Certificate in Business Strategy

Certificate in Business Strategy

Get the tools, frameworks and insights to help you create and drive successful, agile strategies for your organization. This noncredit certificate consists of three interlocking programs.

Payment is due in full at time of registration.

Whether you are an experienced business professional looking to refresh your strategy know-how or completely new to developing strategy, this three-program noncredit certificate will give you the confidence and skills to assess industry and organization structure, develop a plan to grow your firm, and formulate and recommend business strategy. Led by Darden strategy experts, Professors Michael Lenox and Jared Harris, this engaging program features multiple opportunities to practice your analytic skills, program mentors and peer feedback to ensure that you get the support you need to develop and implement a sustainable, successful strategy.


How You'll Earn It


  • 21 February–31 July 2022

  • 6 June–24 October 2022

Cost: $2,400
Payment is due in full at time of registration.

Earn the Darden Certificate in Business Strategy by completing the following three programs:

  • Strategy Analysis - Develop your ability to think strategically, analyze your firm’s positioning, develop competitive advantage, and recommend your firm’s value proposition. You’ll learn how to use key analysis and frameworks to better understand the foundations of successful business strategy.
  • Growth Strategy - Learn how to analyze, evaluate and recommend specific actions organizations can take to grow their value, while also avoiding common growth pitfalls. Explore the various options for pursuing growth - from scaling existing markets and entering established markets to creating new markets - and determine which would work best for your organization.
  • Strategy Planning - Gain the tools you need to analyze strategy over time, industries, geographies and institutions so that you can develop and implement your own strategic plan by the end of this online course.

These three programs will release sequentially on the learning platform as you finish each one.

Program Format & Time Commitment

This is a self-paced program conducted entirely online. Each week, participants should expect to spend approximately two to six hours on instructional videos, readings and assignments, as well as a program project. You’ll be able to use your own organization or any public company as the basis for projects that put your learning into immediate action. Darden-trained mentors facilitate conversations and classmates give and receive feedback through online discussions. Learners can typically complete this program in 3-6 months, however the program will be open for 8 months to allow plenty of time for completion.

What You'll Learn

  • Use various analyses to guide decision making (SWOT, competitor, environmental, capabilities, etc.)
  • Assess an industry's structure and how the competitive dynamics in an industry affect profitability
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of four generic competitive positions
  • Identify and evaluate opportunities to scale an organization
  • Assess the impact of a potential merger and acquisition and learn to avoid the common pitfalls of this type of growth
  • Discover how to enter new markets and apply game theory to analyze, assess and respond to competitors
  • Explore ways to build an innovative capability, add value from innovation and determine an innovation strategy
  • Understand the dynamics of competition, the competitive life cycle, and how to develop strategies to survive and thrive through industry disruption
  • Learn how businesses compete across industries, the value of being in different markets, and the right degree of diversification
  • Discover how, where, and when to enter foreign markets, and foreign direct investment

Who Should Attend

  • Executives and managers looking for a refresher to help tackle strategic challenges at their organizations
  • Emerging leaders looking to improve their ability to articulate and understand strategy and position themselves for advancement

Continuing Education Credit

An additional benefit of getting your Certificate in Business Strategy is that you can also earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs). The three-program series is worth 6 CEUs, which is equivalent to 60 hours of contact work.

The strategist’s challenge is to simultaneously manage three critical factors: values, opportunities and capabilities. In order to devise and execute a successful strategy, you need to analyze each of these factors to understand how your organization can create and sustain value.

Darden Professors Mike Lenox & Jared Harris
from Three Critical Factors of Business Strategy

Request a Consultation

If you're ready to start your certificate journey or have questions, submit the below form or email us directly. A Lifelong Learning concierge will follow-up with you to help you select a start date and complete your registration.

Darden Executive Education is provided by the University of Virginia
Darden School Foundation.