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The Best Online Master's in Project Management

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Organizations in every industry need project managers to lead each phase of a project to ensure it meets business goals in a timely, cost-efficient manner.

An individual with a master’s in project management or an MBA in project management possesses the skills and knowledge companies in just about every industry seek. With more corporations turning to a project-based approach to meet goals and assign responsibilities, effective leaders in project management remain in demand.

An online MBA in project management degree allows working professionals and non–traditional students to enhance their business and management skills without sacrificing their schedule.

An online master of project management (MPM) curriculum varies by program. Some adhere to the Project Management Institute (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge guide, while others prepare students for Project Management Professional (PMP) or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification. Still others maintain their own focus and concerns.

Top 10 Online Master's in Project Management Programs 2020

#1 Georgetown University Washington, DC
#2 Northeastern University Global Network Boston, MA
#3 New York University New York, NY
#4 University of Maryland College Park, MD
#5 Boston University Boston, MA
#6 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
#7 American University Washington, DC
#8 George Washington University Washington, DC
#9 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
#10 Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ

The Best Online Master’s in Project Management Programs

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4

University of Maryland 

College Park, MD

About this school

The UMD’s A. James Clark College of Engineering offers 19 graduate degrees and certificates. This catalog includes an online master of engineering in project management. UMD caters to the career advancement needs of active architects and engineers. The comprehensive 30–credit degree plan provides technical training and teaches students how to apply strategic awareness and behavioral competence to the project cycle.

Students take five core classes on topics like project risk management, team management, and legal aspects of engineering design and construction. The remainder of the curriculum consists of 11 electives. The high level of degree flexibility sets the UMD program apart from conventional programs, including online MBA in management tracks.

As part of the program’s elective requirements, distance learners may pursue industrial robotics training, examining construction automation sensors, mobility bases, and building information modeling. They can also develop remote project management skills, which enable them to lead diverse teams and execute complex endeavors across borders. Part–time students earn master’s credentials in approximately three years.

Applicants need an accredited bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field with a minimum 3.0 GPA. This undergraduate training must include prerequisite classes in statistics, calculus, and differential equations. The school recommends that prospective students submit GRE scores.

Graduation Rate
85%
5

Boston University 

Boston, MA

About this school

BU’s Metropolitan College delivers an online master of science in project management that students can complete in 18–24 months. The program offers in–depth examinations of the project lifecycle, including conception, resource allocation, implementation, control, and assessment. Through a comprehensive degree plan, students learn how to manage complex global endeavors, consulting contracts, and specialized projects relating to information technology infrastructure and healthcare quality.

Candidates take 10 courses, totaling 40 credits. Core topics include global supply chains, financial concepts, and quantitative and qualitative decision–making. Students also pursue four specialized topics, including Agile project management. In this advanced class, students learn how to integrate Agile concepts with traditional project management tools and practices.

The curriculum also contains two electives, which students use to broaden their skill set. Unlike traditional online MBA in management programs, the BU degree does not require a capstone project. Students with certificates from the Project Management Institute can earn up to 45 professional development units by completing the master’s program.

The school offers six start dates each year. Applicants submit a self–evaluation essay, three recommendation letters, and a current resume or CV. The school does not require standardized test scores. Full–time students pay flat–rate tuition each semester, while part–time learners pay per credit based on course number. All online students benefit from the school’s financial aid offerings, including the Edgar B. Pitts Scholarship for candidates attending part time.

Graduation Rate
78%
6

University of Connecticut 

Storrs, CT

About this school

Through its School of Business, UConn delivers six graduate programs, including a hybrid master of science in business analytics and project management. Supported by the SAS Institute and the Project Management Institute, the UConn program trains students in the critical business theories and technical skills necessary to oversee information–rich projects and global enterprises. The school facilitates this master’s degree through a hybrid learning structure in which candidates take Blackboard–powered online classes and traditional coursework at the Stamford and Hartford campuses.

The 37–credit degree plan consists of nine required courses on such topics as predictive modeling, data mining and business intelligence, and project leadership. Students also take a perfunctory class on technical communication, learning to apply emotional intelligence, requirements gathering, and public speaking skills to business content and networking events. The remaining credits go toward guided and open electives, which students use to delve into advanced project management topics.

Alternatively, degree candidates can use elective hours to pursue coursework in an adjacent field. For example, MS candidates at UConn often take on experiential learning projects, a core feature of the school’s online MBA program. By pursuing coursework full time, students earn the business analytics and project management degree in three semesters.

Minimum admission requirements include an accredited bachelor’s degree earned with at least a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must demonstrate prerequisite training in calculus. UConn also requires GRE or GMAT results. State residents, nonresidents, and international students pay the same per–credit tuition rate.

