MBA in Strategy & Strategic Management

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An MBA concentrated in strategy and strategic management is a valuable asset for established business professionals looking to expand their career potential by giving them the skills to not only step confidently into senior management positions but also to set strategic goals and provide key leadership for their teams and companies.

The following online degree programs provide a strong foundation in practical and innovative curricula, and many are closely tied to their on-campus counterparts, sharing live courses, international travel opportunities, and widely respected faculty.

Obtaining a strategic management MBA can position business professionals to offer employers innovative ideas regarding employee management and psychology and strategic direction in fast-changing and international markets. Many strategic management programs allow students to travel abroad to further their studies, emphasizing the crucial global element of a strategic management business education.

The programs listed below offer a plethora of options for those seeking MBA degrees concentrated on strategy and strategic management, with some giving students hybrid learning opportunities that enable them to connect with their classmates during specialized on-campus events; highly flexible timeframes for completing their degree; international study opportunities; and a variety of tuition and financial aid options for those who have other monetary obligations to consider, like family, undergraduate loans, etc.

With the ability to pursue an MBA in strategic management online, busy professionals can now pursue degrees to advance their careers without taking time away from the workforce to do so.

Discover a few of the most widely respected and flexible online MBA programs that offer concentrations in strategy and strategic management for those business professionals looking to ascend to leadership positions.

Featured Strategy & Strategic Management Programs
Villanova University Online MBA - Strategic Management View Full Profile
University of North Carolina MBA@UNC Online MBA - Strategy and Consulting View Full Profile
American University MBA@American Online MBA - Consulting View Full Profile
Capella University DBA - Strategy and Innovation View Full Profile
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Featured Online MBA Programs in Strategy and Strategic Management

1The University of Delaware, The Alfred Lerner College of Business & EconomicsView Full Profile

The Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics offers an online MBA degree with a concentration in strategic leadership which can be completed entirely online. This program was ranked among the top 50 online MBA programs in the country by the US News & World Report in 2020. Through this concentration, students will develop the required knowledge and skills needed for influencing others, managing change, setting strategic direction, building teams, and navigating the complex human and analytical dimensions inherent in any leadership role.

UD requires the completion of 16 courses, 11 from the core MBA curriculum and five from the strategic leadership concentration, for a combined total of 44 credits. For those looking to obtain a degree quickly, this strategic leadership MBA can be completed in as little as 16 months, with students determining their own pace.

Core courses include fundamentals of analytics, economic analysis for business policy, marketing management, financial management, and corporate strategy, among others. The strategic leadership concentration includes courses such as negotiation & conflict resolution, managing the global enterprise, strategic leadership & change, and advanced topics in leadership and teams.

Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree, a GPA of 2.8, and two years of work experience. GRE or GMAT scores are required for admissions, though exam waivers are available for applicants based on one’s undergraduate GPA, work experience, and math education history. In a nod to Delaware students, those who have obtained a bachelor’s from Lerner or a BA in economics from the University of Delaware may also qualify for an exam waiver.

Location: Newark, DE
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 16 months
Estimated Tuition: $950 per credit

Winthrop University offers its online MBA degree in two concentrations, including strategic leadership, and lauds its rigorous curriculum for preparing graduates for the business world with confidence, problem-solving skills, and leadership abilities. Students in this program will develop the confidence and capabilities for solving today’s toughest business challenges.

Winthrop requires MBA candidates to complete 36 credits, with 27 coming from core courses and nine from the strategic leadership concentration. The curriculum includes core courses such as Managerial Economics, Financial Policy Management, Sustainable Operations, and Marketing Management. Courses from the concentration include advanced human resources management and labor relations, leadership dynamics, and international business culture. The program emphasizes the support of the same faculty and career guidance counselors that are available to on-campus MBA students.

The major admission requirements for the program include a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution, five years or more of professional work experience, official transcripts from all institutions attended, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants. For those applicants with a non-business undergraduate degree, a series of prerequisite business courses must be completed before starting the online MBA program. Though the GMAT is required, an exam waiver is available for qualified applicants based on past work experience.

