Last Updated: April 12, 2021
Earning a master's degree in project management can lead to lucrative job opportunities in various fields. Project managers lead teams and meet goals using skills in resource management, business analysis, and problem-solving. These professionals implement technological solutions and help improve organizational efficiency.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects employment for project management professionals to increase 6% from 2019-2029, which exceeds the projected growth for all occupations.
According to a survey by the Project Management Institute (PMI), project managers in the United States earn a median salary of $116,000 per year.
Busy students often pursue an online master's in project management. Distance learning formats provide flexibility for learners with professional and personal commitments. This guide explores careers for project management degree-holders, scholarship opportunities, and the best online master's programs available.
The 10 Best Online Project Management Degrees
|1||University of Texas Dallas||Richardson, TX|
|2||Boston University||Boston, MA|
|3||Stevens Institute of Technology||Hoboken, NJ|
|4||Pennsylvania State University-World Campus||University Park, PA|
|5||College of St. Scholastica||Duluth, MN|
|6||Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, NC|
|7||Northeastern University||Boston, MA|
|8||Missouri University of Science & Technology||Rolla, MO|
|9||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide||Daytona Beach, FL|
|10||Wright State University||Dayton, OH|
What Is Project Management?
Project management positions require strong communication and organization skills. Professionals in the field oversee every stage of project completion, including planning and follow up. These individuals often manage deadlines and budgets while developing strategies to meet organizational goals. Depending on their position, project managers may handle multiple projects simultaneously.
Project managers often spend a lot of time corresponding with coworkers and investors; a typical workday may include several meetings spread throughout the day. Depending on their position and industry, project managers may need to travel and coordinate with several groups. For example, project managers in the construction industry often travel between building sites to check on progress and update on-site leaders about any design changes.
After earning a master's degree in project management, graduates can pursue entry-level positions in the field. Project managers with several years of experience often secure roles as consultants, portfolio managers, and directors of project management departments.
According to BLS data, approximately 1,361,800 professionals worked in project management in 2019.
Earning a master's degree in project management can also prepare students to obtain the project management professional (PMP) credential. PMP candidates must pass an exam from PMI. In a 2020 PMI survey, 82% of project management professionals reported having PMP certification. PMP-holders reported a higher median salary than project managers without the credential.
Why Get a Project Management Master's?
Students earning a master's in project management gain knowledge and skills that can lead to promotions and increased job prospects. While a bachelor's degree meets the minimum education requirement for entry-level roles in the field, a master's degree can help job candidates stand out and qualify for advanced positions.
Graduate programs help students develop soft and hard skills necessary to succeed in project management positions. Master's-level curricula also introduce students to emerging software and technology in the field. The list below highlights a few common benefits of completing a project management master's program.
- Individualized Management Methods: Master's programs in the field help learners develop an understanding of business operations and gain leadership skills. Degree-seekers study a variety of managerial methods and prepare to apply the most appropriate techniques for each situation.
- Current Trends: Graduate programs in project management cover emerging trends and methods in the field. For example, programs typically prepare learners for the PMP exam and should feature curricula incorporating recent changes to the exam.
- Specialized Skills: Master's students explore niche topics while becoming familiar with advanced project management techniques. Learners often earn a specialization, which can improve their competitiveness for positions.
Ranking the Top 10 Online Master's Degrees in Project Management
#1 University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management – Richardson, Texas
The University of Texas at Dallas is a four-year, public university that was founded in 1969. They currently offer over 130-degree programs to over 26,000 students each year.Among the seven highly esteemed schools at UT Dallas, is the highly acclaimed Naveen Jindal School of Management. The Jindal School of Management offers two degrees for master's students interested in the project management field, the Master's of Science in Management and Administrative Sciences with an emphasis in Project Management and the Master's of Business Administration with an emphasis in Project Management. Both programs have met the rigorous standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center (GAC), the world's leading association for project management professionals. In order to apply prospective students will need to fill out a convenient online application which will include submission of college transcripts, GMAT/GRE scores, one letter of recommendation, current resume, and fulfilling a possible interview requirement.
Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score:100.00
#2 Boston University Metropolitan College – Boston, Massachusetts
Students of Boston University's Metropolitan College can earn a convenient and fully online master's degree in the field of project management. The University holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. The Metropolitan College carries additional credentials from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In addition to excellent accreditations, BU's Metropolitan College is currently listed #10 by US News and World Report's Best Business Schools ranking and the University itself is included on the Princeton Review's list of Best Northeastern Colleges. The Master's of Science in Project Management program is flexibly formatted and priced at an average rate of between $20,000 and $29,999. The program is focused on allowing students to understand and experience all areas of project management including project conception, planning, budgeting, resource allocation, and implementation. This attention to detail and experience-based learning method makes Boston University's MS in Project Management a great choice for anyone looking to expand their career in a relevant way.
Boston University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university that was founded in 1839 as the Newbury Biblical Institute. Over the years, Boston University has grown in both prestige and size. Today, BU offers over 250 fields of study, on two campuses, through 17 schools and colleges, to over 32,000 students each year. Within Boston University's Metropolitan College students can find an online master's degree related to the high demand field of project management. The Master's of Science program in Project Management has met the meticulous standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center (GAC), the world's leading association for project management professionals. Those interested in applying to BU's online project management program are encouraged to contact an enrollment advisor for more information and fill out an online application.
Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 98.80
#3 Stevens Institute of Technology School of Business – Hoboken, New Jersey
Stevens Institute of Technology is currently listed among the Top 25 Most Innovative Schools in the nation by US News and World Report. This distinction carries through to the School of Business which offers a unique online Master's of Business Administration program with a concentration in Project Management. Along with recognition for innovation, SIT is also recognized as one of the Best Northeastern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review and holds regional accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The College of Business holds exceptional accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and was also ranked #26 by US News and World Report in their Best Business Schools category. While the price point of between $50,000 to $99,999 for the MBA program at Stevens Institute of Technology is expensive in comparison to other universities on our list, Payscale.com recently ranked SIT #10 in the nation for 20-year net return on investment, with financial aid, for graduates in the 2017 College ROI Report. This technology-driven online MBA in project management is an investment that will help students reach both their short and long-term goals.
Stevens Institute of Technology is a four-year, private, not-for-profit, research university that was founded in 1870. Stevens consists of three schools and one college, and offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs to over 6,600 students annually. Within SIT's Wesley J. Howe School of Management, students can earn an online Master's of Business Administration degree with a concentration in project management. This program met standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center (GAC), the world's leading association for project management professionals. Prospective students can apply by filling out an online application and submitting a resume reflecting a preferred two years of work experience, two letters of recommendation, official transcripts from all universities previously attended, official conferment of bachelor's degree and competitive GMAT/GRE scores.
Affordability Score: Very Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 88.09
#4 Penn State-World Campus Behrend College – University Park, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus gives students an opportunity to earn an elite online Master's degree in Project Management that is highly accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of business. In addition, Penn State is a Project Management Institute Registered Education Provider, this recognition is a reflection of the high level of education in project management that students will receive. PSU-World Campus' 30 credit hour interdisciplinary MPM program provides students with a thorough understanding of project management theory and practice. The program's well-constructed degree plan follows the curriculum found in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge. Core courses in this program include relevant topics such as Project Management, Cost and Value Management, Planning and Resource Management, Commercial Law and Project Procurement, Organizations, and Interpersonal and Group Behavior. In addition to the base curriculum, students can also tailor their degree to meet their interest by choosing from four career tracks including enterprise architecture, enterprise resource planning (ERP) with SAP software, independent study for a creative research project, based on a current project management issue in your organization, and supply chain management. With average pricing between $30,000 and $44,999, why not start today?
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus is the online campus of Penn State, a four-year, public, university that has carried a history of excellence since 1855. Penn State was one of the premier distance learning universities and has been offering distance courses for over 100 years. This innovative university was also one of the first major colleges to offer online education options. The online courses through Penn State World Campus are the same academically challenging courses taught on campus. Penn State's Behrend College offers graduate students a Master's of Project Management that is highly regarded and 100% online. In order to apply students will need to fill out an online application and submit official transcripts from each university attended, GMAT or GRE scores-with GMAT being the preferred method of assessment, two references, and a statement of purpose.
Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 78.64
#5 College of St. Scholastica School of Business and Technology – Duluth, Minnesota
Students enrolled at the College of St. Scholastica can earn an exceptional and 100% online Master's of Science in Project Management. The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the School of Business and Technology is approved as a Registered Education Provider by the Project Management Institute. CSS is currently listed among the Best Midwestern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review and offers students an affordable tuition rate of $15,000 to $29,999.This 37 credit hour MS in Project Management program delivers a curriculum rich in leadership, change management, and technology while focusing on the skills to initiate, plan, monitor, control, and navigate projects from start to finish. A few of the courses within this well-designed program include Leadership Communications, Strategic Decision Making, Procurement and Budget Management, Project Risk and Quality Management, and Organizational Change Leadership. Along with a great degree plan, courses at the College of St. Scholastica are taught by faculty with advanced degrees, PMP certification and many years of professional work experience.
The College of St. Scholastica is a four-year, private not-for-profit, Catholic college that was founded in 1912. Today, the College of St. Scholastica has eight locations and enrolls over 4,300 students in its on-campus and online programs each year. St. Scholastica's School of Business and Technology offers an online Master's of Science in Project Management that is well respected and sure to meet the needs of busy working professionals. Those interested in applying to this distinguished online program can complete the program's application and should be ready to submit a 500 word essay that describes experiences in the project environment, career plans and how you plan to use this degree to fulfill your career goals, and why you decided to apply for the Master's of Science in Project Management at The College of St. Scholastica. Additional submissions will include official college transcripts and contact information for two references.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 78.50
#6 Western Carolina University College of Business – Cullowhee, North Carolina
Western Carolina University's College of Business has a long-standing history of excellence in project management. In fact, WCU first program to be accredited by the Project Management Institute, the world's leading association for project management professionals. Additionally, Western Carolina University's MPM was the first program accepted as a PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management. This two-year program is designed for experienced project management professionals and carries esteemed accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. Courses within this program include a variety of topics such as Fundamentals of Project Management, Project Selection and Initiation, Project Planning, Project Plan and Implementation, Project Execution and Closeout, and Advanced PM Practices. Along with being highly qualified in the field of project management, WCU is currently ranked #52 on US News and World Report's list of the Best Business Schools in the nation. What makes Western Carolina University really stand out is the fact that this highly qualified program is very affordable, with tuition costs between $0 and $14,999K.
Western Carolina University is a four-year, public, university that was founded in 1889. They are a proud member of the greater University of North Carolina System. Over the past century, WCU has grown to serve over 10,800 students in 48 states around the country and 35 countries around the world. West Carolina University offers a variety of bachelor's through doctoral degrees and the College of Business and Graduate School gives students an opportunity to earn an online Master's of Project Management degree that is instructed by a highly academically qualified and professionally experiencedâ¯international faculty. The admissions process for WCU's MPM program is set up on a points system. Students will receive a set amount of points for years of work experience, undergraduate GPA, GMAT/GRE scores, as well as, three additional qualifiers.
Affordability Score: Very Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 77.48
#7 Northeastern University College of Professional Studies – Boston, Massachusetts
Northeastern University's College of Professional Studies offers two highly respected Master's of Science degrees related to project management. The University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education and is also currently recognized by the Princeton Review as one of the best Northeastern Colleges in the United States. Within the College of Professional Studies students can choose from a Master's of Science in Project Management degree and a Master's of Science in Leadership with Project Management specialization. Both programs have met the rigorous standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center, the world's leading association for project management professionals. Both programs are 45 credits in length and can be completed in about two years on a full-time basis. The Master's of Science in Project Management degree focuses on project definition, cost and risk estimation, scheduling, budget management, negotiation and conflict resolution, and project presentation and evaluation. While NEU's Master's of Science in Leadership degree with a Project Management specialization is focused on building and strengthening leadership skills by including topics such as management, ethics, strategic thinking, and organizational culture. Both programs are an excellent choice for students wishing to advance in the field of project management, especially because Northeastern University offers these degrees at an affordable price point of $15,000 to $29,999.
