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The 20 Best Online Strategic Management MBA Degree Programs

The 21st century has changed the way businesses operate, and to stay competitive in management careers, professionals must set themselves apart. One great way to stand out within the business community is by earning an online Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration or specialization in Strategic Management. Many prestigious, accredited, and affordable online programs exist, which will save you time and allow you to continue your full-time occupation and pursue a higher education simultaneously. Students in online Strategic Management programs can still meet their peers and develop connections through opportunities such as internships, study abroad programs, and networking events. Strategic Management programs help students learn to navigate complex business issues, such as creating a positive work environment, embracing diversity in the workplace, and making changes that will improve a company’s profit, effectiveness, and public image. Some of the classes offered through Strategic Management programs include Strategic Negotiation Skills, Human Resource Leadership Development, and Strategic Supply Chain Management.

Strategic Management programs offer numerous benefits to students looking to advance within their career or enter a new career path. Students who complete Strategic Management programs will emerge as stronger leaders, and be prepared for management careers within a variety of sectors, such as healthcare, government, private corporations, and non-profit organizations. Career opportunities abound and include program managers for school systems, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, human resource directors, city managers, analysts, consultants, and executive directors for public service organizations. Students who are already employed will add even greater value to their company. Earning an MBA in Strategic Management will not only make a candidate more marketable but will also likely include a significant pay raise, as well as opportunities for future career promotions. When you earn an online Strategic Management MBA, the sky is the limit!

Methodology

To find the best Online Strategic Management MBA programs, this ranking analyzed almost 550 distanc MBA programs. Each program was ranked on their strategy specific curriculum, Quality of Classes (33%), Support Services (33%), and Affordability (33%). To aide students in comparing affordability, each online Strategic Management MBA is listed with an Affordability Score, which is based upon the program’s total base tuition. Ranges include:

Very Affordable: under $15,000
Affordable: between $15,000 and $20,000
Average: between $20,000 and $30,000
Above Average: between $30,000 and $50,000
Expensive: between $50,000 and $100,000
Very Expensive: above $100,000

#1 University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management – Richardson, Texas


The University of Texas at Dallas offers a flexible online Strategic Management MBA designed around your lifestyle. MBA students can participate in happy hours and volunteer opportunities.

The University of Texas at Dallas’ Naveen Jindal School of Management offers a convenient online MBA with a focus in Strategic Management. This 53 credit-hour program holds an accreditation from AACSB and is consistently recognized as being one of the best around the country and world. U.S. News and World Report currently ranks this online MBA 6th, followed by Princeton at 12th, and 22nd by QS Global Online. Students will complete 30 hours of core courses and 23 hours of elective credits. Participants in the program can decide how many classes they would like to enroll in each semester and may graduate in as few as 16 months or take up to six years. Additional features to help students succeed in an online environment include virtual professional development and information sessions. Those interested in the Strategic Management program should feel free to reach out to Jindal School of Management to observe a class.

The University of Texas at Dallas serves nearly 28,000 students and is accredited by the SACSCC. UTD offers 142 degree programs, including bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs through its eight academic schools. The Carnegie Commission on Higher Education ranks UT Dallas as an R1 Doctoral University-Very High Research Activity. UT Dallas celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and is ranked second in the U.S. and 31st in the world by the Times Higher Education Young University Rankings. There are a wide variety of degrees offered including their prestigious online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Management through the Naveen Jindal School of Management. The MBA is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report among “Top 10 MBA Programs Where Grads Make More Money than They Owe.” Applicants must submit an application online, unofficial GMAT/GRE scores, one professional letter of recommendation, an essay, and a detailed resume.

Accreditation: AACSB, SACSCC
Affordability Score: Above Average

#2 University of North Texas College of Business – Denton, Texas


Students can pursue a highly respected online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Management through UNT’s College of Business. This accelerated MBA can be finished in as few as 14 months.

The University of North Texas features a top ranked online MBA degree through the College of Business. This elite program is accredited through the AACSB and includes a concentration in Strategic Management. The Princeton Review ranks this online MBA 23rd in the nation. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report acknowledges this as a stellar online MBA, with a #31 ranking nationally. Classes for this 36-hour program are offered in an accelerated eight-week format with five sessions throughout the year, allowing students to complete this MBA in as few as 14 months. Students are able to choose to take one or two courses at a time and can complete their schoolwork around their work schedule. The curriculum consists of 18 hours of core curriculum, 15 hours of Strategic Management concentration courses, and an additional three-credit-hour elective. The accelerated format of this prestigious MBA program will have you on your way to career advancement in no time!

The University of North Texas is a public, university serving over 38,000 students. UNT was founded in 1890 and holds a region accreditation from the SACSCC. The flagship campus is located in Denton, but other convenient locations include Frisco, McKinney, Downtown Dallas, as well as online. The Princeton Review recognizes UNT in its “Best in the West” category and offers 19 programs listed within the Top 100 by U.S. News and World Report. Students can select from a vast offering of 105 bachelor’s, 88 master’s, and 37 doctoral programs through their 14 academic colleges and schools. Students pursuing the online MBA cam choose a concentration in Strategic Management to hone their skills in business strategy. Candidates should first apply to the Toulouse Graduate School by submitting an online application, official transcripts from each university attended, and GMAT scores. Upon acceptance into the Graduate School, students should send an essay, resume, and three recommendation letters to the College of Business.

