All The New MBA Courses At The Top U.S. B-Schools

Columbia Business School has 11 new MBA courses this fall, making it one of eight top-25 U.S. business schools with double-digit additions to the 2022-2023 curriculum. File photo

Klaus Weber has been teaching business school classes for many years. But the Northwestern Kellogg School of Management professor still gets a few butterflies at the start of a new term in the last moments before a new crop of MBAs take their seats.

That was certainly the case this fall when MBA students assembled for Weber’s new course, Managing Sustainability Transformations, which focuses on practices for creating viable sustainable businesses. And that’s a good thing: Weber says he enjoys the jolt of adrenaline that comes from meeting a new group of women and men who are the next leaders in business and society.

“I’ve done this for a long time now, but I always do get the butterflies — but in a good way,” Weber says. “You need a little bit of that adrenaline. Each group of students is different. I mostly get excited about getting to know a new bunch of young adults, and hearing where they’re coming from. It’s exciting.”


Klaus Weber, shown at the 2022 ClimateCAP Summit at Northwestern Kellogg School in February. Weber says of his new MBA course, Managing Sustainability Transformations: “Consumers are making different demands. Regulation is on the way. The entire industry’s going to change, and that’s a business transformation. That’s an organizational transformation, and it’s a massive undertaking. It’s a major transformation, and how do we navigate that?”

Klaus Weber’s Managing Sustainability Transformations is one of 174 new MBA courses at 26 of the top U.S. business schools in 2022-2023. They range from the topical — 14 focus on sustainability, for instance, and another eight on climate change — to the basic: accounting, data science, and business analytics are well-represented, as are marketing, economics, leadership, and organizational and operational studies. Reflecting the inclinations of industry and students themselves, several classes focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); a few on environmental, social, and governance (ESG); and a handful on other iterations of social impact.

The new course list is slimmed down somewhat from last year, when there were 189 new courses at the 26 leading business schools in the U.S., and from 2019, when there were 182 at 25 schools. However, in 2017, there were only around 130 new courses at the leading MBA programs.

Once again in 2022-2023, some schools have more new offerings than others. Yale School of Management had the most new classes last year, with 20; this year the SOM reported only one, Modern Philanthropy: Perspectives and Challenges, taught by Judy Chevalier, which examines alternative approaches to philanthropy and the challenges and tradeoffs facing modern philanthropists. This year’s top school for new classes is Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Business, with 16, including seven Management courses, four Finance courses, and four Analytics courses. Three B-schools tied with 13 new courses: Stanford Graduate School of Business, Chicago Booth School of Business, and Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business. In all eight B-schools made double-digit additions to the curriculum.


New MBA courses fluctuate with the years. Last year, Columbia Business School had 17 new courses, including seven Finance courses; this year it has 11 total, with only one focused on Finance but four in Marketing. Harvard Business School and the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business each had 16 new courses in 2021; this year they have 11 and six, respectively. Two schools — Duke University Fuqua School of Business and Indiana University Kelley School of Business — had no new MBA courses last year; this year they had six and two, respectively, and no schools stood pat, though the University of Michigan Ross School of Business added only one new course, Global Experience: Quality as Strategy in Italian Manufacturing, taught by Stewart Thornhill. And Indiana Kelley’s pair of new courses are both in fintech and both taught by the same professor, Kristoph Kleiner.

Most new courses are categorized in one of a few umbrella disciplines. By far the most last year were general Management courses: 40. This year there are 25 new Management courses, while Finance is the top subject, with 32 new courses, down from 34. There are 18 new Marketing courses, down from 15, and 16 new Entrepreneurship courses, up from 12. Schools this year offer 15 new Strategy courses, up from 10 last year, and 10 Accounting courses, up from seven.

Other subjects with lots of new courses: Economics (12), Operations (11), Organizational Behavior (seven), Analytics (six), and Information Systems/Information Technology (six).


Klaus Weber

Klaus Weber is a professor of management and organizations. He joined Northwestern Kellogg in 2003 right after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. In 2019 he became deputy director of the Northwestern Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, and the next year he was named the Thomas G. Ayers Chair in Energy Resource Management.

Weber says the impetus behind the creation of his new course, Managing Sustainability Transformations, was his observation that the way MBA students are trained on sustainability “is a little bit behind the curve on where the real world is.” The subject is still taught “as an extra,” he tells Poets&Quants. “We do strategy and then we do environmental stuff, or we do ethics, and other things. And so it becomes a specialist topic.”

The new course is about navigating the changes that will come rather than making a guess whether they will come and what they will mean, Weber says.

“The train has left the station, the world is changing around us, and not just in a very abstract way. It directly impacts the business,” he says.

“Consumers are making different demands. Regulation is on the way. The entire industry’s going to change, and that’s a business transformation. That’s an organizational transformation, and it’s a massive undertaking. It’s a major transformation, and how do we navigate that?”

See pages 4-6 for complete lists of the new courses at the top 26 U.S. B-schools, including instructors and disciplines. Some courses are highlighted with descriptions provided by the school.

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