Location: Rock Hill, SC
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $780 per credit
3University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business SchoolView Full Profile

UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School’s online master of business administration program specializing in strategy and consulting prepares students for careers in corporate strategy and consulting. Focusing on experiential learning, students in this program develop specialized and foundational skills in strategic management and leadership, team collaboration and problem-solving, fact-based analysis, and action-oriented communication.

Consisting of 62 credits, the program includes courses such as analytical tools for decision making, business strategy, strategic economics, and business communication, corporate strategy, information for product and customer strategy, global supply chain management, and managerial decision making.

Admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university along with at least two years of professional experience, a completed online application, a current resume, transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, two letters of recommendation, two essays, GMAT or GRE scores for applicants who have less than five years of professional experience, and TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores for non-native English speakers.

Graduates of this program will be well equipped to take up roles such as generalist consultants, directors of corporate strategy, specialist consultants, boutique consulting firm owners, and freelance consultants.

Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 36 months
Estimated Tuition: $2,025.63 per credit
4American University, Kogod School of BusinessView Full Profile

The American University Kogod School of Business provides an innovative array of online MBA programs, including one with a focus in consulting. To apply for this program, students must submit a personal statement (two essay prompts), a resume, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from a bachelor’s degree program.

This online MBA program in consulting has core coursework in business law, ethics, and governance; financial accounting; managerial economics; strategic thinking for decisions; marketing management; management information systems; financial management; strategic decision making; management of organization and human capital; managerial statistics; and managerial accounting and operations management.

Additionally, those in the consulting concentration take classes such as business intelligence; intercultural communications; management consulting practices and methodologies; business insights through analytics; and integrated marketing communication.

Location: Washington DC
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 15 months or more
Estimated Tuition: $1,812 per credit

Villanova University’s online MBA shares a curriculum and highly accomplished faculty with its on-campus equivalent, and the school connects its students with industry thought-leaders and leading companies and organizations. The MBA in strategic management (one of five concentration options) prepares students to assume greater leadership roles by teaching them the tools for making sound business decisions.

This requires the completion of 21 courses (48 credits) taken for six semesters, including the summer semester. Students may finish their degree in as little as two years. Some of the courses in the curriculum are analytical methods for data mining, corporate governance, building brands via promotion & other means, corporate restructuring, business intelligence, and international business management.

The program emphasizes instilling a global perspective in its graduates and immersing students in real-world business experiences. GRE or GMAT scores are required. To get accepted into the program, applicants must submit a completed online application, a current resume, Two essays, Official transcripts from all institutions attended, two letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores for international applicants.

Graduates of this program can take u roles such as financial manager, financial analyst, chief financial officer, project IT manager, marketing manager, and general manager.

Location: Villanova, PA
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $1,409 per credit

Capella University provides an online doctor of business administration (DBA) program with three specializations: general management, organizational leadership and development, and strategy and innovation. To apply, candidates must submit proof of a completed master’s degree from an accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (or higher).

These online DBA programs comprise 18 courses, including instruction in proposal writing; data analysis practice and IRB approval; and project results, as well as units for the final reviews and presentation. Specialization courses for the DBA in strategy and innovation include strategy and innovation – theorizing, crafting, executing; strategic digital transformation; managing Innovation, design, and creativity; seminar: strategy and innovation topic development; and seminar: strategy and Innovation literature review.

Location: Minneapolis, MN
Accreditation: AABSP
Expected Time to Completion: 2.5 years
Estimated Tuition: $750 per credit
7Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business

The Tepper School of Business, ranked the #1 online MBA by U.S. News and World Report, offers students a part-time program taught by the same renowned faculty that instructs on campus. This hybrid degree program focuses on both strategic analytics and leadership development (with one-on-one coaching available through the Accelerate Leadership Center).

Online students are allowed to sit in on live classes and participate in offline group projects during “Access Weekends,” which are held at various locations. Tepper claims that having leadership as part of its online and on-campus core curriculum is what separates it from other programs.

The curriculum explores topics such as probability and statistics, managing people and teams, ethics and leadership, marketing management, operations management, managerial economics, statistical decision making, and corporate strategy.