Accreditation: AACSB, SACSCC
Affordability Score: Average

#3 University of Delaware Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics – Newark, Delaware


Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics offers an online Strategic Management MBA. All students are assigned a personal career coach to ensure their success.

The University of Delaware houses a top-ranking online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Management through the Alfred Lerner College of Business. Lerner COB is accredited by the AACSB. This reputable online MBA is ranked 26th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report and 43rd by the QS Global Online Ranking. The well-rounded 44-hour program only takes 16 months to complete. Classes are offered in an intensive seven-week format. Students can add on a second or third emphasis area for 47 or 53 total credit hours. Other emphasis areas include Business Analytics, Finance, Healthcare Management, and International Business. Students who meet the qualifications for the Dean’s List or who are employed by a corporate partner are eligible for a 10% tuition discount, and military students receive a 15% discount. The discounts, accelerated pace, and multiple emphasis areas make this a genuinely student-focused accessible online MBA.

The University of Delaware is the largest university in the state of Delaware with nearly 24,000 students enrolled. UD was founded in 1743, making it one of the oldest in the nation. The MSCHE grants UD regional accreditation. More than 135 undergraduate degrees, 142 master’s degrees, and 67 doctoral degrees are offered through their main campus in Newark and satellite locations in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. Delaware has earned many notable distinctions including being currently ranked 145th by Times Higher Education World University Rankings and 33rd Best Public University by U.S. News and World Report. Graduate students can earn an elite MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Management through Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics. Applicants must proffer an application online, official transcripts, GRE/GMAT scores, and should have at least two years of professional work experience.

Accreditation: AACSB, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Above Average

#4 Brenau University School of Business – Gainesville, Georgia


Graduate students can earn a online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Thinking and Innovation from Brenau University. This degree is ranked #1 by Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Brenau University’s School of Business offers an online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Thinking and Innovation, accredited by ACBSP. The online MBA program is ranked among the best in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. This prestigious 42-hour program can be completed in two years while still maintaining a balance between a full-time job, family, and school. Students will take courses such as Strategic Thinking and Innovation, Leadership in Innovative Organizational Cultures, Creativity and Change Leadership, and Complex Problem Solving. These courses are designed to prepare students to solve complex problems within an organization through creative strategies. Graduates have many exciting career options, such as senior marketing director, human resources manager, financial manager, VP of operations, and advertising executive. Brenau University is an exceptional choice for busy professionals interested in pursuing an online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Management.

Brenau University is a nonprofit, private university regionally accredited by the SACSCC. BU was founded in 1878 as a seminary for women and has since grown to offer over 20 associate through doctoral accredited programs to approximately 3,000 students. The Women’s College is located in Gainesville and is still dedicated to educating women leaders, but additional campuses are offered for both genders in Augusta, Norcross, Fairburn, and Jacksonville, Florida. Among the top degrees at Brenau is the accessible online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Thinking and Innovation. Students wanting to pursue this flexible online degree must proffer an application online, all official transcripts, a resume, and a reference form. Classes begin every seven weeks, and students are welcome to start at the most convenient time for them.

Accreditation: ACBSP, SACSCC
Affordability Score: Average

#5 Hofstra University Frank G. Zarb School of Business – Hempstead, New York


Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business offers a distinguished online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Business Management. This is the first Strategic Business Management program to be offered in New York.

The Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University is known for its prestigious business education and accessible programs, including their online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Business Management. This program is accustomed to being the recipient of many prestigious distinctions. The Princeton Review ranks both the Zarb School of Business and the online MBA 16th, and the QS Global Online Ranking ranks this program 24th. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report list this program as 58th out of 300 schools. This online Strategic Business Management MBA holds the AACSB accreditation and is 45 credit hours, with a completion time of two years, or at the student’s pacing up to five years. All courses are 100% online, but students who live in or near New York will be able to attend events at New York businesses. The online MBA at Hofstra is the perfect program for adults looking to advance their business careers in the field of Strategic Business Management.

Hofstra University is a private university with over 11,000 students. Hofstra is regionally accredited by the MSCHE and offers 160 undergraduate and 165 graduate programs spanning 12 schools. U.S. News and World Report ranks Hofstra 160th among national universities and 63rd in the “Best Value Schools” category. The Princeton Review also names Hofstra on its Best Northeastern Regional Colleges ranking. Additionally, Hofstra is ranked among the top 25% of colleges by Times Higher Education and The Wall Street Journal. Frank G. Zarb School of Business offers an online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Business Management. The Zarb School of Business features a brand new building with collaborative and innovative workspaces, entrepreneurship programs, and dedicated meeting rooms for business organizations. Students interested in this program must proffer an application online, GMAT scores, official transcripts, and a resume.