Graduation Rate
83%
7

American University 

Washington, DC

About this school

Powered by Blackboard, AU provides six graduate certificates and 11 master’s programs to distance learners. The academic catalog includes an online master of science in Agile project management. Commonly, used in product development sectors, the Agile methodology bolsters organizational effectiveness through integrated and value–driven strategies. Students graduate from AU’s program with the ability to manage a project cycle, apply cross–cultural competencies, and engage diverse stakeholder needs.

AU structures the MS curriculum using an innovative professional studies experience model. Students take 30 credits of coursework in four phases: core, field professional, elective, and capstone. Required classes include project cost–benefit analysis and innovation through new technologies. Degree candidates also learn how to use quantitative and qualitative data analysis tools to facilitate evidence–based decision–making.

Learners choose one course among nine professionally aligned electives. Options include evaluation theories and principles, instructional design, and U.S. healthcare standards and systems. Students culminate their studies with a capstone project, working with faculty mentors to conceptualize, research, and write a business plan that applies Agile project management concepts and practices. They share this analytical report with a local organization, gaining feedback and strengthening network connections.

Admission materials include a personal statement, resume or CV, and two letters of recommendation. Applicants also need to complete a phone interview. AU does not require GRE or GMAT scores. Distance learners pay affordable per–credit tuition that disregards residency status. Degree candidates who take two classes each semester earn the degree in 20 months.

Graduation Rate
79%
8

George Washington University 

Washington, DC

About this school

GW has provided distance education opportunities since 1998. Today, the school delivers massive online open courses and remote graduate programs in 11 fields of study, including an online master of science in project management that full–time students can earn within 18 months. Part–time learners usually complete the program in 30–48 months.

The GW program teaches students project management core principles and team leadership skills and trains them in decision sciences and international business methodologies. Candidates take 36 credits in required topics, such as risk management, cost estimation and control, planning, and scheduling. Students choose two electives from a rotating list of curated options.

Online students culminate their academic training with a capstone experience. During the capstone project, students put their accumulated knowledge into practice by analyzing case studies and creating a professional handbook that applies project management best practices. Distance learners must visit the Washington, D.C. campus twice, once at the beginning of the program to connect with peers and once at the end for a week–long capstone residency.

The school facilitates fall admissions for online students, with the preferred candidate deadline set on December 15. Application materials include an up–to–date resume and two recommendation letters. Although GW does not set a minimum GPA requirement, the average graduate candidate boasts a 3.0. Applicants also must submit GRE or GMAT scores unless they meet waiver criteria.

Graduation Rate
81%
9

Brandeis University 

Waltham, MA

About this school

Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis University delivers 13 remote graduate programs through its Rabb School of Continuing Studies. This catalog includes a master of science in project and program management. Unlike traditional online MBA in project management tracks, the MS option reaches beyond the traditional concepts detailed in the Project Management Institute’s body of knowledge standards.

Students learn how to lead large–scale enterprises, set strategic goals, and manage stakeholder expectations. This engaging academic approach places Brandeis among the top 35 universities in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Totaling 30 credits, the degree plan consists of seven core classes. Required topics include project planning and cost management, conflict negotiation, and the human side of project leadership. Students also learn how to create measured communication plans that drive organizational change and adapt to global and virtual settings.

Upon completing perfunctory coursework, degree candidates pick three classes from designated elective options, like business requirements analysis and procurement and contract management. The Brandeis program does not require a capstone project or any campus visits. Distance learners take classes part time through the LATTE/Moodle platform, earning their credentials in about three years.

Brandeis maintains a rolling application deadline. Candidates must hold a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. Additional admission materials include a recommendation letter that details the applicant’s workplace achievements and a 500–word personal statement explaining professional goals. All online students pay one affordable per–credit tuition rate.

Graduation Rate
90%
10

Stevens Institute of Technology 

Hoboken, NJ

About this school

Established in 1870, Stevens is one of the oldest technological universities in the United States. Today, the school offers 20 graduate programs for distance learners, including an online master of business management in enterprise project management. The Stevens MBA trains students to serve as business leaders who direct multifunctional teams and make project–related decisions with long–term consequences.

To earn an MBA in project management, online students complete 30 credits of coursework in required areas like leadership development, project analytics, and portfolio management. They also learn how to navigate complex business challenges regularly found in cross–national partnerships and highly matrixed professional settings.

The Stevens program does not include internship or capstone requirements. Instead, degree candidates pursue four advanced classes in a chosen concentration. Options include general management, software engineering, and construction management.

Full–time students earn the MBA in one year. The university offers three admission dates annually, with standard deadlines set for January 15, March 1, and April 1. To apply, candidates submit academic transcripts displaying at least a B grade average, a resume, and two recommendation letters. Part–time students do not need to submit GRE/GMAT scores, but full–time candidates must submit test results. Stevens regularly invites prospective students to complete an interview before finalizing admission decisions.

