Online MBA Programs

Best Online MBA in Strategic Management

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!


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

Best Online MBA in Strategic Management

#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 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.

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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 regional 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 can 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 an 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.

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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

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 implementation of strategic management in business leadership.

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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 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.

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