Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Program

Transform your strategy. Elevate your influence.

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Course Dates


March 28, 2024

Course Duration


9 to 12 Months
Online + On Campus

Course Fee


US$20,000 US$19,000 and get US$1,000 off with a referral US$200 application fee

Course Information Flexible payment available

Tuition Fee Benefit


This is only available to participants who apply by .

Accelerate your strategic impact

In the dynamic and fast-paced world of business, the execution of strategy faces numerous challenges. Staying focused on long-term strategy while tackling short-term pressures is a key challenge. Complexities such as insufficient resources, resistance to change, and a lack of alignment among stakeholders necessitate leaders who are resolute yet flexible and can persist in the face of setbacks while tactically responding to environmental shifts. Strategy executives are driven to influence and shape strategic directions while leading their teams through the complexities of the modern business environment.

The 9- to 12-month Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Program from Wharton Executive Education is designed for executives who aim to understand external environments, read early warning signals of disruption, and align their organization's strategy to gain a competitive advantage. You will emerge with the confidence to tackle disruptive forces and evolve into an influential strategic architect who can navigate any challenge.


of CSOs at top-quartile organizations adopt an active role in business ecosystems, exceeding their counterparts.

Source: Deloitte CSO Survey


of C-suite executives are liberally allocating capital for innovative ideas and adopting more flexible approaches to tackle the speed of disruption.

SOURCE: EY New Global C-Suite Survey

What you will learn

The program will enable you to:

  • Evaluate an organization's existing strategic initiatives and strengths in marketplace positioning to identify areas of improvement and potential competitive advantages
  • Analyze an organization's readiness and preparedness to undergo transformative changes while evaluating the building blocks necessary to create a sustainable long-term strategic growth plan
  • Apply proven approaches and models to facilitate successful expansion into foreign markets and industries
  • Recognize, plan for, and incorporate disruptive trends in technology to drive competitive advantage and identify transformational opportunities within the organization
  • Apply effective frameworks and key metrics to evaluate an organization's readiness to scale its operations, considering factors such as resources, infrastructure, and market demand
  • Examine the essential leadership qualities and organizational considerations required to effectively orchestrate and execute strategic initiatives, fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration

Customized design for your success

The CSO Program is designed with the needs of busy executives in mind. You will learn through online and interactive sessions and guest lectures from global industry leaders. The flexible nature of the program allows you to customize your learning journey for maximum career and business impact.

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The self-paced modules provide the flexibility to accommodate learning around your busy work schedule.

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A community learning experience with a limited cohort size facilitates interactive discussions with peers, faculty, and industry speakers.

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The multimodular learning journey allows you to grow as an executive while developing business strategies.

Program highlights

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Live sessions

Experience live online sessions with faculty and cohort success coach and periodic guest lectures from industry leaders.

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Self-paced learning

Learn at your own pace with a weekly commitment of three to five hours of sessions and activities.

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Success coach

Craft your learning journey in line with your career goals with a success coach assigned to your cohort.

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Try-it activities

Learn from real-world case studies and try-it activities that will help elevate your strategic impact.

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World-renowned faculty

Glean insights from renowned faculty and industry experts who are at the cutting edge of innovation.

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On-campus networking

Meet multiple cohort peers, industry experts, and faculty during two days of on-campus networking.

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Global peer group

Network with accomplished peers from around the globe and gain new approaches to leadership.

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Capstone project

Work on a capstone project to refine your skills by applying program learnings to a challenge and drive immediate on-the-job impact.

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Pathway to alumni status

Following successful completion of the program and subsequent open-enrollment programs, subject to further qualification criteria and additional tuition, you have a pathway to apply for Wharton alumni status.

"In the fiercely competitive and rapidly evolving business landscape, senior strategy executives grapple with the complex task of sustaining long-term success. These challenges are magnified by the need to align varied stakeholder interests, anticipate disruptive trends, and maintain a sharp focus on future strategic goals. Within this intricate landscape, the executive's own desire for leadership evolution, mastering complex strategic decisions, and contributing to global business dynamics emerges as a key driving force. The CSO Program is uniquely tailored to equip these executives with critical skills, paving the way for them to confidently and competently step into larger, global leadership roles."