Graduation Rate
83%
11

Colorado State University – Global 

Greenwood Village, CO

About this school

CSU Global offers 12 distance education degree options to graduate students, including an online master of science in project management. Students develop an innovative blend of business and technical skills, enabling them to manage complex global projects in cost–sensitive and deadline–driven business settings. The MS curriculum aligns with the body of knowledge standards created by the Project Management Institute, allowing graduates to pursue the institute’s project management professional certification.

The 36–credit degree plan consists of eight core classes in areas like operations management; project metrics, monitoring, and control; and business analyses. The school sets itself apart from other online colleges and universities by offering MS students 20 diverse specializations.

Learners can work as health leaders and educators by specializing in either population health or healthcare administration. Students can also prepare for careers in cybersecurity by pursuing specializations in fraud management, criminal justice leadership, or strategic digital information marketing.

All project management students complete an internship and capstone project at the end of the program. The former requirement enables learners to gain practical work experience under the guidance of industry experts. The latter requirement allows students to apply accumulated skills in a full–fledged project proposal and implementation plan.

Candidates must submit a personal essay, professional resume, and academic assessment. Students with a 3.0 GPA or higher can apply for unconditional admission, while learners with a GPA below this threshold can seek provisional admittance. The school charges an affordable tuition rate that ignores residency status and does not increase for the duration of a student’s enrollment.

Graduation Rate
69%
12

Virginia International University 

Fairfax, VA

About this school

Based in Fairfax, VIU delivers online degrees for distance students through the Canvas platform. The school offers 12 graduate degrees, including an online master of science in project management. The 36–credit VIU program trains students in progressive project elaboration techniques and analytical frameworks. Degree candidates gain multifunctional leadership skills that enable them to work in diverse industries, including construction, consulting management, information technology, and health services.

Students take 12 classes in the general management and project management cores. Required topics include managerial accounting and finance, marketing management, and contract and procurement. Degree candidates also delve into cross–cultural project leadership, learning how to organize resources and manage teams across global and corporate boundaries. Graduate training culminates with a thesis, in which students, through empirical research, integrate organizational resources, management processes, and business technology to actualize a project mission.

The VIU program accepts students from all academic and professional backgrounds. However, candidates without business experience must complete five prerequisite courses, including microeconomics and academic writing. The university delivers an optional exam preparation course for students pursuing the Project Management Institute’s project management professional certification.

The school offers six start dates every year. Application materials include official transcripts, recommendation letters, a resume or CV, and a personal statement. Candidates must demonstrate a minimum 2.5 GPA in previous coursework. They do not need to submit GRE or GMAT scores. International residents do not need to obtain a U.S. visa to enroll in the online project management program.

Graduation Rate
56%
13

Western Carolina University 

Cullowhee, NC

About this school

Located in Cullowhee, North Carolina, WCU delivers 18 remote certificates and degrees, including an online master of project management. This 30–36–credit program provides a broad planning and management perspective, enabling students to pursue positions in diverse industries and locations. Students learn from an international faculty, who all hold doctoral degrees and advanced certification from the Project Management Institute. The program boasts national acclaim, earning top rankings from the U.S. News & World Report for academic excellence and affordability.

Unlike other online project management programs, which use three–credit course structures, the WCU College of Business condenses its degree plan to six core classes. Students learn how to select, initiate, plan, and implement complex projects. They also develop the skills to successfully close out these endeavors, conducting audits and quality assurance tests for improvements. Furthermore, the curriculum examines advanced strategies, including enterprise–level portfolios, project maturity frameworks, and scholarly research and publication.

Students apply for fall or spring start dates, with respective deadlines set at July 31 and November 15. Candidates must demonstrate at least two years of relevant career experience on their resume or CV. Additional application materials include a professional recommendation, goal statement, and GRE/GMAT results. Each aspect of a student’s application adds up to a point total, with 10 representing the minimum score needed for admission. The school bases its low tuition rates on degree level and residency status.

Graduation Rate
59%
14

Regis University 

Denver, CO

About this school

Regis’ College of Business and Economics offers seven graduate degrees for distance learners. This selection includes an online master of science in project leadership and management. The Regis curriculum trains students to address complex business challenges through a framework of management values, leadership skills, and decision–making strategies. As one of the Project Management Institute’s registered education providers, Regis delivers training that aligns with global industry standards and certification requirements.

Online project management students take classes in accelerated eight–week sessions. This intensive format allows full–time candidates to earn the master’s degree in one year. The degree plan totals 30 credits and includes classes in business intelligence and analytics, team performance management, and project monitoring and delivery. Distance learners also complete a capstone experience centered on leading responsible organizations. Working with a local company, students create a project plan that supports organizational goals while taking into account the ethical and socioeconomic consequences of large–scale business decisions.

