Earning an MBA is one of the smartest educational choices you can make to improve your salary and employment security. These degrees are versatile and perfect for a variety of modern positions. In addition, all MBAs prepare you for administrative or managerial roles, which often pay more than regular or middle-management jobs at the same company. But many MBAs require that you choose one specialization over others. Luckily, we’re making the process a little easier for you with our list of the best online Master’s programs in Strategy, so you can learn on your own time, on your own couch.
Of these specializations, strategy is one of the most valuable. You can also choose to pursue a master’s degree in strategy itself, which is often presented as a Master of Science in Strategy or Strategic Management. A Master of Strategy or a similar degree is, in fact, one of the top degree choices if you’re interested in developing a business in a broad, long-term sense. But what exactly does an MBA in Strategy or a master’s degree in strategy prepare you to do? Simply put, strategy specializations teach students about big-picture management strategies in business or economic contexts.
These programs will prepare you to make decisions about various aspects of a company’s internal structure or business strategy. You’ll take classes incorporating subjects about finance, psychology, communication, business, and leadership. An MBA in Strategy focuses on broader business theory rather than the nitty-gritty aspects of running a business day to day. As a result, it’s a valuable degree for individuals who want to take the reins of a business or organization rather than settle for middle management.
Many master’s-level strategy courses involve case studies, which are historical records of actual business decisions made by executives. Students frequently study these decisions and attempt to determine if the right course of action was taken, and develop their own philosophies and strategies for business.
Because a master’s degree in strategy requires such a broad course list, it’s often considered to be interdisciplinary, especially since it incorporates more hard STEM ideas or courses than many other business-focused paths. This versatility is part of the degree’s strength. While it’s mainly designed for high-level decision-making and business strategy in a broader context, the degree itself is general enough that you could theoretically get any business position with such a degree and be qualified for the work ahead.
In many ways, strategy is one of the best concentrations you could pursue for an MBA, since it keeps many doors open and doesn’t lock you into a particular career path like more niche specializations often do.
Furthermore, attending an MBA program with an emphasis on strategy will likely afford you multiple networking opportunities through your faculty or fellow students. Lots of the best master’s programs for strategy incorporate a cohort structure in which you’ll progress through the curriculum with the same group of students throughout the entire process. You will struggle with and learn from each other, forging of bonds that can last for a lifetime. In the business world, personal connections are arguably just as important as academic knowledge and business theory, if not more.
To make things even better, MBAs in Strategy often place you on an upper-level executive career trajectory, which almost inevitably leads to a great salary. While the exact earnings of your position can vary wildly from those of your peers, virtually all professionals with master’s degrees in strategy are paid well for their efforts.
All in all, a master’s degree in strategy is versatile, offers exceptional growth opportunities, and prepares you for multiple business-oriented jobs, particularly in a managerial or strategic context. It’s an excellent degree choice for future business professionals or executives.
COMMON APPLICATION AND ADMISSION QUESTIONS
To be considered for a master’s program in strategy, you’ll need to meet typical program requirements typical of most universities, regardless of major. The most common application or admission requirements are comprised of GPA totals, prior experience, and GRE scores. While the exact GPA requirements for any master’s program in strategy can vary from university to university, most programs do not accept applicants without a 2.5 GPA or greater.
Although this is the minimum GPA to be considered for a master’s program, these programs are competitive. Therefore, it’s highly recommended that you aim for a 3.0 GPA or higher before submitting your application. If your GPA is not yet at this level, you can always take a few bachelor’s level courses to boost your GPA before proceeding to graduate school.
Many master’s programs in strategy will require some previous work experience in business or economics, due to the program’s emphasis on managerial aspects and business strategy. Some programs accept people straight out of a bachelor’s program, but usually only if it is related to strategy or business. Students who hold bachelor’s degrees in an unrelated field, such as liberal arts or science, will likely need to submit a resume detailing their business experience to be considered for the program.
After the above requirements have been met or surpassed, you must next consider their GRE scores. Your Graduate Record Examination scores are critical entry requirements for the majority of master’s programs regardless of major. The GRE is a series of in-depth tests that examine your quantitative and verbal reasoning skills, as well as your critical writing and thinking capabilities. The GRE is taken on a computer and can be repeated up to five times within one 12-month period. The GRE can be taken once every 21 days within that period, as well. Most master’s programs have specific GRE thresholds for suitable applicants, so be sure to check admission requirements before applying. They may have higher or lower scores than your last GRE test.
