Best Online MBA in Project Management Programs 2024
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Editor & Writer
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Project managers execute business plans using a team, a budget, and a timeline. Earning a master of business administration (MBA) in project management can boost current project managers into more complex and rewarding roles. An MBA is a 1-2 year graduate degree that covers the full array of business leadership skills, including topics in finance, accounting, strategic planning, human resources, and business operations.
Many industries need project management professionals. In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected that the number of project management specialists would increase by 6% between 2022 and 2032. According to the BLS, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $95,370.
The following guide dives deeper into the various educational options that can lead to a leadership role in project management. Not only will you find our data-derived ranking of the best online MBAs in project management, but you'll also learn more about the degree's costs, requirements, and benefits.
Still unsure about your MBA college choice? Check out our overall Best Online MBA Programs.
Related Project Management Programs That Might Interest You
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Top Online Project Management MBA Program Rankings Summary
Best Accredited Online MBA in Project Management Programs
We use datasets from sources like the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools.
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
Browse programs Discover matches Request info Grand Rapids, MI
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Programmatic Accreditation: Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs
Cost per Credit:
In-State | $610
Out-of-State | $610
Credits to Graduate: 36
Cornerstone University's MBA program offers both online and in-person options. The school aims to teach leadership skills, entrepreneurship, and finance through a Christian lens.
The program's curriculum consists of 12 predetermined courses, including nine core courses and three concentration courses. Students can concentrate in finance, healthcare, or project management.
Individuals interested in applying for this program must possess a bachelor's degree, a minimum GPA of 2.7, and official transcripts. Applicants do not need to take the GMAT.
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Programmatic Accreditation: International Accreditation Council for Business Education
Cost per Credit:
In-State | $580
Out-of-State | $580
Credits to Graduate: 39
The University of Mary offers an MBA degree with an optional project management certificate for students interested in finance, leadership, and project management. The program's curriculum includes 30 credits for the MBA degree and nine credits for the project management certificate. The three courses required for the certificate include project initiation, project planning, and project execution.
The project management program can be completed without an accompanying master's degree; however, graduates will only receive a certificate on their official transcript. Certificates are ineligible for Title IV funding.
- 4 years
- Online + Campus
Cost per Credit:
In-State | $540
Out-of-State | $540
Credits to Graduate: 30
Spring Hill College offers a fully online MBA program, which can be completed in 10 months. The program offers four concentrations, including project management, leadership, logistics, and business analytics. The project management concentration requires students to take three courses, including two project management courses and a project management capstone project.
MBA graduates should have the ability to analyze data, understand business environments, and develop business strategies. Graduates from the project management concentration may be prepared to take the project management professional (PMP) certification exam.
How We Rank Schools
To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.
Ranking Methodology Summary
To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:
- Affordability (30%)
- Student outcomes (30%)
- Reputation (20%)
- Diversity and social mobility (20%)
In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.
What Can I Expect From an Online MBA in Project Management Program?
Students earning an MBA in project management gain an understanding of business concepts and build their leadership and management abilities, positioning themselves for senior-level management positions. Whereas a master's in project management exposes students to concepts relevant to the field, an MBA program specifically in project management has a strong business focus.
Earning an online degree does not attract the scrutiny it used to. Many employers value an online degree as much as an on-campus credential.
Online degrees provide many learners with the opportunity to pursue an MBA regardless of location or work schedule. Another difference between online and traditional MBAs is the amount of self-discipline and time management they might require. People with the motivation to stay on top of their coursework in light of other demands might thrive in an online program.
Example MBA in Project Management Courses
- Project Tools and Strategies
- Agile Project Management
- Risk Assessment
- Managerial Finance
- Strategic Project Management
What Can I Do With an MBA in Project Management Degree?
The demand for project managers with an MBA or another graduate degree continues to grow. The BLS projects there will be at least 1 million management job openings each year between 2022 and 2023.
MBA students might focus on a particular career track, such as information systems, marketing, finance, sustainability, or human resources. Choosing a concentration can help students focus their careers and position themselves for employment in industries that suit their interests.
Construction Project Manager
Construction project managers work in diverse settings, such as residential, commercial, and public construction sites. They generally collaborate with engineers and supervise subcontractors' work. These project managers manage virtually all aspects of a construction project, including costs, materials allocation, hiring, and adherence to building codes.
Health Services Project Manager
Health services project managers usually serve as administrators, managing departments in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. These individuals maximize efficiency, ensure adherence to standards, and identify improvement areas. They also speak to investors or boards on behalf of their organizations about funding and other issues.
IT Project Manager
IT project managers can work as supervisors or chief information officers. They generally oversee all computer-related operations and determine how to meet their companies' computing needs. Their duties include selecting and upgrading hardware and software, making personnel decisions, and implementing cybersecurity procedures.
Project Management Consultant
Project management consultants advise organizations on improving their workflows and maximizing their outputs. They often conduct needs assessments before generating plans and provide feedback throughout the life of a project. These professionals either work for one organization or as freelancers.
Senior Project Manager
Senior project managers oversee different projects in more than one department. Their duties include creating schedules, managing budgets, supervising work progress, and allocating resources. Individuals typically advance to this senior position after several years of work experience.
Project Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers
Is an MBA in Project Management Worth It?
An MBA demonstrates a job candidate's ability to manage complex projects and see them through. The degree also indicates an understanding of various business aspects and how a project ties in with a company's overall goals. According to the BLS, management professionals tend to earn higher average pay than workers in other occupational groups.
Some students might not appreciate the difference between an MBA in project management and a general MBA. MBA programs typically teach valuable skills, such as management, communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution. However, an MBA without a concentration is broad in scope.
On the other hand, an MBA in project management can help project managers step into high-level leadership positions within various contexts. This focused degree also provides students with finance and managerial competencies essential to overseeing and completing complex projects.
People who desire a managerial position might benefit from an online MBA in project management. This degree provides a relatively straightforward path to organizational leadership. However, competition for jobs in project management can be intense.
Why Get an MBA in Project Management Instead of a Master's in Project Management?
A master's degree in project management allows students to focus on the specific skills they want to market during a job search, making them more attractive candidates.
An MBA in project management focuses on more than the technical aspects of the field. MBA students typically learn how their duties fit in with the goals of the overall organization, including culture and strategic planning. This degree also prepares graduates for leadership roles.
Professionals who want to earn an advanced degree in project management and seek a managerial position might consider a dual MBA/master's degree. Students willing to commit the time and money can benefit from leadership training and exposure to advanced coursework in their field.
Still Looking for the Right Fit? Discover Similar Programs.
Frequently Asked Questions About MBA in Project Management Programs
Is an MBA in project management tough?
Any graduate degree demands time, concentration, and diligent study, but an MBA in project management is not known for being particularly rigorous. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam that often follows it, however, has a reputation as a challenging assessment.
Is an MBA useful for project management?
An MBA can provide project managers with a broader understanding of what it takes to succeed in business leadership. Its big-picture approach offers clear advantages. Still, some professionals may prefer a master's in project management or PMP certification.
Is it better to get an MBA or PMP certification?
If business leadership is your career goal, an MBA is probably your best choice. On the other hand, PMP certification is a quicker and less expensive way to establish your credentials and possibly earn a higher salary.
What makes a good project manager?
Good project managers deliver projects on time and on budget with minimal disruption. Great project managers are emotionally aware leaders who build important connections with suppliers, shareholders, customers, peers, and team members.