Corporate governance refers to systems that steer the direction of an organization. That includes all the practices, rules, and processes involved in company management and control. Corporate governance systems are responsible for big-picture things like strategic planning, risk management, the power hierarchy, and more. For corporate governance to be effective, leaders like company CEOs, directors, the board, and other senior management need to work together to develop and maintain systems that work for their specific organization. For those interested in careers in this field, higher education will likely be needed. Here are 15 of the top masters in corporate governance and related areas like business administration, strategic management, corporate law, and more.
#1. LLM Corporate Governance Degree (University of Law)
#2. The Master of Laws (LLM) in Corporate Governance & Practice (Stanford University)
#3. MSc in Corporate Governance and Compliance (Hong Kong Baptist University School of Business)
#4. MSc Governance (University of Lincoln)
#5. Master in Strategic Management (HEC Paris)
#6. MBA (Berkeley Haas School of Business)
#7. MBA Enterprise Management track (MIT Management Sloan School)
#8. Corporate Law LLM (The University of Edinburgh)
#9. Master in Applied Corporate Management (Grenoble IAE)
#10. MBA (IU International University of Applied Sciences)
#11. JM Business Law and Regulation (Emory University School of Law)
#12. Corporate Law LLM (The University of Edinburgh)
#13. MBA Master in Business Administration (INSEAD)
#14. MSc Sustainable Finance and Accounting (University of Sussex Business School)
#15. MSc in Corporate Finance with Corporate Governance (Phillips University)
Location: Multiple campuses (based in the UK)
This LLM degree is designed for law and non-law graduates wanting a deep knowledge of Corporate Governance in practice. Topics covered include legal theory, practice, legal technology, and more. Students complete two required modules, three elective modules, and a dissertation.
Full-time, part-time, and online study options are available. Domestic students pay £10,500 (in London) or £9,500 (outside of London). Non-domestic students pay £14,000 in London and £12,000 outside of London. Hong Kong students pay HKD $120,000. The University of Law is a well-respected institution with a high student satisfaction ranking. In 2016, it ranked first for student satisfaction with 97%.
Location: Stanford, CA
Limited to students with a primary law degree received outside the United States – and at least two years of professional legal experience – this program provides academic and professional tools in corporate governance and transactional legal practice. Students gain expertise in accounting, corporations, finance, mergers, securities, and much more. Students create an individualized curriculum but must meet certain requirements, such as a practical writing course, an intro course in American and common law, and so on. Students must take a minimum of 35 credits, but no more than 45 credits.
Students are required to live at Stanford during the 9-month academic year. Tuition varies yearly, but in 2021-2022, tuition at Stanford Law School was $64,350. With room and board, books, transportation, etc, most single students needed around $107,055 for the academic year.
Location: Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
This program trains students in corporate governance and prepares them for a variety of challenges in the business world. Students must take 8 core courses and 2 electives in topics like accounting, finance, compliance, management, and more. Coursework is taught in English.
Full-time (1 year) and part-time (1.5 years) study options are available. The tuition for the 2022-2023 academic year is HKD$172,500 for both full-time and part-time students paid over 3 (full-time) or 5 (part-time) installments. Times Higher Education (which ranks more than 1,600 universities globally) gives this university a 401-500th place in World University Rankings 2022.
Location: Lincoln, UK
Students completing this program will be prepared for a variety of jobs as they’ll gain practical skills, knowledge, and the latest information on governance, sustainability, finance, and more. The program requires six mandatory modules and one optional module. Students are also expected to complete a dissertation. Topics covered include governance, strategic thinking, teams and leadership, investment banking, and more.
Part-time and full-time study options are available. Full-time home students owe £9,300 for 2022-2023, while international students pay £16,200. Part-time home students pay £52 per credit while part-time international students pay £90 per credit. Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022 puts the University of Lincoln at 501-600.
Location: Jouy-en-Josas, France
This intense 10-month program in strategic management gives students the knowledge and tools to excel in the business world. Students must take a blend of required courses, workshops with firms, a study trip, a Business Project, electives, and a master thesis. Topics include strategic problem solving, strategic financial decisions, energy strategies, and more. Students must also fulfill a professional experience requirement, which is at least four months in fields related to coursework. Courses are taught in English.
Tuition for the 2023/2024 school year is €36,250. HEC Paris is one of the most respected business schools. For the World University Rankings in Masters in Management 2022, it’s ranked #1.
Location: Berkeley, CA
Berkeley’s full-time MBA provides students with interdisciplinary knowledge and skills in business fundamentals, strategic leadership, and more. There are 14 required core courses, after which students can customize their studies. Students also have the opportunity for three certificates in real estate, business analytics, or sustainable business.
