The Top 20 Masters in Project Management Degree Programs

An MBA is one of the most common degrees professionals get when going back to school, so much so that it seems like everyone is pursuing one. It’s difficult to stand out in the professional world sometimes, and students looking to advance their leadership skills might be searching for a degree that combines finance, leadership, ethics, and human resources into one powerhouse degree that will make companies stand and take notice. If a degree in Project Management has never come up, it’s time to start thinking about one.

Project Management processes fall into five distinct parts, initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, and closing, according to the Project Management Institute. There are ten areas of this body of knowledge: integration, scope, time, cost, human resources, quality, procurement, risk management, communications, and stakeholder management.

This degree isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for students who are ready to take their leadership and vision skills to the next level.

What about those who are already plugged into a business area and cannot move to complete a specialized degree? Online learning may be the option. Online learning has come a long way since the beginning of correspondence courses, and well-respected universities are jumping at the chance to attract bright, motivated students from all over the world.

We’ve rounded up 20 of the best online master’s degrees in Project Management. Many are from prestigious universities, and all offer accredited programs by top accreditation bodies. Many are certified by the Project Management Institute itself. They offer different levels of tuition and different types of online formats, but all are directed by current experts in the field of Project Management.

Missouri State’s online program prepares students to meet the growing demands for project managers with a program grounded in the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge Manual.

The online degree can be completed from anywhere at any time. Students take classes such as Project Design and Development and Management of Innovations and Technology. The program accepts students from many different backgrounds, allowing professionals to transition from one career to another, and join this fast growing sector.

The program is accredited by the Project Management Institute, and the degree is 33 hours. Tuition is calculated based on in-state and out of state residency, about $6,000 and about $11,000 per year respectively.​

Bellevue University’s program is aligned with the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge manual and was created to meet a growing need for experienced project managers. Students first train in the theoretical framework of decision making and organizational leadership before practicing their skills in real life situations.

The 36-hour curriculum is interdisciplinary, and students take classes such as Managing Project Risks, and Project Management in Global and Virtual workplaces. Tuition is calculate based on a flat, online rate at less than $600 per credit hour.​

Brandeis offers a Program Management degree for current Program Management professionals. The program provides business training with effective leadership and management skills for those looking to expand their knowledge area and further their careers.

Brandeis is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. The coursework follows the Project Management Body of Knowledge manual, but Brandeis chose specifically not to seek accreditation through PMI so that they could expand their program to other schools of thought. Students receive a well-rounded, out of the box training for their careers.

The degree is completed in 30 credit hours. Tuition for online courses is calculated the same for both in-state and out of state students and is currently around $1100 per credit hour.​

University of Alaska’s Master’s in Project Management is one of the university’s newest online programs. Accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the Project Management Institute, and a registered education provider for PMI, the department is a dynamic online program that prepares students for real-world experience.

Classes are held on evenings and weekends and are done through interactive video conferencing. The program is completed full time in 2 years and part time in 3. The program itself is self-supporting and offers different tuition than the other departments at the University of Alaska. Although students are charged for out of state tuition, some students may have those extra costs waived through the WICHE Western Graduate Program Exchange.

The University of Alaska is in the top 100 in US News and World Report as Best Regional University (West) and Best Online Graduate Program.​

Breneu University offers an MBA with a concentration in Project Management. This 45 credit degree course gives students all the foundational work for a successful career in business plus the certification to implement and oversee major projects.

Classes start six times a year and can be completed online or on campus as the student’s schedule allows. Most students take one or two courses at a time. Students will be eligible for certification through the PMI Institute.

Bruneu is ranked 48th in best Online Programs by US News and World Report. Tuition is calculated based on department and is currently around $700 per credit hour for the business department.​

Colorado State University offers a master in Project Management with no out of state tuition or up charges for online students. The online degree is 36 credits and prepares students to make decisions regarding implementation, finances, leadership and troubleshooting. They approach to project management from a systematic decision-making process and students evaluate projects in varying degrees.

Students can take courses in other areas to specialize their degrees, such as Human Resource Management or Organizational Learning and Performance. They also offer advanced topics such as decision sciences.  Colorado State is ranked in the top 100 online schools by U.S. News and World Report. It is ranked as having triple ROI by payscale.com

SHSU’s MS in Project Management is geared towards professionals looking to meet the demands of an ever-changing environment within businesses and organizations.

Students take courses geared towards developing competencies in technology and business to prepare them to make decisions and implement projects from start to finish. The degree is 36 credit hours and will prepare students to be certified by the Project Management Institute.