— Nicolaj Siggelkow
Academic Director of the CSO Program; David M. Knott Professor; Professor of Management; Vice Dean, MBA Program; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Comprehensive curriculum

The CSO Program is a flexible learning journey designed for existing and aspiring strategy leaders. You will learn through online and interactive sessions, fireside chats, and guest lectures led by Wharton faculty and global industry leaders. Through a blend of cutting-edge core modules and short courses, topical case studies, a capstone project, and try-it activities, the program will enable you to hone your strategy acumen and lead strategy in your organization.
  • Strategic Architect 

    Equip yourself with the tools and frameworks to assess the current strategic landscape, identify areas of strength and weakness, and strategically align resources to drive long-term goals. Through in-depth analysis and strategic thinking, you will gain the expertise to create innovative strategies, explore new avenues of growth, and implement strategic initiatives that create competitive advantage.

    • Strategy Assessment — Part I
    • Strategy Assessment — Part II
    • Strategy Creation
    • Strategy Implementation
    • Evaluation of Global Strategies
    • Foreign Market Entry

    Disruptive Growth Catalyst 

    Delve into the dynamics of disruption and leverage disruptive forces to drive growth and innovation. By understanding the transformational power of disruptive technologies and business models, you will explore strategies to navigate changing markets, seize new opportunities, and lead through successful transformations.

    • Leading Innovation
    • Connected Strategy and Value Proposition
    • Connected Customer Experience and Customization
    • Connected Producers, the Connected Strategy Matrix, and Revenue Models
    • Technology Infrastructure and Disruptive Innovation
    • From Products to Platforms
    • Data as a Source of Competitive Advantage

    CSO as a Global Leader 

    Develop your leadership capabilities to thrive in a global business environment. Discover your leadership style, learn how to generate a compelling vision that inspires others, and master the art of effective communication. By understanding the science behind shaping culture, influencing stakeholders, and navigating complex organizational dynamics, you will enhance your ability to lead with impact.

    • What Kind of Leader Are You?
    • Generating a Compelling Vision: The Science Behind Creativity and Cascading
    • Making Your Vision a Reality: The Science Behind Culture and Communication
    • The Rider: Creating Change by Shaping the Way People Think
    • The Elephant: Creating Change through Emotion
    • The Path: Creating Change by Molding the Situation 

    Note: Session topics are subject to change.

    Two required short courses will elevate your learning experience by enabling you to enhance your executive presence and influence as well as maximize your effectiveness in the boardroom.

    • Executive Presence and Influence: Persuasive Leadership Development: Gain the skill set needed to have an impactful executive presence through strategic persuasion and craft your unique leadership style.
    • Corporate Governance: Maximize Your Effectiveness in the Boardroom: Increase your impact on board-level decisions by gaining a deeper understanding of corporate governance and its role, structure, and responsibilities.

    Note: Short courses are subject to change

Recognition ceremony and networking event (two days | on campus)

Meet your cohort peers and faculty in person on the Wharton Executive Education campus in Philadelphia at a two-day recognition ceremony and networking event. This event takes place once every four cohorts, enabling you to network with not just your peers but also professionals from other cohorts and to create a lifelong community of global executives.

Capstone project

The capstone project presents an opportunity for you to synthesize the knowledge and insights gained throughout the program and apply them directly to a real-world challenge you are currently facing. Through a systematic and strategic approach, you will leverage the program's learnings to develop a comprehensive road map that can be implemented in your role. This hands-on experience enables you to translate theory into practice and drive change.

Who is it for?

The CSO Program is ideal for executives involved in strategy development for their organizations or functions. This can include CSOs or vice presidents of strategy who are looking to deepen their skills as well as C-suite executives or heads of different functions who are interested in gaining skills to formulate agile strategies for their organizations.

The program is particularly beneficial for:

  • Experienced strategy executives, including aspiring, new, and existing CSOs, looking to sharpen their strategic and leadership skills
  • Business-function heads determined to enhance their strategy and leadership capabilities to join the ranks of decision-making leadership
  • C-suite officers in small to mid-sized organizations aiming to transition into the role of the chief strategy officer or integrate strategic planning into their decisions

    Participants are required to have:

  • A minimum of 10 years of work experience
  • International exposure (preferred)
  • Fluency in written and spoken English

Meet the faculty

Wharton’s world-renowned faculty, along with acclaimed industry thought leaders, will prepare you to face a wide array of challenges. You will leverage their insights and domain expertise to better understand corporate strategy and leadership and immediately implement the learnings.