In addition to integrative academic training, Regis offers career resources for its online students. Through the Center for Career and Professional Development, students can access one–on–one resume and interview guidance. The center also sponsors networking events with the university’s industry partners and alumni.

Regis offers start dates in January, May, and August. To apply, candidates must submit degree–bearing transcripts, a current resume or CV, and an essay. Prospective students may also need to complete an interview. Regis evaluates applications holistically and does not set GPA minimums or GRE/GMAT score standards.

Graduation Rate
71%
15

Dallas Baptist University 

Dallas, TX

About this school

DBU facilitates 14 remote graduate degrees through the Blackboard learning management system. The school’s online offerings include an online master of business administration with a concentration in project management. Students develop the abilities to lead multifunctional teams through the project lifecycle. They learn how to define organizational goals, configure earned value, and terminate projects with respect to costs and deadlines.

To obtain an MBA in project management, online students complete 36 credits of core and concentration classes. Required coursework includes corporate finance, business ethics, and creative problem–solving in marketing decisions. Degree candidates finish the curriculum with an advanced project management strategy and simulation. This practical capstone experience enables students to oversee their own projects, making decisions affected by business risk and uncertainty.

The school offers MBA candidates the option to pursue dual concentrations by taking an additional 12 credits. Students can pair project management skills with training in areas like international business, finance, or healthcare management. Furthermore, learners may opt for a dual degree pathway, earning a master’s degree in 11 complimentary fields concurrently with an MBA.

Applicants must hold a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. DBU uses a holistic evaluation process that considers six interconnected criteria. The most successful MBA applicants display a minimum 3.0 GPA and a score of 425 on the GMAT. They also possess substantive career experience as project team members. Online students benefit from financial aid opportunities and one affordable tuition rate, regardless of residency status.

Graduation Rate
58%
16

University of Texas at Dallas 

Richardson, TX

About this school

Established in 1961, UT Dallas is a public research institution that supports more than 27,600 students annually. The comprehensive academic catalog contains on–campus and remote degree options, including a master of business administration with an emphasis in project management. Students can earn the MBA entirely online through Blackboard–powered asynchronous courses. They may also engage in hybrid learning by taking Friday and Saturday classes on campus.

The MBA degree plan totals 33 credits of fundamental business classes. Topics include financial and managerial accounting, statistics and data analysis, and global business enterprises. Students also take courses in a project management core, which covers initiation, planning, execution, control, and closeout strategies. Furthermore, learners engage in practical simulation, applying portfolio management and Agile methodologies to a project lifecycle.

Unlike other online MBA in management degrees, the UT Dallas program replaces capstone projects with student–led study trips. Candidates travel to a host country, taking classes with local students and engaging in project management activities with international companies. The itinerary also includes free time, which students use to learn about the host country’s culture and learn how businesses operate outside the United States.

The Naveen Jindal School of Management requires graduate candidates to submit an admission essay, a professional resume, and at least one recommendation letter. Prospective students also need to send in GMAT scores earned in the past five years. Full–time MBA students can apply for merit–based cohort and corporate scholarships.

Graduation Rate
69%
17

Lewis University 

Romeoville, IL

About this school

Based in Romeoville, Illinois, Lewis is a Catholic institution that offers five graduate degrees through its College of Business. Program options include an online master of science in project management that trains students to achieve strategic organizational objectives. The Lewis program covers broad scope management and resource allocation, enabling students to pursue careers in diverse industries like engineering, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, and educational resources.

The 36–credit degree plan includes required courses in quantitative business methods, cost estimation and control, and project portfolio management. Students also train in Six Sigma process improvements, a quality management framework that strengthens bottom–line profitability for organizations of all sizes. In addition to eight–week classes facilitated by Moodle, MS students must attend one weekend seminar on campus. This workshop centers on practical areas, like advanced oral communication and conflict negotiation.

The curriculum culminates in a capstone project in which students apply project management knowledge to initiate and execute a business endeavor. Graduates leave the program qualified to sit for the project management professional certification exam facilitated by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Students who already possess PMI certificates satisfy maintenance requirements because coursework at Lewis counts as professional development units.

To apply, candidates must hold a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree earned with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Additional admission materials include GMAT scores, two professional recommendations, and a current resume or CV. Lewis allows students to apply six transfer credits for prior college learning and career experience towards the degree.

Graduation Rate
67%
18

Liberty University 

Lynchburg, VA

About this school

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty stands as a leader in distance education, providing over 60 remote graduate degree opportunities. The academic catalog includes an online master of science in project management. This accelerated program teaches students to initiate and execute projects that are aligned with organizational strategies and industry best practices. Through eight–week classes, graduate students can earn the degree in 18 months.

Totaling 36 credits, the curriculum includes courses in supply chain management, project team leadership, and international business. The degree plan culminates with a capstone experience. In an applied case study activity, students integrate their knowledge of project planning, risk assessment, cost estimation, and evaluation.