Finally, many top master’s programs in strategy also require one or more letters of recommendation from your former teachers or employers. These letters act as character references and help the university determine if you’re a good fit for their program. Whichever program you decide to focus on, be sure to pay attention to their application periods. Some universities only have a single application window for their master’s programs, while others may have various windows throughout the year. There is no universal mandate across universities.
WHAT ABOUT FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS?
Anyone interested in going back to school for any reason should begin their financial aid efforts with the FAFSA. The Federal Application for Student Aid must be filled out at the beginning of every academic year. Be sure to tackle it as soon as possible, regardless of whether you’ve taken a break from education or are pursuing master’s straight out of your bachelor’s program.
The FAFSA is particularly valuable because it allows you to take advantage of certain government-funded scholarships or loans. Several high capacity scholarships, like the Pell Grant, are only accessible through the FAFSA. You can also subsidize the loans you receive through this application, potentially making them easier to pay off once you complete your education. Your FAFSA aid is determined by your economic needs. If you are in need of more financial assistance, you will likely be eligible for greater help.
In addition to this first step, any students looking to pursue a master’s degree in strategy should investigate school-specific scholarships. Because a degree in strategy is normally awarded by a university’s school of business or business administration, there are often several grants or scholarships available throughout the year, funded by the alumni of the university, many of whom are successful businesspeople. These alumni networks normally award scholarships to a large portion of the incoming class. Be aware that these grants also often have competitive requirements and a high number of applicants. You have to jump on these possible awards quickly to give yourself the best chance to receive them.
Similarly, students pursuing a master’s degree in strategy would do well to investigate teaching assistantships. Many of the best schools for business or business administration will offer teaching assistantships to students. These agreements require you to dedicate 15 to 20 hours of your week to grading or similar tasks for a teacher. In exchange, you’ll receive partially or fully funded tuition and often a small stipend for any other expenses you may incur. Teaching assistantships are quite difficult to get for most master’s programs in strategy, but they’re well worth the effort and can make your graduate studies a much more financially agreeable prospect.
Finally, if you have work experience, you should contact your advisor or administrator and ask how your work experience could count toward program credit. Because a strategy degree largely deals with business and economics subjects, your prior work experience may be close enough to what’s covered in one or more of your courses. This pathway can lead you to not only an early graduation, but save you money since you won’t have to pay for extra credit hours learning what you already know. Not every program allows you to exchange work experience for credit, however.
HOW MUCH CAN I MAKE WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE IN STRATEGY?
Because a master’s degree in strategy—or an MBA with a strategy specialization—is such a versatile degree, the possible professions you could hold with the degree can lead to a wide range of potential salaries. Experience plays a huge factor, as well. When you estimate your potential earnings with this degree, remember that a Master of Business Administration is suitable for high-level positions in business or corporations, oftentimes in managerial or administrative capacities.
As a result, most individuals with MBAs in strategy end up in supervisory or managerial roles, which necessitate a higher salary than middle-management roles. Exact salary levels can vary widely.
General management occupations can earn a median wage of $104,000 and are growing at a rate of about 7% per year. While most managerial professions only require a bachelor’s level of education, earning a master’s degree shows greater dedication to the job in question and allows you to demand a higher salary than your peers. Therefore, those with a master’s degree in any managerial profession should expect a higher salary than the above figure, especially after spending some time with a company.
Still, your initial salary may be as low as $73,000 annually, if you become some kind of project manager and don’t have any work experience right out the gate. But the potential for salary growth is quite high, especially as you gain experience. Those with MBAs in Strategy are well-equipped to bolster the growth of their home company or business and are likely to receive accolades and salary increases as their business performs better.
It’s even possible to eventually become a top executive, such as a CEO or CFO. These jobs are growing at about 6% per year and have a median salary of $104,000 per year. Of course, this figure can be much greater, with many famous CEOs earning tens of millions of dollars per year or more. It all depends on the business you choose to run and your experience level. You could also adopt a more freelance lifestyle and become a management analyst.
Companies hire management analysts to improve their organizational efficiency or change their managing style to afford better returns. An MBA in Strategy prepares you well for this kind of work, as you’ll know how to look at things in a big-picture format to see what works and what doesn’t. Management analyst jobs are growing at about 14% per year and earn a median annual salary of $83,000 per year.
