The Best Online MBAs in Strategy and Strategic Management

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Designed for business professionals, MBA in strategy programs explore business fundamentals and advanced techniques for making strategic decisions and creating big-picture plans for the future. Students learn about global supply chain management, corporate strategy, innovation, and project management. Graduates can pursue leadership roles at small and large corporations or start their own businesses and consulting firms.

Pursuing an MBA in strategy allows students to enhance their career prospects and obtain the latest information in the business field. With an MBA, professionals qualify for extensive job opportunities with high salaries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many top executives at large corporations hold an MBA and earn a median annual salary of $184,460.

Read on to learn more about the top online MBAs in strategic management, including program rankings and details, career prospects, and helpful tips on choosing a program.

Read More: What Is the MBA Strategy Concentration?

Top 10 Best Online MBAs in Strategy and Strategic Management

Rank School Location
1 Villanova University Villanova, PA
2 Rice University Houston, TX
3 Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA
4 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
5 Bethel University Saint Paul, MN
6 University of Delaware Newark, DE
7 University of Dallas Irving, TX
8 Rutgers University-Camden Camden, NJ
9 Florida International University Miami, FL
10 Pennsylvania State University-World Campus University Park, PA
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Online MBA Programs for You

Grow your career, leadership, and business acumen with an accredited online MBA program.

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

2020’s Top Online MBA in Strategic Management Program Rankings

Top Online MBA Programs in Strategic Management Badge

As a helpful starting point for selecting a program, the following rankings feature the top 10 online MBAs in strategy and strategic management. The rankings provide an overview of each program, highlighting course offerings, program format options, and credit and application requirements.

By grouping institutional data, our rankings help prospective students compare several programs at once. Applicants can use the rankings to select schools that merit further research, according to their academic needs and interests.

Our ranking methodology takes many factors into consideration, including retention and graduation rates, student-to-faculty ratios, specialization options, tuition rates, and financial aid availability.

  1. Villanova University
    Location

    Villanova, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located just outside of Philadelphia, Villanova University is the oldest Catholic college in Pennsylvania and enrolls around 11,000 students annually. The Villanova School of Business hosts several of the country's top business programs.

    Villanova School of Business | MBA with a Strategic Management Specialization

    Villanova's MBA in strategy trains students to work across disciplines, emphasizing innovation strategies and practical experience. The 48-credit degree features five main sections: MBA fundamentals, the functional core, business pillars, electives, and capstone experiences. Students can complete a specialization in strategic management, which requires at least 7.5 credits in specialized management electives. Candidates can also complete additional specializations such as finance and analytics.

    Villanova's Online Experience

    Villanova's MBA uses a primarily online format, but students must complete a required residency as part of the capstone section. During the global practicum, learners synthesize overall program learning to explore solutions to global business issues or conduct research into a business problem. Students can complete the practicum either domestically or abroad.

  2. Rice University
    Location

    Houston, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Rice University is a private research university located on a 300-acre campus in Houston, Texas. The Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice places an emphasis on attentive, responsive, and kind teaching practices.

    Jones Graduate School of Business | MBA Corporate Strategy

    The online MBA in corporate strategy at Rice explores both traditional and cutting-edge principles of business. The curriculum includes courses in competitive strategy, organizational behavior, and strategic business communication. During the three-credit capstone project, students analyze real-world business challenges and hone their leadership skills. Candidates typically earn this 54-credit degree in two years.

    Rice's Online Experience

    Rice's online MBA offers courses in accelerated five- and 10-week terms and allows students to take classes on a part-time or full-time basis. Online learners can access a WeWork global membership, a LinkedIn Premium Career membership, and alumni and career support.

  3. Carnegie Mellon University
    Location

    Pittsburgh, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1900 by Andrew Carnegie, Carnegie Mellon University is a private research institution located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon offers future-focused programs committed to change and innovation.

    Tepper School of Business | MBA Strategy Concentration

    Carnegie Mellon's MBA in strategy instills the fundamentals necessary for corporate and entrepreneurial ventures to sustain a competitive advantage. Students learn how to use analytical tools and integrate multiple functions of a business. Within the strategy concentration, online learners focus on topics such as corporate strategy, operations strategy, strategic corporate management, and technology strategy. Students can complete the program in 32 months.