Project management students also receive training in Agile methodologies, which emphasize short project cycles called sprints to engender continuous improvement of a product or service. Because Agile represents a leading concept in the business field, students with this training can sit for major certification and licensure exams, including opportunities provided by the Project Management Institute.

Liberty requires graduate candidates to possess a nationally or regionally accredited bachelor’s degree. To secure good standing, prospective students must submit transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA. The university does not officially ask for GRE or GMAT scores, but applicants can submit results to augment an inadequate GPA. Online students benefit from affordable per–credit tuition prices in addition to grant and scholarship opportunities. Distance learners may fulfill up to half of their degree requirements with transfer credits.

Graduation Rate
47%
19

Mississippi State University 

Mississippi State, MS

About this school

Mississippi State University ranks among the nation’s top 100 research colleges, and U.S. News & World Report ranks their online MBA program among the nation’s best. Those seeking business specialization choose the 36–credit MBA in project management.

All students in this program must complete basic business courses before progressing to core courses. The MBA core provides learners with advanced business skills in areas such as management, finance, and business information systems. A course in strategic management consulting establishes each learner as a consultant with a real client to build coveted business skills in improving an organization’s efficiencies and bottom line.

The nine–credit project management concentration focuses on industrial engineering courses. In addition to a course in project management, students customize their degrees by completing courses in enterprise systems engineering and process improvement engineering.

MSU offers MBA+, a module designed to help MBA students with their professional development in areas such as resume writing, dinner etiquette, and how to develop PowerPoint professional presentations. The school charges the same tuition regardless of in–state or out–of–state residency. Admission requires courses in accounting, statistics, and financial management with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Graduation Rate
58%
20

Golden Gate University 

San Francisco, CA

About this school

Golden Gate University boasts a devotion to educating nontraditional learners. In addition to four campuses, GGU offers most degrees online to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Students in the 33–credit MS in project management learn from instructors certified by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and prepare for PMI’s project management professional certification. They learn how to deploy effective tools and techniques such as Agile management and virtual teams to manage projects in today’s complex business environment.

GGU offers its online MS in project management completely online and in a hybrid format. A three–course core provides an introduction to project management, quality management, and managing innovation and technology. Students then study more advanced topics, such as Agile management for project managers, project planning and control, and portfolio management.

Students round off their education with six elective credits that focus on their business areas of interest, including how to lead complex change or negotiate in business dealings. Two elective courses explore the principles and theories used in modern–day entrepreneurship, in addition to developing business plans and strategies for new enterprises.

The program’s average class size of 14 students promotes personalized instruction. Learners pay the same tuition rate regardless of in–state or out–of–state residency. Admission to this online master’s in project management requires a foundation program in data analysis for managers.

Graduation Rate
56%
21

University of Wisconsin – Whitewater 

Whitewater, WI

About this school

Established more than 150 years ago, the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater serves more than 13,000 Warhawks on campuses in Whitewater and Rock Counties. U.S. News & World Report ranks UW–Whitewater’s MBA among the best online programs in the nation. Local project management experts developed the school’s 36–credit MBA with an emphasis in project management. UW–Whitewater holds status as a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider.

Each student completes an MBA core that provides advanced business training in areas such as operations management, financial management, and technology and information systems. A course in the required breadth sequence focuses on how to use communication strategies to persuade others and effectively deploy negotiation techniques. The nine–credit concentration develops students’ skills in sustainable management, quality issues, and disaster recovery and business continuity. A required capstone pairs students with a community partner with whom they plan, execute, and close a full project.

Program features include a 97% placement rate for graduates. Students complete their degrees online, on campus, or in a blended format. They learn from faculty members who boast Project Management Institute certification and project management experience. Graduates join a network of more than 30,000 alums who provide a forum for support and career connections. Admission to the online MBA in management requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and GRE or GMAT scores for some students.

Graduation Rate
62%
22

University of Michigan – Dearborn 

Dearborn, MI

About this school

Founded in 1959, the University of Michigan–Dearborn serves as one of two regional campuses in the U–M system. U–M Dearborn enrolls about 9,000 students, most of whom began their education elsewhere. The school ranks sixth on U.S. News & World Report’s list of master’s–level public colleges in the Midwest. U–M Dearborn’s distance learning programs include the MS in program and project management. The 30–credit program enrolls technical professionals from various fields such as IT, engineering, and healthcare.

This degree prepares learners for the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional exam. During the program, faculty members emphasize the application of theories and principles in real–world contexts. Core courses cover the fundamentals of project management, managing global projects, and engineering risk–benefit analysis.

A notable course examines human behavior within organizations, and how factors such as personality can shape effective decision–making. Learners customize their degrees with nine electives in subjects such as supply chain management and management for engineers. With advisor approval, learners may take electives outside of those offered.