Students take classes in managing business systems, staffing organizations, and operations planning and control. Tuition is based on in-state and out of state residency. Courses are designed to be completed entirely online and around the student’s schedule.​

New England College offers a 100% online curriculum that challenges students through experiential learning. Rolling admissions allow students to enter the program at the beginning of every new session, every seven weeks. It is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The curriculum can be completed in less than two years and is designed to give students experience in project management from start to finish, train students in technical tools such as PERT and GANTT, and focus on strategic dynamics of managing things like risk, finances, and workflow. Students are not required to take the GMAT or the GRE, and tuition is calculated regardless of in-state or out of state residency.​

St. Mary’s offers a Master’s of Science in Project Management to meet the demands of a changing business world. More and more business are multi-layered and multi-national, and trained leaders are needed to keep things on track. The degree is a 36 hour, 24-month curriculum aligned with Project Management’s Body of Knowledge guide. The program prepares students to become certified through the Project Management Institute.

A major perk of enrolling in the online program is that every student receives an iPad preloaded with the course software, making the transition to online classes as smooth as possible. Students can connect to the course materials, faculty and other students, as well as participate in the interactive coursework.

Students are charged a flat fee per credit hour regardless of residency, currently around $600 per credit hour for the Project Management Masters. St. Mary’s is also military friendly, offering generous grace periods for military waiting for benefits, and a counselor trained to help students receive all their benefits.​

Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts, has been offering degrees for over 150 years, and now is one of the best-kept secrets in online business departments. They offer a Master’s of Science in Management with a concentration in Project Management.

The degree is 36 hours and includes 21 hours of core work in Management curriculum. Students also take nine credits of Project Management coursework and six credits of electives. Concluding the degree requirements is a capstone or research project allowing students to implement their knowledge in a real-life setting.

Students have 24/7 access to the online coursework so that they can complete class work anytime they are available. Students can work around their current professional schedules and complete the degree in as little as two years. Tuition is calculated the same for in-state and out of state students and is currently less than $1000 per credit hour.​

Southern New Hampshire University offers two different online degrees in project management, an MBA in Project Management, and an MS in Operations and Project Management. They are a registered education provider (REP) of the Project Management Institute.

The MBA is 39 credit hours and encompasses broad business based strategies to plan, adapt, and monitor a project from start to finish. Students take courses such as Operations, Six Sigma Quality Management, and Responsible Corporate Leadership.

The online MS in Operations and Project Management is a 36-hour curriculum designed to link operational management with valuable business skills. Students take courses such as Quantitative Analysis for decision making, and Operations management.

Both courses are asynchronous meaning that students can complete classwork whenever available, 24/7. There is no GMAT or GRE required, and the degree can be completed in as few as 15 months, at two classes per 8-week term.​

University of Denver’s College of Continuing and Professional Studies offers students the chance to learn project management from beginning to end with courses such as finance development, contracts and procurement, and legal issues.

One benefit of the program is that it does not require a GMAT or GRE to apply, reducing a step to achieving a degree. The entire program is 12 courses and terms are ten weeks. It follows the Project Management Body of Knowledge system, preparing students to ace the Project Management Professional Certification Exam.

Directly on the website, students can begin to tailor and plan their degree to match their requirements for long-term career planning. They can choose electives from any of the classes in the leadership and organization department and specializations.

The University of Denver has a much higher than average returning student percentage, and a much higher than average graduation rate. The cost to complete the program is around $31,000.​

Embry Riddle’s program was created by certified PMP’s and is certified by the Project Management Institute. Students gain real world skills focusing on leadership, risk management, human resources, and critical thinking.

The program is 30 credit hours culminating in a capstone project where students build an e-portfolio showcasing the skills needed to be project leaders. Much of the coursework is collaborative, like the real world.

Embry-Riddle is rated the number 4 most innovative school by US News and World Report as well as the number 8 college in the south. The school offers a generous discount to active military, their spouses, and dependents up to the age of 26. Tuition for nonmilitary is currently around $600, and $500 for the military.​

Norwich University was founded as the nation’s first private military university in 1819 and has strived to offer the best quality programs for continuing education students through their online programs. It is ranked in the top 100 best schools for veterans.

Norwich University’s MBA program offers a Project Management component that allows business students to actually hone their leadership and management skills. Students enter the program after completing rigorous foundational classes in business so that they have an understanding of the true scope of Project Management.

The Business School is certified by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. The Project Management curriculum is certified by the Project Management Institute, and there are four start dates per year, making it flexible for when you are ready to begin.