All in all, the potential earnings for an individual with an MBA in strategy are determined both by their market or business focus and their own drive and ambition. Some individuals consistently achieve salaries upwards of $140,000 per year, while others earn median annual salaries closer to $60,000. This variation doesn’t have to be worrisome. Instead, many successful businesspeople with MBAs in strategy enjoy this aspect of their field: It indicates that their salaries are more directly affected by their performance and ambition than in many other professional fields.
OUR RANKING CRITERIA
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Check out our ranking of the ten best master’s programs in strategy.
ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT
Stevens Institute of Technology’s online Master of Science in Management program is only one of eight different graduate degree programs offered fully online. The Master’s in Management, like all the other programs, uses analytical techniques and new technologies to bring top educational courses right to your computer. It’s a perfect program, even for students with low business exposure, since it relies on practical instruction and has courses focusing on economics, strategy, leadership, and innovation. This program has an interdisciplinary curriculum and focuses on collaboration and practical application of accumulated knowledge. Put simply, it’s a fantastic online MS in Management program that provides all students with everything they need to know to succeed in the business sphere.
The program incorporates a core curriculum of eight classes, six of which can be taken during the shorter summer semester. This structure allows you to fast-track your graduation and potentially earn your degree in less than two years. In fact, this particular program is designed to be completed in 12 months. It’s an ideal choice for working professionals, and if you have just completed a bachelor’s program. It’s a 30-credit program in total, and there are three application cycles. However, this program is difficult to get into, even relative to other strategy programs. You must submit a resume that demonstrates your leadership capabilities.
Additionally, you’ll likely be interviewed prior to receiving your admissions decision. This interview is similar to what you might experience when you apply for a regular job. But despite Stevens’ rigorous acceptance standards, you can rest assured that the program is worth it. Your faculty and peers are also guaranteed to be of a high caliber and offer exceptional networking opportunities and collaboration in the future. In addition to the value of this program, there are also several excellent graduate certificate programs. You can complete these programs at the same time as your main curriculum to bolster your credentials and make yourself more attractive to employers.
Even better, any credits you take in pursuit of a graduate certificate can be used for the MBA core curriculum itself. All in all, Stevens is a fantastic university anyone would be lucky to attend.
With a low student to faculty ratio of 10:1, you’ll receive full-time attention from your instructors. In addition to its academic excellence, Stevens enlists a small army of career placement professionals to help you find employment or an internship after graduation. In fact, it’s ranked seventh in the nation by The Princeton Review for career placement. Add to that its extensive alumni network of successful businesspeople and it’s a great university for any aspiring company manager or executive.
ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
The University of Texas at Dallas offers an MBA program with maximum flexibility to allow you to pursue other goals, or continue working while you complete your education. There are no on-campus requirements, even for orientation or graduation, although you can easily observe classes to see how things are done on campus. UT Dallas accepts a broad student body with diverse backgrounds and experience levels, making their MBA in Strategic Management program a perfect choice, regardless of your prior business experience. You only need a bachelor’s degree and a decent GPA to be eligible for acceptance, and there are even GRE waivers available depending on your circumstances.
The UT Dallas MBA curriculum can be completed in as little as 16 months, although you have 72 months to fulfill all of the curriculum requirements. The program is known for its academic excellence, as it’s ranked as the #6 Best Online Program according to U.S. News and World Report. It’s no wonder that it’s ranked so highly, considering you have access to some of the best faculty in the nation and dedicated career management services. Even from afar as an online student, you can access the dedicated MBA program office which helps place graduates in careers that are perfect for their needs or ambitions after completing the program. The main curriculum is comprised of 32 semester credit hours of required core courses, and 21 extra semester credit hours for electives.
You’ll join a cohort of fellow students regardless of whether you pursue this MBA as a full-time student or a part-time student. You won’t lose any networking or collaborative opportunities with students of your age range and experience level, even if you can’t devote a full amount of time to your studies at the moment. UT Dallas offers combined MBA/MS degrees and several additional concentrations that you can add to further your credentials and qualifications. The double MS/MBA option is particularly robust and can be completed in less than two years if you have the time to devote to your studies.
All in all, it’s a fantastic program that affords you lots of opportunities to personalize your experience based on your schedule and career goals. It’s even affordable for most, ranked as the #1 Best Value Public University in Texas according to Forbes. With its diverse student body and capable faculty, you’ll always be able to receive help when you need it and feel surrounded by fellow ambitious professionals who raise the bar of your program. When you attend this program, you’ve got both the tools and the time needed to make the most of the opportunity.