Accreditation: AACSB, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Expensive

#6 Villanova University School of Business – Villanova, Pennsylvania


Students enrolled in the online MBA program at Villanova University have an opportunity to specialize in Strategic Management. This unique program includes a practicum and international business immersion experience.

Villanova University’s School of Business offers a well respected online Strategic Management MBA. This 48 credit-hour distance learning MBA program is accredited through the AACSB. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked this highly esteemed program 13th in the nation. Many driven students complete this program within two years. Hands-on components set this program apart from traditional online programs. A variety of online resources such as discussion boards, videos, and interactive case studies make this program engaging. Students will also have opportunities to meet their peers in person to work on team projects. Halfway through the program, students will complete the Social Enterprise Consulting Practicum. An optional week-long international immersion experience is offered as the culminating capstone. During this trip, students will visit companies abroad and work on real-world business problems. Students interested in the flexibility of online courses, but looking for experiential learning experiences will find that this online MBA is the perfect combination of the two.

Villanova University is a nonprofit, private university, founded in 1842, making it the oldest Catholic university in Pennsylvania. Regional accreditation is granted through the MSCHE, and Villanova also holds membership in the Augustinian Secondary Education Association. U.S. News and World Report ranks Villanova 49th in the “Best Colleges” National Universities category. Additionally, The Economist and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance both recognize Villanova for offering an excellent value to its students. Approximately 11,000 students attend Villanova, which offers 50 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees, and four doctoral programs spanning six academic colleges. Among the highly specialized programs available, is the online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management degree. Applicants interested in this innovative distance learning MBA program are encouraged to send in an online application form, official transcripts, essays, GMAT/GRE score report, and recommendations.

Accreditation: AACSB, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Expensive

#7 University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Students can pursue an accredited blended MBA with a Strategy concentration through the University of Pittsburgh. Students benefit from a combination of on-campuses courses and more time with the flexibility of online classes.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business features an accredited blended MBA with a focus area in Strategy. This blended MBA is accredited by the AACSB. U.S. News and World Report lists this MBA program among the top 100 in the nation. Students in this 51 credit-hour Strategy program are required to select a second concentration. Concentrations are available in Finance, Information Systems and Technology Management, Marketing, Operations, and Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management. Students can take between one and three courses at a time, depending on their schedule. Professionals will also appreciate the combination of on-campus classes and online assignments to build professional connections and maximize their time. Many experience-based learning opportunities, such as case studies and consulting projects locally and global immersion experiences. Graduates will be ready to lead in corporate positions from their first day due to the in-depth concentrations and hands-on learning.

The University of Pittsburgh is a public, institution of higher education founded in 1787, and is one of only several U.S. universities founded in the 18th century. Pitt is accredited by the MSCHE and a member of the Association of American Universities. The main campus is located in Pittsburgh, and regional campuses offer courses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville. Nearly 29,000 students attend Pitt, where they are offered a wide array of programs leading to associate’s through doctoral degrees. U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Pitt 26th among public universities and 70th among all national universities. Alos, The Princeton Review names Pitt a “Best Value Public College.” Within the well-respected Katz Graduate School of Business, students can earn a competitive blended MBA with a Strategy concentration. Prospective students must apply online, submit two recommendations letters, essay responses, a current resume, official transcripts, and GMAT/GRE scores.

Accreditation: AACSB, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Expensive

#8 Ottawa University Angell Snyder School of Business – Ottawa, Kansas


At Ottawa University, students can pursue an outstanding online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Innovation. This highly-accredited degree prepares students for a wide variety of upper-level management careers.

Graduate students at Ottawa University can earn a competitive online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Innovation. This program holds the esteemed accreditation from ACBSP, showing the high levels of business teaching within this degree. U.S. News and World Report places this online MBA among the top in the nation. This highly respected 36 credit hour MBA offers courses entirely online, or evening courses at campuses in Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, or Indiana. The curriculum is divided into three modules: behavioral courses, core courses, and capstone courses. Strategic Innovation concentration courses include The Creative Organization, Corporate Strategy, Managing in a Global Environment, and Social, Cultural, Legal, and Political Influences in Business. This flexible program has an average tuition rate compared to other online MBA programs around the country, with pricing in between $20,000 and $29,999. Graduates of this excellent online MBA program in Strategic Innovation are prepared for management careers such as office and administrative supervisors, education administrators, and top executives.

Ottawa University is a private college that was founded in 1865, and is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches USA. OU’s main campus in Ottawa is comprised of a small student body population of nearly 1,000 students and is accredited by the HLC. An additional residential campus is located in Surprise, Arizona, and satellite graduate campuses are located in Phoenix, Milwaukee, and Kansas City. U.S. News and World Report recently acknowledged Ottawa as a top-ranked private college in Kansas and among the best Midwest Regional Colleges. Three academic schools offer bachelor’s degrees in more than 25 academic disciplines and four master’s degrees. Angell Snyder School of Business includes a prestigious online MBA degree with a concentration in Strategic Innovation. Applicants to this program need to complete an admissions application, and submit official undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement regarding career goals, a current resume of professional work experience, information regarding awards and recognitions if applicable, and three recommendation letters.

