Questrom’s Social Impact MBA included in Best Colleges’ piece on Future of MBA

In a conversation with Best Colleges on the future of the MBA, Senior Associate Dean and marketing professor Barbara Bickart described the qualities needed in today’s leaders and how Questrom continues to adapt its programs for modern realities.

Graduate students pursuing BU Questrom’s Social Impact MBA program on an international field seminar in South Africa.

According to the article “How Shifting Enrollment Trends Are Changing Business Education,” traditional MBA programs around the world and in the US are changing. While there has been a gradual overall decline in enrollment for conventional MBA programs, business schools are witnessing a rising demand for flexible MBA options: one-year programs, specialized concentrations, and accelerated online MBAs. Schools are also noticing that working professionals today are drawn toward meaningful, cutting-edge, and creative work. They are socially conscious and care about ethical leadership and inclusion.

Bickart discusses how BU Questrom recognized these shifting trends early on and introduced the Social Impact MBA program (then called the Public & Nonprofit MBA) in 1973. The program is designed to allow students to learn and apply business fundamentals in the service of positive social change. “The Social Impact MBA offerings are tied to the Questrom Susilo Institute for Ethics in the Global economy, as well as the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy, which is housed in the Questrom School of Business,” says Bickart. “Students with an interest in socially impactful work can also take advantage of the programming offered by the University-wide Innovate@BU initiative and the BUild Lab”, she adds.

Through new targeted electives, consulting projects, and global opportunities including field seminars and student-led treks, students get a chance to shape their MBA to meet the modern age.

Acknowledging that a changing workforce is leading the way for a fresh approach to leadership, she also notes, “the skill set required for leaders has changed. It is increasingly important that MBA graduates are able to approach problems with an innovative mindset.”

Read the entire piece about the Future of the MBA on


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