Students choose either a capstone project or thesis to culminate this MS in program and project management. The asynchronous program allows learners to choose from fully online or hybrid formats. U–M Dearborn offers tuition scholarships for learners who live out of state. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree in a major such as business, engineering, or computer science; a minimum 3.0 GPA; and at least two years of work experience.

Graduation Rate
54%
23

University of Louisiana at Lafayette 

Lafayette, LA

About this school

With highly ranked programs and growing enrollment, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a world–class institution. U.S. News and World Report ranks UL Lafayette among the top national universities. A learner interested in a customized business degree can enroll in the MBA with a concentration in project management.

Students can complete the 33–credit program entirely online in as few as 15 months. The MBA core cultivates learners’ business skills in operational areas such as data analysis, managerial economics, and management of information technology. The concentration uses 12 credits to focus on project management I and II, organizational behavior and leadership, and analytical methods for planning and control.

Faculty members deliver the program using accelerated eight–week courses. Students pay the same tuition rate regardless of in–state or out–of–state residency. They pay nothing for books because of UL Lafayette’s commitment to the use of ePublications and participation in the Open Educational Resources Degree Initiative. The school offers multiple start dates to accommodate the needs of busy professionals. Admission requires a minimum 2.5 GPA, the GMAT, and at least three years of relevant work experience — with waivers available for learners with higher GPA scores.

Graduation Rate
44%
24

University of Kansas 

Lawrence, KS

About this school

The University of Kansas enrolls about 28,000 students on five campuses. The school consistently discovers breakthroughs in fields such as technology and engineering. KU offers more than 50 nationally ranked graduate degrees — several delivered fully online or in a hybrid format. Students complete the MS in project management at the Edwards Campus or online.

The 33–credit program requires a 12–credit core that covers subjects such as financial management and innovation and change management. The asynchronous program requires four courses that focus exclusively on project management fundamentals. Students use six elective credits to pursue areas of interest such as risk management for project managers and management of global projects.

An elective course examines Lean Six Sigma principles and practices, examining how managers use them to reduce waste, enhance workplace organization, and other outcomes that improve projects. Faculty members introduce learners to the consulting arena with an elective course that analyzes the sector’s unique characteristics, standards of performance, and regulations. Students in the online MS in project management culminate the course by completing an applied workforce project that benefits their employer; they complete a final report and present their findings to the faculty and, ideally, an employer representative.

The school offers comprehensive financial aid such as loans and scholarships. When they meet certain criteria, learners in Missouri pay in–state tuition under the MetroKC Rate. Admission requires official transcripts and the GRE, which the school waives in some cases.

Graduation Rate
63%
25

Concordia University – Nebraska 

Seward, NE

About this school

One in a nine–school system, Concordia University–Nebraska is a college affiliated with the Lutheran Church — Missouri Synod. The school’s distinctions include ranking on the U.S. News & World Report’s lists of best regional colleges and best value schools in the Midwest. A leader in distance education, Concordia offers an MBA with a concentration in project management that students complete entirely online or in a hybrid format. The 36–credit curriculum emphasizes business ethics, business operations, and project management skills.

The MBA core focuses on skill building in areas such as operations management, corporate finance, and financial analysis for decision–making. The nine–credit concentration covers project management, business analytics, and business analysis and modeling using financial statements. Learners leave the program equipped with knowledge of the best practices that promote strong leadership. The online MBA also harnesses sound decision–making and written and oral communication skills.

Faculty members deliver the MBA using eight–week courses and allow students to study at their own pace. Students learn from instructors with diverse backgrounds and opt to study independently or in a group. The school’s support services include research librarians who can assist off–campus students through the Concordia Link Library. Concordia University–Nebraska may accept graduate transfer credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a case–by–case basis. Students pay the same tuition regardless of in–state or out–of–state residency. Admission requires no GRE or GMAT.

Graduation Rate
66%
👏

End of list, bravo!

Ranking Methodology
Best Online Programs

Online Master's in Project Management Programs Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

What is Project Management?

Many companies use a project–based approach to setting and accomplishing organizational goals and achieving growth. To meet these goals, companies often employ a project manager to lead projects and project teams. While project teams use a variety of specialists, each with unique and significant tasks, project managers possess a broader background that incorporates knowledge from many of these specialized fields. The best project managers can effectively organize, plan, lead, and execute a project, directing the team through the process and ensuring the project meets the deadline and satisfies the investors.

What Are the Differences Between a Project Manager and Scrum Master?

While a project manager leads projects as a whole, a scrum master specifically leads the project team, ensuring the team stays on task, on schedule, on budget, and productively works toward its goal. While project managers lead a project team, their job includes other, larger responsibilities as well, such as awareness of ethical and legal concerns, mediation between the company and the client, presentation of the project to the company, and resource management.