    CMU Online Experience

    CMU offers the online MBA strategy program in two formats: part-time hybrid or part-time flex. The hybrid option includes synchronous online courses in the evening and six in-person weekends throughout the year at various locations. The flex option is a mix of online and on-campus courses, plus six weekends each year on campus in Pittsburgh.

  4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Location

    Chapel Hill, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of North Carolina is a top-tier public research university located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC offers students a values-driven culture with a commitment to real-world learning experiences.

    UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School | MBA Strategy and Consulting

    UNC's 62-credit MBA in strategy and consulting gives students the opportunity to develop specialized skills in team collaboration, problem-solving, action-oriented communication, and fact-based analysis. Notable classes include business strategy, business communication, corporate strategy, global supply chain management, and innovation management. Through the MBA STAR program, students can accrue real-world consulting experience. Candidates can earn their degree in an accelerated 21-month timeline, a standard 24-month track, or an extended 27-month format.

    UNC's Online Experience

    UNC's MBA courses are offered entirely online, but distance learners may opt to complement their online coursework with in-person classes. MBA candidates participate in two in-person summits at various locations throughout the world. Online learners have access to personalized career and leadership services.

  5. Bethel University
    Location

    Saint Paul, MN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded as a seminary in 1871, Bethel University is a private Christian university located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Courses at Bethel are taught from a Christian perspective and focus on real-world skills.

    Bethel University | MBA: Strategy and Execution

    Bethel's MBA in strategy and execution explores advanced business strategies with a focus on the process of bringing new products and services to market. Notable classes include strategy execution, innovation and entrepreneurship, and advanced competitive advantage. The program consists of 42 credits, including an integrative team capstone project, and students can complete the degree in 18-24 months.

    Bethel's Online Experience

    Bethel offers its MBA coursework fully online. However, students can also choose to participate in a blended format, which consists of both online courses and face-to-face sessions in St. Paul. Online learners have access to academic and support services and a student advisory council.

  6. University of Delaware
    Location

    Newark, DE

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The largest college in Delaware, the University of Delaware enrolls more than 24,000 students annually. The school ranks among the top public colleges in the Northeast.

    Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics | MBA with an Emphasis in Strategic Leadership

    UD's MBA in strategy offers a strong foundation in business concepts and practices along with a specialized focus on strategic leadership. Students gain the skills to manage change in organizations, set strategic direction, build and support teams, and navigate the interpersonal dynamics of leadership and management. The 44-credit program uses intensive seven-week courses, enabling candidates to complete their degree in as few as 16 months of full-time study.

    UD's Online Experience

    UD's strategy MBA offers a convenient, fully online format. Students can also enroll in a hybrid format that mixes online and on-campus courses. UD provides extensive resources for online learners, including career counseling, networking opportunities, and tutoring.

  7. University of Dallas
    Location

    Irving, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Christian college located in Irving, the University of Dallas ranks among the top Christian schools in the western United States. The college enrolls around 2,500 students annually.

    Satish and Yasmin Gupta College of Business | MBA with a Concentration in Strategic Leadership

    UD's MBA in strategy requires candidates to complete a total of 42 credits, including a core MBA curriculum and a strategic leadership concentration sequence. The program explores the psychology of successful leadership, preparing students to lead in a global business environment. Concentration courses cover topics in the craft of leadership, critical and strategic thinking, and the ethical and spiritual dimensions of leadership. Candidates typically complete the degree in about 2-3 years.

    UD Online Experience

    UD offers both fully online and hybrid course options, with classes held year-round. Online students can access recorded lectures and other online course content at any time of day, and UD also offers full text transcripts of archived class sessions. The school provides 24/7 tech support for all online learners.

  8. Rutgers University-Camden
    Location

    Camden, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, Rutgers University-Camden is the smallest of Rutgers' regional campuses, enrolling around 7,000 students annually.

    Rutgers School of Business | MBA with a Specialization in Strategic Leadership

    Rutgers-Camden's MBA in strategy emphasizes the role of leadership in both personal and organizational success. Students gain the skills to lead team members while also encouraging productivity, creativity, and efficiency.

