Best Online Master’s in Project Management Programs

Project managers are invaluable to companies of all sizes; they manage and lead productivity in teams by planning and organizing roles in projects. Earning your master’s in project management will bring your team’s ability to turn around high-quality products to new heights.

In 2013, the median annual salary for project managers in the U.S., according to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey, was $108,000.

We’ve ranked the top master’s in project management degrees to set you on the path toward advancing your career and increasing your salary.

Choosing a Program

Will this program teach me the skills I need to secure a job?

Online master’s in project management degrees will provide you with skills needed to stay relevant within ever-changing company environments. You’ll learn core leadership skills, risk management skills, and the ability to effectively communicate with team members at every stage of a project. Many online master’s in project management programs follow the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide).

Do I need previous work experience to be accepted into a program?

Though many of the programs on our list were created with students with at least one year of project management experience in mind, they are open to those relatively new to the field who want to make a career out of project management.

Will this program work with my schedule?

Many online master’s in project management programs are designed for working professionals who need a flexible degree that fits into their schedules. Programs are often asynchronous and can be completed in two years or less. Most master’s in project management programs will not require you to visit campus at all; all learning will take place online.

Will this program prepare me for Project Management Professional certification?

If you do not have the required amount of project management education credits to apply for PMP certification, a master’s in project management will get you on track. Half of the schools on our list are accredited by the Project Management Institute, and they all ranked well for the metrics we use to determine the quality of online programs.

Rank School Name Ranking Score Relative Cost Graduation Rate Location Description
1Regis University 3/559.05%Denver, CO

The Master of Science in Organization Leadership (MSOL) with a concentration in Project Leadership and Management at Regis is offered through a partnership between RU's College for Professional Studies (CPS) and Aubrey Daniels International (ADI). Students learn the science of executive leadership in the context of RU's core components. They are given the tools and wherewithal they need to become project managers who can work through problems ethically and logically.

Master's candidates complete 30 credit hours of course study in order to earn this degree. Core requirements include classes in decision making and strategic management, while specialization topics cover project monitoring and leading in contemporary organizations. Students also complete a capstone project. Terms are eight weeks in length, and by taking at least two courses per term, students are able to graduate within a year.

Quick Facts

  • Regis is a member of the Project Management Institute, and the credits earned for the MSOL degree count as Professional Development Units that can be applied to Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
  • The MSOL - Project Leadership and Management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.
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2Boston University 5/584.7%Boston, MA

The Master of Science in Project Management, offered through the Boston University Metropolitan College, can be completed in as few as 16 months. Students typically take two, seven-week long courses per semester. By taking one class at a time, graduates are able to focus all of their study time on one subject, which gives them a deeper understanding of the material.

The 12 required courses for this degree can all be completed online, which helps BU continue with its mission of making higher education accessible to all. Graduates take six core courses in topics that cover risk management, e-commerce and developing new services; four specialization courses in project management; and two approved classes from other BUMC departments.

Students in Boston University's distance education programs can expect the same quality of support and instruction as their on-campus peers. This private research university has created classes that allow online students an opportunity to interact with their courses in a way that is both flexible and inclusive.

Quick Facts

  • Those who have already earned the project management graduate certificate from BU may transfer the credits to the master's program.
  • Boston's management programs are ranked #9 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBAs) list.
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3The George Washington University 4/579.38%Washington, DC

The online Master of Science in Project Management (OMSPM) from GWU is designed for working professionals who want to improve the way they complete projects and work with their teams. With a curriculum that blends core project management principles with general leadership training, graduates are given the tools they need to be effective managers.

Courses are presented in four stages: Foundation, Core Project Management and Decision Sciences, Advanced Quantitative Application and Capstone. Stages must be completed in order, and a degree can be earned in 18 to 48 months, depending on whether students are enrolled full-time or part-time. Courses that earn three credit hours span the entire semester (14 weeks), while those that earn one and a half credits last seven weeks; students need 36 credits in order to graduate.