ONLINE MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN MANAGEMENT
While Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is primarily famous for its programs in aeronautics, it offers a compelling Master of Science in Management program that’s particularly well-suited for individuals who want to take charge of aviation companies or subsidiary industries.
The aviation industry is an interesting sphere by itself, and it’s a quite lucrative one if you can manage to master its intricacies. But you don’t have to go into aviation with this program: It’s robust and general enough to compete with other master’s programs for strategy across the nation. Unlike many other master’s programs that handle business strategy, this program emphasizes the scientific and statistical side of things, reflected with its science specialty. It emphasizes management and operations more than communications or socialization like a traditional MBA. All courses are taught in a practical and hands-on manner and each class’s curriculum offers multiple research opportunities.
As a result, this master’s program in strategy is a great choice if you want to proceed into a more research-oriented field in the future. The program’s core curriculum emphasizes major management fundamentals, but it also allows you to specialize in one of five different pathways: human resources management, global management, leadership, operations management, and project management.
As you can tell from the names of these specializations, this degree is particularly suitable for future business executives who will lead the charge in the projects their companies will undertake. This is valuable in not only the aviation industry, but in other spheres as well. The curriculum is comprised of 30 credit hours and offers multiple opportunities for credit transfers. Furthermore, this schools is one of the best to attend if you’re a military veteran: There are special tuition and credit opportunities available to accelerate your timeline.
Notably, Embry-Riddle also partners with various aerospace and security companies. It can be difficult to acquire a job immediately after graduating from any master’s program, but this university is connected to various federal and private aerospace companies, so locating a lucrative job is much easier. For instance, both NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration are known to pursue graduates from Embry-Riddle. You can also utilize Embry-Riddle’s career services to prepare you for work right out of graduation.
All in all, this university’s pathway to success speaks for itself. It’s a phenomenal choice for young professionals who want to pursue a Master’s in Strategy, but it’s doubly worthwhile due to its company connections and possibilities for networking.
ONLINE MBA STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
The Villanova School of Business has only recently begun offering an online MBA degree. But since the move, they have allowed thousands of students to pursue professional goals from the comfort and flexibility of their own home. While this MBA program is based on the on-campus curriculum, it incorporates different strategies and courses to create a unique experience. However, the same faculty teach both the on-campus and online courses. You’ll get a top-tier education even if you don’t attend Villanova in-person. Villanova’s faculty have first-hand experience in business and leadership, forge meaningful bonds with their students, and impart wisdom that non-specialized faculty cannot provide.
Villanova’s MBA program consists of 21 courses taken over six semesters, each of which are split into two terms. You can complete the program in a minimum of two years, making it an ideal choice for both full- and part-time students. At the beginning of the program, you’ll attend a community-building campus residency, although you can push it to your second semester. There are also two required practicum experiences at the middle and end of the program, so be prepared to travel to Villanova’s physical campus if you are some distance away. The rest of the program is entirely online, despite its emphasis on leadership and collaboration. You’ll frequently meet and web-chat with your fellow students and faculty, allowing you to work together on assigned coursework and projects.
The program ends with a final capstone course and an optional seven-day international immersion experience, which allows students to travel abroad and visit companies in emerging economies. It’s particularly valuable for building connections and real-world experience in the business sphere. Since this experience takes place in developing economies, you will gain real strategic insight to bring to future businesses. Furthermore, the middle of the program involves the Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum.
This top-tier course has you work in teams with your fellow students for a single client. It’ll teach you exactly what you need to know to become a successful top executive and strategic mastermind, and give back to the community at the same time.
All in all, Villanova’s strategic MBA program is perfect for business beginners or those who are coming into graduate school right after receiving a bachelor’s degree. Its emphasis on real-world experience and practical education provide more value than other online graduate programs. While it is slightly more difficult to complete due to physical requirements, this program is well worth the effort. It is likely to result in an extensive network of collaborators and associates you can call upon through your professional career.
ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
The University of North Texas offers an accelerated online MBA program that you can complete in as little as 12 months, depending on how many courses you need to complete and your studying intensity. The strategic management variation of the primary MBA program consists of 12 total classes and 36 credit hours, and it offers multiple start dates throughout the year. The curriculum will provide you with a broad exposure to the skills you’ll need to manage and strategize the operations of large and small companies.