Northeastern University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit, research university that was founded in 1898. Northeastern offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs through nine colleges and schools at three campuses, to over 20,000 students annually. The College of Professional Studies offers students two comprehensive project management related degrees. The online Master's of Science in Project Management and online MS in Leadership with project management specialization are both well respected among the education community. In order to apply to either program, students will need to complete an online application which will need to include a 500-1,000 word statement of purpose, professional resume, two letters of recommendation, official undergraduate degree documentation, and transcripts from all universities previously attended.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 76.44
#8 Missouri University of Science & Technology College of Arts, Sciences, and Business – Rolla, Missouri
Missouri University of Science & Technology is a four-year, public, university that was founded in 1870 as the University of Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy. Missouri S&T offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees to over 8,600 students annually. In addition to the on-campus degree programs available, the University offers distance and continuing education programs, including a Master's of Science in Information Science and Technology with a specialization in Project Management. Prospective students who are interested in joining this well-established program will need to submit an online application which will include a statement of purpose, transcripts reflecting a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher, GMAT/GRE scores, a current and professional resume, and information for three references.
Affordability Score: Average
TMD Ranking Score: 75.58
#9 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide College of Business – Daytona Beach, Florida
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide offers programs that have met the rigorous standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center, the world's leading association for project management professionals. The University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and the College of Business holds additional accreditation through the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. US News and World Report also currently has Embry-Riddle in the #55 spot on their Best Business School ranking. The University's MS in Project Management offers graduate students a solid foundation in project management by exploring relevant concepts, such as effective communication, the anatomy of project organizations, leadership in a variety of settings, and assessing risks. The online MSPM program also allows students to choose nine hours worth of elective courses in the areas of Aviation and Aerospace, Management, Leadership, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Financial Management, Systems Engineering, Information Systems, Technical Management, Global Management, or Human Resource Management. Even the most budget-conscious students can feel comfortable making an investment in their future with Embry-Riddle's affordable tuition cost of between $15,000 and $29,999.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university in scenic Daytona Beach. Embry-Riddle was founded in 1925, today, the University offers a wide array of educational programs to a total student enrollment of over 14,000 students each year. ERAU Worldwide's online programs and over 130 Worldwide locations allow students the flexibility to learn at a campus near them or from the comfort of their own home. There are a wide variety of online programs available, including a Master's of Science in Project Management that is offered through the well respected College of Business. Those interested in applying to this top-notch MSPM are encouraged to submit an online application and have official transcripts from all universities attended sent to ERAU.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 74.23
#10 Wright State University Raj Soin College of Business – Dayton, Ohio
The Raj Soin College of Business, at Wright State University, has earned accreditation in both business and accountancy by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. This makes them one out of 182 schools in the world to hold this elite recognition. The University itself is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was recently listed among the Best Midwestern Colleges in the United States by the Princeton Review. The online MBA with a concentration in Project Management is a cohort-based program with an atmosphere of collaboration. This 33 credit-hour program was built with the working professional and mind and can be completed on a part-time basis in a little over two years. Before starting the core courses, students must show aptitude in a few foundation topics with appropriate business prerequisites in the past seven years, as well as, passing a few placement exams. The degree consists of core business management courses, concentration courses, and a capstone course. After finishing the core business management courses, students can choose from one of ten concentrations to tailor their degree, including a Project Management concentration. Within this track, students will have relevant discussions and hands-on opportunities to manage projects and meet time, cost, and performance objectives. Wright State offers award-winning programs at one of the most affordable tuition rates in Ohio, as well as, the United States. When compared to other universities in our ranking Wright State has an affordable cost, with tuition rates between $15,000 and $29,999.
Wright State University is a four-year, public, university that was named after Orville and Wilbur Wright. To this day the University continues this tradition of innovation. Wright State offers over 230 undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and professional degree programs, through 11 schools and colleges, to over 16,600 students annually. The Raj Soin College of Business offers a fully online and well received online MBA with a concentration in Project Management. Admissions into this competitive MBA program is limited and the Graduate School has fall, spring, and summer application deadlines. An official GMAT score of at least 400 is required for admission, but a GRE score can be submitted as a substitute. Students with six or more years of executive management and leadership experience may request a GMAT waiver. Additionally, prospective students will need to submit undergraduate transcripts reflecting a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 74.03
#11 Granite State College Office of Graduate Studies – Concord, New Hampshire
Granite State College offers students an online Master's of Science in Project Management that is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs. This recognition shows the college's commitment to excellence in the field of project management. Additionally, the University's online graduate business programs currently hold the #63 spot on US News and World Report's list of the Best Business Schools in the nation. The program consists of 30-credit hours of coursework covering a variety of topics such as leadership, general management, and the process of working through projects from their inception. The University boasts of being the most affordable four-year college in the state. When compared to other universities on our list we would agree that their pricing of between $15,000 and $29,999 is quite affordable. The national acclaim of Granite States programs, combined with the affordability, make MBA a solid choice for prospective students.
