USD MBA Program Ranked among World's Best for Corporate & Social Responsibility

Aspen Institute Releases “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” Report

The University of San Diego’s master of business administration program is ranked among the top 25 universities in the world for integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its curriculum, according to the Aspen Institute’s 2009-2010 edition of “Beyond Grey Pinstripes.”

USD’s MBA program ranks 21st in the world and jumped 15 spots from its ranking of 36th two years ago on the list of the top 100 schools. 

“One year ago our financial system nearly collapsed, in part because of unethical and risky decisions by some in corporate America,” said David Pyke, dean of USDs’ School of Business Administration. “Our high ranking from the Aspen Institute reflects our efforts and commitment to train innovative leaders and entrepreneurs who can create and manage successful, socially responsible businesses in today’s global marketplace.”

Rankings were based on several factors, including the number of courses with social and ethical content and how well students were exposed to them. USD was ranked sixth overall in the category of “For-profit Impact” for courses specifically addressing how business can be an engine for improving social and environmental conditions. Schools were also ranked on the amount of faculty research involving issues of corporate social responsibility.

York University in Toronto, Canada was ranked number one this year, followed the University of Michigan and Yale University. USD was the third-highest ranked school on the West Coast, behind Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley. USD is the only San Diego County institution on the list of the top 100 schools.

USD’s MBA program combines a rigorous emphasis on business fundamentals while infusing courses with a strong sense of ethics and corporate social responsibility. The program has an MBA concentration in “Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Enterprises” and offers specific courses on topics such as ethical leadership and organizational behavior and creating sustainable, environmentally friendly global supply chains. USD’s professors are engaged in a variety of socially relevant research, including the value and impact of sustainable real estate

Rounding out USD’s business programs are practical experiences such as USD’s SEED (Sustainable Environment Enterprise Development) project, where students learn project management skills each fall by renovating the home of a deserving San Diegan using sustainable materials and design principles.

The School of Business Administration also is partnering with the La Maestra Family Clinic and several other groups in a microfinance project that will provide loans and consulting services to low-income San Diegans who want to create successful businesses. Seven loans of $250 each already have been made.

A summit on Peace and Prosperity through Trade and Commerce is held each year bringing influential leaders and speakers to campus and the annual MBA Business Plan Competition includes a division for sustainable business opportunities.

“We want to help our students understand the power of business and markets to create a more sustainable world,” said Patricia Marquez, associate professor of management.

Marquez is part of the Responsible Enterprise Initiative, a new collaborative effort between the SBA and the USD Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies to promote a generation of leaders who develop and exercise innovative approaches for achieving the “triple bottom line” – people, profit and planet. REI will be providing opportunities for hands-on involvement in organizations engaged in corporate social responsibility and good governance, as well as in businesses developing win-win value chains with the poor and solving social problems. A special topic of interest is the role of private sector in preventing conflict

This year 149 business schools from 24 countries participated in the Aspen Institute’s 18-month effort to map the landscape of teaching and research on issues pertaining to business and society. Relevant data collected in the survey as well as the entire “Global 100” list of business school is available at

The Aspen Institute Center for Business Education equips business leaders for the 21st century with the vision and knowledge to integrate corporate social responsibility and social value.

The University of San Diego School of Business Administration is committed to developing socially responsible leaders and improving global business practice through innovative, personalized education and applied research. Go to

The University of San Diego is a Catholic institution of higher learning chartered in 1949; the school enrolls approximately 7,800 undergraduate and graduate students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service.  The fall 2007 establishment of the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies brings the university’s total number of schools and colleges to six.  Other academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business Administration, Law, Leadership and Education Sciences, Nursing and Health Sciences and Peace. 


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Pamela Gray Payton
(619) 260-4681