Because it’s primarily an MBA with only a concentration in strategic management, most of the courses are generalized, and don’t emphasize strategy over other management aspects. Still, it can be helpful for some young professionals, especially those who already have some business experience and want to improve their credentials.
This MBA program provides you with the knowledge necessary to sustain business growth around dips and peaks in the economy. Furthermore, UNT offers all graduates access to their Department of Management, which can help you find career opportunities or internships after graduation. You do need a substantial background in business to take advantage of this accelerated program, as there is no other relaxed timeline you can pursue.
The business background classes you need under your belt include micro and macroeconomics, statistics, finance, and business law. Therefore, this online MBA is best pursued by those who already have a bachelor’s degree in business or a closely related field. UNT does allow you to make up these deficiencies with its own online software, which adds time to your overall graduation track.
Because of its accelerated format, this program is particularly great to pursue if your schedule allows you to finish your education full-time. Each class is administered in an asynchronous and flexible format and delivered over an eight-week period. The program continues through the fall and spring, and over the summer. You can jump into the program with six start dates every year.
The accelerated format doesn’t make use of as much collaboration or teamwork with your fellow students as many other master’s programs in strategy. But it does afford you plenty of opportunity to connect with your faculty. There are over 4600 faculty members dedicated to the success of UNT’s students, and all of the faculty and ministering the classes of this program have real-world business experience.
The University of North Texas also has several historical accomplishments: It was the location of the first jazz studies program, the first retail program, and the first graduate applied anthropology program offered completely online. Firsts are a way of life at UNT, so consider attending if you want to supercharge your career and graduate with a master’s degree in strategy in as short a period of time as possible.
ONLINE MASTER OF SCIENCE IN STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT
Indiana University offers a Master of Science in Strategic Management, which is essentially the same as a graduate degree in general strategy. The curriculum focuses on improving your problem-solving skills and developing leadership abilities, both of which are necessary to successfully lead a business in any economy. Specifically, this curriculum encompasses topics such as strategic thinking, operations management, competitive analysis, entrepreneurship, and organizational development and change.
The broad scope seems heavy at first glance, because this program is specifically designed for professionals who already have two or more years of manager-level experience. It’s not a great fit for students coming straight out of a bachelor’s program, but it’s exceptional for currently working professionals who want to bolster their academic experience and credentials. It’s a 30-credit hour degree program and can be completed in as little as 15 months, or as long as three years.
There is a great degree of flexibility to let you study on your own terms and schedule. However, there’s only a single application window each year, which closes on Aug. 1 for the fall semester. All of the students in the program proceed at a similar pace, allowing for exceptional collaborative and networking opportunities. While it’s not a true cohort structure, you will work closely with your fellow students and faculty, especially as you investigate case studies and learn the strategic processes real business executives use everyday in the market.
Later courses emphasize the role that technology and innovation play in the development of any business or economy, and are particularly useful for professionals working in techy spheres. While this degree program is already sufficient for most professionals, you can also pursue a dual degree and earn extra credentials without drastically compromising your schedule. It does take longer than the 15 required months, but it may be worthwhile, especially if you plan to go into a very specific field or business.
Regardless of whether you choose to obtain a single or a dual degree, you’ll be required to attend Kelley Connect Weeks like all other online students. These intense weeks are held at the Indiana University Bloomington campus. Here, you’ll build real relationships with your faculty and peers, and take on a live business case while working alongside a team. Plus, you’ll get lots of exposure to various academic business disciplines. The first connect week begins immediately prior to your main classes, while the second takes place at the beginning of your second year of the program.
Finally, Indiana University also offers you the opportunity to study abroad, which can be particularly fun for students who want to see more of the world before settling down into a career. Overall, Indiana University’s online master’s in strategy program provides lots of value. It’s one of the best programs to choose if you already have manager-level experience under your belt.
ONLINE MBA WITH A CONCENTRATION IN STRATEGIC BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
Hofstra University offers an MBA with a Strategic Business Management concentration. This online MBA program isn’t as in-depth as master’s degrees with specifically strategy-based curriculum, but it is still quite dense and robust. The general focus on how strategy applies to upper-level management and long-term decision-making makes this program a valuable choice if you want to keep your options open. You’ll have the ability to float between executive positions at a company or in a freelance, advisory role.
This 38-credit hour program’s admission criteria are relatively relaxed compared to many other online Master’s in strategy programs. There are GRE waivers for certain conditions, particularly based on your work experience. It’s a great program if you already have some executive business experience or you’re coming straight from school. All courses are taught by full-time faculty members that have real-world business experience.
