Sustainability in Business & Economics

Bachelor of Science
Semester fee
71 Euro
Start of the program
Winter semester
Standard length of the program
6 Semester
Place of study
Part-time studies possible

In these times of social and ecological upheaval, such as climate change, globalization, increasing resource consumption, demographic change, new forms of work organization or growing inequality, our life is changing. That is why sustainable management is gaining in importance in many economic sectors and professions. At the same time, millions of young people worldwide, such as in the social movement "Fridays for Future" since 2019, are pushing for speedy political reforms.

The Sustainability in Business & Economics program offers an excellent education in business and social studies with regard to the requirements of a sustainable and ethical way of doing business. The project-oriented study program equips students with methodological and content-related competencies to enable them to shape social and ecological challenges from the perspective of companies, politics and interest groups (e.g. NGOs). The degree program garantees international experience and is aimed at students who want to understand what sustainable business of the future can look like.

The program in detail

Students discuss and analyze economic sustainability from the perspective of various social actors and derive options for responsible action. The basis for this is provided by approaches, findings and methods from various disciplines - in particular business administration and economics, but also ethics, political science, psychology and economic and social geography. The examination of topics such as sustainable development and sustainability management also includes practice-relevant project work in small groups, international study experiences and the development of social innovations in the field of sustainability.

The program focuses on considering all economic players from a range of different disciplines, i.e., regulatory agencies, governments, associations, advocacy groups, NGOs, and international organizations in addition to businesses. The program follows the view that a sustainable transformation of the economy can be achieved through ethical economic action, innovation, regulation, solving incentive problems and decision errors (so-called biases), and growth.

Basic ideas

The Bachelor's degree program Sustainability in Business & Economics sheds light on the economic and social science aspects of the topic of sustainability. It combines two modern approaches to the sustainability discourse:

Rational decision approach

The rational choice perspective is based on the assumption of complete information and rationality of the players. Negative impacts on nature or society caused by production and consumption processes are understood as external effects, which do not only affect the causers but also innocent bystanders. These externalities can and must be corrected through governmental and institutional regulation, innovation, and redistribution. In addition, social inequalities can be compensated for with the help of tried and tested social policy instruments (e.g. labor market or family policy benefits) or the tax system.

Rational decision-making renders it possible to identify and resolve conflicting goals (e.g. between environmental protection and economic growth) and to achieve a social balance between different interest groups.

Approach with boundedly rational decisions with limited controllability

The behavioral science perspective is based on the assumption that the rationality of players is often limited. Accordingly, damage to the environment and society is the result of decision errors, which can be corrected by incentive systems and by providing information and signals.

Behavioral science approaches can help explain short-term oriented individual and corporate decisions as well as policy failures and by doing so, make change attainable.

This program is based on a concept of sustainability that aims to combine environmental protection, social balance and economic growth. In addition, approaches that are partly critical of growth are also discussed in the course of study.

The program places economic life at the center and focuses on interdependencies between business, society and politics and their respective actors:

  •     Businesses, start-ups, social innovation
  •     social institutions (associations, societies, NGOs), and
  •     regulating institutions (state, legislature, executive, media).


The standard period of study for the Bachelor's degree program Sustainability in Business & Economics is six semesters. Students must obtain a total of 180 ECTS credits.

In the first four semesters, students complete courses worth 115 ECTS credits. Within the framework of the required courses, students acquire knowledge in the competence fields of Business, Economics, Ethics & Society, Analytical Skills and Soft Skills. In the second part of the program, students choose two specializations with 20 ECTS credits each. A further 10 ECTS credits must be completed in the free elective area, plus 5 ECTS credits from Studium.Pro. Finally, students must write a Bachelor's thesis (10 ECTS credits).

Required modules (115 ECTS credits)

The required area includes modules from the following competence fields:

Business (25 ECTS credits):
Accounting; Digital and Sustainable Business Models; Sustainable Entrepreneurship; Investment, Finance and Taxes; Innovating for Sustainability.

Economics (25 ECTS credits):
Introduction to Economics: Government, Economy and Society; Microeconomics; Macroeconomics; Public Finance and Sustainable Economic Policy; Sustainable Development.

Ethics & Society (25 ECTS credits):
Sustainable Business Lecture Series; Introduction to Business and Economic Ethics; Environmental Economics & Policy; Corporate Governance; Applications and Institutions of Sustainability (elective 1 out of 3: Sustainable Business Practice, Sustainability in China, Social Policy).