Accreditation: ACBSP, HLC
Affordability Score: Average

#9 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Kenan-Flagler Business School – Chapel Hill, North Carolina


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a competitive online MBA with an emphasis in Strategy and Consulting. This world-class online MBA has received top rankings from major publications and is well respected in the business community.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill features a highly regarded and fully online MBA with a concentration in Strategy and Consulting. This prestigious program, housed in the Kenan-Flagler Business School, is accredited by the AACSB. U.S. News and World Report recently listed this online MBA 1st in the nation, and the Princeton Review ranks it 2nd in the country. Additionally, Forbes ranks the Kenan-Flagler Business School 16th nationally. The online MBA in Strategy and Consulting degree is 66-hours and can be finished in as few as 18 months or up to 36 months. In addition to online classes taught by expert professors, students will receive executive coaching and one-on-one career guidance. Students also have opportunities to participate in global immersions, where they are able to visit international companies and meet business leaders around the world. This top-tier online MBA program is prepared to challenge students with a rigorous curriculum and propel their business careers forward.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill serves a diverse and growing student population of almost 30,000 students. UNC was founded in 1789 and is America’s first public university. North Carolina is accredited by the SACSCC, and offers bachelor’s degrees through doctoral degrees in over 70 areas through 14 academic colleges. Academic Ranking of World Universities, U.S. News and World Report, and Washington Monthly all rank UNC among the top 30 universities in the nation. UNC is also recognized globally as 33rd by Academic Ranking of World Universities, and U.S. News and World Report recently ranked this prestigious university 34th internationally. UNC is also considered a Public Ivy. There are a myriad of degrees offered at UNC-Chapel Hill, including an online MBA in Strategy and Consulting through the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Applicants must send in an online application, resume or CV, transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, two recommendation letters, three required essays and one optional essay, official GMAT or GRE scores, and a personal interview via webcam.

Accreditation: AACSB, SACSCC
Affordability Score: Very Expensive

#10 Northcentral University School of Business – San Diego, California


Northcentral University’s School of Business offers an online and highly accredited MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management. This program will teach students to tackle business, political, and government problems from a strategic management perspective.

The nationally recognized School of Business at Northcentral University offers an online Strategic Management MBA. The School of Business carries esteemed accredited with the ACBSP. This 30 credit hour distance learning MBA consists of just ten courses and can be completed by full-time students in as few as 16 months or at the desired pace of the student, up to five years. Ambitious students who would like to graduate quicker, and are willing to take on a more rigorous course load, may enter the Accelerated MBA program, which takes 12 months to finish. Students will complete 18 hours of foundational courses, nine hours of Strategic Management classes, and a three-credit-hour capstone component. Courses within the Strategic Management specialization include Strategic Market Assessment, Global Business Strategic Management, and Strategic Management. Upon completion of this flexible, convenient MBA in Strategic Management, students will be prepared to handle complex business problems.

Northcentral University is a private, for-profit college accredited by the WASC. Nearly 11,000 are enrolled in distance education courses through Northcentral each year. Students at the university have the choice to pursue a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorates through five distinct academic schools. All classes are taught in a unique 1:1 instructor-to-student learning model, so students receive individual attention. Among the many programs at Northcentral University is the online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management through the School of Business. Students who graduated from an accredited undergraduate university with a bachelor’s degree in business are automatically accepted into the online MBA program. All other students will need to successfully complete a business prerequisite course before taking additional classes. Students should simply submit their online application and official transcripts. Sessions start on a weekly basis, so don’t put off your education any longer.

Accreditation: ACBSP, WASC
Affordability Score: Above Average

#11 Winthrop University College of Business Administration – Rock Hill, South Carolina


Winthrop University offers an online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Leadership. The International Business Culture course will teach students proper etiquette for various countries.

Students at Winthrop University can pursue an online MBA with a Strategic Leadership concentration through the College of Business Administration. This prestigious AACSB accredited program is 36 credit hours. Courses are 100% online, which is perfect for students with demanding full-time work schedules, families, or other commitments. The curriculum consists of 27 hours of core courses and nine hours of Strategic Leadership courses. Students in the Strategic Leadership program will focus on dynamic management skills such as leadership, global competitiveness, and human resource management. Classes offered to develop these skills include Leadership Dynamics, International Business Culture, and Labor Relations. Online students are taught by the same outstanding faculty as on-campus learners, yet have the added benefit of flexibility to decide when to complete their coursework. Graduates of this program will have a competitive edge in management careers such as manager of business insights, director of business development, and vice president of sales merchandising.

