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Strategic Leadership, M.S.

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Advance your leadership skills and career in just one year.

The Master’s in Strategic Leadership (MSL) builds on a foundation in business administration coursework, similar to an MBA, but with a unique leadership focus that cultivates critical thinking, strategic agility, ethical decision-making, visioning, and the integration of core business operations. Working professionals can complete this program in 12-24 months (full-time or part-time) taking one or two 8-week classes online or on-site.

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Do you have questions you need answered about the program and the admissions process? Schedule an appointment below or call or text your Adult & Graduate Enrollment Representative, Kristen Nielsen. Text 585.902.2917 or call 585.594.6562.


Start Terms

  • June 26, 2023
    Online or hybrid
  • August 28, 2023
    Online or in person
  • January 1, 2024
    Online or hybrid

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Program Details

8-week semesters

12 (full-time) to 24 (part-time) months

Under 20 students

41 credits

Online (synchronous) or Hybrid

The Master's in Strategic Leadership (MSL) is an online program designed to equip working professionals with critical thinking, conflict resolution, strategic management, and ethical decision-making skills, which are essential elements of leadership in business.

MSL and Master of Business Administration (MBA) sound similar in practice, but these master's programs are quite different. People usually pursue an MBA because they want to specialize in one area of business, like accounting or marketing. While it may cover leadership skills, an MBA program focuses mainly on the operational side of the business.

On the other hand, if you're trying to decide on a master's degree, strategic leadership may be right for graduates who majored in non-business undergraduate programs and now want to become strategic leaders within the government, for-profit, and non-profit sectors. The Master of Strategic Leadership program focuses on equipping students with soft skills necessary for career advancement, although the coursework may also include topics such as finance and accounting.

Program Highlights

Flexible schedule: students can choose to take one or two classes every eight weeks

Learn to solve “real-world” business problems and present to executives in a final project experience

Mentored experiences by a wide range of industry leaders from across Western N.Y.

Admission tests not required (GRE/GMAT)

Exam-free curriculum: grades based on papers, presentations, and projects

Advanced standing option available for Roberts business graduates with a qualifying GPA

What You'll Learn


This program will teach you the best practices for recruiting, cultivating, and retaining top talent. Besides learning to manage changes in industry life cycles, students will also acquire practical decision-making and problem-solving skills to enrich their managerial capabilities.

Upon completing your strategic leadership degree program, you will be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to work effectively in all leadership positions.


Once you complete this higher education program, you will be able to critically evaluate industry dynamics and think strategically about sophisticated organizational challenges. Besides learning how to improve a firm's capacity and competitive advantages, you will also develop strategic planning, decision-making, and executive skills.


Organizations with solid leadership tend to have better overall performance, including higher levels of organizational productivity, product quality, revenue generation, and customer satisfaction. What's more, effective leadership with excellent interpersonal skills can positively impact employee retention, productivity, engagement, and morale.

Throughout the Roberts Wesleyan University's Master of Science in Strategic Leadership program, students learn the theories behind effective leadership development. Besides learning how to apply leadership techniques for effective team performance, students also learn how to drive organizational performance through emotional intelligence, confidence expression, visioning, and effective communication.

The techniques you will learn include participative, ethical, transactional, directive, transformational, and supportive leadership. As you enrich your resume with relevant experiences and knowledge for career growth, you will also be able to apply what you are learning to your current job immediately.

If you're ready to take the next step in your education, apply today or reach out to us for further program details.

Career Outlook


  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Director of Human Resources
  • Director of Operations
  • Sr. Vice President of Customer Satisfaction
  • Business Owner
  • Community Operations Manager
  • Real Estate Agent


  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.
  • Xerox Corporation
  • NYS Department of Health
  • City of Rochester
  • Paychex, Inc.
  • East House, Inc.
  • Breakthrough Solutions

Alumni Making A Difference

Cicely Strickland headshot

Cicely Strickland '18

Chief Operating Officer, United Way

Marc Natale

Marc Natale ’02

Executive Director, Greater Rochester & Buffalo Niagara Region, American Heart Association

Lauren Kolb

Lauren Kolb ’12

Senior VP of Business Development and Client Services, Genesee Valley Trust

Terrance Collins-Howard

Terrance Collins-Howard ’13

Assistant Director, University of Rochester

Marv Stepherson

Marv Stepherson ’14

Training Specialist, WSM Trainers & Consultants

Related Majors

Health Administration, M.S. - The Master's in Health Administration is an innovative and contemporary blend of health administration and business coursework designed to provide students with sought-after skills for medical and health services management. Working professionals can complete this degree in just 18 months, 1 night a week or 100% online!
Public Health, M.S. - Earn your Master's in Public Health (MSPH) from Roberts Wesleyan University and prepare for a leadership role in public health by immersing yourself in a creative academic experience designed for working professionals.
Strategic Marketing, M.S. - The Master's in Marketing takes students through the process of creating an integrated marketing plan for presentation to a real client. Learn from industry leaders who bring state-of-the-art best practices into our one-of-a-kind marketing agency classroom. Working professionals can complete this degree in just 16 months, 1 night a week!
Adult and Graduate Admissions - 585.594.6600 | 800.777.4792 (toll free) - AGE-Admissions@roberts.edu