Granite State College is a four-year, public institution, sitting in the capital city of Concord, New Hampshire. Since its founding in 1972, Granite State has been focused on providing an exceptional education to working adults. Today, they offer undergraduate and graduate degrees on-campus and online at an affordable tuition rate. The University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education, and serves a close-knit student body of over 2,100 students each year. The online Master's of Science in Project Management offered through the Office of Graduate Studies is a great way for students to advance their career while still maintaining a work, life, and school balance. Granite State accepts applications on a rolling basis for most programs. Applicants must submit an application form, official transcripts, resume, two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and hold a bachelor's degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA average.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 70.85
#12 Colorado State University-Global Campus School of Management and Innovation – Greenwood Village, Colorado
Colorado State University-Global Campus offers students an online degree with a history of excellence behind it. The University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is also listed among the Best Western Colleges in the United States. The School of Management and Innovation is currently ranked #62 on US News and World Report's Best Business Schools ranking. Their 36 credit hour online MPM provides an opportunity for students to sharpen their strategy, planning, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills and apply them to real-life scenarios. This program also encourages students to choose from a variety of specializations to customize the program to their interests. Several of the specializations available are Accounting, Business Intelligence, Finance, Cyber Security, and Organizational Leadership and Change Management. Tuition rates at Colorado State University-Global Campus are affordable compared to others on our ranking with a cost between $15,000 and $29,999. The affordable tuition rates and exceptional program flexibility, make this MPM a perfect fit for adults wanting to advance their career in the high demand field of Project Management.
Established in 2007, CSU-Global is the official online campus of the public Colorado State University System. The University now stands as an elite member of the greater Colorado State University System. This campus was the very first independent, fully accredited, 100% online university in the country. CSU-Global offers bachelor's and master's degree programs to over 11,000 students annually. The School of Management and Innovation offers graduate students an online Master's in Project Management degree in a convenient format. In order to apply students simply need to complete an online application and submit official transcripts from all universities attended.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 70.57
#13 George Washington University School of Business – Washington, District of Columbia
George Washington University's School of Business holds distinguished accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and is currently ranked #22 on US News and World Report's Best Business Schools in the nation. The University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and is recognized on the Princeton Review's list of the Best Northeastern Colleges in the United States. GWU's online Master's of Science in Project Management is a 36-credit hour program that combines core principles of project management with additional administration focused leadership training. A few of the courses within this program include Risk Management, Cost Estimation and Control, Planning and Scheduling, Project Portfolio Management, Project Management Finance, and Executive Decision-Making. The cost of tuition at GWU is expensive with an overall price point of between $45,000 and $69,999. However, the University's reputation of excellence, prime location, and networking potential, all make this a project management degree worth considering.
George Washington University is a four-year, private, not-for-profit university that was founded in 1821. Because of its location just four-blocks from the White House, George Washington University offers an extraordinary experience to students with guest lecturers, networking contacts, and insight into our nation's institutions and leaders. Whether students take classes on-campus or online, GWU students are placed right at the center of economic and political knowledge and practical global business lessons from the same professors. George Washington University offers multiple degree options at the graduate level, including a well rounded and fully online Master's of Science in Project Management. In order to apply to this dynamic program, students are encouraged to submit an online application, official transcripts, a current and professional resume.
Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 69.79
#14 George Mason University School of Business – Fairfax, Virginia
George Mason University offers an elite online Master's of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Project Management through their highly accredited School of Business. The University holds regional accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges, and the School of Business also maintains prestigious accreditation through the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The School of Business currently holds the #63 spot on US News and World Report's Best Business School's ranking. While the University itself is also currently recognized in the Princeton Review's lists for The Best 382 Colleges, the Best Southeastern, and Colleges That Pay You Back. George Mason students have the advantage of a distinguished program and a large alumni network. Tuition at George Mason University is considered expensive when compared to other programs on our ranking, with their total cost of attendance falling between $45,000 to $69,999. While this number can be intimidating, George Mason Students benefit from experienced faculty, a flexible format with working professionals in mind, and higher than average early career salaries.