Winthrop University started in 1886, and stands today as a public university, accredited by the SACSCC. Winthrop serves over 6,000 students each year, through their five academic colleges, which offer 43 undergraduate and 27 graduate degrees in a wide variety of disciplines. U.S. News and World Report ranks WU eighth among Southern Public Universities and recognizes the university among the Best Colleges for Veterans. Additionally, the Princeton Review lists WU among the “Best in the Southeast” and as a designated “Green College.” Among their many competitive degrees, the College of Business Administration has a prestigious online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Leadership. Students applying to this elite MBA program are required to submit official transcripts from all institutions attended, GMAT scores, and should have five or more years of professional work experience.

Accreditation: AACSB, SACSCC
Affordability Score: Above Average

#12 Chatham University School of Arts, Science & Business – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Graduate students can pursue a 100% online MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Strategy through the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business at Chatham University. This competitive distance MBA features graduate assistantships and corporate partner discounts.

Chatham University’s School of Arts, Sciences, and Business features an online MBA with a concentration in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Strategy. This 36 credit-hour program is entirely online and is accredited by the IACBE. Students can earn graduate-level credits through the Prior Learning Assessment, for knowledge gained through employment experience, job training, or volunteering. To qualify for PLA credit, students may submit a portfolio with sample work and a narrative that covers the core course competencies or receive credit-by-exam. There are many ways for students to reduce the cost of tuition, including graduate assistantships, grant-funded positions, and corporate partner discounts. Graduate assistantships consist of 10-15 hours per week of teaching, research, or working on campus projects. Students may take courses online, from Chatham, Carnegie Mellon University, and from the University of Pittsburgh. Students will find this program is innovative and flexible, allowing them to take courses from multiple universities, and participate in applicable hands-on projects.

Chatham University was founded in 1869 and is a nonprofit, private institution of higher education. Approximately 2,300 students study at Chatham each year, where the student-to-faculty ratio is 10:1, ensuring all students receive personalized attention. There are over 40 undergraduate majors and 20 graduate programs for students to choose from. Chatham is accredited through the MSCHE. U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review consistently rank Chatham among the “Best Colleges in the Northeast.” Additionally, Chatham has received recognition as a College of Distinction and a Military Friendly School. Among the variety of programs offered at Chatham is the online MBA in Entrepreneurial Leadership and Strategy through the School of Arts, Sciences, and Business. Prospective online MBA applicants must submit an application online, official transcripts, resume, two recommendation letters, and an admissions essay.

Accreditation: IACBE, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Above Average

#13 New England College School of Graduate and Professional Studies – Henniker, New Hampshire


Students can earn a distinguished online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Leadership from the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at New England College. The emphasis for this program is on project management, which is a rapidly expanding career field.

New England College students can earn an online MBA in Strategic Leadership degree through the highly regarded School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Online students will complete 40 credit hours comprised of 28 hours of core courses and 12 hours of Strategic Leadership courses. Strategic Leadership courses consist of Project Management, Relationship Selling Strategies, and Organizational Communication, Negotiation, and Resolution. All students will also complete a required capstone course. Students will also learn how to make businesses more efficient, profitable, and marketable. This degree is created with working professionals in mind. Students can graduate in 20 months with skills that are sure to help them advance their career. U.S. News and World Report currently recognizes this program among the best online MBAs in the nation, so students can rest assured they are making a wise investment in their future when they decide to pursue an online MBA in Strategic Leadership from New England College.

New England College is a nonprofit, private university accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. NEC offers 37 bachelor’s degree programs, 12 master’s degrees, and one doctoral program spanning four academic divisions. A diverse student body of approximately 2,800 students enrolls annually. Time magazine recognizes NEC as one of the top 25 colleges in the U.S. that has diversified their student population. Tuition at NEC is considered average, but 94% of students receive financial assistance to offset the cost of attending. Graduate students can earn an online MBA in Strategic Leadership degree through the School of Graduate and Professional Studies. Students interested in pursuing this academically rigorous online MBA program are required to submit a completed online application, undergraduate diploma and transcript, and a resume. NEC offers five start dates per year.

Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
Affordability Score: Average

#14 Amberton University – Garland, Texas


Students at Amberton University can earn a highly respected online MBA in Strategic Leadership. This program includes many aspects specifically designed for working adults.

Amberton University offers a distance learning Strategic Leadership MBA degree. This program is 36 credit hours and was designed to meet the needs of working adults. The curriculum consists of 24 hours of Strategic Leadership courses, six hours of required graduate studies, and another six hours of elective credits. Strategic Leadership courses include Conflict Management and Resolution, Leadership Theories and Practice, Organizational Change, Strategic Management, and Management electives. Students have a wide range of management courses to take covering cutting-edge business topics such as managing different generations in the workplace, utilizing technology to make businesses more effective, and several classes focused on the agile method. Tuition for this program is very affordable, with rates below $14,999. The career-relevant courses, integrated with foundational business courses prepare students for management careers in corporations, the government, education, or healthcare. After earning this degree, it’s really up to you what career path you want to pursue, because the opportunities are endless.