Distance students are required to visit campus twice during the span of their degree program: once for a mandatory orientation and once during the capstone stage. Otherwise, all lectures and coursework can be viewed and completed online. Professors hold live class sessions each week which provide students an opportunity to interact with their instructors and classmates through more than email and discussion board comments.

Quick Facts

  • Created in 1996, GWU's MSPM is one of the oldest project management programs in the world.
  • GWU is ranked #22 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBAs) list.
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4Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 2/523.16%Daytona Beach, FL

Through ERAU's Worldwide Campus, students have an opportunity to earn a Master of Science in Project Management by taking classes online or at one of the more than 150 campus locations worldwide. Classes were developed based on standards approved by the Project Management Institute (PMI), and the program is accredited by PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.

The program's instructors are certified Project Management Professionals (PMP), and they provide graduates with a quality education in management science, controlling projects, effective communications and other topics. They are also in a position to give students academic and career counseling.

Master's candidates must complete 36 credits in major and core requirements, including an e-portfolio capstone that details the projects completed during their course of study. Students must complete all prerequisite courses before they can enroll into one of the MSPM classes.

Quick Facts

  • Ranked #31 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBAs) list.
  • ERAU's curriculum is designed to prepare graduates for project management positions in any field.
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5Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota 2/564.6%Winona, MN

The online Master of Science in Project Management at Saint Mary's was designed to fit into the schedules of working adults; all classes are asynchronous, and students take two course per semester. The curriculum closely mirrors the principles and standards of knowledge determined by the Project Management Institute in their Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) guide; thus, they are fully accredited by PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.

Through their coursework, students cover topics that give them a foundational knowledge of business theory and practical application; they cover topics that include risk management, managerial ethics, technical communication and strategic management. Graduates complete 42 credit hours, including a three credit hour capstone that gives them an opportunity to put what they've learned into practice by using project simulation technology.

Applicants for this program must have some experience working either as a project manager or on a project team; this experience can be formal or informal. Upon completion of the degree, graduates will have the skills to communicate with diverse teams and individuals and use critical thinking and strategic decision making to assess the risks and possible outcomes of a project.

Quick Facts

  • This project management master's degree prepares students for the PMP certification exam.
  • Saint Mary's has a rolling application process; students can apply for admission into the MSPM program at any time during the year.
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6Florida Institute of Technology 3/554.96%Melbourne, FL

FIT's Master of Science in Project Management program strives to prepare students for careers in the public, private and governmental sectors. The online program provides students with the flexibility they need to earn their master's degree while they continue to work. The curriculum, taught by experienced and often PMP certified instructors, gives graduates a knowledge-base in analyzing risks, costs and statistics.

Students complete 33 credit hours in order to graduate, including a practicum project that gives them a chance to apply what they learn in their courses to a real world project. Courses cover topics in organizational behavior, tools and techniques and applied project management.

Applicants can hold any bachelor's degree, but those who pursued a non-business subject may be required to take Basic Economics, the program prerequisite. Master's candidates who do have an undergraduate degree in business may be eligible to waive 12 credit hours from their master's studies.

Quick Facts

  • This program satisfies PMI's education requirements for the PMP exam.
  • FIT's MSPM is accredited by PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.
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7Drexel University 4/567.36%Philadelphia, PA

The Master of Science in Project Management, offered by the College of Engineering at Drexel University, was built for working professionals who want to advance in their fields or change careers. Courses are fully online and can easily be fit into a busy work schedule.

The curriculum follows the guidelines and standards of the PMBOK, and graduates are prepared to take PMI's PMP certification exam upon completion of the degree. Students must earn 45 credit hours, including 30 credits in core course, 12 credits in free electives and a three-credit capstone project. Master's candidates learn how to manage multiple projects and work on teams.

The culminating experience capstone is a group project. Working in teams, students complete a case study of how select organizations manage their project. Students showcase what they have learned through analyzing practices and providing recommendations for how management can be improved.

