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Diploma in Business and the Environment

NOTE: Spaces in this diploma program are limited. Admission into the MES program does not guarantee that you will be able to pursue this option. More details will be provided during the MES admissions process

The interests of private enterprise and the pursuit of sustainable development, including environmental, cultural and economic sustainability, are often viewed as fundamentally in conflict – separated by very different philosophies, private versus public interests, and differing concepts as to what constitutes "progress."

Economic activity as a transaction mechanism among humans, and between humans and their environments, is of great importance. The challenge is to find new models of economic activity that can provide needed services and goods in a manner consistent with the principles of sustainable development.

This Diploma is open to students in both the MES program and the Schulich School of Business MBA program. Pursuing the Diploma will allow you to develop a more focused and rigorous approach to your studies in the field of business and environment. If you successfully meet the Diploma requirements, you will receive a Graduate Diploma in Business and the Environment in addition to your MES or MBA degree.

Program Coordinators

The Diploma is offered jointly through the Faculty of Environmental Studies and the Schulich School of Business. Students from each degree program are supported by a coordinator from their home Faculty.

Course requirements

Students in both the MBA and MES programs must take four courses (12 credits) including two courses from part (A) and two courses from part (B) below. These courses may be counted, in full or in part, towards degree credit for your MES or MBA program.

PART A - Required Core Courses
BSUS 6500.03/ENVS 5113.03 Business Strategies for Sustainability 
BSUS 6300.03/ENVS 6191.03 Management Practices for Sustainable Business

PART B - Elective Courses
Two courses from the following:

Schulich School of Business courses:

  • ECON 6170.030* Environmental Economics for Business
  • BSUS 6980/ENVS 6190.030 Case Studies in Environmental Management
  • ETHC 6100/ENVS 6110.030 Environmental Ethics: Policy and Management Perspectives
  • ACTG 6951.030 Accounting & Accountability for the New Economy
  • OBIR 6350.030** The Management of Change
  • OBIR 6400.030 Interpersonal Conflict, Politics & Power in Organizations
  • BSUS 6900.015/030 Independent Study -- pre-approved by Diploma Committee
  • MKTG 6480.030 Not-for-Profit Marketing
  • ETHC 5510.015 Ethics and Social Responsibility in Management

Environmental Studies courses:

  • ENVS 6115.030* Ecological Economics
  • ENVS 6186.030 Theory and Methods of Environmental Impact Assessment
  • ENVS 6148.030 Environmental Negotiation and Mediation
  • ENVS 6114.030 Sustainable Development for Canada
  • ENVS 6599.030 Individual Directed Study (must be pre-approved by Diploma Committee)
  • ENVS 6281.030 Consulting Skills
  • ENVS 6144.030 Action Learning
  • ENVS 5107.030** Management in Turbulent Environments
  • ENVS 6155.030 Program Implementation

Osgoode Hall Law School courses:

  • LW 2880/0ENVS 6164.030 Environmental Law
  • LW 4880.030 International Environmental Law: Protection of the Global Environment
  • LW 3490.030 Resource Management

* Students may choose either ECON 6170 or ENVS 6115 to count towards their diploma requirements, but not both.
** Students may choose either OBIR 6350 or ENVS 5107 to count towards their diploma requirements, but not both.

Internship Requirements

To earn the Diploma, students must also complete an internship of at least 12 weeks in a business or organization, with a focus on business and the environment (normally a minimum of 30 hours per week or 360 hours total). Normally, the intern ship should occur after the student has completed at least one of the required courses. The internship may be paid or unpaid, and completed on a full- or part-time basis. Students must secure their own internship placement, however, members of the Diploma Program Committee will provide advice and/or assistance where possible. Before the internship begins, the student must submit a proposal to the Committee with the following details:

1. The name and nature of the organization within which the internship will be undertaken.

2. Confirmation that the organization recognizes that you are working toward an internship requirement and is committed to helping you achieve your goals.

3. The time period for the internship.

4. The Supervisor of the internship, who understands the internship requirements.

5. Clearly identified learning objectives for the internship. (In the case of MES students, the relationship between the internship and the student's Plan of Study should be made clear.) 

6. How the learning objectives will be met.

7. The form that the internship report will take (i.e. the deliverable, portfolio of evidence, written report etc).
Internship proposals from FES students should be directed initially to the FES Co-Coordinator who will review them prior to forwarding them to the full Committee for its consideration. MBA students should similarly direct their proposals to the MBA Co-Coordinator, who will review the proposals prior to circulating to the entire Committee.

After the internship, the student will prepare a report on the learning experience and submit it to the Diploma Program Committee. The internship report will be reviewed by the Committee and is subject to a satisfactory assessment of the student's performance by his or her internship supervisor in the host institution prior to its acceptance by the Committee.

Research Paper option
In rare circumstances, students can submit a Research Paper instead of an internship if they obtain prior approval from the Diploma Program Committee. This paper must submitted within a term after completion of the degree requirements. Approval of the paper topic and final assessment of the paper must be Similar pre-approval, guidance and assessment of the research paper by the relevant Faculty Co-Coordinator of the Diploma Program will pertain.

Additional Program-Specific Requirements

Students must also provide documentation to show that their program-specific requirements will be met satisfactorily, as set out below.

MES Student Requirements
MES students need to demonstrate that their Major Paper, Project or Thesis has a strong business and environment focus. A copy of the Major Paper, Project or Thesis proposal should be submitted to the FES Diploma Program Co-Coordinator prior to the Student's MES II-III general examination. For the purposes of the Diploma program, this proposal should:

  • Clearly identify the nature of the business and environment dimension of the Major Paper, project or Thesis;
  • Provide sufficient information on how this business and environment dimension will be researched;
  • Provide confirmation that the student's Advisor and Supervisor are aware that the student is pursuing the Diploma program.