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Online Master’s in Strategic Management

Meet growing demand for skilled decision makers with an master’s in strategic management online. An alternative to an MBA, this program focuses on the expertise needed to manage business resources and operations more strategically. You’ll prepare for new challenges in the global business landscape and get ready to advance your organization—and your career.


What is it?

A master’s in strategic management is a degree designed to teach a tactical approach to business leadership and management. While many businesses understand overall strategy and the need for resource management, the combination of the two is often overlooked—a gap that can add time and costs to any leadership or business initiative. Earning a master’s degree, such as a Master of Science in Strategic Management, can prepare you to help organizations achieve their goals profitably and efficiently.  

So, what is strategic management? Simply put, it’s a discipline that focuses on managing business resources more effectively. Practices common to strategic management include:

  • Setting business objectives at the outset of an initiative
  • Analyzing competitors and market conditions
  • Thoroughly understanding the internal organization
  • Evaluating and implementing effective business strategies

In a master’s in strategic management online program, you’ll learn the concepts, theories, and applications needed to achieve all of the above. Through strategic management courses in areas ranging from human resources management to strategic management accounting, you’ll prepare to optimize your organization from top to bottom.

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Master of Science in Strategic Management vs. MBA

Trying to decide which graduate business degree is the best path for you? While every program is different, a general rule is that the Master of Science focuses on building strong theoretical foundations in strategic management, while the MBA offers a general business core with several courses in your concentration of choice. In this case, that means fewer courses in strategic management. For those who prefer to take the bulk of their coursework in strategic management rather than general business subjects, consider the Master of Science degree. 

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What Careers Can I Do with an Online Strategic Management Degree?

With a master’s in strategic management online, you can pursue career paths that call for a graduate business degree and advanced leadership skills. For example, many top executives need to earn a master’s degree. These include C-suite professionals such as chief executive officers (CEOs), chief operating officers (COOs), chief financial officers (CFOs), and chief human resources officers. General and operations managers and leaders of government or educational organizations also fall into this category.

In addition, earning a master’s in strategic management could prepare you for an operations research analyst career. Because operations research analysts help businesses solve problems and make better decisions, their services are in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this occupation is growing at a rapid pace and will see a projected 25 percent increase in jobs over the next decade.

You’ll be equipped to pursue challenging roles in organizational leadership, such as the following:

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Is a Master of Science or MBA in Strategic Management Worth It?

For many students, earning a master’s in strategic management is a valuable professional investment. Here’s why many find it worthwhile to pursue a graduate degree in strategic management:

  • Career advancement. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, candidates for top executive roles will have the best job prospects if they earn an advanced degree along with gaining managerial experience. Similarly, operations research analysts with a relevant master’s degree and business experience should be the most competitive for job opportunities.
  • Higher earnings. Earning a master’s in strategic management can help you prepare for high-paying roles. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that management occupations had the highest median annual salary of all occupational groups: $126,230, as of 2021. 
  • More opportunities. Demand for professionals with strategic management and leadership skills is on the rise. Management occupations will grow at a faster than average rate and add over half a million jobs over the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

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Curriculum and Degree Requirements

The online master’s degree in strategic management at University of the Cumberlands is intended for working professionals seeking the advanced credentials and expertise to achieve long-term success. Designed for candidates with a bachelor’s degree in business or a relevant field, the program will build on your past experience and business acumen to help you prepare for new challenges. 

The 31-credit curriculum features strategic management courses in subjects such as competitive strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and managing in a global environment. Along with teaching the core concepts, frameworks, and techniques of strategic management, the program features an applied practicum to help you turn theory into action. 

The online business graduate degree with a concentration in strategic management program will prepare you to:

  • Boost your management expertise and leadership skills
  • Develop strategies to help your organization achieve short-term and long-term objectives  
  • Use analytical and critical thinking skills to evaluate data, troubleshoot issues, and make decisions
  • Identify your ethical and legal responsibilities as a manager and leader
  • Graduate ready to pursue a management or leadership position within any organization

This Master’s in Strategic Management is comprised of 31 required credit hours with strategic management courses delivered in an 8-week bi-term format and in a 16 week main course. Each course is three semester credit-hours and aligned with the program’s goals. An outline of the Program of Studies for the Master's in Strategic Management is provided below:

Strategic Management Courses - 24 Hours

* All candidates completing the Master of Science in Strategic Management degree will complete a written Comprehensive Examination in the last semester of their academic program as a graduation requirement.

Business Courses - 6 Hours

Capstone Course - 1 Hour

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Mission and Goals

The mission of the Hutton School of Business and the Plaster Graduate School of Business is to foster academic excellence and student achievement at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students are provided with a strong academic foundation in business, and are prepared to become productive, competent, and ethical professionals. The Hutton School of Business provides a learning environment that is characterized by student-oriented instructional methodologies and the development of leadership and life-long learning skills in its students.

At the Hutton School of Business, the following broad-based goals for students have been developed:

  1. Students will acquire the relevant disciplinary knowledge and competencies appropriate to their program of study.
  2. Students will acquire effective business-related professional skills.
  3. Students will be challenged to assess their personal values and connect them to ethical behaviors appropriate to their intended endeavors.

Based upon these broad-based goals, the Hutton School of Business and the Plaster Graduate School of Business have identified the following general intended student learning outcomes for students pursuing the M.S. in Strategic Management:

  1. Students will be able to utilize advanced knowledge of management.
  2. Students will be able to develop advanced analytical and critical thinking skills to evaluate information, solve problems, and make sound ethical decisions in the different areas of management.
  3. Students will be able to formulate management strategies designed to allow the organization to achieve its objectives.
  4. Students will be able to examine the ethical and legal responsibilities of managers.

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Costs for programs of study at University of the Cumberlands are competitive and affordable. Click here to view tuition rates and fees.

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Admission Requirements

Admission to our University is very competitive as well as selective and we review each application by the same standards.

  • Application and Application fee
  • A completed Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with a minimum undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale
  • Submit official transcripts from all applicable colleges/universities attended; must be received directly from the issuing college or university.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of a 2.5 or above on a 4.0 scale
  • Any international course work completed must have official transcript evaluations completed and submitted to the University by the evaluation firm. Evaluations MUST include GPA for admission.
    Approved Evaluation Firms are:
    • World Education Services (WES)
    • Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
    • International Education Research Foundation (IERF)
    • Educational Perspectives (EP)
    • SpanTran
  • Documentation of language fluency for non-native speakers of English, such as a score report from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the 8 International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or a report from Duolingo. This requirement is waived for students who have completed bachelor’s or master’s level coursework in the U.S. at an accredited institution. The minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores for admission are: 
    • Paper-based TOEFL (PBT) - 550 
    • Internet-based TOEFL (IBT) - 79 
    • IELTS - 6
    • Duolingo - 100

All admissions materials should be submitted to Graduate Admissions:

University of the Cumberlands
Graduate & Online Admissions

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone 606.539.4390
Toll Free 855.791.7199

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Click here to view University of the Cumberlands' accreditation information. 

In addition to the overall institutional accreditation statement above, the Hutton School of Business at University of the Cumberlands has received specialized accreditations for its business programs through the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) located at 11374 Strang Line Road in Lenexa, Kansas, USA. For a list of accredited programs please refer to our IACBE member status page. Please review our Public Disclosure of Student Achievement.


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Click here to view a list of faculty. 

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Admissions Office

Contact Us

Phone: 606.539.4390
Tollfree: 855.791.7199

Visit Us In Person

649 S. 10th Street Suite C
Williamsburg, KY 40769