Best Online Bachelor’s in Project Management

by TBS Staff

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Top Degrees in Project Management

Earning a bachelor's in project management prepares graduates to launch a career in a number of industries. According to the BLS, the median salary for project management professionals is $84,290 as of May 2020.

Because project management is a diverse field, bachelor's degree programs often have different course offerings and degree requirements. Most project management programs are designed to help the student develop leadership, management, and critical thinking skills. Coursework in project management programs emphasizes skills in all facets of management, covering topics such as operations management, project and contract procurement, risk management, and leadership.

Many programs offer curricula aligning with the Project Management Institute's Body of Knowledge standards.

Students who pursue a project management degree online experience more flexibility in completing coursework without sacrificing quality. Before choosing a program, ensure the requirements fit your career goals and lifestyle. Read on for the best project management degree programs offered online.

Featured Online Project Management Programs

The Best Online Project Management Degree Programs

  1. Brandman University

    Irvine, CA

    Brandman, based in Irvine, California, began as a higher educational institution for Marine Corps personnel stationed at the El Toro base. The university now offers more than 80 programs of study to the public. Brandman students can choose to learn online or in physical classrooms in over 25 locations across California and Washington. Online classes, delivered in a convenient asynchronous format, provide flexibility suitable for working professionals. Brandman provides resources to help all students succeed, including academic advisement and career counseling resources.

    The university’s bachelor’s of science in computer technology with an emphasis in project management prepares graduates to work in computer and information technology management roles. This program of study requires candidates to earn 120 credits and typically takes four years to complete. Computer technology core classes include programming, security, and networking. All students in the program conduct computer science capstone projects where they apply learned skills. Students then focus on project management issues that relate to technology fields. Candidates learn about structure and resource management, risk management, and organizational change in the context of information technology departments.

    Brandman accepts candidates with at least 12 credit hours of higher educational study and a GPA of 2.0 or better. However, those without previous college experience may opt to earn the required 12 introductory credits at Brandman and apply with high school or GED transcripts. As an institution catering to adult students, Brandman maintains clearly articulated credit transfer policies. With a long history of partnership with the armed services, Brandman also offers college credit for military training.

  2. Colorado State University Global

    Greenwood Village, CO

    CSU Global began offering online degrees in 2007, making it the first and only regionally accredited, independent online state university in the country. CSU Global operates as part of the Colorado State University system but maintains significant autonomy. CSU Global, based in Greenwood Village near Denver, focuses on helping working students achieve the education necessary for career advancement. Instructors deliver classes online in a flexible asynchronous format, allowing students to study whenever they have time. The university offers value as well as convenience, enabling students to complete degrees at a lower cost and in less time than other high-quality educational institutions.

    CSU Global offers a bachelor’s of science in project management that requires candidates to complete 120 credits, which typically takes four years of full-time study. This degree, aligned with standards set by the Project Management Institute, helps students prepare for the Project Management Professional Certification exam, which is preferred by many employers in the field. Students learn fundamental project management skills including scheduling, risk assessment, and quality control. Candidates can also choose different industry-specific concentrations, such as computer programming, criminal forensics, or healthcare management. Students finish the program by applying learned skills in a project management practicum.

    CSU Global normally accepts candidates with 12 or more credit hours of study at other colleges or universities and a GPA of 2.3 or better. In keeping with its commitment to nontraditional students, CSU Global features generous credit transfer policies. First-time incoming freshmen must provide high school transcripts with a GPA of 3.2 or better and score at least 20 on the ACT or 1000 on the SAT.

  3. Regis University

    Denver, CO

    Regis University offers students more than 131 programs of study at its campus in Denver, Colorado and online. Regis maintains low student-teacher ratios to facilitate meaningful discussions of class topics. In keeping with the Jesuit educational mission of encouraging tenacious questioning of the status quo, Regis also fosters critical thinking skills. Regis helps students develop not only as working professionals, but also as involved citizens and community leaders.

