Master's in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership

Information about the Penn State Smeal College of Business Master's in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership (SMExL)

Penn State’s Master’s in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership (SMExL) is designed to help you develop your ability to think strategically and to learn to embrace the language and process of strategy: from the formulation of effective strategies, to understanding the process of strategy implementation, to building a culture and commitment across the organization.

This specialized master’s degree can help you transition from a functional manager to an organization’s executive leader. You will rise above the day-to-day operations and develop the strategic thinking skills to:

  • Interpret and read macro trends (political, economic, sociocultural, technological, demographic)
  • Determine how these trends will impact the organization
  • Analyze the competitive landscape to carve out a strong market position and competitive advantage
  • Develop a long-term plan to deal with the changing environment
  • Socialize your ideas across multiple stakeholders and gain alignment from them
  • Effectively implement strategy while making ethical decisions
  • Motivate your workforce and inspire others to follow

Learn More and Apply: Visit Penn State World Campus for more on the Master's in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership.


SMExL students learn by doing. You will have the opportunity to conduct organizational analyses using real-world case studies. We take the theories of strategy and leadership and translate them into operating frameworks that students like you can apply to their own experiences.

The program is structured into three distinct areas:

  1. Core courses (18 credits)
  2. Primary concentration (6 credits)
  3. Electives (6 credits)

Who Should Apply? SMExL is ideal for managers and directors who have their sights set on the C-suite, or who have been recently promoted to a top leadership position, and therefore want to develop their ability to think strategically and extend their grasp of the organization beyond its function or operational aspects.

Contact Us

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Penn State Smeal Master's in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership, please contact:

Michelle Rockower
Office of Professional Graduate Programs
220C Business Building