Even though this program is online, the faculty will have multiple opportunities to assess your leadership and provide individualized executive coaching. This opportunity is fantastic for all students who want to become successful executives, as you’ll receive personalized feedback on your leadership and management style. This type of feedback is often ignored in many online MBA programs, due to the distance between students and faculty.
Hofstra goes even further to bridge the gap between online and brick-and-mortar programs. The online MBA program has many initiatives to let you network and find internship opportunities during or after graduation. It also incorporates an online cohort program option. You can choose this pathway to complete the degree within two years and progress with a collection of fellow student, providing a sense of camaraderie often missing from many online programs.
Alternatively, you can follow a more flexible path that allows you to complete the degree within a few years. It’s a perfect choice if you have a hectic work and life schedule. Keep in mind that if you do select the two-year cohort program option, you’ll have to attend two four-day residencies where you’ll meet the fellow students of your cohort and make connections at the university. The first residency is at the beginning of the program and the last is at the end.
Overall, this online MBA program is a perfect balance of rigor and flexibility. Its academic merits are well-known and recognized, and it holds the #16 spot for the best online MBA program according to The Princeton Review. If you’re still not sure, you can attend in-person or online information sessions whenever you like to discover whether the program is a good fit for you.
ONLINE MASTER’S OF SCIENCE IN ORGANIZATIONAL LEADERSHIP
This online program is relevant to long-term business strategy in a slightly more specific way than other programs. It’s a particularly great degree if you want to become a management analyst or another kind of freelance business advisor.
As a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, you’ll be well-equipped to both recognize good leadership and bring those same qualities to your own business endeavors. The curriculum focuses on communication, analysis, ethics, and organizational leadership as its primary pillars throughout the entirety of its 100% online course load. There are no in-person residencies required, so it’s one of the easier programs to complete if you can’t leave your job or have to complete all your education remotely.
While it is a Master of Science degree, this program has a surprising amount of focus on contemporary understandings of social and emotional intelligence. Because leadership is such an abstract and humanitarian part of doing business, much of the focus of the program incorporates social responsibility, cultural diversity, and performance improvement through data-driven models and statistical analysis. It’s quite an interdisciplinary program and provides a unique learning challenge.
There are multiple start dates throughout the year, so it’s a great program to jump into even if you missed the traditional fall deadline. The core curriculum classes emphasize leadership strategy in interpersonal and broader business levels, allowing you to make small and large decisions with the same strategic concepts.
This degree is one of the best for learning how to properly deal with the social elements inherent in every business. It also affords you the expertise necessary to look into a business from the outside and determine what might be going wrong on an interpersonal level, or with higher decision-making. Once you proceed into the core of the curriculum, you’ll be able to specialize in one of four professional focus tracks: health care management, human resource leadership, public service for nonprofit leadership, and strategic leadership.
Each specialization is well-tailored for specific career paths and professional goals, allowing you to receive all the benefits of a general degree in business and organizational strategy while still showcasing your expertise to employers.
As a school, Quinnipiac has several accolades that make it worth your while. It’s listed as one of the best business schools by both U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review. In addition, it has one of the best accreditations for business schools: the AACSB accreditation, held by less than 10% of all business schools.
All in all, Quinnipiac’s online master’s degree in strategy is one of the best on the market. It’s well worth your time if you want to double down on the managerial and leadership aspects of strategic decision-making in the workplace.
ONLINE MBA IN STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
Not all of the best schools to earn a master’s degree in strategy have thousands of students all attending at once. New England College is a much smaller school with an intimate atmosphere, even across its online interface. As an example, this diverse school only has about 900 graduate students from all over the world at a single time. There’s a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13:1, allowing instructors to forge personal relationships with each student. This university is great for learners that require a personalized approach to get the most out of their education.
Even better, NEC’s broad network of partners allows it to provide thousands of internship opportunities. There are few universities better suited for new graduate students than NEC, since it’s a lot easier to find work experience during or after graduation through this network. NEC’s MBA with an emphasis on strategic leadership is the perfect choice for professionals who want to master the difficulties of running a business and ensuring its success long term.
The curriculum capitalizes on strategic opportunities and focuses on global economy. It also has lots of material for entrepreneurs, and teaches you to solve problems in practical yet creative ways. It’s a curriculum designed for both full- and part-time working professionals, so you can complete it in as few as 20 months.