Profile picture of faculty Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhD

Nicolaj Siggelkow, PhD

Academic Director of the CSO Program; David M. Knott Professor; Professor of Management; Vice Dean, MBA Program; Co-Director, Mack Institute for Innovation Management, The Wharton School

Andrew Carton, PhD

Associate Professor of Management

Profile picture of faculty Exequiel Hernandez, PhD

Exequiel Hernandez, PhD

Max and Bernice Garchik Family Presidential Associate Professor

Profile picture of faculty Raghu Iyengar, PhD

Raghu Iyengar, PhD

Miers-Busch, W’1885 Professor; Professor of Marketing; Faculty Director of Innovation, Experiential Learning and Research Initiatives, Analytics at Wharton

Profile picture of faculty Rahul Kapoor, PhD

Rahul Kapoor, PhD

David W. Hauck Professor; Professor of Management; Chairperson, Management Department

Profile picture of faculty Karl Ulrich, ScD

Karl Ulrich, ScD

CIBC Endowed Professor; Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions; Professor of Management; Advisor on Asia Strategy

Pathway to Wharton alumni status

For more than 135 years, Wharton has been the place where visionaries, inventors, and trailblazers get their start. After completing the CSO Program and subsequent open-enrollment programs, subject to further qualification criteria and additional tuition, you have a pathway to apply for Wharton alumni status.

Executives who successfully complete the CSO Program have the option of applying to the General Management Program (GMP). The GMP provides further opportunity to enhance your leadership skills and business acumen with a flexible curriculum. The CSO Program provides one credit toward the six required to complete the GMP and earn alumni status. More details on the GMP are available at Wharton Executive Education.

Upon qualifying for Wharton alumni status, you will be eligible to receive:

  • Full access to become a member of 77+ Wharton alumni clubs
  • Invitation to attend future Wharton global alumni forums
  • A Wharton email address


Image to depict sample of the program certificate


Earn a Wharton Executive Education digital certificate upon successful completion of the program. Participants of this transformative program get exclusive access to a wide range of professionals, events, and networking opportunities. Furthermore, you can also benefit from additional tuition assistance upon enrolling in further online electives from Wharton Executive Education.

Note: After successful completion of the program, your verified digital certificate will be emailed to you in the name you used when registering for the program. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the Wharton School.

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Please also note that participation in the Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Program (a) will not result in a degree from, alumni status with, or earned credit at the University of Pennsylvania or the Wharton School (or, to Wharton’s knowledge, any other institution); (b) will not be recorded on a University of Pennsylvania or Wharton transcript; and (c) does not guarantee or suggest that a participant will be admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, the Wharton School, or to any other university or institution.

Application details

program fee

US$20,000 US$19,000

The fee amount is available till ,, and does not include the application fee of US$200

The program fee covers teaching fees, all academic material, and access to online coursework. It does not include accommodations for the on-campus networking and graduation event, travel expenses (domestic, international, visa fee, and more), and other expenses not specifically mentioned in the fees.


  • The CSO Program has been designed with your busy schedule in mind. You will be required to commit not more than three to five hours per week, enabling you to benefit from this transformative program while fulfilling your day-to-day work responsibilities. The impactful program offers a blend of self-paced modules and live interaction.

  • The seven-month learning journey includes live online and video online sessions with renowned faculty, industry experts, and global peers. You can take advantage of weekly live sessions and the Slack channel to ask questions and discuss ideas with your cohort success coach and participants. Real-world examples and a debrief of the program learnings are delivered through a combination of recorded video and live online lectures. The program concludes with a two-day on-campus recognition ceremony and networking event on the Wharton Executive Education campus in Philadelphia.

  • While the program does not grant alumni status or alumni benefits, it opens up a unique pathway to apply for the prestigious Wharton alumni status upon further qualification criteria and additional tuition. As a participant of this transformative program, you get exclusive access to a wide range of professionals, events, and networking opportunities. You can also benefit from additional tuition assistance upon enrolling in further online electives from Wharton Executive Education.

  • The program fee covers teaching fees, all academic material, and access to online coursework. The fee does not include accommodations for the two-day in-person recognition ceremony and networking event, travel expenses (domestic, international, visa fee, and more), and other expenses not specifically mentioned in the fees.

  • You can pay the full program fee upfront or pay in easy installments. If you apply well in advance of the program start date, you can receive a fee benefit. If you would like to approach your company with a sponsorship request for this program, here is a customizable template that you can use.

  • Yes. Closed-captioning and transcripts for all pre-recorded videos as well as closed-captioning for recordings of live sessions is available.

Connect with a learning advisor for a 1:1 session

Our learning advisors have helped senior executives across the world choose the right program for their career goals. Schedule a 1:1 to get a deeper understanding on why the CSO Program is the right fit for you.


Phone: +1 567 587 1541 (U.S.) / +44 1313 812895 (U.K.) / +971 80 00321209 (U.A.E.) / +52 55930 20507 (LATAM)

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