An online Master in Project Management or an online MBA in Project Management is an investment in one’s own future and career.
Organizations in every industry need project managers to lead each phase of a project to ensure a project meets business goals in a timely, cost-efficient manner. An individual with a master’s degree in project management has the skills and knowledge companies in just about every industry seek.
Project managers are in higher demand due to more corporations turning to a project-based approach to meeting goals and assigning responsibilities. According to The Project Management Institute. an estimated 1.2 million project management posts will open each year through 2016.
An online Master in Project Management degree offers working professionals the opportunity to enhance their business and management skills necessary for career advancement.
The average annual earnings of a full-time project manager is $105,000, based on PMI® Project Management Salary Survey, Seventh Edition, 2011. A Master’s degree in Project Management deepens a person’s understanding of important subjects, cultivates professional skills, and may widen job opportunities as degree holders will meet more minimal education requirements.
A degree in Project Management prepares an individual for several roles, such as project manager, project management analyst, information systems manager, scheduler, and quality management project coordinator, among many other possible positions.
Employers looking to hire project managers acknowledge that applicants who hold a Master’s in Project Management degree invest in themselves in order to acquire the knowledge, tools, and strategies for success.
An online Master of Project Management curriculum varies from program to program. Some of the Project Management programs adhere to the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Some Project Management programs concentrate on specific subject areas, such as supply-chain management or global project management.
Some online Master of Project Management programs emphasize practical strategies and project management software, while others blend application with theory. Many universities and colleges with Project Management degrees offer students the choice of project management electives to create a program which caters to a student’s individual career goals and interests.
Online Master of Project Management and MBA Project Management Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the online Master of Project Management and MBA in Project Management degree programs based on the quality of the program, the types of courses offered, the faculty, rankings, awards, and reputation, including the school’s reputation for effectively providing online degree programs.
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1. Penn State University (State College, PA)
Pennsylvania State University, commonly referred to as Penn State, is a public research university. In 1998, Penn State opened Penn State World Campus to offer online programs, with the same academically rigorous and internationally respected degrees.
Penn State is a Project Management Institute (PMI)® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.). The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) has accredited the Master of Project Management degree program, which is an interdisciplinary graduate program incorporating problem-based learning, with coverage of the all the facets of project management practice and theory.
Students can complete the 30-unit Master of Project Management program in two years. The program also offers a resume-enhancing Certificate of Graduate Project Management after the first four classes (12 credits).
The online Master of Project Management program covers all aspects of project management, including planning, cost, and value management; project control; human issues in project management; strategic issues in project management; and commercial and procurement law. After covering these core subjects, students can focus on subjects based on their own career goals and interests.
Students can select their final two courses of the degree from areas such as:
- SAP software
- Advanced project management
- Enterprise architecture
- Supply chain management
- Independent study which includes a creative research project based on a project management issue in the student’s field
Every August, the World Campus Project Management program hosts a Community of Practice Conference event. The event provides online students with the opportunity to meet with the program’s faculty and to network with the online students in the program.
Penn State was ranked #12 by U.S. News & World Report in its Top Public Schools list. In 2011, Pennsylvania State University was ranked #12 by SmartMoney Magazine in its Colleges That Help Grads Get Top Salaries list.
2. Brandeis University (Waltham, MA)
Brandeis University is a small research university located in the greater Boston area, with a liberal arts focus.
The Brandeis University M.S. in Project and Program Management (MSPPM) online degree program works with PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) and addresses business challenges at all levels of corporate operation.
The Master degree in Project and Program Management focuses on the interdisciplinary study of management, leadership skills, and technology, balancing the technical and relational skills needed to effectively head projects and programs. The faculty has experience working in a broad range of industries.
The Master in Project and Program Management degree requires 30 credits total in the form of seven mandatory courses and three electives.
The required courses are shown below:
- Foundations of Project Management
- Professional Communications
- Organizational Leadership and Decision Making
- Risk Management in Projects and Programs
- Negotiating and Conflict Resolution
Students choose three electives according to their career goals from a range of courses such as Agile Project Management, Foundations of Virtual Management across Cultures and Geographies, Management of Virtual, and Global Teams.
