Program Summary

Credits Required


Tuition per Credit

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Develop Your Ability to Think and Lead Strategically

Gain the knowledge you need to plan, evaluate, and implement effective strategies as a student in Penn State’s Graduate Certificate in Strategic Leadership program. 

This completely online program is ideal for experienced managers who want to connect their organization with the outside world and wish to set a strategic path to ensure their organization is able to remain relevant and flourish in today’s dynamic marketplace.

This four-course program can help you become a more effective leader as you:

  • think strategically about organizational issues
  • develop effective strategies for performance and success
  • explore the managerial challenges of strategy implementation
  • learn to shape organizational cultures that facilitate change
  • examine unique approaches to strategic leadership

Why Study Strategic Leadership Online at Penn State?

Top Producer of CEOs
In 2018, LinkedIn named Penn State second in the country for graduating the most CEOs, placing it ahead of many Ivy League institutions. 

Reputation and Faculty Expertise
This program is offered in partnership with the Penn State Smeal College of Business, which is AACSB–accredited, an honor reserved for the top 5% of business schools worldwide. You will connect with expert faculty who are passionate about serving nontraditional students and are specially trained to teach in an online environment.

This program is AACSB Accredited

Flexibility and Engagement
Penn State’s flexible, online platform allows you to earn a world-class education while you continue to gain valuable work experience. 

Step Up to a Master’s Degree Online

Courses in the certificate are integrated into the curriculum of other online graduate business programs, including the Master’s in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership*Penn State Online MBA, and the Master’s in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship. You can apply successfully earned credits from this certificate toward the completion of your master’s degree, should you apply and be accepted into one of these highly-competitive programs.

*Acceptance to the strategic leadership certificate does not guarantee or imply admission into the Master's in Strategic Management and Executive Leadership. For this executive-level degree program, applicants typically require about 10 years of post-undergraduate, professional work experience and at least 5 years of current managerial or team leadership experience. Extensive leadership experience in the military will also be considered. Exceptional students that fall outside of these general guidelines may be considered.

Who Should Apply

The ideal candidate for the certificate program should have at least five years of experience managing a team and aspire to move into an executive role that requires strategic thinking and decision making. Exceptional candidates with less experience will be considered at the discretion of the program director. Students may come from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

Note: This program is under review for GI Bill eligibility, and you may experience delays attempting to use GI Bill benefits toward this program until it has been officially approved.