The Marlboro MBA

The Marlboro MBA prepares students to be purpose-driven executive leaders committed to a flourishing world, with strong skills in problem-solving, collaboration, business analytics, and innovation. Our students go on to create start-ups, join consultancies, or lead in existing enterprises across many industries, ranging from alternative energy to leadership development, sustainable food systems to government services.

We live in a time of troubling complexity and vexing social problems. At the heart of our management programs is the belief that to make positive change in the world, we need bold and innovative systems leaders able to see and understand the big picture, commit to their own ongoing development, and engage others in the co-creation of a positive future.

Our curriculum balances analytical and interpersonal skills, visionary ideas and practical implementation, individual leadership development and collective community building. In our highly-collaborative and intentionally-small classes, faculty work closely with students to build their fluency and confidence in written communication, financial analysis, and public speaking so they can be effective change leaders.

Designed with working adults in mind, the Marlboro MBA has a low-residency design complemented by field-based learning in the workplace or community. Students gather in Brattleboro for face-to-face classes and community activities one weekend a month. In between residencies, we sustain the conversations and intellectual exploration in a virtual learning community.

Creating a Sustainable Business

Building Business Relationships

Natural Capital Network

The Curriculum

The 45-credit program has four levels and is designed to be completed over two years.


Core Coursework: Foundational skill-building

Engaged in the Marlboro core, students solidify the essential skills of good business management. To sharpen their analytical capacities, they learn project management, systems thinking, and financial decision-making. To hone their collaborative skills and deepen their emotional intelligence, they engage in team-building, enlarge their leadership capacity, and learn to be better communicators.

Concentration Coursework: Specialization

Building from the strong foundation in cross-sector analytical and interpersonal skills, each student selects a concentration area: conscious business, collaborative leadership, mission-driven organizations, social innovation, project management or sustainable food systems. Students take 14 credits in the concentration area, allowing for a deep dive into more specialized skills and content areas. Learn more about the management concentrations.

Executive-level Coursework: Cross-sector leadership development

Across the second year of the program, MBA students engage in three rigorous, highly-engaging seminars team-taught by leading faculty-practitioners. Through disciplines such as business analytics, design thinking and systems mapping, as well as real-world scenarios and field visits, students hone their ability to solve complex problems in organizations, communities and the world.

Capstone: Synthesis and thought leadership

The culmination of our business degree is a capstone project in which each student designs an innovative response to a real-world problem or opportunity. The capstone has three elements:

  • Problem definition with root cause analysis
  • Project design and implementation
  • Public presentation and personal reflection

MBA students work with a faculty advisor and industry or community mentor to develop a strong project that creates new social and business value. At the end of their Marlboro journey, students share their capstone project with a broad audience in a TED-style presentation, reflect in writing on their most significant personal and professional insights, and engage in an hour-long retrospective conversation with the degree chair, faculty advisor and capstone coordinator.

News & Events

Program cited for social impact, environmental sustainability, and affordability

Ceremony combines undergraduate and graduate programs

MS in Management and MBA now available in six concentrations

Jul 16

Come see what the graduate school can offer you

International Language Institute to provide English-language intensive programs


Beth Mellen, MBA'12


Beth's capstone project addressed the importance of engaged employees to the sustainability strategy of large corporations.

Read Beth's Story