Quick Facts

  • Students who take two classes per term, including in the summer term, can complete this degree in two years.
  • The university recommends that the free electives be used as an opportunity to create a focus for the MSPM degree.
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8Northeastern University Global Network 3/5N/ABoston, MA

Northeastern's Master of Science in Project Management, offered completely online or at any of the school's three campuses, gives students the theoretical and practical education they need to successfully enter or advance in a manager role. The curriculum is designed to prepare graduates to manage several projects at once, analyze risks and performance statistics and understand group dynamics.

Students must complete 45-47 quarter hours in order to graduate with their MSPM. The majority of the credits, 24-25, are earned in the project management core, and six or seven are earned through elective courses. The remaining 15-16 credits are earned through a concentration, of which there are seven. Master's candidates can focus their degree on, among others: Construction Management, Information Security Management, Leadership and Organizational Communication.

Quick Facts

  • This MSPM program has been accredited by PMI Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs since 2009.
  • Most applicants for the project management degree have at least one year of professional experience.
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9Brandeis University 5/590.85%Waltham, MA

Designed for working professionals, Brandeis University's Master of Science in Project and Program Management provides instruction in topics that are consistent with the PMBOK. Students gain knowledge in how businesses work and what challenges many face at the different levels of operation. They are prepared to work with teams to plan and implement projects and services that benefit their organizations.

Graduates complete ten classes, totalling 30 credits, in order to earn this degree. The seven required courses include Project Scheduling and Control, Negotiating and Conflict Resolution and Professional Communications. The remaining three classes are chosen from the project management electives and can act as a way to create a concentration for this degree. Students typically take two classes per term, including in the summer term, which makes it possible to earn this degree in a little over a year.

Quick Facts

  • The MSPPM classes qualify as education requirements for the PMP certification or Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) exams.
  • Brandeis is not a PMI Registered Education Provider, although their curriculum is based on the PMBOK.
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10Sam Houston State University 2/553.06%Huntsville, TX

Geared toward professionals, SHSU's Master of Science in Project Management gives students the skills they need to keep up with the demands of their companies and the ever-changing environments in which they work. The curriculum was designed to instill graduates with the theoretical and practical knowledge of creating and managing products. They will also be prepared to take the PMP certification exam.

Applicants into this program are required to have at least three years of professional experience as project managers. They must also earn a GMAT score greater than or equal to 1200.

In order to graduate, students must complete 36 credit hours of coursework. All classes can be taken online; topics covered include team leadership, management of technology and human resource management.

Quick Facts

  • If potential MSPM graduate students have seven or more years of managerial experience, they may be considered for a GMAT waiver.
  • Graduate students work with an advisor to create a degree plan that will keep them on track as they work towards their degrees.
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11New England College 3/536.33%Henniker, NH

This private, nonprofit institution offers an online MBA in Project Management that was designed for working project management professionals. The 40-credit degree is comprised of seven MBA core courses and three project management classes. MBA topics include Organizational Leadership and Change and Managerial Economics, while the project management courses are Supply Chain Management, Quality Analysis for Technology and Project Management.

All courses, including the capstone project, are offered online to fit a professional's busy schedule. NEC uses the Moodle and Blackboard learning management systems to provide access to online classes, discussion boards and school email accounts.

Quick Facts

  • NEC is ranked among U.S. News and World Report's Best Online MBA Programs.
  • The Project Management MBA can be completed within 20 months.
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12City University of Seattle 3/5N/ASeattle, WA

The online Master of Science in Project Management at City University is available completely online. The school is a Registered Education Provider with PMI, so the MSPM degree counts towards education and experience requirements for the PMP certification exam.

Students are required to complete 45 credits of coursework for this degree; the 15 classes are separated into three categories: introduction, core and mastery. Introduction to Project Management must be completed before students can move on to most of the core and mastery courses. Other classes include: Measuring Project Performance for Success, Leading Domestic and Global Teams, Project Managers as Change Agents and Action Learning Project I & II.