There is one track available for all students, so be prepared to give it your all once you get accepted—there is no slower track if you need to lighten the course load. Applying to this program is intense, as it’s quite a competitive scene and requires a resume with professional work experience for you to even be considered for acceptance.
Once you’ve been accepted, you’ll proceed through seven four-credit core curriculum courses, plus three more four-credit courses that focus on strategic leadership rather than general business administration. The core curriculum encompasses the entirety of broad business administration subjects, ranging from finance to economics to managerial accounting. But all of these courses are presented through the lens of leadership to properly prepare you for an executive spot at whatever business you apply for next.
The last core course is a capstone project in which you will solve a real-world business problem either as an individual or with a team, depending on your scheduling needs. Still, you can do all of this 100% online without the need for residency. The focused strategic leadership classes cover relationship selling strategies, project management, and organizational communication. This last class is particularly useful for future managers, since it focuses on negotiation and conflict resolution in the workplace.
As a whole, NEC’s MBA in Strategic Leadership is a great choice to gain the tools you need to succeed as a strategic leader on both a small and large scale.
#10. HARVARD UNIVERSITY
ONLINE MASTER OF LIBERAL ARTS MANAGEMENT
Harvard University has a long history, and is well-known for the quality of its academic programs, including the Master of Liberal Arts Management. Unlike the vast majority of other master’s degrees in strategy, this degree emphasizes management techniques and understanding through a liberal arts lens. It’s a unique program that is well-suited for any future professionals in a liberal arts business, and can open up greater professional opportunities than a regular MBA.
This program’s curriculum doesn’t skimp on the main administrative or dry subjects, of course: Accounting, economic theory, finance, marketing, and organizational behavior are all accounted for in the core classes. You’ll investigate plenty of case studies to help you develop your own management theories and practices, and attend group projects and active learning experiences. This program does require some on-campus presence.
There are two graduation paths for this program: The capstone track is perfect for future entrepreneurs and involves a final capstone project. You’ll have to attend two three-week summer courses on campus in order to complete all of the requirements.
The capstone project is intense and exciting, as you’ll work with faculty and mentors on a real-world project for an actual business client. The alternative path eschews the capstone project, but does require that you take four of the classes on campus. Some weekend options are available for professionals with strictly limited free time.
Think of this program as a hybrid online/on-campus course, which isn’t necessarily a negative. Much of Harvard’s value comes from making connections with your peers and faculty, as some of the most powerful and influential businesspeople in the world have connections to the university. You’ll also have to attend the annual Harvard commencement in order to receive your degree.
Due to its prestige and financial position, Harvard offers a plethora of benefits that other universities simply cannot. There are multiple opportunities for admission, such as the Harvard Business School Online CORe pathway. And to accommodate those in need of a flexible schedule, there are several start dates for this program. Harvard further offers lots of financial aid opportunities to current attendees of the program. Once you are accepted, your financial burdens will be at least partially reduced by tuition scholarships or subsidized loans.
All of these benefits are included along with some of the more important and wonderful aspects of Harvard: a beautiful campus, an excellent school spirit, and access to a diverse alumni network you’ll be able to call on for the rest of your life. It’s no exaggeration to say that networking is the true advantage of Harvard. It’s safe to say that earning a master’s degree in strategy at Harvard is one of the best steps you can take for your professional future.
OTHER NOTABLE PROGRAMS
#11. Amberton University
Location: Garland, Texas
Degree: Online MBA in Strategic Leadership
Net Price: N/A
#12. National University
Location: San Diego, California
Degree: Online Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership
Net Price: N/A
#13. Messiah College
Location: Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Degree: Online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Leadership
Net Price: $27,976
#14. Ottawa University Angell Synder School of Business
Degree: Online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Innovation
Net Price: $25,583
#15. University of St. Francis
Location: Joliet, Illinois
Degree: Online Master’s of Science in Management
Net Price: $19,418
#16. Florida Institute of Technology
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Degree: Online Master’s of Management
Net Price: $34,139
#17. Western Governors University
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Degree: Online Master of Science in Management
Net Price: N/A
#18. Cornell University
Location: Ithaca, New York
Degree: Online Executive Master of Human Resource Management Program
Net Price: $28,890
#19. Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Degree: Online Master’s of Science in Management, Strategy, and Leadership
Net Price: $16,227
#20. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Degree: Online Master of Business Administration
Net Price: $11,649