    Regis offers several specialized undergraduate business degrees, including one that trains future project management professionals. The bachelor’s in business with a specialization in project management at Regis requires candidates to complete 120 credits. This degree normally takes four years of full-time study to finish. Classes in this program follow an asynchronous format. Regis offers the program in five-week and eight-week terms, giving professionals options that match their individual schedules. Students who wish to later pursue master’s degrees may opt to take up to four graduate-level courses as part of this program, earning undergraduate and graduate credit simultaneously.

    All students in this program learn accounting fundamentals, basic economics, and business administration. Those choosing to focus on project management topics then gain deeper knowledge about how to design, implement, and assess projects in business settings. Candidates apply with high school or college transcripts and must show evidence of work history. Regis maintains generous transfer policies, and often gives college credit for military and other professional experience.

  4. Liberty University

    Lynchburg, VA

    Liberty University, founded as a Baptist educational institution in 1971, now offers more than 550 programs of study at its Lynchburg, Virginia campus and online. The university trains future community leaders and invests in student academic success with an academic support office that provides subject-specific tutoring and career advisement. Liberty’s online classes, delivered in asynchronous format, enable students to work towards degrees whenever their schedules allow.

    Liberty’s bachelor’s of science in business administration project management degree teaches candidates to manage time, human capital, and funds to achieve project goals. Students complete 120 credit hours of classes, typically in four years of full-time study. Students receive instruction in core business topics, such as accounting and economics, as well as basic and advanced project management. This Liberty degree stands out from other project management bachelor’s degrees online with its emphasis on global project management issues. The degree has earned program accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, which oversees some of the best business-related bachelor’s degrees online.

    Candidates apply with high school or college transcripts. Liberty does not use standardized tests, so candidates do not need to supply ACT or SAT scores. The university maintains clear credit transfer policies that allow students who began their studies at other institutions to complete Liberty degrees in time-efficient ways. Liberty also gives college credit for many types of military training and offers free credit reviews for candidates with military service experience.

  5. Saint Louis University

    Saint Louis, MO

    SLU, one of the oldest Catholic universities in the United States, upholds a tradition of Jesuit education that emphasizes critical thinking skills. SLU offers more than 100 degree options at its physical campus in St. Louis, Missouri and online. SLU invests in student success with support resources including academic advising, faculty and peer mentoring, and tutoring. The university encourages innovation and supports student research efforts. Students pursuing SLU degrees online can study whenever they prefer, as classes follow a convenient asynchronous format.

    SLU offers a bachelor’s of science in project management degree that provides students with the skills needed to oversee complex international projects in large organizational contexts. This program, approved by the Project Management Institute, requires students to complete 120 total credits. The program is offered five terms per year and allows students to decide how many classes they take per term. Students typically take four years to earn this degree, but accelerated full-time study allows many to finish sooner. Major core classes include data analysis, industry certifications, supplier administration, and risk management. The program includes capstone projects where students demonstrate skills in applied project management settings.

    Candidates can apply to this project management degree online program through the university’s professional studies department. The department accepts applicants aged 22 or older with at least three years of work experience but makes exceptions in certain cases. Candidates must submit high school or college transcripts that show a GPA of 2.5 or better. SLU caters to adult learners and allows incoming students to transfer up to 64 credits from other institutions. The university employs designated transfer counselors to help incoming students complete SLU degrees as efficiently as possible.

  6. University of Wisconsin - Stout

    Menomonie, WI

    UW Stout, a career-focused higher educational institution, provides training in business, education, human services, and government office administration. Stout offers more than 71 programs of study on its Menominee campus and online. Part of the respected University of Wisconsin system, Stout stands out for its commitment to the polytechnic educational model, combining liberal arts education and applied learning experiences to prepare graduates for rewarding jobs and community leadership roles.

    Stout’s bachelor’s of science in management allows students to choose a project management concentration. This online degree, which follows learning standards set by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, requires 120 credits to complete, and normally takes four years of full-time study. Students in this program take general education courses and management core courses that teach accounting, law, and leadership. The management core includes training in online management topics. Students choosing to focus on project management also learn about information systems, supply chains, and quality management. The curriculum culminates with a practicum, where students apply management theories to real-world projects.