    The program stresses the systematic implementation of leadership strategies, preparing students to lead and develop organizational change efficiently. Common courses include leading and managing human capital, negotiating and resolving conflicts, leading change and organizational development, and leading innovation and creativity.

    Rutgers-Camden's Online Experience

    Rutgers-Camden offers its MBA coursework 100% online. However, MBA candidates can also complete an in-person international business practicum in which they work with business executives to solve real-life problems. Past practicum experiences have occurred in countries such as Brazil, South Korea, Panama, and Taiwan.

  9. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A major public college based in Miami, Florida International University's business school holds accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), an elite designation bestowed on just 5% of business schools worldwide.

    Florida International University College of Business | Professional MBA with a Specialization in Strategic Negotiations

    FIU's MBA in strategy offers five annual start dates and three pacing tracks, giving working students a high level of flexibility. The strategic management specialization gives students the skills to plan and oversee sales operations, emphasizing topics in both sales management and negotiations. Students build advanced skills through case studies, guest lectures, games, and realistic negotiation simulations. Candidates can complete the degree in 18, 21, or 33 months.

    FIU's Online Experience

    While all courses occur fully online, FIU strongly encourages MBA candidates to attend the program's two-day campus residency in Miami. This intensive in-person session features team-building workshops, guest speakers, case-method analysis, and networking events. Students also meet with faculty members and peers, building strong connections that can support them both during and after the program.

  10. Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
    Location

    University Park, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A major provider of online education, Pennsylvania State University hosts some of the country's top business programs, offered through the AACSB-accredited Smeal College of Business.

    Smeal College of Business | MBA with a Concentration in Strategic Leadership

    The MBA in strategic management focuses on business strategies, strategic leadership, and collaborative teamwork, with many team-based projects completed online. Candidates also develop broad skills in problem-solving, business analytics, and critical thinking. The degree includes 48 credits total, divided between a 39-credit core and a nine-credit concentration. The concentration builds specialized knowledge through courses in strategic leadership, strategic identity, and strategy and organizational change.

    Penn State's Online Experience

    While all courses are available fully online, MBA candidates must attend a five-day residency session held on the Penn State campus in University Park at the start of the program. The residency offers opportunities for networking and socializing along with specialized workshops and a team performance class.

  11. University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus
    Location

    Denver, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Colorado Denver is a public research university. The CU Denver business school is devoted to improving the business world by developing exceptional business leaders.

    CU Denver Business School | MBA Business Strategy

    CU Denver's MBA program consists of 45 credits, made up of core classes and electives. Core coursework includes law and ethics, operations, and strategic management. Students looking to implement business strategies and gain leadership knowledge can take advantage of the business strategy concentration, which requires 12 hours of related coursework. Course options include predictive analytics, business intelligence systems, and international entrepreneurship. CU Denver's 12-to-1 student-faculty ratio facilitates individualized attention and connections.

    CU Denver's Online Experience

    While CU Denver's core MBA classes are available fully online, some specialization electives are only available on-campus or in a hybrid format with in-person components in the evenings. Students can complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis. MBA candidates have access to career and professional development opportunities such as guest speakers, panel events, and career fairs.

  12. Davenport University
    Location

    Grand Rapids, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1866, Davenport University is one of the oldest colleges in Michigan. The school serves more than 7,000 students annually and hosts an IACBE-accredited business college.

    Donald W. Maine College of Business | MBA with a Concentration in Strategic Management

    Davenport offers an MBA in strategic management that focuses on the analysis and implementation of business strategies, along with the key characteristics of effective leadership. The program emphasizes case studies and interactive technology, integrating four major approaches to business strategy: global, ethical, quality, and humanistic.

    All candidates complete 39 credits total, including 18 credits of core courses and 18 credits of strategic management concentration classes. The program concludes with a three-credit business simulation capstone.

    Davenport's Online Experience

    Davenport offers online courses through its Global Campus platform, which is the oldest online learning community in Michigan. Most courses use an asynchronous format, enabling students to complete coursework at any time of day. However, some courses may use a synchronous format with live classroom meetings and real-time collaboration.