Analytical skills (15 ECTS credits):
Mathematics for Economists; Descriptive Statistics and Probability Theory; Inductive and Multivariate Statistics.

Soft skills (15 ECTS credits):
Business Language I; Business Language II; Key Academic Skills

Research project sustainability (10 ECTS credits)
In this module, students get in contact with the practical application of their work. They will choose a research question on economic sustainability and work on it in small groups.

Required elective modules (40 ECTS credits)

In the second stage of the program - starting in the fourth semester - students will choose two specializations of 20 ECTS credits each:

  •     Reporting, Taxes, and Sustainability
  •     Economics and Finance for a Sustainable Economy
  •     Customer Experience, Digital Systems, and Operations for a Sustainable World
  •     Spaces & Politics for Sustainable Futures
  •     International Immersion

The specialization "International Immersion" can only be completed at a foreign university in the context of a stay abroad and/or an international summer school (including the international WFI Summer School).

In the course of the third semester, there will be an information session on how to go about choosing a specialization. Details on the specializations can be found here.

Elective modules

Students must obtain a total of 10 ECTS credits in the elective area. The elective area includes all modules that are specified in the study program description. At the student's request, additional modules can be admitted to the elective area if they are compatible with the subject of study. This free elective area gives students the possibility to individually intensify or supplement their studies according to their personal preferences.

Studium.Pro (5 ECTS credits)

This module, which can be freely selected from the entire catalog of  Studium.Pro modules has a scope of 5 ECTS credits and serves as an interdisciplinary addition to the course of study.

Bachelor's thesis (10 ECTS credits)

At the end of their studies, the Bachelor's thesis enables students to work on a specific question in detail and depth. Theoretical approaches, empirical approaches (similar to the research project sustainability), or practical case studies (e.g. in cooperation with companies or authorities) are suitable options.


Reporting, Taxes, and Sustainability

Corporate reporting on economic, ecological and social aspects (sustainability reporting) is becoming increasingly important. In the context of tax policy, sustainability issues are also increasingly coming to the fore. One possible question in this field is how environmental protection can be promoted through taxation, but also how taxation can ensure fair competition between different companies. The specialization "Reporting, Taxes, and Sustainability" is aimed at students who are interested in the interface between corporate reporting, taxation and sustainability.

Students in this specialization gain in-depth knowledge of corporate performance measurement, accounting, and taxation. They will also learn about the role of sustainability challenges for performance measurement, corporate reporting and corporate taxation and the resulting consequences for corporate action.

Economics and Finance for a Sustainable Economy

How can financial markets, political institutions, economic and monetary policies contribute to a new, sustainable economic order? What does it mean to invest in "sustainable" or "green" financial assets? (How) Do markets need to be regulated to become more sustainable? Is it possible for developing countries to catch up economically without contributing to climate change and environmental damage to the same extent that today's industrialized countries have done in the past centuries? And what role does education play in sustainable economic development? Students in the Economics and Finance for a Sustainable Economy major address these and related questions.

Students in this specialization analyze and assess the extent to which economic and monetary policy frameworks and capital markets can influence the economy and contribute to sustainable economic development. By taking this specialization, students will be able to analyze new issues, conduct independent data analyses, and evaluate the diverse interactions between financial markets, the national economy, and sustainability goals.

Customer Experience, Digital Systems, and Operations for a Sustainable World

In the course of the development and application of (digitalized) services  as well as in the functional areas of production, logistics and supply chain management of globally operating companies, questions arise regarding a resource-saving and socially responsible corporate development. The aim of the specialization "Customer Experience, Digital Systems, and Operations for a Sustainable World" is to raise students' awareness for these issues and to discuss ways of solving them.

Students in this specialization learn to work on sustainability projects for services in a targeted manner and to implement them successfully. For example, the development and operation of sustainable mobility concepts requires a service designed to meet the expectations of customer needs, a software-based implementation of digital processes, and a resource-conserving guarantee of physical logistics. This specialization is therefore primarily aimed at students with a pronounced interest in the sustainable, resource-conserving and socially responsible design of digitalized service systems, modern mobility and logistics concepts as well as globalized production and supply systems. 