Amberton University is a small four-year, private, not-for-profit university, affiliated with the Evangelical Christian philosophy. Currently, the enrollment consists of an intimate student body of nearly 1,300 students, and Amberton holds regional accreditation through the SACSCC. Amberton is located in Garland, and an additional branch is offered in Frisco. Amberton was initially a part of Abilene Christian University but is now independently ran. AU offers seven bachelor’s degrees and 15 master’s degrees, as well as a variety of undergraduate and graduate specializations. Graduate students may obtain a convenient distance learning MBA in Strategic Leadership. Amberton realizes working adults are busy, so the application process consists of submitting an application and official college transcripts. An advisor will then contact you to help you select classes for your schedule, and you’ll be on your way to earning an online MBA.

Accreditation: SACSCC
Affordability Score: Very Affordable

#15 Messiah College School of Graduate Studies – Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania


The School of Graduate Studies at Messiah College offers an academically rigorous online MBA with a Strategic Leadership concentration. This program is known as a leader in online education.

Messiah College offers a highly respected online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Leadership through the School of Graduate Studies. This well-established, 36 credit hour program is accredited by the ACBSP. Courses are offered in accelerated six or eight-week sessions, and students can complete this program within two years. Students will complete 27 hours of core courses and nine hours of concentration courses. Strategic Leadership courses include Leading Leaders, Strategic Thinking, Planning, and Organizational Change, and Follower, Teamwork, and Group Dynamics. Students also have many opportunities to participate in networking and career development events. A management capstone will be completed by all students, with the assistance of a faculty member and an organization of the students’ choosing. Throughout the entire program, students can count on being mentored by excellent faculty. The career-relevant courses, projects, and optional career building events will lead to students entering a business career they are passionate and knowledgeable about.

Messiah College is a four-year, private, Christian institution of higher learning, founded in 1909. Regional accreditation is granted through the MSCHE. Messiah currently enrolls approximately 3,300 students each year and offers more than 150 undergraduate programs and 35 graduate degrees. The study abroad program has a 90% student population participation rate each year. Students also have 89 internship site opportunities to choose from. U.S. News and World Report ranks Messiah 4th “Best Regional College” in the northeastern U.S. category. Additionally, Christian Universities Online ranks Messiah #1 Best Christian College and University in the North. Among the many, academically challenging programs at Messiah is the online MBA in Strategic Leadership offered through the School of Graduate Studies. Those wishing to apply to the highly acclaimed MBA in Strategic Leadership program will need to submit an application, official transcripts conferring a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, a personal statement of purpose, one recommendation, and a resume.

Accreditation: ACBSP, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Average

#16 John F. Kennedy University College of Business and Professional Studies – Pleasant Hill, California


Distance education students can earn an online Strategic Management MBA through the College of Business and Professional Studies at John F. Kennedy University. Students pay a flat annual fee for unlimited courses.

John F. Kennedy University’s College of Business and Professional Studies includes an online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management. This program is accredited by the IACBE. Students in this 36 credit hour online program will complete courses in Managerial Economics, Executive Leadership, and New Venture Creation. Students will participate in real-world case studies and create a business plan. Online courses are offered through the Flexcourse platform and allow students to stream class lectures whenever is convenient for them and complete courses at their own pace. Students pay one flat fee of $8,500 per year for access to unlimited classes. Once students feel they have mastered the coursework, they schedule their final exam with their professor and receive credit for the class if they pass. Therefore, the faster students complete their courses, the less money they’ll pay for their MBA. Now, that’s motivation! The superior online MBA program in Strategic Management is one of the most flexible programs offered amongst business schools.

John F. Kennedy University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, accredited through the WASC. Just 815 students attend JFK annually, because of this students have multiple opportunities for close interactions with their professors. Students have the choice to complete classes leading to bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees at the physical location in Pleasant Hill or San Jose, California, or online through the Flexcourse platform. One unique feature of the JFK experience is all students are required to complete 30 hours of community service prior to graduation. This will help students give back to their community, enhance their resume, and building future connections. Among the many degrees offered is the MBA in Strategic Management through the College of Business and Professional Studies. Students interested in this convenient online MBA are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year, and must simply complete an online application and submit official transcripts.

Accreditation: IACBE, WASC
Affordability Score: Average

#17 Niagara University College of Business Administration – Niagara University, New York


Niagara University offers an elite online or hybrid MBA in Strategic Management through the College of Business Administration. Students in this program gain experience through study abroad trips and internships.

Niagara University’s College of Business Administration features a superior online, hybrid, or on-campus MBA with an area of emphasis in Strategic Management. The College of Business Administration is accredited through the AACSB. This program is 33-51 credit hours long and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Evening and Saturday classes are offered to minimize work disruptions for students who would like to take courses on campus. These classes are held at the Alliance Advisory Group in Buffalo. Students also have the opportunity to participate in study abroad trips in Asia and Europe. Career services will help students find internships at Fortune 500 companies and other corporations geared towards their future career goals, as well as provide job placement services post-graduation. Students will find that the many flexible, customizable options for this degree make earning an online MBA possible, no matter how busy their life is.