    Candidates apply to this program with high school transcripts showing a GPA of 3.0 or higher and ACT or SAT scores, or college transcripts showing a GPA of at least 2.0. This degree caters to mid-career professionals, as Stout offers credit for relevant work experience. Stout also awards college credit for military training. The university provides scholarships for incoming transfer students, helping those who began their educational pursuits elsewhere to earn degrees through Stout as economically as possible.

  7. Minnesota State University Moorhead

    Moorhead, MN

    Founded in 1885, Moorhead continues its mission of strengthening communities by improving lives through education. The university, located in Moorhead, just over the state line from Fargo, North Dakota, offers 74 degrees in fields relevant to high-growth careers. Both a small college and part of the wide-reaching and diverse Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, Moorhead gives students access to world-class educational resources and personalized support. Moorhead now offers many online programs that allow transfer students with previous associate degrees or general study college credits to earn specialized bachelor’s degrees.

    Moorhead’s bachelor’s of science in project management allows candidates who completed general education requirements elsewhere to finish their undergraduate degrees. This program requires students to earn 54 credits in major core classes focusing on project management and related topics. Project management students learn about economics, statistics, accounting, cost analysis, and scheduling in accordance with standards set by the Project Management Institute. Candidates complete capstone courses in which they launch live projects or analyze historically significant projects. Transfer students with enough credits from other institutions can complete this course in less than two years.

    Students interested in transferring into this program at Moorhead must send transcripts proving least 24 earned college credits with a GPA of 2.0 or better. The university accepts credits from other regionally accredited institutions and maintains transfer relationships with many nationally accredited community colleges. Transfer students with associate degrees can opt to waive Moorhead’s standard liberal arts requirements and begin their studies with major core classes.

  8. Saint Leo University Online

    Saint Leo, FL

    Saint Leo, founded in 1889, preserves its Catholic heritage while preparing graduates for high-demand professional roles. The university now offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in St. Leo, Florida and online. Online classes allow students to study asynchronously, maximizing schedule flexibility. The university offers both online and on-campus students resources to succeed, including professional tutoring, student advisement, and peer mentoring. With lower tuition than most private educational institutions, Saint Leo represents an economical as well as convenient choice in Catholic education.

    Saint Leo offers a bachelor’s of arts in business administration degree with a project management specialization. This online program consists of 120 credits and takes four years to complete. Students learn risk assessment, team leadership, and quality improvement practices that prepare them for executive roles in business settings. This specialized bachelor’s degree stands out from other online project management degree programs by encouraging graduates to pursue internships to gain hands-on experience in real business organizations. Faculty members also guide students in accessing other career development resources, such as conferences and professional memberships.

    Saint Leo’s rolling admissions schedule means students can begin their studies at any one of six times throughout the year. Applicants submit a GED, or high school or previous college transcripts. The university only accepts transfer credits from regionally accredited institutions, but transfer students may also opt to seek up to 40 credits by examination. Saint Leo also offers credit for some forms of military and corporate training. The university’s designated enrollment counselors help prospective transfer students determine the number of additional credits they need to graduate and how to locate financial aid resources.

  9. Benedictine University

    Lisle, IL

    Founded by Benedictine monks in 1887, Benedictine carries on a Catholic academic tradition that emphasizes community service. Benedictine now offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university, headquartered in Lisle, Illinois, operates satellite campuses throughout the state and in Mesa, Arizona. Benedictine also offers many degrees online in an asynchronous format, meaning students can study whenever they like. The university provides academic and financial aid advisement and career counseling services to all its students.

    Benedictine’s online bachelor’s of art in management degree allows students to choose a project management focus. This track trains business professionals to be able to plan, execute, and assess complex projects while adhering to strict budgetary limits. All students working towards the management degree learn about core business practices, such as accounting, economics, marketing, organizational behavior, and statistics. Those opting to focus on project management also receive instruction in risk assessment, budgeting, quality control, and project assessment. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, and typically finish the course of study in two to four years at Benedictine, depending on the number of transfer credits they apply towards the degree.