Part of a project manager’s job may involve hiring a scrum master to manage the team on a day–to–day basis while the project manager tends to other tasks. The scrum master maintains accountability for the team, but not accountability of the overall project. This falls to the responsibility of the project manager.

What is a Master in Project Management Degree?

A master in project management degree prepares students to pursue careers as leaders in a variety of fields, specifically in regards to organizing, directing, and executing projects. The best programs for this degree incorporate a healthy blend of theoretical and practical knowledge. They convey to students a strong foundation in all aspects and factors relevant to project management, including planning and execution, personnel management, and negotiation and mediation.

Subjects students in an MBA in project management online degree program might pursue include:

  • Information risk in project management
  • Cost–benefit analysis for a specific company
  • Evaluation of quality of change in a company over time
  • Planning a project for change in a company
  • Planning a new product investigation
  • Project management in the global economy
  • Franchise expansion or acquisition and its effect on profitability
  • Ethical and legal concerns for project management in foreign markets

The Advantages of a Master’s Degree in Project Management

Individuals who earn a master’s in project management online work in various fields and positions. In every industry, projects need managing. If you love film or photography, pursue a position as a project manager for a creative agency. If you possess an interest in architecture and construction, work as a project manager on a new development site.

Earning a master’s degree can open doors for higher–level management positions. For example, individuals with just a bachelor’s degree typically only qualify for project coordinator positions rather than project manager positions. Bachelor’s degrees provide foundational knowledge about a industry, but earning a master’s in project management online allows you to learn the ins and outs of overseeing projects from the comfort of your home.

If you’re still not convinced that earning a master’s degree is right for you, look at how much more you can make with an MBA in project management compared to a bachelor’s degree.

Online Master’s in Project Management Programs

Online MBA project management programs differ from traditional programs, but many students find the format convenient. Individuals remotely complete their degrees at their own pace, a flexible format ideal for busy professionals and working parents. In an online program, students complete homework, write on discussion boards, and sometimes watch video lectures. Most online programs allow students to take unsupervised timed tests.

Self–motivated students often find success with asynchronous learning. In this format, students move at their own pace and communicate with other students and professors via online discussion boards and email. However, students who lag behind in self–discipline might find more success with synchronous learning. This learning format requires students to attend online lectures and chats at specific times and can provide structure, immediate feedback, and stricter deadlines. Some students find this format too restrictive, while others love the dependable routine.

Choosing an Online Project Management Graduate Program

When it comes to choosing a master’s in online project management program, find a school that best fits your needs. Find an accredited program that offers coursework which aligns with your future career. Keep in mind that in–state programs generally cost less than out–of–state programs, though some online programs will charge in–state rates for all students.

  • Program Cost: Higher cost doesn’t always mean higher quality, so don’t automatically write off a school as unreliable if it’s affordable. In fact, most state schools maintain high–quality standards but offer students reduced tuition thanks to state funds.
  • Transfer Policies: Before enrolling in a master’s in project management online program, make sure the program maintains a transfer agreement. Some students change their minds mid–program, so attending a school with transferable credits presents an advantage. Check to see whether each school possesses accreditation: regionally accredited programs allow for easy transfers between institutions, while nationally accredited schools do not.
  • School Size and Type: If you crave one–on–one attention from your professors, attending a smaller college allows for this interaction. Public schools tend to accept more students and maintain larger class sizes, but tuition at public schools is often more affordable. To guide your decision, consider whether a cheaper price or smaller class size is more important to you.
  • Program Length: Online master’s programs vary in pace. Some programs offer full– and part–time options. Students who work full–time jobs tend to choose part–time programs. Part–time programs last four years on average. Full–time programs move at a faster pace, which is why students usually only work part–time jobs during their studies.
  • On–Campus Requirements: When researching online schools for your master’s program, pay attention to the on–campus requirements. If you want to complete your degree remotely, don’t choose a program that requires in–person exams or lectures.
  • Thesis, Fellowship, and Work Requirements: Some programs require a thesis, fellowship, or work study. While you can complete a thesis from the comfort of home, you might need hands–on experience in the workplace through a fellowship or work study, so ensure you can fulfill these requirements with local organizations or businesses.

Accreditation for Online Project Management Graduate Degrees

As you research online project management programs, pay attention to accreditation. Accredited schools receive regular assessments from private agencies that the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education deem reliable. Schools should list whether they possess regional or national accreditation. If you don’t see the accreditation listed online, a school might not hold accreditation. For regional accreditation, an accrediting agency reviews schools in a certain U.S. region. Schools with national accreditation receive their assessment from agencies certified to accredit schools anywhere in America.

You should also ensure your desired school boasts programmatic accreditation for project management. The Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs is the field’s leading accrediting agency.

