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Graduate Business Program Comparison

Master of Business Administration, Master of Leadership, Master of Science in Management

According to 2020 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages increase and unemployment drops with more education. This is especially true in rapidly growing management jobs. In fact, careers in business and management rank among the most lucrative, with salaries that often exceed six figures

However, the right training is critical to excelling in these roles. Your education can also help you break through career ceilings, opening more doors in your current job or supporting a transition to another company. 

SNU’s programs for adult learners can help you turn the page to a newer, more rewarding chapter of your career. But there are many paths to a management job and several educational trajectories. For example, a Master of Business Administration focuses on practical management skills, whereas a Master of Science in Management emphasizes theory. Conversely, a Master of Leadership caters to visionary leaders, prioritizing change management and human potential. 

So which degree is right for you? Each of these three programs offers a rich foundation for your future career. But the best program for you depends on your career goals and educational preferences. Here’s what you should consider as you compare your options:


What to Expect from a Business Program

No matter which management program you choose, you will graduate ready to lead people at every level of an organization. You will also gain a keen understanding of business management and an appreciation for the legal and theoretical concerns that color business decisions.

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Chapter 1

Master of Business Administration

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) program focuses on management and business administration, with a firm foundation in both theory and practical management skills. It boasts a broad overview of the many concerns involved in running a business and managing people, with courses including: 

  • Ethics and Law
  • Exploring Business Strategies 
  • Financial Management
  • Global Business 
  • Managerial Economics
  • Management Accounting 
  • Management Analytics 

This is the most math-intensive of the three degrees, with a strong focus on accounting and finance. Ideal for aspiring chief executive officers, the MBA offers the widest survey of business administration, including operating principles and common challenges. This is also ideal for people who plan to pursue a path of entrepreneurship. 

The MBA concludes with a capstone project that prepares you for the real-world challenges of operating a business. 

SNU’s MBA program requires 34 credit hours and offers 12 start dates per year. Courses are offered one class at a time in six-week intervals at $575 per credit hour. You can complete your MBA one night a week at our Bethany campus, Tulsa campus or Del City location, or 100% online.

Chapter 2

Master of Science in Management

The Master of Science in Management (MSM) program is the most theoretical of the three programs, diving into theories of management and leadership. In this program, you will take some of the same classes you would with an MBA, including Ethics and Law, Global Business and Management Analytics. Additionally, you will take courses such as: 

  • Global Leadership
  • Project Management
  • Quality Management Systems
  • Strategic Human Resource Management 

The MSM program does not share any classes with the Master of Leadership program, highlighting the contrast between them. The program requires some math, but less than the MBA. Its focus is more theoretical than financial. 

This is a great degree path for someone aiming for a career in management, such as an aspiring chief operating officer. You will graduate well-prepared to lead people, oversee operations and manage an organization’s vision and culture. 

SNU’s MSM program requires 34 credit hours and offers 12 start dates per year. Courses are offered one class at a time in six-week intervals at $575 per credit hour. You can complete your MSM one night a week at our Bethany campus, Tulsa campus or Del City location, or 100% online.

Chapter 3

Master of Leadership

The Master of Leadership program is ideal for aspiring managers who focus on people, not systems or accounting. And with little math required, it’s also a great choice for people with math anxiety. It does not share any courses with either the MSM or MBA, making it the most distinct of the three programs. Instead, you will take courses such as: 

  • Collaborative Leadership: Working With Teams
  • Embracing Change: The Innovative Leader 
  • Ethical Leadership: Making Challenging Decisions 
  • Foundations of Personal Leadership 
  • Global Leadership: Leading With an Intercultural Perspective 
  • LIVELAST Leadership: Learning How to Serve

You will complete a leadership capstone project that puts the theories and skills you learn in the program to use in the real world. 

This is an ideal program for leaders whose primary concern is people, especially those who want to manage change, embrace transformative roles and spearhead new corporate visions, such as a rebranding or merger. 

SNU’s Master of Leadership program requires 33 credit hours and offers two start dates per year. Courses are offered one class at a time in six-week intervals at $475 per credit hour. You can complete your Master of Leadership 100% online.

Chapter 4

Which Program Is Right for You?

With well-rounded programs in which you learn from expert professors, there’s no wrong choice at SNU. But it’s critical to find the right fit for your aspirations. To decide which is right for you, try asking yourself these questions: 

  • What are my specific career goals? Is there a company or industry I hope to join? If so, in what role? 
  • Am I hoping for a broad overview or more specific training? 
  • Am I more interested in people, processes or numbers? 
  • How much of my day do I anticipate spending managing people? 
  • Do I want to start my own business or join someone else’s company? 
  • How much time do I have to devote to school? What is the ideal program structure for me? 
  • What interests me most? Daily operations, finance, people management, theory or something else? 
  • What roles at previous jobs have earned me the most positive feedback? How can I channel that experience into a management position?


SNU’s Management Programs

SNU’s management programs take an innovative approach to training tomorrow’s leaders. We value our adult learners and know that the real-world experience they bring to their education will serve them well in their careers. That’s why we offer flexible degree programs that fit seamlessly into their lives. 

Some of the benefits of SNU’s management programs include: 
  • An innovative cohort model that helps you build your professional network.
  • Multiple start dates so you can start when it’s convenient for you. 
  • No Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) or Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) requirements and an expedited admissions timeline. 
  • Flexible scheduling, including night courses at multiple locations. 
  • The option to choose between in-person and online classes. 
  • A one-course-at-a-time model that allows you to focus on a single class and still graduate within 18 months.

A supportive environment with expert advisors, caring professors and a school community that values diversity and inclusion.

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Chapter 5


A management degree is an exceptionally good investment for aspiring leaders, no matter what path they hope to pursue. In 2020, master’s degree holders had median weekly earnings of $1,545. Graduates with management training typically earn much more. MBA salaries are particularly high because this degree offers access to diverse roles. However, no matter the program you choose, you will graduate ready to climb the corporate ladder. 

SNU is here to help you explore your options and choose the perfect career for your unique interests and talents. Ready to open the door to a brighter future? Apply now! 

SNU is here to help you get started.

Whatever obstacles you face, we can help. Apply now

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