George Mason University is a four-year, public, university that enrolls over 34,000 students annually. With 13 schools and colleges offering over 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs, there is a degree to meet any potential student's needs. The School of Business offers a well rounded and leadership-focused online Master's of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Project Management. Applicants to the program must hold a bachelor's degree from an accredited university and complete the application located on the program's homepage. After completing the application, students will need to submit a current resume, official transcripts, official GMAT or GRE scores, one letter of recommendation, and one goal statement. There is also an optional video introduction component to the application process.
Affordability Score: Expensive
TMD Ranking Score: 68.70
#15 Colorado Technical University School of Business and Management – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Students enrolled at Colorado Technical University can earn a project management related degree in a convenient 100% online format. CTU's School of Business and Management holds accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs and the University itself has regional accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission. US News and World Report currently ranks Colorado Technical at #95 on their ranking of the Best Business Schools in the nation. There are two online project management degrees offered at CTU, each with its own unique advantages.The 48 credit hour MS in Management with a concentration in Project Management is designed to develop managers with skills in project design, scheduling, team-building and creative problem-solving who can both lead and manage technical initiatives and business operations. The 48 credit hour online MBA with a concentration in Project Management not only covers the critical core business topics but develops students to be leaders who can construct plans, analyze project scope, and determine needs and budgets to achieve strategic organizational goals. Colorado Technical University's online project management degrees are both designed with working professionals in mind. The only question is, which one is right for your future career goals?
Colorado Technical University is a four-year, private, for-profit university that was established in 1965 as the Colorado Electronic Training Center. Colorado Tech's College of Business and Management offers multiple programs for students interested in project management, including a Master's of Science in Management with a concentration in Project Management and a Master's of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management. Both of these programs have met rigorous standards and received accreditation by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center, the world's leading association for project management professionals. Those interested in applying to either program are encouraged to schedule an admissions interview and fill out a convenient online application.
Affordability Score: Affordable
TMD Ranking Score: 68.60
What to Expect From Project Management Master's Programs
Most students complete their online master's project management program in 1-2 years, depending on their school and course load. Most programs in the field confer a master in business administration or a master of science. Common degree titles include project management and management with a concentration in a specific area.
Some curricula emphasize business courses, while others include extra electives through which learners can explore related fields. Students gain skills in areas including risk management, budgeting, scheduling, and performance evaluation. Degree-seekers typically complete 30-37 credits to earn their master's in project management.
Schools may deliver online programs in a synchronous or asynchronous format. Synchronous courses require students to attend virtual meetings at specific times. Learners in asynchronous classes can complete coursework at their convenience, as long as they meet deadlines.
Many MBA and MS programs are competitive, but applicants can improve their odds of acceptance by supplying as much supplemental information as possible. Admission requirements vary by program, but application materials typically include transcripts, GMAT or GRE scores, an essay, and a resume.
Project Management Degree Options
Most online master's programs in project management confer an MBA or MS degree. Both types of programs focus on business fundamentals. However, MBA programs typically include more business topics, while MS curricula often feature specializations in areas such as aviation and aerospace, supply chain management, information systems, and human resource management.
Master's programs in fields such as information science and technology may offer a specialization in project management.
Learners in these programs prepare for careers in niche fields, such as engineering. However, students earning a master's in project management receive an interdisciplinary education that can lead to work in a variety of industries.
Programs that confer a degree in project management, rather than a specialization, emphasize the latest developments in the field. For example, learners may explore agile management techniques. Students also gain a comprehensive understanding of each part of the project management process.
Popular Project Management Courses
Project management program requirements vary by school. Core coursework explores foundational project management topics and comprises the majority of required credits. Students typically select 6-9 credits of electives, which many learners use to focus on a particular subject or industry. Master's in project management usually typically culminate with a capstone course or project, through which students demonstrate their cumulative knowledge.
Although each program features unique course offerings, learners pursuing a master's in project management often complete the following classes.
- Agile Project Management: This course examines the emergence of agile practices in the project management field. Learners explore the connection between agile and traditional project management practices, along with their applications to various business environments.
- Project Management Fundamentals: Students in this class review case studies to understand issues that project managers commonly encounter. Degree-seekers learn to view projects as temporary organizations built for targeted purposes, and they examine how project management diverges from hierarchical management.