How Long Does It Take to Complete an Online Master in Project Management Degree Program?

On average, full–time students complete an online master’s in project management program in just two years. Part–time students complete the degree in about four years. If you want to complete your degree faster, look for an accelerated program. These programs typically allow students to take more credits per semester. Course length remains typically shorter but faster to cover all the necessary material.

With rising tuition costs, completing your degree in a timely manner can save you money. In order to graduate on time, full–time students must take around 30 credits per year. Part–time students must take 15 credits per year. Choose a pace that works with your lifestyle.

Courses in an Online Master’s in Project Management Program

Project Management Overview

This course offers a bird’s–eye view of the program. This course quickly covers the basics of project management and provides students with project management background knowledge that comes in handy in later courses.

Project Management Technology

In this class, students learn how to use project management software to keep projects on track. Certain industries, such as engineering, require more advanced software, while fields such as marketing only require basic software that keeps employees on track with due dates.

Project Budgeting

If you dislike math, you may not enjoy project management since the field requires budgeting. Most online programs include an entire class that teaches project estimate and budgeting techniques. Luckily, with the right software, many professionals budget with ease after taking this course.

Effective Leadership

To succeed as a project manager, you must rise as an effective leader. Students in effective leadership courses learn to delegate and motivate employees to reach a common goal. This class also covers best practices for hiring and firing employees.

Project Analysis

In this class, students learn how to analyze projects. The course teaches students how to determine a project’s scope and determine what needs to happen to achieve the project’s goal. Upon completion, students should also know how to evaluate a project’s quality and how to problem–solve.

Project Management Certifications

What is PMP Certification?

Like certification in any field, Project Management Certification provides professionals with a stamp of quality that opens up career opportunities and higher potential salaries. With the PMP certification from the PMI, students enjoy a better chance at career success in project management. Maintenance of PMP certification requires ongoing learning and achievement, and certified professionals must earn 60 professional development units every three years.

PMP Certification Requirements

Some master of project management degree programs offer curricula certified by the PMI or designed to PMP standards. These programs also help students meet the certification’s basic requirements. The requirements include:

Secondary degree

  • 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

Four–year degree

  • 4,500 hours leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

In order to get PMP certification, students must meet the prerequisite criteria and apply to take the certification exam through the PMI.

Master Certificate in Project Management

A master certificate in project management takes no more than a year to complete, and though not as lengthy or comprehensive as a full–blown master’s degree, a master certificate in project management provides a general overview of the subject. Whether earned after a student has returned to school, or as a complementary addition to a full master’s degree in a relevant field, a certificate provides students some extra qualification to enter or advance in project management, and presents a step toward a master’s degree.

What Can You Do With a Master’s Degree in Project Management?

Construction Manager

These professionals oversee the building of roads, buildings, bridges, and other structures. Before starting the job, they create a plan for each project stage and make sure each task gets completed on time.

Entry Level:

$59,000

Mid-Career:

$73,000

Experienced:

$80,000

Late Career:

$88,000

Engineering Manager

These individuals ensure that engineering projects get completed on time and stay on budget. They also train new and current employees on the latest industry advances.

Entry Level:

$114,000

Mid-Career:

$141,000

Experienced:

$153,000

Late Career:

$154,000

Marketing Manager

These professionals often manage several marketing projects at once, whether it’s a social media campaign or influencer event. They manage marketing efforts for entire brands or single projects.

Entry Level:

$54,000

Mid-Career:

$67,000

Experienced:

$74,000

Late Career:

$79,000

Production Manager

These individuals often work in the film industry and enhance a film project’s production workflow. They plan and implement all production process stages and assess content for quality.

Entry Level:

$47,000

Mid-Career:

$56,000

Experienced:

$73,000

Late Career:

$72,000

Source: PayScale

Project Management Membership Associations

The best project managers commit to lifelong learning. By joining professional organizations and surrounding yourself with other successful project managers, you stay inspired and on top of the latest project management trends. Most professional organizations offer networking opportunities, training webinars, exclusive job boards, and other membership perks.

American Management Association

The AMA serves as a resource for business managers and project managers. The association offers educational management trainings and seminars to help managers develop their leadership skills.

Association for Project Managers

The APM provides members with knowledge about the latest project management trends by hosting workshops and seminars. This organization remains primarily for project managers who work in the engineering or architectural industries.

International Leadership Association

By joining ILA, professionals learn how to motivate employees to succeed and work towards a common goal. The group offers members access to exclusive leadership–focused publications and journals.

International Project Management Association

IPMA, which consists of 70 member associations across the world, helps projects managers earn certifications and glean useful insight through conferences. The IPM–USA is as the IPMA association for the United States.

Project Management Institute

PMI also provides project managers with certification opportunities. Join your local PMI chapter to network with local professionals, learn from industry experts, and gain access to exclusive webinars.

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