    Prospective students apply with high school or previous college transcripts. Benedictine typically only accepts candidates aged 22 or older into its online programs. The university allows transfer students to bring up to 90 credits from other accredited higher educational institutions. Candidates may earn up to 18 credits for work experience. Benedictine grants credits for certain types of military training and offers active service members and their spouses 10% tuition discounts.

  10. City University of Seattle

    Seattle, WA

    CityU, a private nonprofit university headquartered in Seattle, Washington, offers working adults opportunities to earn degrees at 20 physical campuses around the world or online. The university focuses on programs that serve current industry demands and prepare graduates for rewarding career opportunities. CityU supports academic achievement and professional development with learning resource offices and career counseling services. The university delivers most online classes in asynchronous format to maximize convenience for online students.

    The university’s bachelor’s of science in project management requires 180 credits of study and takes four years to finish. The degree provides graduates with the skills needed to succeed in professional project management roles. Core project management courses teach scheduling and budgeting skills, risk assessment, and human resources management. This program also includes agility and scrum training, giving graduates instruction in ways to respond to unexpected challenges and opportunities. In addition to core requirements, students take classes focusing on information technology or design their own focus areas. Those that choose the latter option may engage in independent study and work with relevant industrial organizations to develop customized courses of study that suit their individual learning goals.

    Incoming freshmen without previous college experience apply with high school transcripts or GED. This degree in project management attracts many candidates with previous college credit, and the university maintains liberal credit transfer guidelines. The university also caters to former and current military personnel preparing for civilian careers. CityU grants college credit for military training and offers veterans and active members of the military reduced tuition rates.

Choosing an Online Project Management Program

It’s essential that prospective students consider several factors before enrolling in postsecondary degree programs, including the costs, transfer allowances, types of schools, time frames, and on-campus requirements. Learners who do not take the time to analyze each of these differences before choosing schools can end up unhappy with their online project management bachelor degree programs. Furthermore, candidates may end up making poor investments that only set their careers back, rather than driving them forward. Those who take the time to find the right program find value in the process.

Featured Online Project Management Programs

Program Cost:
Students often think of cost as the most critical factor in choosing an online project management degree. Prospective learners should not only think of tuition prices, but also fees, the number of credits needed, and books. Candidates must also consider the value of the degrees they earn, including whether the school earns accreditation.
Transfer Policies:
Learners with some college credit should seriously take into consideration a school’s transfer policies. When transferring from another school, students save money and time on their online project management degrees when they can transfer most or all their credits. Candidates with associate degrees contact their previous institutions to see if they maintain transfer agreements with any universities.
School Size and Type:
Candidates should consider whether they learn better in small class sizes or in environments with large numbers of students. Learners must also decide whether public or private schools best fit their needs. Those who want private institutions must also evaluate if each school maintains nonprofit status.
Program Length:
Learners must consider how long it will take them to finish the online project management degree courses they need to graduate. Learners who transfer may require less time than the school advertises, while those who enroll part time may need more years. Prospective students can contact admissions officers at schools to help them determine their timeframes.
On-Campus Requirements:
For students who want project management degrees, online bachelor’s programs offer convenience and flexibility. However, some online programs have a few on-campus requirements. For example, some programs present hybrid options in which learners go to campus a few times per week. Other institutions offer fully online learning but require candidates to come to campus for orientation or a few week-long seminars.
Students should always consider accreditation before they enroll in programs. Accreditation comes in two forms: institutional and programmatic. Institutional accreditation applies to the entire school. The United States Department of Education gives the Council for Higher Education Accreditation the authority to deputize other organizations. Those organizations investigate higher learning institutions. The accrediting professionals then determine whether the school provides high-quality education.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management?