Spaces and Politics for Sustainable Futures

How can we explain the fact that such pronounced income and wealth inequalities still exist both in our world as a whole and within the vast majority of countries - despite extensive transfer measures? What are the opportunities to reduce these inequalities in the globally integrated economy and achieve higher levels of environmental sustainability? The Spaces and Politics for Sustainable Futures specialization is designed for students who have an interest in describing, analyzing, and explaining economic activities in relation to the socio-institutional contexts relevant to them, as well as the implications for the natural environment at different scales. It is supported by representatives of economic or human geography as well as political science and is accordingly interdisciplinary in nature.

The central concern of the specialization is to provide a context-dependent, networked understanding of regional development paths and the mobility of goods, people, information, and capital, and thus to sharpen our competence to appropriately confront the increasing complexity of economic structures and social challenges in an "uneven world". In doing so, students will be presented with a whole range of ways of thinking. The very diversity of these ways of thinking ensures that when they interact, they do so productively.

Assessment of the basic ECTS score

In the first two semesters, students must successfully complete at least 40 ECTS credits. Students automatically pass the assessment of the basic ECTS score if after the first two semesters in this program they have obtained 40 ECTS credits and have passed their examinations. This review serves to give students an indication at an early stage as to whether they are likely to meet the requirements of the Bachelor's degree program.

Conceptual structure

The conceptual structure of this degree program is illustrated by the following study plan. This provides an ideal overview of all modules, the form of teaching and examination as well as the semester cycle and the language of instruction. In addition, all modules of a field of competence are presented there, building on each other. Following the study plan is recommended, but not mandatory.

Depending on the choice of specialization, there are different requirements and possibilities for further professional or academic life. The study program is completed by internships, stays abroad and participation in student organizations.


I got my Bachelor's degree - and what now?

Since the program includes at least 15 ECTS credits of quantitative methods via the required modules Mathematics for Economists, Descriptive Statistics and Probability Theory, and Inductive and Multivariate Statistics, you will receive the title Bachelor of Science when graduating. So, if you are thinking of completing your studies with a Master's degree, the analytical skills acquired in the Bachelor's degree are the best possible starting point for tackling the Master of Science degree at the KU, but also at any other university.

In addition, the modules in Economics and Business give you sufficient knowledge of economics and business to be able to follow up with a Master's degree in economics with a different focus, such as the Master's degree in Business & Psychology offered at the KU or the classic Business Administration Master's degree. At the same time, your competencies in the field of sustainability equip you with the best conditions to further delve into this focus in a Master's program.

What languages do I need to know and how well do I need to know them?

Most of the required courses of the study program are held in German with the exam likewise being in German. Therefore, students need to have German language skills at level C1 of the Common European Framework of References for Languages (CEFR). Native speakers do not need any further proof of this, international students can prove their language skills via common language certificates (e.g. DSD, DSH, Goethe-Zertifikat, TestDaF, etc.).

As part of the required, elective and optional modules, various modules are offered in English with an English-language exam. A German Abitur certificate (the German university entrance qualification) is considered sufficient proof of English language skills, no separate assessment test is necessary.

The Bachelor's thesis may be written in German or English, the choice of language does, however, depend on the supervising professor.

What is the required area "soft skills"?

In the Bachelor's degree program "Sustainability in Business & Economics", the soft skills modules refer in particular to business languages. Students can choose from the following languages: German (for non-native speakers), English, French, Spanish. Either two different languages can be attended each in the basic course (e.g. Business English I & Business Spanish I), or one and the same language is attended in the basic and advanced course (e.g. Business English I & Business English II).

Rankings and assessments

The KU is the most popular university in 2022

KU students and alumni have voted for their University to be Germany's most popular university in the 2022 ranking of the online portal StudyCheck. This is the second time in a row, as KU was also voted the most popular university in 2021. The ranking was based on over 70,000 evaluations for more than 500 higher education institutions and universities. 97 percent of students questioned for the ranking would recommend studying at the KU to others.

"There is no better praise for a university than almost 100 percent of students and alumni agreeing: I can only recommend studying at the KU! That is why we are very pleased with the ranking’s outcome, because it expresses the high level of satisfaction of our students," says KU President Prof. Dr. Gabriele Gien.

More ranking results

Studying abroad

International experience is an important building block for professional success. We therefore encourage students in this program to spend a semester abroad and support them in their endeavors. The study program provides for this in the fifth semester. Students acquire the necessary language skills in two mandatory business language modules in the first two semesters.

When choosing to study abroad, students benefit from the large number of partner universities.

