni and other professionals who discuss their career paths and how they have used their education. It also includes a review of best practices for resume building, LinkedIn profiles, and other career collateral.
  • We brought back Capstone as a required course. Students will have two track options: Sustainable Innovation, where they will develop their ideas for a new offering, or Entrepreneurship, where they will work on a project or plan for an existing company.
  • We reduced the leadership courses from three 3-unit courses to two 4-unit courses to reduce some of the curriculum’s redundancies and provide core courses that are all the same length.
  • In our quantitative courses, we’ve increased the focus on quantitative skills, especially skill-building with software like Excel and Tableau.
  • We’ve added several electives that allow students to focus on particular areas of interest. Sample elective courses include: Energy Systems, Sustainable Food Systems, Creating a Sustainable and Effective DEI Strategy, Greenhouse Gas Accounting and Management, Advanced Course on GRI and SDGs, Legal Frameworks for Sustainability, Integrating Racial Equity into Our Sustainability Work, and Management Consulting Skills for Sustainability Professionals.

I’m happy to share that overall; our students are pleased with these recent curricular revisions. One consistency in our students’ feedback is particularly liking our new elective options. We are fortunate to have students who are seeking an education that will help them become more effective at building a more sustainable and just world. Working with and supporting our students throughout their academic and professional journeys is an incredible privilege.

To learn more about Presidio’s MBA in Sustainable Solutions Degree Program, please visit the following link: and connect with our admissions team at

About the Author / Maggie Winslow

Dr. Winslow is a founding faculty member of Presidio Graduate School, where she spent nine years teaching managerial economics and macroeconomics through an ecological economics lens and serving as MBA Program Chair and Academic Dean. In 2012, she moved to the University of San Francisco, where she managed the MS in Environmental Management and the undergraduate Environmental Studies program. In 2016, she created and founded the MS in Energy Systems Management program, an interdisciplinary program focused on supporting the transition to the clean energy economy. Until 2021, she was the Program Director and Professor of Energy Systems Management, teaching Renewable Energy Economics, Renewable Energy Finance, and Quantitative Methods. In January of 2021, she returned to PGS as the Academic Dean. Her research interests span renewable energy, sustainability, democracy, social justice, and ecological economics.

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