Quick Facts

  • City University is ranked #67 on U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Business Programs (excluding MBAs) list.
  • The MSPM faculty and instructors all hold degrees in fields related to project management.
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13Missouri State University 2/554.74%Springfield, MO

The Master of Science in Project Management, offered through MSU's Outreach program, is designed for individuals who have experience working as project managers or who have degrees in business, engineering or another related field. The curriculum is based on PMI's PMBOK, and all of it can be completed asynchronously online.

Master's candidates complete 33 to 36 semester hours, depending on whether they choose to pursue the thesis or the seminar option. With either track, students take 18 semester hours in core courses, including Cost Analysis for Project Management and Advanced Project Management. Thesis students take nine hours of free electives that have been approved by their academic advisor, while those in the seminar option take 15.

As soon after enrollment as possible, students need to select a faculty advisor to guide them through the program. Those who opt to write a thesis need to choose three members to make up their thesis committee. Seminar students are required to attend seminars at set times via videoconferencing, the phone or over email.

Quick Facts

  • Applicants should have experience in a project management role, either through an undergraduate business degree or employment.
  • Earning this degree counts towards obtaining PMP Certification or the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential.
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14Golden Gate University 3/5N/ASan Francisco, CA

Golden Gate University, a private and nonprofit school, designs degrees for working professionals. The MS in Project Management is offered online to allow students to fit their education around their busy schedules.

The curriculum is based on the PMBOK, and graduates are able to earn Professional Development Units that can be applied toward PMP certification while they earn credits for graduation. To earn this master's degree, students need to complete 39 units of graduate study: three foundation courses, three core courses, five required courses and two electives chosen from a list of seven. Students work with advisors to build a degree plan that best meets their academic and professional goals.

Quick Facts

  • The faculty of the MSPM program all have professional experience as project managers and are PMP certified.
  • One of the offered electives is a PMP preparation course.
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15University of Wisconsin – Platteville 2/551.63%Platteville, WI

Students of UW-Platteville's online Master of Science in Project Management benefit from a degree with core competencies and outcomes that mirror the standards determined by PMI's PMBOK guide. The program is accredited by PMI, and students can use their studies to earn Professional Development Units that are applied towards becoming a certified PMP.

Master's candidates complete 30 to 36 credits in order to graduate, including 15 credits of core courses and 12 to 15 in electives. If necessary, students may also take three business foundation courses. Electives are designed to give graduates an opportunity to customize their degree. Based on the classes they choose, students can concentrate in marketing, interpersonal skills and team leadership or gain an in-depth understanding of the tools available to project managers.

Applicants are not required to take a graduate school standardized test (GRE, GMAT), but if their undergraduate degrees or GPAs do not meet UW's standards, they may be offered a trial enrollment. This program can be completed within two years if students take a full-time course load. However, graduates are allowed up to seven years to earn their master's degree.

Quick Facts

  • The culminating experience capstone is the last course students take in the MSPM program.
  • Online students may apply for a graduate assistantship through the Distance Learning Center.
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16Granite State College 2/513.51%Concord, NH

Granite State's online MS in Project Management instills graduates with the interpersonal, business and management skills they need in order to succeed in today's fast-paced business world. The curriculum was designed by the faculty that teaches in this degree program, but the classes will prepare students to obtain their PMP certification.

Students complete at least 30 credit hours of coursework, including a Project Management Integrative Capstone, in order to graduate. Other courses include Project Planning and Scheduling; Negotiation, Contracting, and Procurement; and Project Quality Management.

Master's candidates typically take one or two classes per term. Few students take more than two classes at once, though the school does allow those with a 3.5 GPA or better to apply for "Course Overload."

