Strategic Management MBA Programs

Apr 12, 2019

Students interested in innovation, planning, and managing with a competitive edge may be interested in pursuing an MBA in Strategic Management. Learn more about this degree program, its common courses, and admissions requirements.

Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Strategic Management degree programs are fairly common and help prepare students for careers as business managers who are trained in concepts of competitive advantage and strategic decision making. These programs are often available in on-campus and online formats and can be completed in 2 years. Explore details of the program below.

Information for MBA Degree Programs in Strategic Management

The exact make up of an MBA in Strategic Management program will differ by school; however, they typically range from around 39 to 45 credits, may require a final capstone course, and may offer students a chance to earn additional certifications, such as the Certified Professional Manager (CM) or Certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Course topics also vary by program, but here we discuss a few of the more common course topics for these programs.

Managerial Economics

Courses in managerial economics typically discuss concepts in microeconomics and/or game theory to better prepare students to make sound economic-based decisions and develop and implement strategy. Some of these courses may require prerequisite coursework in microeconomics. Specific topics that may be discussed include forecasting demand, risk analysis, market structure, regulation strategy, internal incentives, and negotiating.

Organizational Development

Some organizational development courses explore the subject from a broader, more general perspective, while other courses look specifically at areas like corporate development. General courses in organizational development examine structure and system designs that help improve the organization and how these factors affect organization communication and culture. Courses specifically in corporate development focus on topics like mergers and acquisitions and how they affect technologies, markets, growth, and the creation of new products.


Students in strategic management MBA programs generally take a few different courses that discuss topics in strategy, such as sustainable business strategy, competitive advantage, and/or strategy in technology. Courses in sustainable business strategy examine the economic, environmental, and social factors that businesses should consider when developing new strategy and implementing it. Courses in competitive advantage focus on specific concepts that may give a company a competitive edge, like increasing returns or competitor analysis. Students who enroll in in technology strategy courses examine challenges specific to technology-based industries.

Global Business Strategies

Similar to the courses discussed directly above, students in these programs often take a course in business strategy that explores the topic on a global scale. Students can learn to appraise global business strategies and develop skills in managing organizations for short- and long-term goals. These courses may use simulations and case studies to provide students with hands-on learning. Specific topics may include global competition, ethical considerations, foreign debt crisis, and decision making.

Operations Management

Students in this course learn how operations management is involved in effective business strategy and may examine topics in internal operations management and supply chain management. Some courses examine supply chain management at the global level and students may have the opportunity to run simulations to see the effects of different concepts and strategies. These courses may discuss specific topics in process design, cost controls, quality assurance, resource scheduling, information systems, and more.

Common Entrance Requirements

Students applying to MBA in Strategic Management programs typically need to have at least a bachelor's degree. Depending on the programs, students may be granted direct entry in to the program if they have a degree in business, while students who do not have a business background may need to take additional prerequisites. Some of these programs require professional work experience or GMAT or GRE test scores. Other application materials for these degree programs may include transcripts, letters of recommendation, a resume, and/or essay responses.

Students can earn their MBA in Strategic Management in as little as 2 years and can often complete the program online. These programs equip students with skills and knowledge in economics, business strategy, operations management, and more.

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