How long it takes for learners to earn online project management degrees depends on several factors, including how many credits students transfer into the programs, whether learners enroll full or part time, and each school’s schedule. Degree candidates with no previous college experience should expect to take about four full-time years to complete their degrees. Some learners expedite the process with summer and winter classes.

Students who hold associate degrees earn bachelor’s degrees in about two years of full-time study. Like their peers, these learners take summer and winter classes to graduate sooner. Degree candidates taking part-time courses take nearly twice as long to complete programs as their full-time classmates.

Accelerated schedules help learners graduate quickly. Schools with such plans offer courses in eight-week terms, rather than the longer traditional semester schedule. This schedule allows students to take just one class at a time or take two and graduate quickly.

Courses in an Online Project Management Bachelor’s Program

Human Resources and Motivation Management
Successful project management professionals must know how to hire, retain, and motivate qualified professionals. These classes cover the legal and ethical considerations for hiring. Students also learn how to keep employees engaged, productive, and working as part of the larger team.
Principles of Management
Students in these courses learn about different management styles and theories. Learners come to understand how to best manage different types of personalities and ways to apply practical solutions to everyday management problems. Educators may also cover theories regarding hiring, retaining, disciplining, and firing employees.
Effective Project Scheduling
Project managers must stay on schedule to please their companies and clients. These courses teach students to set realistic schedules for projects, stay on track, and adjust timelines as needed. Graduates market this skill to find jobs at organizations that value timeliness.
Project Management Practicum
Some programs require learners to complete internships before graduation. Students gain hands-on experience under the supervision of professional project managers. Practicums can be added to resumes to help create networks that help them earn jobs with their degrees. Some schools facilitate practicums, while others require degree candidates to make the connections themselves.
Students take capstone courses at the end of their online project management bachelor degree programs. These classes bring together all the knowledge and skills that learners gain in previous coursework as they complete final projects. Graduates add these projects to their portfolios to demonstrate their skills to potential employers.

Featured Online Project Management Programs

What Can You Do With a Project Management Degree?

Because project management degrees provide an array of marketable skills, graduates enter careers across industries. Project management professionals are strong leaders and proficient multitaskers. The careers below are a few examples of options for graduates with a project management degree.

Construction Project Manager:
Because construction is an inherently project-based industry, many employers desire graduates with project management degrees. Project managers in the construction industry oversee the day-to-day operations at building sites. Job duties include estimating building costs, designing project schedules, and ensuring high-quality work. Successful candidates demonstrate contract negotiation and budget-management skills.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $58,000
  • Mid-Career: $73,000
  • Experienced: $81,000
  • Late Career: $84,000
IT Project Manager:
Project managers in the IT sector oversee the many moving parts of IT departments. They make sure that the software, hardware, engineering, and security experts on a given project all work toward compatible goals. These project managers should have advanced technological skills, including agile software development.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $70,000
  • Mid-Career: $87,000
  • Experienced: $100,000
  • Late Career: $110,000
Operations Manager:
These management professionals work in nearly every industry, overseeing daily operations in departments like sales, logistics, manufacturing, and storage. In addition, operations managers oversee budgets and ensure legal compliance. Their oversight helps ensure that all the parts of a business work in harmony to meet company goals.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $50,000
  • Mid-Career: $61,000
  • Experienced: $68,000
  • Late Career: $77,000
Content Manager:
Content managers oversee creative projects, particularly in marketing and search engine optimization campaigns. They manage the various creative professionals who contribute to those projects, including writers, graphic designers, editors, and web administrators. Content managers ensure deadlines are met and that projects stay on budget.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $48,000
  • Mid-Career: $59,000
  • Experienced: $72,000
  • Late Career: $83,000
Management Analyst:
Organizations in the private and public sectors hire management analysts to ensure efficiency, accuracy, and policy adherence among managers using strategic planning and project management skills. They analyze current operations and make recommendations for improvement. Management analysts often work as contractors.
Salary based on experience:
  • Entry Level: $59,000
  • Mid-Career: $70,000
  • Experienced: $73,000
  • Late Career: $79,000

Source: PayScale

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