Quick Facts

  • Applicants are not required to submit GRE or GMAT scores.
  • Rather than write a thesis, students use their capstone course as their culminating experience.
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17Bellevue University 2/529.41%Bellevue, NE

The online Master of Project Management offered by this Nebraska school has a curriculum that follows PMI's PMBOK course standards. Classes are taught by instructors who have earned their PMP credentials and have experience working as project managers.

While working to earn their 36 credit hours, students gain the practical application knowledge they need to become leaders in the project management field. This professional program examines trends and teaches graduate students how to use the tools and techniques they'll use to develop, analyze and lead projects. Required courses include Cost Control in Projects, Agile Project Management and Emerging Trends in Project Management.

Quick Facts

  • Graduates complete a practicum course where they develop and complete a case study that analyzes the project management concepts they have learned.
  • Though the program's curriculum follows the PMBOK standards, graduates should check that their courses count towards the PMP certification.
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Successful project managers understand how to multitask. They know how to effectively communicate what needs to get done when working on a team. They are able to resolve disputes amongst company personnel, and they create a work environment where everyone feels heard and respected.

Project managers are often the voice of a team; they act as a liaison between their group and other teams or departments within the same company. They provide others with progress reports and ensure that their teams are staying in budget and on task. They manage the teams that develop goods and services for public, private and governmental organizations, so it is important that they have the training that prepares them for these leadership positions.

What types of classes will I take in an online Master’s in Project Management Program?

The classes in Master of Science in Project Management (MSPM) or Master of Project Management (MPM) programs are typically split into two categories: core/foundational and elective/concentration. The foundational courses give students a broad understanding of what being a project manager entails. They teach graduates how to budget, manage and analyze what their teams put together. Foundational or core courses you are likely to come across include:

  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Leading Change and Innovation
  • Risk Management
  • Project Planning and Scheduling
  • Project Tools and Techniques
  • Leading Teams

Elective courses are often used as a way for project management graduate students to concentrate their degrees. Though some schools require more elective credit hours than others, non-core courses allow you to gain mastery in certain areas. Common electives include:

  • Negotiating in Business
  • Communication, Mediation and Negotiation
  • Procurement and Contract Management
  • Foundations of Data Science and Analytics
  • Ethical Leadership

What skills should I have upon graduation?

Upon graduation, you will have the skills to:

  • Manage several projects and teams at once
  • Understand how to budget money and manpower to accomplish tasks efficiently
  • Develop a project and assess possible risks and outcomes
  • Analyze current trends and discuss how projects add value to your organization
  • Effectively communicate with team members, other managers and employers at every step of the process
  • Monitor current projects and make quick decisions about how to improve productivity and outcomes

Employment Outlook

In 2013, the median annual salary for project managers in the U.S., according to PMI’s Project Management Salary Survey, was $108,000. lists the current salaries for a number of positions that fall under project management or that are closely related to the field.


The methodology behind our rankings is grounded in statistical data and a few consistently applied guiding principles. Our 2017 rankings reflect the most recent data compiled from IPEDS and the College Navigator, both of which are hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics. Our goal is to objectively assess relative quality based on academic outcomes, affordability, and the breadth and depth of online learning opportunities. The following criteria was used to make these assessments:

Minimum Requirements

  • Each school must be an accredited public or private, not-for-profit institution.
  • Must offer an online master’s in Project Management degree program
  • Must submit an annual report to the National Center for Education Statistics.

Ranking Factors

All eligible institutions are ranked on a 100 point scale. A perfect score of 100 is earned by ranking #1 for all ranking factors.


  • Admissions Rate – 25%
  • Enrollment Rates – 15%
  • Retention Rate – 15%
  • 6-Year Graduation Rate – 25%
  • Number of Master’s Project Management Graduates – 20%


  • Average Net Price – 40%
  • Percentage of Enrolled Students Taking Federal Loans – 20%
  • Loan Default Rate – 40%


  • Percentage of Graduate Programs Offered Online – 40%
  • Graduate School Enrollment – 40%
  • Percentage of Programs Offered at the Graduate level – 20%