Students generally enroll in one or two 10-week courses each semester.
Brandeis University is ranked #33 in the 2013 edition of the Best Colleges in national Universitie,s as well as #31 in the Best Value Schools list by U.S. News & World Report. Brandies University is also ranked #38 in the America’s Best Colleges list by Forbes.
3. Boston University (Boston, MA)
Boston University, a private research institution founded in 1839, is the largest employer in the greater Boston area.
Offered through the Boston University’s Metropolitan College, the online Master of Science in Project Management program combines business knowledge, management theories, and proven project-based strategies.
The degree program, designed for students from various industries and professional backgrounds, examines a project’s conception, planning, budgeting, resource allocation, and implementation.
The online Master of Project Management program prepares students to lead and assess complex projects, promote relationships between professional teams and clients, and manage a project’s scope, cost, and quality and time investment.
The Master degree in Project Management program requires students to complete six core management courses and four specialization classes:
- Project Management
- Program Management
- Project Risk and Cost Management
- Project Communications Management
Students also need to complete two electives from the Administrative Science Department.
The Master of Project Management program has received accreditation from the Project Management Institute® Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.
Boston University has been ranked #51 in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities, and #40 in the 2013 Best Business Schools list, by U.S. News & World Report. Boston University is ranked #71 in Academic Ranking of World Universities, a publication established by Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
4. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
Founded by businessman and philanthropist Anthony J. Drexel in 1891, Drexel University offers more than 100 online degrees and online certificate programs for adults.
Drexel’s Goodwin College offers a Master’s in Project Management combined with a project management certificate.
The M.S. in Project Management program, designed for mid-career professionals, prepares graduates to manage projects and programs in competitive work and production environments. The Master degree in Project Management program focuses on business skills, alongside communication and leadership acumen. The program prepares students to manage a range of projects, including coordinating complex projects.
The program’s curriculum adheres to the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) and aids in the fulfillment of the Project Management Institute’s (PMI®) Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification.
The curriculum includes courses in planning, management and assessment, and leadership, as well as a capstone project.
Drexel University is ranked #76 in North America in The Times Higher Education University Rankings. In 2012, Drexel University was ranked #83 among national universities in the United States, and #3 on the Up-and-Coming Schools list, by U.S. News & World Report.
Drexel University received the 2010 Sloan Consortium’s Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Online Education.
5. University of Denver (Denver, CO)
University of Denver, a private university, offers courses on its 125-acre campus, as well as online through University College.
UD’s University College offers the Project Management Master’s degree both online or on campus, or through a combination of both, to meet the individualized needs of students.
The curriculum for the Project Management degree works in tandem with the Project Management Institute’s Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). The degree program covers all integral subject matter and prepares students for the PMI® Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam.
Additionally, the online Master’s degree in Project Management provides hands-on opportunities for students to use the tools and strategies for successful project management, such as management software, principles of leadership, and how to design a course of action to ensure that a project is situated in the context of an organization’s business plan.
Students in the online Master’s degree in Project Management program learn how to align a company’s vision, staff, assets, and goals to ensure success and value over time for an organization. Students can choose to complete the full 48-credit-hour degree or the 24-credit-hour certification program.
University of Denver was ranked #83 in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges in National Universities by U.S. News & World Report. The University of Denver was ranked #79 in private colleges by Forbes.
6. Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL)
Florida Institute of Technology, also known as Florida Tech, is a private research university. Florida Tech offers bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees in an array of fields.
PMI® GAC–accredited, the Masters of Business Administration with a Specialization in Project Management provides a collaborative hands-on education. The program reviews fluency in project management concepts and emphasizes application through case studies and projects.
The two-course sequence, Essentials of Business Development 1 and 2, ends with a fully incorporated business plan.