Niagara University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university, founded in 1856, and regionally accredited by the MSCHE. The school is deep-rooted in Catholic and Vincentian traditions. NU offers more than 80 academic programs leading to associate’s through doctoral degrees through four academic colleges and is home to a student body population of nearly 4,000 students each year. Students have the choice to participate in more than 100 student organizations and clubs, late night programming, internships, study abroad programs, and exciting field trips. U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks Niagara in the “Regional Universities-North” category. Among the many distinguished degrees offered is the online or hybrid MBA in Strategic Management. Prospective students should submit an application and all official transcripts. Students without a business background are required to complete 18 hours of business prerequisites.

Accreditation: AACSB, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Average

#18 The Sage Colleges School of Management – Troy, New York


The Sage Colleges offers a highly recognized online MBA with a concentration in Business Strategy. Alumni of this program proceed to top management positions in business, healthcare, government, and non-profit organizations.

The Sage Colleges features a superior online MBA with a focus in Business Strategy through the School of Management. This program holds specialized accreditation through the IACBE. The program is 42-54 credit hours in length depending on if the student needs to take proficiency courses, based on their previous education. All students will complete 30 hours of foundation courses, nine hours of Business Strategy courses, and a three-credit-hour capstone project. Business Strategy specialization courses include Quality Management, Small Business Development, New Product Development, Special Topics, and Marketing Strategy. The School of Management offers a variety of flexible scheduling for courses including online, in the evening, and on the weekends. Students typically complete this program in two years. Students will participate in “real-world” business consulting projects, small group case studies, student debates, and other hands-on learning, graduating from this online MBA with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

The Sage Colleges is a four-year, private, not-for-profit higher education institution, established in 1916, that holds regional accredited through the MSCHE. U.S. News and World Report consistently ranks The Sage Colleges among the top 10 comprehensive colleges in the northeast. Approximately 2,500 students attend the Sage Colleges, which is comprised of a women’s college in Troy, a co-educational college in Albany, and a graduate school in both locations. The 10:1 student/faculty ratio fosters a strong bond between students and their professors. There are more than 50 bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees offered. Among the many highly acclaimed programs, is the online MBA with a concentration in Business Strategy provided through the School of Management. Prospective students must submit an online application, a current resume, a career goals essay, official transcripts from each previous college attended, and two letters of recommendation.

Accreditation: IACBE, MSCHE
Affordability Score: Above Average

#19 Davenport University Donald W. Maine College of Business – Grand Rapids, Michigan


Davenport University offers a world-class online MBA with a Strategic Management concentration. This program is nationally recognized and extremely flexible, making it a great choice for working professionals.

Davenport University’s Donald W. Maine College of Business features a first-class online Strategic Management MBA. Maine College of Business holds accreditation through the IACBE. This 39 credit hour program entails 18 hours of core business courses, 18 hours of Strategic Management concentration courses, and a three-credit-hour business integration capstone course. There are a wide variety of Strategic Management classes offered for students to hone in on the skill set they desire for their future career. Classes offered within this concentration include Managing Human Resources, Sustainable Business Strategies, Operations and Supply Chain Management, Organizational Design and Development, Leading Transformational Change, and Global Business Strategies. Students who enroll in the Certified Project Manager Professional course or Certified Manager Examination will be eligible to sit for those professional certification exams offered through the Project Management Institute. Graduating with the combination of an online MBA from a well-recognized university and a professional certification can boost your resume to the top!

Davenport University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit, university that was founded in 1866. The university is located in Grand Rapids, and additional regional campuses are spread throughout Michigan, including University Center locations at multiple community colleges. Online classes are available for students who live outside of Michigan or who need a more flexible schedule. Davenport offers more than 50 associate’s through master’s degrees and is accredited by the HLC. DU has an annual student body enrollment exceeding 7,000. Prospective applicants seeking a well-rounded and competitive online MBA with a concentration in Strategic Management can earn their degree through the Donald W. Maine College of Business. Candidates interested in applying to this MBA must submit an online application, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, a current resume, and two professional letters of recommendation. Students in this program are offered the unique benefit of being able to retake any courses in the future to brush up on their knowledge for free.

Accreditation: IACBE, HLC
Affordability Score: Above Average

#20 University of the Southwest College of Business Administration – Hobbs, New Mexico


Students at the University of the Southwest can earn a highly respected online MBA in Strategic Management through the College of Business Administration. A laptop and all digital textbooks are included in the price of tuition.

The University of the Southwest offers an online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management through the College of Business Administration. The Strategic Management MBA is a 36 credit hour program and can be completed in as little as 12 months. Every eight weeks a new online session begins. Students may be eligible to receive credits for relevant employment experience or military service. Students in this program will complete 21 hours of core business courses, and 15 hours in Strategic Management courses. Strategic Management courses can be immediately applied to the students’ workplace, and include Human Resource Management, Innovation Management, Change Management, Sustainability Management, and a required capstone Organizational Design and Strategy Course. This master’s program can be completed for a total of $22,000. The accelerated pace of this online MBA program and the ability to earn credits for real-world experience make this degree perfect for seasoned business professionals.