Study achievements obtained abroad are recognized in a simplified manner in the "International Immersion" major. In addition, recognition is possible as elective, required elective and required modules based on partial study contracts. The WFI Summer School (in the summer semester) enables students who were not able to achieve more than 10 ECTS credits abroad to nevertheless successfully complete the specialization "International Immersion".

Practical connection

The practical relevance is taken up in many places in the course of study:

  •  In some courses, professional practitioners from the field of sustainability have their say in guest lectures, e.g. in the lecture series "Sustainable Business".
  •  In the elective module "Applications of Sustainability", small practical projects with business partners are developed in some modules.
  •  In the required module "Sustainable Development", practical conflict resolution is taught and practiced with the help of a simulation game.
  •  In the student research project "Sustainability" in the 4th semester, students work on a self-selected problem in small groups under supervision. The research question is derived from a real sustainability problem in cooperation with regional partners (e.g. companies, authorities, administrations). The research results are presented to the University at the end of the project.
  • The study program also provides sufficient freedom to complete internships during the lecture-free periods. To this end, module examinations (with the exception of the innovative examination forms) are offered in two periods per semester to allow flexible planning of internships.
  • In the Bachelor thesis, students can work on a practice-related problem at a chair or in cooperation with companies.


Career possibilities and professional fields

Graduates of the program have a broad and integrated knowledge of the fundamentals of economic sustainability from an economic and social science perspective after graduation. They are able to recognize conflicting goals and independently develop suitable solutions to problems, sustainable action strategies and social innovations. Their understanding of basic analytical and empirical methodology allows them to mediate in a fact-based manner at the interface between companies, the state and other social actors. The project-oriented study program with international components enables graduates to contribute to the solution of complex tasks by developing sustainable action strategies and social innovation in a team.

Graduates of the program acquire excellent prerequisites for starting a career in companies (e.g. in CSR management, auditing or in the planning and management of sustainability strategies), in the public sector (e.g. in regulatory authorities, ministries or administrations) as well as in the non-profit sector (e.g. in the development of standards and certificates in associations, social enterprises or NGOs). In addition, the program offers the prerequisites for further qualification in a variety of master's programs (e.g. in the fields of sustainability, business administration or economics).

Professional fields

Reporting, Taxes, and Sustainability

In addition to general activities in accounting, controlling and auditing or tax consulting, students qualify in particular for professional activities in sustainability consulting and sustainability reporting. Further potential fields of activity are institutions and political bodies (e.g. ministries).

Economics and Finance for a Sustainable Economy

Students of this specialization are prepared for a future career at the interface between financial markets, economic policy and sustainability. The possible career fields are diverse and range from working as an analyst in the field of sustainable finance, to the strategy department of NGOs or strategic activities in development cooperation, to working in ministries or other authorities. Further potential fields of activity are international organizations (e.g. OECD, UN).

Customer Experience, Digital Systems, and Operations for a Sustainable World

The interdisciplinarity of this specialization opens up a broad spectrum of professional fields of activity. In the public sector and NGOs, graduates might work in the areas of mobility, service, digitalization as well as in the area of public relations and marketing to participate in the development, implementation and marketing of these services. In industry and the service sector, this specialization equips students to work as a (marketing) manager, as a logistics specialist, as a supply chain manager, or with IT.

Spaces and Politics for Sustainable Futures

Graduates of this specialization have access to a wide range of possible professional fields of activity, especially in view of the explicit interdisciplinary nature of the specialization. Beyond the private sector (e.g. in the field of strategic planning at larger companies), employment opportunities arise at public sector institutions (e.g. planning associations and other institutions of sustainable regional development) as well as at national and international governmental (e.g. ministries) and non-governmental organizations. This includes not least the broad field of governmental and non-governmental development cooperation (e.g. GiZ, KfW).

The KU

Ingolstadt campus

Short distances on campus at the KU save time and avoid stress. The campus in Ingolstadt, home to the Ingolstadt School of Management (WFI), consists of the Main Building and the New Building, separated by a peaceful courtyard. The ample green spaces on the Ingolstadt campus invite students to enjoy their surroundings outside during lecture breaks and meet fellow students. If you prefer to spend your breaks in town running errands, Ingolstadt’s city center is just a few minutes’ walk away. Other faculty buildings are the Studierendenhaus and the Hohe Schule that was home to the first Bavarian state university in the 15th century.

Studierende vor der Zentralbibliothek

What sets the KU apart

Studying at the KU is more than just acquiring specialist knowledge. We broaden our horizons together and take on responsibility in and beyond the individual degree programs. The KU has a particular focus on topics such as personal development, sustainability, social skills and social commitment.