For admission to the program, applicants require a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in the U.S. or an equivalent degree from a foreign country, a completed online application form, a current resume, one professional recommendation, unofficial transcripts, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants. Please note that either the GMAT or GRE is required (though the GMAT is preferred), and applicants may also apply for generous loans or scholarships through Tepper’s Financial Aid Office.

Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 32 months part-time, including six on-site weekends per year at various locations
Estimated Tuition: $17,500 per semester

The University of Houston in Victoria offers a cross-disciplinary, strategic MBA that educates students on stepping into leadership roles, developing business strategy, and refining decision-making skills. The program emphasizes simulations and case studies to prepare students for real-world business problem-solving, and students may combine on-campus and online classes in pursuing their degrees.

Instead of offering strategic management as a concentration, the University of Houston-Victoria program is a strategic MBA that offers concentrations within the strategic framework. The school requires 30 to 39 credits of graduate semester credits, depending on undergraduate coursework, and students can complete the strategic MBA in as little as 18 months. The University of Houston-Victoria does offer GMAT exam waivers and one of the lower tuition rates among its peer schools.

The curriculum includes core courses such as strategic cost management, management information systems & data analytics, organizational leadership & ethics, strategic marketing management, financial management, and seminar in strategic management.

Graduates of the program will be well-equipped to work as management consultants, investment fund managers, business analysts, marketing managers, human resources specialists, and entrepreneurs.

Location: Houston, TX
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
Expected Time to Completion: 18 months or more
Estimated Tuition: Resident ($367.68 per credit); non-resident ($775.68 per credit)

The University of North Texas offers an online master of business administration program in strategic management providing students the wide expo­sure to knowledge and skills required for managing organizations.

Made up of 36 credits, the curriculum includes courses such as accounting for management, financial management, marketing management, organizational behavior & analysis, strategic management, international management, and leadership research and development.

The major admission requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent, a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0, official transcripts from every college or university attended, and TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants.

On successful completion of the program, graduates can take up roles such as chief executives, sales managers, general and operations managers, compliance managers, and business intelligence analysts.

Location: Denton, TX
Accreditation: Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) 
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $125 per credit

Liberty University offers a 100 percent online master of business administration program in strategic management preparing students to effectively analyze operations, formulate strategies, and communicate it clearly to everyone in their organization. Students will learn how workforce management, bringing a product to market, and organizational design are all part of smart strategic management. The program will equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for setting goals, analyzing their current processes, and formulating a successful strategy that culminates in success.

To get accepted into the program, applicants must have a nationally or regionally accredited bachelor’s degree with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 or above, a completed admission application, official college transcripts, undergraduate business prerequisites, and proof of English proficiency.

Comprising 45 credits, the program includes courses such as strategic marketing management, legal issues in business, business research methods, organizational design & structure, ethical leadership, workforce planning & employment, executive leadership & management, and policy & strategy in global competition.

Upon completion, graduates will be highly qualified to pursue executive and management-level positions such as business consultant, marketing manager, business strategy manager, recruitment specialist, chief executive officer, and training manager, among many such roles.

Location: Lynchburg, VA
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)
Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $565 per credit

Bethel University offers an online MBA program that consists of a total of 42 credits, out of which 30 credits are of the core curriculum and 12 are from any one of the eight concentrations. One such concentration is the strategy and execution concentration, where students will learn about creating an ongoing innovation environment, crafting advanced business strategies, and then executing on those strategies. They will also learn to bring a new product or service to the market. This program can be completed entirely online.

Applicants to the program must have a baccalaureate degree from an internationally or regionally accredited institution, a grade point average of 3.0 or better, two years of work experience, a completed online application, official college transcripts, a current resume, statement of purpose, and two professional references.

As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as managerial accounting, managerial finance, advanced competitive advantage, strategy execution, marketing management, managerial economics, strategic communication for leaders, and organizational diagnostics and health.

Location: St. Paul, MN
Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP)

Expected Time to Completion: 18 to 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $650 per credit

New England College offers an online master of business administration program with a concentration in strategic leadership which is designed for working professionals who operate in a rapidly changing and global environment. Students will be addressing strategic opportunities produced by a global economy and entrepreneurial approaches to solve problems and capitalize on new business ventures.