The online Master of Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management program includes classes such as:
- Strategic Project Management
- Cases in Applied Project Management
- Project Tools and Techniques
- Mastering Project Management
Students can complete the 36-credit hour program in two years (and in some cases less). All graduates qualify for 1,500 hours of experience, which they can use toward a PMP(r) credential. Florida Tech does not require GRE-scores for interested applicants.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Florida Tech a Tier 1 Best National University. Florida Technical University was also included among the schools in the Top Online Education honor roll list for bachelor’s and graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. The university was further rated as one of the nation’s best schools in the Fiske Guide to Colleges and a “best buy” in Barron’s Best Buys in College Education.
7. University of Wisconsin Platteville (Platteville, WI)
The University of Wisconsin System’s ecampus offers online degree programs across 26 campuses of the University of Wisconsin System.
The University of Wisconsin Platteville offers an online Master of Project Management degree program which requires 30 to 36 credits for completion. The program reviews real-word wide practices.
The online Master in Project Management program includes courses such as:
- Organizational Behavior
- Organizational Communication
- Financial Management
- International Financial Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Management Decision Analysis
- Advanced Production and Operations Analysis
- Advanced Cost and Value Analysis
- Project Procurement Management
Graduates of the Master in Project Management degree program, a PMI® globally accredited program. The program competencies are based on the Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)
The University of Wisconsin Platteville was ranked #70 in the 2013 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Universities (Midwest), and #20 on the Top Public Schools Regional Universities (Midwest) list, by U.S. News & World Report.
8. Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
A private research institution, Northeastern University opened in Boston in 1898. Since 1974, Northeastern University has held distance-learning classes for professionals and other non-traditional students. In particular, the university’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business offers online degree programs in many fields of business and management.
The Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center (GAC) provides accreditation for school’s online Master of Science in Project Management degree program. The program reviews each necessary phase for creating a disciplined business operation, including defining a project, evaluating cost and risk, scheduling, managing a budget, negotiating, and resolving conflict.
Drawing on real-world case studies, the Master’s in Project Management online degree exemplifies strategies and tools for short-term and long-term business goals and projects. Students learn to simultaneously manage multiple and complex projects; execute project portfolio management (PPM); and avoid common pitfalls which can cause delays, higher costs, and other problems.
Alongside the core project management classes, the Master in Project Management degree program provides students with the opportunity to choose a specialized track based on career goals and personal interests, such as IT project management or risk management.
U.S. News & World Report ranks the university 56 among National Universities.
9. Colorado State University-Global Campus (Ft. Collins, CO)
Colorado State University-Global Campus, also known as CSU-Global Campus, is part of the Colorado State University System.
The online Master’s degree program in Project Management prepares students to plan and complete full scale business projects. The program incorporates core business disciplines and project management with leadership skills.
Project management best practices are applied throughout the Master in Project Management program, including planning and execution, leading projects and teams, and managing contracts and asset procurement.
The online Master in Project Management degree program includes advanced subjects such as:
- Risk management
- Decision sciences
- Financial metrics
- Project control and monitoring
The Master in Project Management degree program eight major courses and four courses in a specialization for a total of 36 credit hours.
Colorado State University-Global Campus was ranked #98 on the Best Graduate Business Programs list by U.S. News & World Report.
10. Lasell College (Newton, MA)
Lasell College is a private college established in 1851 as a women’s seminary, which is now a non-sectarian, co-educational college offering both bachelor and master’s degrees.
The online MS in Management with a concentration in Project Management provides students the skills for creating project plans, defining project goals, outlining how to accomplish goals, and ensuring the plan is carried out economically and on schedule.
The Master degree in Management with a concentration in Project Management requires 21 credits in core curriculum, including courses which build the student’s knowledge of leadership, financial management, organizational theory, and marketing management.
After students complete the core courses, they need to complete nine credits in the project management concentration, covering Business Strategy, Change Management, and the Principles of Project Management. Six electives credits are also required and students can choose from courses such as Research Methods, Marketing Communications, and Social Marketing.
Lasell College was ranked #25 in the 2103 edition of Best Colleges in Regional Colleges (North) by U.S. News & World Report.