Berkeley-Haas offers an Evening & Weekend MBA program, which for 2021-2022, was $3,533 per unit. The regular tuition for 2023-2023 is $67,424 for CA residents and $76,433 for non-CA residents. Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022 puts Berkeley in 8th place.
Location: Cambridge, MA
This MBA track provides students with an innovative classroom environment, project-based activities, and a holistic approach. Over two years, students develop skills and knowledge in marketing, operations, strategy, innovation management. and more. The track is flexible, so students can customize their curriculum. After the first core classes, students must complete 144 elective units. Required courses include intro to enterprise management, intro to operations management, and competitive strategy.
There’s currently no part-time option for the MBA at MIT. For the 2022-2023 school year, the MBA program costs $80,400 in tuition. Times Higher Education ranks MIT at #5 in its World University Rankings 2022.
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland
This program provides students with expert knowledge in legal, economic, financial, and governance issues. Students complete 180 credits, 60 of which come from the dissertation. Topics include comparative corporate governance; corporation law and economics; and sustainable law and finance.
Full-time and part-time study options are available. For part-time students in 2022-2023, tuition fees are £7,200 (Scottish students and the rest of the UK) or £12,650 for international/EU students. Full-time Scottish and UK students pay £14,400 while international/EU students pay £25,300. The University of Edinburgh has a #30 rank on the World University Rankings 2022.
Location: Saint-Martin-d’Hères, France
Taught in English, this 12-month program provides students with a multidisciplinary education on applied corporate management. It’s geared toward students who don’t come from a business background, but who want to build management expertise. Topics include strategy, management control, self-awareness and leadership, and the global economy. The program also includes a thesis and a 4-6 month internship.
We could not find information on part-time study options. For European students, the program costs 335€/year while students from outside the EU owe 3862€/year. Times Higher Education gives the school a 351-400 ranking on the World University Rankings 2022.
Location: Online (based in Berlin, Germany)
This online master’s degree provides students with the strategic tools needed to excel as business leaders. Students must complete 90 ECTS (which are accredited in line with German and European standards) in topics like business ethics and corporate governance; performance management; and strategic management. An internship and capstone project are required, too.
As an online program, this MBA is flexible and can take between 18-36 months. Tuition fees start at $379 a month. IU has many recognitions, including a 5-star rating and 99/100 points on QS Stars: Online Learning. It’s the first German university to earn this score.
Location: University Park, PA
As a cohort-based program, only 60 students are admitted to this MBA each year. Students learn about leadership communications, business ethics, negotiations, and more during their experience. Students can also choose from concentrations in management consulting, sustainability, international affairs, marketing, and so on. Year one consists of core courses while year two is elective courses.
This MBA is a full-time residential MBA. For PA residents, the 2022-2023 tuition is $29,888, while non-PA residents owe $47,704. Penn State is ranked #77 in the 2022-2023 edition of Best Colleges National Universities.
Location: Atlanta, GA
The Juris Master program is a master’s degree that provides students with the legal knowledge and tools needed to excel. The Business Law and Regulation concentration encompasses corporate governance, compliance, legal frameworks, civil liability for corporations, and more. Topics covered include law and economics; accounting; and officer and director liability. Students need 30 credits to graduate.
Online or hybrid study options are available. For full-time students in 2022-2023, the tuition for the JM is $25,000 per semester. Emory University has a #82 rating on Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings 2022.
Location: Multiple campuses (based in France)
The MBA at INSEAD offers a multicultural, accelerated 10-month program designed for professionals with 3-8 years of experience. There are five periods – each eight weeks long – and 14 core courses. Topics include corporate financial policy; introduction to strategy; and business and society. Students then choose 9.5 electives out of 75 options and complete a capstone course.
Because this is an accelerated course, there’s no part-time option. For the August 2022 intake, tuition was €91,225, while for January 2023, it’s €92,575. INSEAD is ranked #26 in Best Global Universities in France.
Location: Brighton, UK
This 1-year master’s program encompasses areas like environmental, social, and governance issues. Designed according to recommendations by professional bodies like the Global Association of Risk Professionals, this program enhances a student’s skills in corporate governance, environmental accounting, green finance, and more.
We couldn’t find information about part-time options. At the time of writing, tuition for 2023-2024 was not yet set. The University of Sussex has a #151 placement on the World University Rankings 2022 list.
Location: Nicosia, Cyprus
This 18-month, 90 ECTS program gives students the knowledge and skills needed in the finance sector. Graduates also have a solid understanding of leadership, accountability, sustainability, and ethical policies in business. Coursework topics include corporate governance and ethics; behavioral finance; corporate social responsibility; and international finance.
Full-time and part-time study (both on campus) are available. As always, tuition varies year to year, but for 2020-2021, it was €11,500 for postgraduate studies. Philips University is a fairly new college. It is a member of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and ranked 35/43 in Cyprus.