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Pinchot University

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Title: Pinchot University  
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Subject: Educational institutions established in 2002
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Pinchot University

Pinchot University
Motto "A University for the Common Good"
Established 2002
Type Private Non-Profit Educational
President Jill Bamburg
Administrative staff
Postgraduates 500+
Location Seattle, WA, USA

Pinchot University (formerly Bainbridge Graduate Institute or BGI) is a private graduate university in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 2002, Pinchot University was the first school to offer an MBA in Sustainable Business. With a main campus in Seattle, Washington, Pinchot University also offers an MBA in Sustainable Systems.


  • History 1
  • Programs of study 2
    • MBA Programs at Bainbridge Graduate Institute 2.1
      • MBA in Sustainable Systems 2.1.1
      • MBA in Sustainable Business 2.1.2
      • Certificate in Sustainable Energy Solutions 2.1.3
    • Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship 2.2
    • Certificate programs 2.3
  • Student body 3
    • Change Agents in Residence 3.1
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Pinchot University was founded in 2002 by Gifford Pinchot III, Libba Pinchot, Sherman Severin and Jill Bamburg as Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI). In November 2002, BGI was authorized by the State of Washington's Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer the MBA in Sustainable Business. In August 2009, BGI was awarded a grant of accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). Now Pinchot University, the school offers several programs which aim to give students the entrepreneurial skills, strategic rigor, disruptive business acumen and life-changing personal development to respond to a rapidly changing world. With this change, Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) still exists as a business school offering MBAs in Sustainable Business and in Sustainable Systems. Also within Pinchot University is the Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE), which offers programs that provide entrepreneurship and enterprise support to under-served communities.

Programs of study

MBA Programs at Bainbridge Graduate Institute

Built upon a learning community model pioneered at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, Pinchot University offers MBA programs which are designed to accommodate the varying lifestyles of working adults.

MBA in Sustainable Systems

In the MBA in Sustainable Systems program, the school's pioneer program, students and faculty meet in intensive classroom sessions for a 4-day weekend once a month, October through June. Known as the Hybrid Program, classes take place at IslandWood, a LEED Gold Certified environmental learning center on Bainbridge Island, 35 minutes by ferry from downtown Seattle. Between intensive sessions, classes utilize a variety of interactive distance-learning technologies to support student learning. This hybrid format combines an emphasis on building an immersive learning community with the flexibility, focus and self-paced engagement afforded by distance learning. Given its focus on remote learning, this program appeals to students located throughout the world, as well as within the Greater Seattle Area. This program's academic calendar uses the quarter system, and requires no course work in the summer. A typical quarter consists of weekly online distance learning and three weekend intensives. Students can choose between a 2- or 3-year course plan. Students beginning the MBA in Sustainable Systems, participate in a 5-day orientation retreat at Channel Rock, Pinchot University’s eco-retreat center on Cortes Island in British Columbia, where they are divided into learning communities.

MBA in Sustainable Business

In the MBA in Sustainable Business, known within BGI as the Metro Program, classes take place at the school's Seattle campus, located on the top floor of Pioneer Square's 220 & Change building. Students in the Metro Program participate in weekly classes, which meet face-to-face from 6pm - 9pm. This format began in order to accommodate individuals working typical 9-5 schedules within the greater Seattle area who prefer to learn in a typical classroom setting. This program's academic calendar operates under the quarter system. Students attend classes year round, and may opt to begin their studies at the beginning of any quarter: fall, winter, spring or summer. Students in this program can choose between a 2- or 3-year course plan. MBA program credits are awarded for graduate course work in a combination of 3-credit and 1-credit courses. Individual courses may vary as to the distribution of lecture, lab and practicum.

Certificate in Sustainable Energy Solutions

The Certificate in Sustainable Energy Solutions is a one-year program which offers students the opportunity to deepen their understanding of entrepreneurial and sustainable business practices that champion social justice, environmental responsibility and profitability. Credits earned in the Certificate programs may be eligible for transfer into either the MBA in Sustainable Business or MBA in Sustainable Systems.

Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship

CIE offers programs that provide entrepreneurship and enterprise support that empowers people in low-wealth and under-served communities to build resilient, sustainable and equitably shared community wealth. The program gives priority to individuals with barriers to financial self-sufficiency and limited access to mainstream entrepreneurship and enterprise support resources through its CommunityBuilders and CommunityEnterprise programs.

Certificate programs

BGI also offers certificate programs in Sustainable Energy Solutions. Credits earned in the Certificate programs may be eligible for transfer into either the MBA in Sustainable Business or MBA in Sustainable Systems.

Student body

BGI's student body has an average age of 35, and a range from 22 to 69. About 65% are from the Pacific Northwest, the university also draws students from the Bay area and other parts of the US and Canada. The gender ratio is 6 females to 4 males. The majority of students hold full-time jobs in the private, non-profit and public sector. BGI has attracted professors from some of the top universities across the nation (including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Virginia) to teach classes.[1]

BGI was recognized as the #1 MBA program overall in Net Impact's report: "Business as UNusual: The 2008 Net Impact Student Guide to Graduate Business Programs." In 2011, Pinchot University (formerly BGI) was the only school in the report where 100% of the student body agreed that they were committed to social and environmental issues. In 2014, Net Impact ranked Pinchot University as #1 for their preparation for ethical and socially responsible leadership.[2] BGI was one of only a handful of business schools chosen by BusinessWeek magazine for its international list of Best Design Schools - schools emphasizing creativity, innovation and design as a strategic advantage. 1 in 5 Alumni are entrepreneurs, 21% of which have launched a company. One of the highest rates recorded nationally, 37% of Pinchot University alumni give back to the university upon graduation.

Change Agents in Residence

Pinchot’s Change Agents in Residence (CAIR) program invites entrepreneurs, executives and activists to spend time with students in and out of classes.


  1. ^ "Capitalism colored green at Bainbridge MBA school". Retrieved 2015-10-03. 
  2. ^ [1]

External links

  • Official website
  • The Carbon Concierge, founded and run by BGI students and staff
  • "Business as UNusual 2010", Net Impact student guide
  • "The Talent Hunt", Bloomberg article, October 4, 2007
  • "Designing Sustainable Leadership", Bloomberg article, October 4, 2007
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