11. University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (Colorado Springs, CO)
Established in 1964, the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), is a campus of the University of Colorado system. UCCS is one of the fastest growing colleges in the nation.
Through the College of Business, the university offers an online Master’s of Business Administration in Project Management. The degree requires 12 credit hours of core curriculum and three credit hours of an elective of the students’ choosing.
The school’s online format prioritizes networking and group projects. The online Master’s of Business Administration in Project Management covers traditional project management strategies and management of complex projects.
The four core courses consist of the following classes:
- Managing Projects for Competitive Advantage
- Virtual Team Skills for Project Management
- Project Estimation and Risk Management
- Bridging Strategy and Tactics in Project Management
UCCS was ranked #38 in the West Regional Colleges by U.S. News & World Report.
12. University of Maryland, University College (Adelphi, MD)
Founded in 1947, University of Maryland, University College (UMUC), is one of 11 campuses of the University System of Maryland. The school is one of the largest online universities, serving more than 90,000 students around the world.
The UMUC Master of Science in Management with a specialization in Project Management has received accreditation from the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) of the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Students who graduate with an MS in Management with a specialization in Project Management receive 1,500 hours of project management experience toward their Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.
The Master of Management with a specialization in Project Management provides students a foundation in theory and practical knowledge of project management.
The degree is designed for managers and other professionals who want to enhance their understanding and skills to effectively create, develop, and manage projects.
Students use various project management tools and techniques, and learn from case studies of projects of different sizes and varying complexity.
To complete MSM at UMUC, students are required to take the following courses: Organizational Theory, Intercalated Communications and Leadership, Financial Decision Making for Managers, and Statistics, as well as capstone course.
The core courses for a specialization in Project Management:
- Foundations of Project Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Financial and Strategic Management of Projects
- Capstone course
- Advanced Project Methods
UMUC was named one of the top 20 colleges or universities servicing military students by KMI Media and Military Advanced Education. Also, UMUC received the Sloan Consortium Award for Excellence in Institution-Wide Asynchronous Learning Network Programming.
13. New England College of Business (Boston, MA)
New England College of Business (NECB), a private, non-profit institution, places an emphasis on online degrees for working professionals. Founded in 1946, NECB grew out of the need to educate service men and women after World War Two.
The Master of Science in Management, Project Management (MSPM) online program is designed for Project Management professionals who desire move up in their field. The online MSPM program reviews how to make both short-term and long-term business decisions as well as supply chain management, contract management, and quality analysis.
The online Master of Science in Management, Project Management includes courses such as:
- Managing Projects in Organizations
- Organization Management and Leadership
- Strategic Planning and Policy
- Quality Analysis for Technology
- Supply Chain Management
- Research Methods
The MSPM online program consists of nine courses for a total of 36-credit hours. Students usually finish the degree in less than 2 years. Students usually enroll in two 7-week courses each semester, which allows them to give their full attention to one course at a time. Students can start the program at the beginning of any of the 7-week courses offered six times a year in fall, spring, or summer.
14. Granite State College (Littleton, NH)
Granite State College, a part of the University System of New Hampshire, has specialized in adult education for nearly 40 years. Granite State College operates a network of statewide campuses and provides online degree programs.
The Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) offered by Granite State College is designed for professionals who desire to increase their skills and knowledge to execute multilevel projects, manage teams, and maintain efficient organizations. The program prepares students to obtain certification as a Project Management Professional.
The online Master of Science in Project Management degree requires 30-credit hours, which includes nine required courses. Students choose one elective, either Global Project Management or Change Management and Communication.
15. Liberty University Online (Lynchburg, VA)
Liberty University, the largest Evangelical university in the United States, has been training Champions for Christ since 1971.
Liberty University Online, one of the world’s largest non-profit online universities, has been pioneering distance education since 1985. Liberty University Online emphasizes effective leadership, ethics, and integrating faith in a professional setting.
Liberty University now enrolls more than 90,000 students from around the world in its thriving online program. With more than 160 fully accredited programs of study, Liberty University Online offers degrees from the certificate to the postgraduate level.
