The course, which is yet to be given a release date, will see students earn a highly coveted Master in Management (MiM) from HEC Paris while also gaining a Master of Arts (MA) degree in Climate and Society from Columbia’s Climate School.
The unique new offering is designed to help students learn the fundamentals of international management—including financial management, economics, and quantitative skills analysis—while developing an in-depth understanding of climate science and the challenges climate issues pose for businesses.
The partnership, which was signed in June 2023, hopes to prepare the next generation of leaders in business, government, and nonprofit to take key decisions with a comprehensive understanding of their implications for the climate.
“The program is designed for bachelor’s graduates from all backgrounds with exceptional intellectual capabilities, top-tier academic achievements, international experience, and a strong personal drive for growing solutions for the climate crisis,” said François Collin, chief sustainability officer at HEC Paris.
“We are not aware of any other program where students determined to work in sustainability may acquire so much knowledge and different skills from different disciplines, build a network with future leaders, and meet inspiring role models,” he added.
All students will begin the program studying at the HEC Paris campus in Jouy-en-Josas, near Paris. Those who are required to complete preparatory classes can do so in their Pre Master year before completing their MiM.
Midway through the program, each student will be encouraged to undertake a gap year spent working in either a full-time job or internship role. After this, students will spend a year completing the MA in Climate and Society in Columbia’s campus in New York.
“Learning at two of the world’s best academic institutions in Paris and in New York and gaining two degrees opens incredible placement opportunities and alumni networks,” François said.
The announcement follows a recent decision by HEC Paris to revamp the curriculum of its MiM program, which is ranked second in the world by the Financial Times. The new curriculum focuses on tackling society’s major challenges, with a particular emphasis on ecological transition. The new double degree is part of the school’s drive to lead sustainable change.
“Private and public organizations need well trained talents to lead sustainable change, while the young generation is prioritizing purposeful jobs building solutions to the climate and environmental crisis,” François said.
“HEC Paris and the Climate School at Columbia University share the vision that the world lacks graduates equipped to deal with systemic problems at global scale. Hard sciences, business policy and social sciences are necessary academic foundations for future changemakers.”