It offers its students the possibility to study and work in a welcoming atmosphere and benefit from outstanding support and comprehensive service offers, a well-stocked library, a broad range of sports and leisure activities and a large global network of approx. 300 partner universities. Our team at the International Office helps you to plan your semester abroad and the KU Career Service provides comprehensive advice and support for embarking on your professional career.

Do I have to be Catholic in order to study at the KU? Do I have to deal with Catholic contents during my studies?

No, the KU is open to students of all faiths and beliefs.

At the KU, just as at all state universities, there is freedom of research and teaching. This means that our degree programs focus on the subjects for which you have enrolled – free from external influences.

As a student at our University, you will notice what our understanding of being a Catholic University means for us in one thing in particular: The University’s focus is on the individual person. The talents and potential of all those who teach, study, work and carry out research at the KU form our most important foundation – regardless of their religion or beliefs, nationality, ethical, cultural or social background, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or age.

This is why we promote your best possible academic education through personal support and an ideal staff-to-student ratio. At the same time, the KU is more than just a place for earning your degree: We attach particular importance to imparting social skills and advancing our students’ sense and value orientation in addition to providing them with a high level of academic and methodical qualification.

Our aspiration for our University is to build bridges between science and society and to make knowledge available for society as well as to integrate impulses from outside the University into our research and teaching practice. We aim to make a valuable contribution to social coexistence, to the free democratic basic order and to preserving creation. 

Is Ingolstadt a real university town?

Strictly speaking, Ingolstadt is even THE university town in Bavaria - because the first Bavarian university was located here! However, the Bavarian State University, founded in 1472, moved to Landshut in 1802 and has been located in Munich since 1810 as Ludwig Maximilian University. The history as a university town continued 188 years later: In 1989/90, the Faculty of Economics of the Catholic University opened in Ingolstadt.

With about 135,000 inhabitants, Ingolstadt is a lively and dynamic large city. The theater, the AUDI summer concerts, the jazz days and the Museum of Concrete Art are just a few of the cultural highlights. In a historical setting, a large number of restaurants, clubs and pubs invite you to unwind after lectures and seminars - often just a few steps away from the campus. The day can also be spent relaxing on the Danube beach or at the lake - with a cocktail in hand and your feet in the sand. And of course there's something else that's not missing in an Upper Bavarian city: beer gardens for a "Brezel" and a beer or two.

The location

Ingolstadt is the second largest city in Upper Bavaria after Munich and is only a 30-minute drive away from the state capital. Located in the heart of the Altmühl valley and the largest hop-growing area in the world - the Hallertau - Ingolstadt has a broad cultural offer.

There are regular classical concerts in the AUDI forum, many different student events, and the Volksfeste, beer festivals that are typical for Bavaria (small Oktoberfest Wiesn festivals). Ingolstadt has many restaurants, bars, beer gardens and clubs that are all located in the historical, picturesque old town and are perfect for enjoying a beer or two with friends after the lectures. Last but not least, Munich with its vast cultural offer is just around the corner.

Together with the district of Eichstätt, the Ingolstadt region has the lowest unemployment rate in Germany. This is partly owing to the fact that many well-known large companies such as EADS, AUDI, EDEKA, Media-Markt Saturn or Hipp have their headquarters in the Ingolstadt region.

More on Ingolstadt as a study location

Advisory Service

Some offers and study conditions are different for international students – our International Office is happy to provide help and support. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our team. We are happy to accompany you on your way to the KU and hope that we can welcome you in person soon!

David Guevara
David Guevara
Coordinator Welcome Services and International Campus
Building Domplatz 8  |  Room: DP8-203 | Campus Eichstätt


General university entrance qualification (Allgemeine Hochschulreife)
Application period winter
May 01 - Jul 15
Admission restriction
Selection procedure

The application process for international applicants is now completely digital. You can register online in our application portal and carry out and submit your application. After you have carried out the application and uploaded your documents, you do not need to send your documents to us again by post. You do have to submit certified true copies only if you are admitted at the time of enrollment.

Depending on the course of study, you may be asked for information on internships, professional experience, etc. Please upload the relevant documents in the upload area for all the information you provide, even if these are not mandatory fields!

Before you start the application process, please read the additional information on this page, in particular the information on the respective (German) language requirements and university entrance qualifications.