The online Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management offered by Liberty University Online requires 45 credit hours for completion. Thirty-three credit hours consist of core courses such as Strategic Marketing Management and Global Financial Environments; 12 credit hours consist of project management cognate courses including Advanced Project Management I, Advanced Project Management II, and Global Project Management.
As an interdisciplinary degree, students study business law, economics, and organizational operation.
16. Southern New Hampshire University (Hooksett, NH)
Established in 1933, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) is a private institution with several locations around the state of New Hampshire. Southern New Hampshire University also provides an array of online degree programs.
As a Registered Education Provider of the Project Management Institute (PMI®), SNHU offers an online MBA in Project Management. Students learn about foundational and practical aspects of project management.
Students can earn the MBA in Project Management in a year and half, while taking two 11-week courses per term. The MBA requires 39 credit hours, with courses offered throughout the year. The MBA in Project Management includes a variety of core, foundational, and elective classes.
Core courses include Managerial Accounting, Multinational Corporate Environment, and Marketing Strategies among others. Electives include Six Sigma Quality Management, Supply Chain Management, and Project Management for PMP certification.
Students are not required to take GRE or GMAT before applying to the program.
17. Post University (Waterbury, CT)
Post University, founded in 1890 in Waterbury, Connecticut, is a private, for-profit university.
Post University’s Malcolm Baldridge School of Business offers an online Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management for students looking to advance in their career.
The program provides the tools, strategies, and processes to help students become adept project-based managers. The online Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management degree provides students practical and functional experience they can put into practice in their work environments.
The interactive online classes are eight weeks long and offered six times a year. The degree requires 45 credit hours for completion in the following distributions: nine hours of MBA Foundation Courses, 18 hours MBA core courses, 12 hours Project Management courses, and six hours of Capstone courses.
The online MBA in Project Management degree program includes project management concentration courses such as:
- Project and Risk Management
- Virtual Teams and Organizations
- Financial Tools for Managing Innovation
- Issues and Applications in Project Management
18. Capella University (Minneapolis, MN)
Capella University, a for-profit university, provides mostly online education. Capella University, one of the largest online universities, is owned by Capella Education Company.
The university’s School of Business and Technology offers an online Masters of Business Administration with a specialization in Project Management is designed for working professionals who seek to strengthen their understanding and abilities in planning, risk management, and project procurement.
The MBA in Project Management program, accredited by The Project Management Institute (PMI®) Global Accreditation Center for Project Management (GAC), is based on the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).
The MBA in Project Management program requires 48-quarter course credits to obtain the degree. Thirty-three course credit hours consist of core courses, which range from Foundational Skills for Business Leaders to Business Integration Skills. Twelve course quarter credits consist of specialization courses such as project planning, management and financial control. The final capstone course provides the remaining three credits.
19. Walden University (Minneapolis, MN)
A private for-profit institution, Walden University was founded in 1970 to give working professionals access to higher education. Walden is part of the Laureate Education Inc. network of campus and online-based universities.
Walden’s MBA in Project Management is accredited by the Global Accreditation Center (GAC) of the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, which allows Walden to offer students an education covering the internationally recognized Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).
Walden graduates receive 1,500 hours they can use toward a Project Management Professional (PMP) credential.
The 31 semester credit hours required for this degree can be completed in two years. The semester credits include: a foundation course (one credit), several core courses (27 credits), a capstone course (three credits), and an optional PMP ®/CAPM® Exam Preparation course (one semester credit).
20. Colorado Technical University (Denver, CO)
Colorado Technical University (CTU), a private for-profit university, has five campuses located in Colorado, Missouri, and South Dakota and offers online degrees.
CTU offers a Masters of Business Administration in Project Management, which incorporates key components of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), and has received accreditation from the Project Management Institute’s Global Accreditation Center.
The Masters in Management with a concentration in Project Management program covers a range of topics, including time and conflict management, human resource management, risk analysis, scheduling, and others.
CTU’s curriculum engages students with case studies, which help students learn how to research, plan, and solve real-world problems faced by project managers.