- Advanced Topics in Project Management: This high-level course emphasizes leadership skills and introduces nuanced topics such as project management maturity. Learners prepare to create organizational change and manage projects at the program and portfolio levels.
- Building Diverse and Inclusive Organizations: In this course, students explore diversity and multiculturalism in the modern workplace. Degree-seekers learn how to integrate various perspectives in the project-creation process. Learners also examine ethical and legal issues they might encounter in the field.
- Project Management Capstone: Students in this class apply project management concepts and techniques through experiential learning. Degree-seekers often create a plan for their current workplace or develop a project proposal or feasibility study for a local organization.
What Jobs Can a Project Management Degree Get You?
Many employers prefer candidates for project management roles to have work experience, a strong portfolio, and PMP certification. Master's degree programs help individuals gain the skills necessary to succeed in the field, and graduate degree-holders are often more competitive job candidates. Additionally, master's students often have opportunities to network with industry professionals and potential employers while earning their degree.
According to PMI's 2020 survey of project management professionals, the industries with the most jobs in the field were government, information technology, and healthcare. Data from the BLS also shows strong employment in these fields; according to the BLS, the federal executive branch employed the highest number of project management professionals in 2019. The second-highest number of project managers worked in management, scientific, and technical consulting services in 2019, according to the BLS.
After earning a master's degree in project management, many graduates secure the following positions.
Construction Project Manager
Project managers in the construction field balance administrative duties with overseeing quality control, resource management, and customer service. They manage each step of a project, making sure that safety measures are taken and clients are satisfied. Construction managers spend time traveling between sites and meetings, and they typically need prior experience in the construction field.
- Required Education: Bachelor's degree in engineering
- Job Outlook (2019-29): +8%
- Median Annual Salary: $95,260
Computer and Information Systems Managers
Companies in the cybersecurity and information systems sectors need qualified computer and information systems managers. These managers help organizations expand online markets and develop digital solutions for modern business operations. An MS in project management can qualify degree-holders for positions as computer and systems managers.
- Required Education: Bachelor's degree or higher in computer science or information systems
- Job Outlook (2019-29): +10%
- Median Annual Salary: $146,360
Social and Community Service Managers
These professionals can work for nonprofit organizations and for-profit social services companies. Social and community service managers drive positive social change. They need strong communication skills to maintain relationships with stakeholders and develop community programs to meet ongoing and emerging needs. Modern fundraising methods and online marketing drive growth in this field.
Selecting Your Master's in Project Management Program
Prospective students can explore program rankings to begin identifying the best project management programs. Individuals should also consider their academic and professional goals when selecting a school.
Students should ensure that each prospective school holds accreditation, which demonstrates that the institution meets set standards of quality. Regional accreditation requires schools to meet stricter standards than national accreditation. Therefore, employers typically view regional accreditation as being more prestigious, while vocational and trade schools often obtain national accreditation.
In addition to institutional accreditation, learners can look for programmatic accreditation from industry-specific organizations. Master's programs in project management can receive accreditation from the Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC). MBA programs often earn accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Learners should also consider how well each program's curriculum prepares degree-seekers for the PMP exam. PMP certification often leads to increased marketability and earning potential. GAC-accredited programs typically offer the best preparation for the PMP exam.
Available program formats can also impact a student's choice of school. Online programs typically offer more flexibility than on-campus options. Additionally, many distance learners save money on housing and transportation costs, and online students practice using digital communication technology.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a master's in project management worth it?
Earning a master's in project management can lead to advanced career opportunities in the field. A master's degree meets the education requirement for PMP certification, which can qualify holders for promotions and raises.
What job can I get with a master's in project management?
Professionals with a master's degree in project management can pursue careers in many fields. Common positions for graduates include project manager, portfolio manager, construction manager, and director of operations.
What kinds of project management master's programs are there?
Online project management master's programs typically confer an MBA or MS degree. Depending on the degree, curricula may focus on business or information technology.
What does a project manager do?
Project managers create and implement plans to complete tasks and projects. Using an analytical, holistic view of assignments, they develop plans to meet deadlines and organizational goals.
Are project managers in demand?
The BLS projects management occupations to grow 5% from 2019-2029. The expansion and founding of new organizations can create openings for employees with management skills.