  13. University of North Texas
    Location

    Denton, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A major public college based in Denton, the University of North Texas is home to the G. Brint Ryan College of Business, one of the state's top business schools.

    Brint Ryan College of Business | MBA in Strategic Management

    UNT offers a 36-credit MBA in strategic management with accelerated enrollment options, enabling students to complete the degree in as few as 14 months. Candidates choose from six annual start dates, with a program curriculum that includes 24 credits of core business courses, nine credits of management courses, and a three-credit management elective. The program explores topics in entrepreneurship, venture management, organizational design and change, international management, and leadership research and development.

    UNT Online Experience

    UNT offers all strategic management courses online, though students can also choose to complete some courses on campus, either in Denton or nearby Frisco. Many courses use an asynchronous format, enabling students to complete coursework on their own schedule.

  14. University of the Cumberlands
    Location

    Williamsburg, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded by Baptist ministers in 1888, the University of the Cumberlands now serves around 13,000 students from its campus in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

    Hutton School of Business | MBA with a Concentration in Strategic Management

    UC's MBA in strategy highlights the concepts, techniques, and frameworks of strategic management, building the analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate information and solve business problems. The program emphasizes a broad framework of ethical and legal responsibility for managers.

    Along with the 22-credit MBA core, candidates complete 15 credits of strategic management electives, with courses including competitive strategy, mergers and acquisitions, management consulting, advanced human resource management, and management in a global environment.

    UC's Online Experience

    Most of UC's online courses use an asynchronous format that offers flexibility for working students. Online learners also have access to a variety of college resources, including library services, counseling, and academic tutoring. Students can work one-on-one with writing tutors and other academic fellows.

  15. University of the Southwest
    Location

    Hobbs, NM

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of New Mexico's top Christian colleges, the University of the Southwest serves around 1,000 students annually and emphasizes principles of personal initiative and leadership.

    USW College of Business Administration | MBA with a Specialization in Strategic Management

    Geared toward executives and entrepreneurs, USW's MBA in strategy examines the tools and techniques for creating effective competitive strategies. The program serves candidates of all backgrounds, and applicants to USW's MBA do not need an undergraduate degree in business.

    The 36-credit degree features a 21-credit MBA core and a 15-credit specialization in strategic management. The specialization component highlights key topics such as innovation management, sustainability management, and organizational design and strategy.

    USW Online Experience

    USW offers flexible online courses that start every eight weeks, and some students complete the degree in as few as 12 months. The school includes all digital textbooks in the cost of tuition, and all online students receive a new laptop to aid their coursework.

How We Rank Online MBA Programs

Want to know how we create our rankings? We assess schools based on academic quality, affordability, online flexibility, and student success.

  • Quality (30% of total score)

    A low student-to-faculty ratio, a wide breadth of specialized MBA programs, and a high retention rate of students returning after their first year are all indicators of a quality university.

  • Affordability (10% of total score)

    The amount of financial aid offered factors into a school’s net price; this, paired with a low loan default rate, indicates that students may find a school’s tuition within their budget.

  • Online Flexibility (20% of total score)

    Scores for online flexibility focus on schools that have a high percentage of fully online students, but consideration is also given to schools that enroll partially online students using hybrid programs.

  • Student Success (40% of total score)

    Both strong hallmarks of student success, we look for programs with high graduation rates whose students go on to have higher-than-average median earnings.

What the Best Online Strategy MBAs Have in Common

While every institution is unique in their approach to an MBA, the top online MBA programs share several key qualities. The best strategy MBA programs hold proper accreditation and offer extensive student resources, such as career services and financial aid options. With these tools, their graduates establish successful careers in the field. Read on to learn more about the identifying characteristics of top schools.

  • They are accredited

    Accreditation is a stamp of approval that demonstrates a school’s commitment to providing high-quality education. It is a voluntary evaluation process completed by a third-party accrediting agency. Prospective students should look for regionally accredited programs to ensure eligibility for federal financial aid. As accreditation indicates excellence, employers typically prefer job candidates with degrees from accredited institutions.