The University of the Southwest is a not-for-profit, four-year, Non-denominational university with a current enrollment of just over 1,000 students. The small student body allows professors to build genuine relationships with students and create a Christ-centered community. USW is regionally accredited through the HLC. Three academic schools offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees and 15 graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral level. Students are offered 12 student organizations, as well as intramural sports programs. Tuition is considered average for USW, but over 80% of students receive financial aid to help cover their tuition partially or fully. Graduate students may pursue an online MBA with a specialization in Strategic Management through the College of Business Administration. Students interested in applying to this well-respected program should submit an online application, which includes a personal essay and a resume. Official transcripts should be sent to the school electronically.

Accreditation: HLC
Affordability Score: Average

What does Strategic Management entail?

The world of strategic management within the business world is an important one. Often this sector of business will deal with implementing strategic designs, leading top management teams, overseeing the development of technical, governmental, social, or international environments, and organizing the structure of strategic alliances within and amongst organizations. The foundational elements of economics, accounting, finances, and organizational theory play a significant role in the implementing of strategic management in business leadership.

Strategic management is the maintaining of an organization’s resources to best fulfill its goals and objectives. The business paradigm involves creating objectives, analyzing the competitive environment, evaluating the internal state of an organization, and the working to ensure that management implements those strategies on multiple levels. At its very core, strategic management involves identifying how an organization compares to its competitors. Strategy managers must be able to recognize both opportunities and threats that constantly confront an organization, both outside the organization and within.

The realm of strategic management can be divided into two schools of thought. The prescriptive approach to understanding how strategic management works is to outline how strategies should be developed theoretically and ideally. The descriptive approach centers on how those strategies should then be put to use in the real world. These two approaches differ when considering how strategies are developed. The prescriptive approach says it is through an analytic process that all opportunities and threats are known and accounted for. The descriptive approach states all general guiding principles should constantly be applied.

Strategic management hits its full stride when a company is able to compete at its highest level. When strategic plans get put into practice, an organization can successfully identify benchmarks in growth, realign resources for maximum efficiency, and staff properly for the development and dispersion of products and services.

A terrific degree to consider if wanting to pursue a career as a strategy manager is an online MBA in Strategic Management. This degree builds on a business undergraduate degree by educating students across a general field of business leadership. Some business schools prefer that online MBA students bring two-to-five years of professional experience into the classroom as this shows a discipline to complete requirements and allows the curriculum to be put to work immediately in the workplace for those holding positions within organizations.

Some students will approach an online MBA in Strategic Management just after finishing an undergraduate degree. Admission requirements can vary from business school to business school so some research on a university’s website may be in order before applying to a program. Business schools which allow non-business majors and students lacking experience will typically offer foundational courses to bring students up to speed in areas like accounting, statistics, and economics.

What topics will an online MBA in Strategic Management cover?

The advantages of pursuing an MBA in the exciting field of strategic management are numerous. Generally speaking, an MBA can work wonders for one’s career. Whether you are just a couple of years out of a bachelor’s degree in business, ready for a career change, or considering rejoining the workforce after retirement, a MBA is a solid choice. Advantages to this degree include the chance to broaden one’s professional network, be equipped through a holistic education centered on business leadership, work on becoming a better communicator, and learn the power of teamwork.

Online MBAs in Strategic Management are usually divided into core courses and concentration courses, which offer more in-depth training into a specialization a distance learner is interested in. These courses are offered as synchronous or asynchronous schedules. One excellent online MBA in Strategic Leadership is the 44-credit hour program featured at the University of Delaware. Twenty-nine of this program’s credit hours consist of core credits while the remainders allow students to learn from courses like Positive Leadership and Teams, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution, and Leadership in International Business Cultures.

The University of Texas now features an excellent online MBA in Strategic Management that offers such courses as Managing Organizational Design and Change, Entrepreneurship and Venture Management, and Strategic Management. These strategic management-focused classes have been designed to help graduate students examine and evaluate current issues, theories, and programs specific to strategically managed organizations. There is a high priority for critical thinking, evaluation, and the solutions of strategy problems within a multitude of complex decision areas.

What does a Strategy Manager do?

Strategy managers can be found at all levels of business. Those serving in smaller organizations and upstarts may find their roles blend in with other types of management. To best understand the role of a strategic manager one may choose to compare the role against that of a functional manager.

Functional managers typically are responsible for one particular section, division, or project within an organization. As one would guess, this may cast the manager in a light as more of a specialist than a manager with a larger scope of influence. The strategic manager will usually have a broader list of responsibilities within an organization. A strategy manager may bring several years of experience into her position. With experience and a more extensive network of colleagues, one could expect someone with a background in strategic management to be better qualified for promotions within an organization or better bargaining power when seeking job opportunities elsewhere.

Some CEOS and COOs have a background as strategy managers as the role encompasses many responsibilities in business. These professionals will also hold degrees like the popular online MBA as it equips graduate students in business with many of the essential tools in business needed in today’s global marketplace. A position as a strategy manager can be as satisfying for the business manager as it is lucrative.