The program comprises 40 credits, out of 28 credits are for MBA core requirements and the remaining 12 are from the concentration. The core courses include Organizational Leadership and Change, managerial accounting, economics for decision making, strategic marketing, and strategic planning and policy. The strategic leadership concentration includes courses such as organizational communication, negotiation & conflict resolution, relationship selling strategies, and project management.

Location: Henniker, NH; Manchester, NH
Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Expected Time to Completion: Less than 24 months
Estimated Tuition: $599 per credit

Admissions Requirements – Online MBA Programs

Every MBA program in international business has different admission requirements. Some common requirements derived from the programs above include:

  • A bachelor’s degree that includes a satisfactory GPA and a focus on business, finance, statistics, math, or economics
  • A certain GMAT score, which can sometimes be waived if a candidate has other graduate-level or higher academic credentials
  • Some professional experience in a business/financial field
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for non-native speakers of English
  • Personal statement of goals and objectives
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Completion of certain pre-requisite business and finance courses or an abridged overview for candidates with non-business backgrounds

MBA Program & Business School Accreditation

An MBA from an accredited academic program means students are receiving an education that adheres to established standards for quality, vital subjects, and current knowledge areas.

For institutions or programs, the accreditation process may include campus visits or student and faculty surveys, as well as examinations of a school’s graduation rate, career placement (i.e., student outcomes), industry involvement, and alumni support. To keep accreditation current, each institution or program must engage in an intermittent renewal process. Accreditation for business programs is done by two major accrediting bodies.

The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) focuses on promoting and improving programs in business administration, management, and related courses such as operations, human resources, and real estate. The AACSB recognizes the importance of faculty research and provides students with solid knowledge foundations.

The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) also works to accredit business programs in higher education. This newer organization focuses on tangible learning outcomes and quality improvement, especially as the workforce demands change.

Professors to Know in Strategy and Strategic Management

  • Christopher Bingham, PhD The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    Dr. Christopher Bingham is the professor and area chair of strategy and entrepreneurship, faculty director of the entrepreneurship center, and a Phillip Hettleman distinguished scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He teaches courses such as strategic management, strategy in high-velocity markets, strategy in a global arena, and strategy and innovation. His areas of expertise include competitive strategy, crowdfunding, global business, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

    Dr. Bingham’s research has been published in journals such as Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, and Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. He has received many awards such as the Weatherspoon Award for Excellence in MBA Teaching and the Kenan-Flagler Core Faculty Champion in Sustainability award. He completed his PhD from Stanford University and his MBA, MA, and BS from Brigham Young University.

  • Jonathan Doh, PhD Villanova University School Of Business

    Dr. Jonathan Doh is the associate dean of research, faculty director of the Center for Global Leadership, Herbert G. Rammrath Endowed Chair in International Business, and a professor of management and operations at the Villanova University School of Business. He earned his PhD from George Washington University in 2001, and his areas of expertise include strategic alliances, cross-cultural management, emerging markets, international trade, and globalization, among others.

    Dr. Doh has taught courses in business policy and strategy, global strategy, and numerous topics in management. He was an elected fellow at the Academy of International Business in 2015 and has received the Gold Medal Award from the US Department of Commerce. He has published his research in prominent journals such as the Journal of Management Studies, Journal of international business studies, and Journal of Management. He completed his MA and BA from the State University of New York.

  • Tim Derdenger, PhD Carnegie Mellon University

    Dr. Tim Derdenger is an associate professor of marketing and strategy and MBA track coordinator of technology strategy and product management at Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business. He teaches or has taught courses such as marketing management, technology strategy, and product marketing for product managers.

    Dr. Derdenger’s research efforts are focused on quantitative marketing: technology and sports markets. His research has been published in journals such as Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Marketing Science, and Journal of Marketing Research. He completed his PhD and MA from the University of Southern California and a BBA from George Washington University.

Farheen Gani
Farheen Gani
Writer

Farheen is a freelance writer, marketer, and researcher. She writes about technology, education, and marketing. Her work has appeared on websites such as Tech in Asia and Foundr, as well as top SaaS blogs such as Zapier and InVision. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter (@FarheenGani).

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