Norwich charges an all-inclusive cost for degree completion, currently around $31,000. Classes are designed to work around the schedules of working professionals and can be completed while working full time. The curriculum is divided into six courses and on average takes about 18 months to complete.​

Purdue College of Technology offers a unique blend of Project Management and the IT sector. IT is one of the fast-growing job markets in the world, and while many people are pursuing degrees in development and coding, it’s possible to work in this market without the pressure of becoming a full stack developer.

An MS of IT Project Management allows students to design and implement major projects in IT still using the Project Management Body of Knowledge. The degree is divided into eight-week sessions and requires 34 credit hours to complete. It can be completed in as little as 11 months or as long as five years, though generally students complete the program in 2 years.

Purdue does charge in-state and out-of-state tuition, but the difference is currently less than $50. On average, depending on the length of time taken to complete the degree, it costs less than $30,000 to complete.Purdue is highly ranked by US News and World report in virtually every department, including 41st in online graduate schools. According to www.payscale.com, Purdue is 57th in best return on investment.​

Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies offers two tracks for a Master’s in Project Management: Master of Science in Project Management and a Master of Science in Leadership with a specialization in project management.

The MS in Project Management prepares students to handle project cost and estimation, risk management, negotiation and conflict resolution, and evaluation. It is a 45 to 57 credit hour program.

The MS in Leadership with a specialization in Project Management allows students to build and strengthen leadership skills by focusing on topics like management and ethics, strategic thinking and organizational culture with classes on specialized topics managing troubled projects. It is a 45 to 46 credit hour program. Both programs are accredited by the Project Management Institute. The estimated cost of tuition is around $30,000 to complete the program.​

Students at Lehigh University can complete an MBA with one of six concentrations being Project Management. The MBA curriculum focuses on leadership, global business, sustainability and crisis management. Students take the core MBA foundation classes and then can choose an area of concentration to complete their degree.

The Project Management Concentration prepares students for the changing world of management. Courses within this specialty include Decision Making, Controlling Performance and Assessing Outcomes, and Project Leader Communications and Evaluating Team Performance.

The Lehigh MBA program is currently ranked number 8 in the nation by US News and World Report. It also ranks in the top 50 of Best Schools for Veterans, Best National University, and Best Value Schools.Tuition at Lehigh is calculated based regardless of the residency of the student, including Best domestic and international students. The cost is currently around $1100 per credit hour.​

Students at Boston University can find two different Project Management master’s degrees, one in traditional project management and one in computer science with an emphasis on IT project management. Both programs are accredited by the Project Management Institute. Both programs are also accredited by the European Foundation for Management Development, and the BU graduate school is also certified by AACSB International.

There are 12 required classes to complete the program. BU also offers a certificate program that can be applied in full to the graduate program. Students can also apply for some credits from the master’s to a second certificate in Administrative Sciences.

Students in the Project Management track take courses such as Enterprise Risk Management, and Quantitative and Qualitative Decision Making. Students in the IT track take courses such as Quantitative Methods for Information Systems, and Database Design and Implementation.The graduate school is ranked the #6 online graduate business school by US News and World Report.​

George Washington is a prestigious university block from the White House where students are presented with the first philosophies and economic theories of our time. George Washington offers two online project management graduate degrees, a Master’s of Science in Project Management, and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Project Management.

The Master of Science in Project Management is 36 credit hours and provides leadership training and practical management training. Students take courses such as Project Portfolio Management and Executive Decision-Making.

The MBA with a concentration in Project Management allows students to customize their business core courses with a specialization. The MBA is 52 credit hours. Students take courses such as Operations Management and Organization and Leadership.

George Washington is ranked in the top 50 in 5 different categories for online schools and is ranked 68th best return on investment by www.payscale.com. It has close ties with major government and industry institutions such as the US State Department and the International Monetary Fund.​

​Penn State has been offering distance learning courses for over 100 years and brings that expertise to the area of online learning. It was also one of the first major brick and mortar colleges to offer online education. It offers a 30-hour problem-based learning master’s that can be completed in as little as two years. It is accredited by both the AACSB and PMI.

The program is headed by Dr. Jeffrey K. Pinto, a world-renowned scholar in the field of project management and follows the PMBOK guide as well as the European model (APM). Penn State has partnered with global corporations such as Rolls-Royce to deliver a curriculum that prepares students to design and implement every facet of a project from start to finish.

Students can take a 12 hour Project Management online Certificate course that is the first four courses of the master’s program, giving students the chance to try out Penn State’s online program before completing the master's degree. All 12 hours from the certificate can be applied to the full master’s program.

Students can tailor the program to their interests and career choices and can add electives such as Enterprise Architecture and Supply Chain Management. Penn State has been recognized as a Best Online Programs university by U.S. News and World Report.​

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