Students who would like to pursue a graduate degree that is focused on management may be considering either a Masters of Science (M.S.) in Strategic Management or an MBA. Below, both of these types of programs are covered in detail in order to help students make an informed decision regarding which program is the better fit.
Comparison of an M.S. in Strategic Management with an MBA
M.S. in Strategic Management
Master's degree programs in strategic management can be found at a few different universities around the United States. These programs typically require the completion of around 12 courses, or 36 credits, including core courses as well as electives. Some topics that may be covered in the curriculum include financial management, strategic planning and decision-making, business and corporate law, and organizational behavior and change. Some programs may include a research project or capstone course, but other programs are designed to be completed through coursework alone.
Some possible career opportunities for graduates with an M.S. in strategic management include business analysts, project managers, communications managers, and a variety of other leadership positions within business and organizations.
MBA programs are widely available at a number of universities around the country and can be found in a variety of different formats and structures to suit the needs of different individuals. For example, those with a significant amount of professional experience looking to advance their career may be interested in an Executive MBA program. Evening and weekend MBA programs are also available, as well as both part-time and full-time options, making these programs easily accessible. There are also many different options regarding the timeline for completion of MBA programs, from accelerated one-year programs to programs that can be completed over several years. In terms of overall required credits, this may vary to some extent by program, though generally these programs require the completion of a core curriculum and then allow students to select some elective courses. MBA programs also allow students to select a concentration or specialization. Some options may include finance, accounting, marketing management, and econometrics.
Students who earn an MBA degree have a large number of career options available. They may go on to work in a variety of upper management positions across many industries, or they may be more interested in starting their own business through entrepreneurship.
Admissions Standards for M.S. and MBA Degree Programs
When applying for admission to an M.S. program in strategic management, applicants will need to provide a completed application form, letters of recommendation, past academic transcripts, and a personal statement. These programs may be designed for individuals with some professional experience.
MBA programs have similar admissions requirements, though applicants should be prepared to submit GMAT or GRE results as well. Depending on the nature of the MBA program, work experience is often a prerequisite for entry, with some programs specifying a certain number of years required in order to be considered.
MBA programs are widely available at universities around the country and are offered in weekend and executive formats. M.S. programs in strategic management are a bit harder to find and generally have fewer options for course of study.