  • They are affordable

    The best online MBA strategy programs recognize the financial implications of obtaining an advanced degree and take steps to keep their programs affordable and accessible. Programs might offer reduced tuition rates, scholarships, grants, and loans. They may also facilitate individualized payment plans, which allow students to focus on learning.

  • They devote a lot of resources to their online students

    From career services to online tutoring, the best MBA programs offer distance learners a breadth of useful resources to help them succeed. Many schools offer online clubs and organizations to facilitate digital networking opportunities. Top MBA programs boast low student-to-faculty ratios, ensuring that online learners can contact their professors regularly and connect with their peers.

  • Their strategy curriculum is robust

    The best MBA in strategy programs offer students a comprehensive curriculum filled with courses that hone advanced strategy techniques and give students a chance to apply what they learn in real-world scenarios. Top-tier strategy curricula cover business fundamentals, communication, and modeling. A wide array of electives allows students to explore topics such as global supply chain management, corporate strategy, innovation, diversity, consulting, and project management.

  • Their graduates go on to be successful

    Top-tier MBA programs boast high graduation rates, and their graduates go on to pursue leadership roles in prestigious companies or start their own businesses. Prospective students can research a program’s alumni statistics, taking note of median salary and post-graduation employment rates.

What Jobs Can Strategy Degrees From Top-Ranked MBA Programs Get You?

With a degree from a top-ranked MBA strategy program, students can pursue a breadth of business leadership positions. Graduates can become management analysts, strategy managers, or investment fund managers. As they gain experience in the field, graduates qualify for top supervisory positions and executive roles.

With their fresh analytical and creative problem-solving skills, many MBA graduates pursue careers as independent freelance consultants or start their own boutique consulting firms. The BLS projects the management consulting field to grow 14% between 2018 and 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

Earning an MBA opens the doors to new career endeavors and higher salaries across a range of industries. For example, management analysts earned a 2019 median salary of $85,260. The highest 10 percent of top business executives earned more than earned more than $208,000 in 2019. Read on to learn more about the wide range of careers available to MBA candidates.

Comparison of MBA in Strategic Management Careers

CareersMedian Pay
Human Resources Manager$116,720
Administrative Services Manager$96,940
Financial Manager$129,890
Management Analyst$85,260
Chief Executive Officer$184,460
Source:BLS

Choosing Between Strategy Programs from Top Online Business Schools

Reviewing school rankings is a solid start to the process of choosing an online MBA program. The rankings utilize data to provide a useful overview of a variety of programs.

However, there are many other factors to consider when researching the right option for you. For instance, location is important to students who would prefer to visit campus to have face-to-face interactions with their classmates and professors. To find the best MBA program, prospective students should consider taking the following steps.

  • Compare student outcomes data
  • Estimate the expected costs of your programs
  • Check that classes will fit in with your schedule
  • Look for partnerships with local businesses and firms
  • Make sure the program is accredited
  • Talk to current students and recent alumni
Read our guide to choosing a quality MBA program

Further Resources About Online MBAs

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What can I do with an MBA in strategy?

    With an MBA in strategic management, you have many options. You can start your own consulting business or pursue a role within an established company. For instance, you might become a management analyst, a strategy manager, an investment fund manager, or a managing director.

  • Are online strategy MBAs cheaper?

    It depends on the program. Many schools offer all distance learners the same tuition rate regardless of residence, which means students do not have to pay out-of-state tuition fees. Some online programs offer accelerated options, which may also translate to fewer costs.

  • Is an MBA in strategic management worth it?

    If you are looking to advance in the business world, an MBA in strategic management can be worth the cost. Holding an MBA helps you stand out against job competition and access high-salaried positions.

Why Should You Get an Online MBA?

Use the following links to learn more about the possible reasons to pursue an MBA and the difference between an MBA and a master’s degree.

What to Expect With Online MBA Admissions

Use the following link to learn more about the MBA admissions process, including everything you need to know about application requirements and submission deadlines.

Online MBA Admissions

Financing Your Online MBA

Use the following links to learn more about financing an online MBA, including opportunities for federal loans, grants, and scholarships.

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Accredited Online College Programs

Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Advertisement OnlineMBA.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.