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Across nearly every field, project managers play a vital role in helping organizations succeed. This page outlines what you can expect from an online master's in project management program, including application requirements, typical coursework, and common careers for graduates. Read on to learn more about typical concentration options and answers to frequently asked questions. Finally, visit each ranking's embedded links to research the best master's in project management programs of 2020.

What Are the Best Online Master's in Project Management Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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Rank School Location
1 Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide Daytona Beach, FL
2 George Washington University Washington, DC
3 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
4 Colorado State University-Global Campus Aurora, CO
5 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX
6 Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL
7 University of Wisconsin-Platteville Platteville, WI
8 Saint Mary's University of Minnesota Winona, MN
9 Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL
10 Elmhurst College Elmhurst, IL

Earning a master's in project management degree provides numerous advantages for graduates, including increased salary potential and opportunities for promotions. For instance, postsecondary education administration — a career track that requires an advanced degree — boasts an average salary of $94,340. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the need for these professionals to grow 7% between 2018 and 2028, faster than the projected average for all professions. Additionally, the BLS projects strong growth for other related management-level positions.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Master's in Project Management Programs

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Rank School Location Graduation Rate Description Toggle
1

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

Daytona Beach, FL Graduation Rate: 62%

Program Overview

Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, Embry-Riddle's online master of science in project management program teaches professionals how to develop and apply organizational systems and policies. Students cover documentation and planning, analytics, and advanced problem-solving.

Core courses focus on management science, assessing and managing project risk, and foundations of project management. The program culminates with a capstone course where participants must demonstrate command of project management principles and techniques.

Embry-Riddle is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This project management program holds accreditation through the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $731 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.5 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Request more information about this program.

2

George Washington University

Washington, DC Graduation Rate: 82%

Program Overview

GW's online master of science in project management blends general management principles with advanced techniques. Coursework is presented by faculty with industry experience in astrophysics, engineering, IT, construction, and more. All students must attend an on-campus orientation to start.

Taught through GW's School of Business, the curriculum consists of four stages: foundational, core project management and decision sciences, advanced quantitative applications, and a capstone course (a weeklong on-campus residency). Core topics include risk analysis and cost estimation and control. Students also select from electives focused on project management finance and executive decision-making.

GW is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,825 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 18-24 months (full-time); 30-48 months (part-time)
Format: Online, with an on-campus orientation and residency
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT optional

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3

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA Graduation Rate: 88%

Program Overview

Located in Waltham, Massachusetts, Brandeis oversees an online master of science in project and program management that covers project management best practices. Graduates learn to successfully lead and manage project lifecycle phases, manage stakeholder communications and expectations, and manage risks while aligning objectives with strategic goals.

Required courses focus on the human side of project leadership, scheduling and cost management, and negotiation and conflict resolution. Offered electives include business requirements analysis, demystifying agile project management, and foundations of data science and analytics.

Brandeis is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project and Program Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,178 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-3 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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4

Colorado State University-Global Campus

Aurora, CO Graduation Rate: 70%

Program Overview

CSU-Global's master of science in project management program, which is aligned with the Project Management Institute's (PMI) body of knowledge, prepares distance learners to sit for the project management professional certification exam. Participants gain technical, leadership, critical thinking, and analysis skills.

In addition to completing a final capstone project, students cover topics like managing contracts and asset procurement, decision sciences, and financial metrics. Participants can choose from nearly 20 specialization options, including strategic innovation and change management, organizational learning and performance, and artificial intelligence and machine learning.

CSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This project management program holds accreditionation through the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $500 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum preferred
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT optional

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

5

Sam Houston State University

Huntsville, TX Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 52%

Program Overview

Located in Huntsville, Texas, SHSU's online master of science in project management program teaches professionals how to establish organizational project lifecycles and introduce new products and services. The technology-focused curriculum also prepares participants to sit for certification exams offered by the Project Management Institute.

Courses cover operations management, leading organizational change and development, and human resources management. Students also complete a capstone. New learners can enroll on one of three annual start dates.

SHSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $421 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: GMAT required for applicant's with a GPA below 2.75

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

6

Florida Institute of Technology

Melbourne, FL Graduation Rate: 60%

Program Overview

The online master of science in project management offered by Florida Tech targets professionals seeking advanced leadership positions in the public, private, and military sectors. Optional concentrations include operations research and information systems.

Required courses cover organizational behavior, project tools and techniques, and project and program risk management. Students participate in a capstone that involves a complex, real-life project management challenge within a team-based environment.

Melbourne-based Florida Tech is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $600 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GRE or GMAT recommended

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Request more information about this program.

7

University of Wisconsin-Platteville

Platteville, WI Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 54%

Program Overview

The curriculum of UW-Platteville's online master of science in project management aligns with the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which provides the essential foundations needed to earn project management professional certification. Graduates develop strategic communication skills while learning to initiate, plan, execute, and oversee projects through proven project management concepts.

Core courses focus on project management techniques, project scope management, and a capstone. Students may select elective courses that suit their career goals, learning about topics like consumer behavior, corporate finance, and labor-management practices. Participants may also complete an emphasis area in human capital administration, managing engineering projects, or integrated supply chain management.

UW-Platteville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its project management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Public
Tuition: $715 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30-36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

8

Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

Winona, MN Graduation Rate: 61%

Program Overview

Situated in Winona, St. Mary's online master of science in project management program teaches students to plan and manage complex projects by using industry technologies, tools, and best practices. Students also learn to manage and incorporate change through the project lifecycle, and to lead diverse groups and teams.

The curriculum consists of required project management courses, electives, and a capstone where participants use simulation technology. Learners can also pursue additional graduate certificates, choosing from options like healthcare administration, international development, and nonprofit management.

Saint Mary's is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. This project management program holds accreditation through the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $675 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.75 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

9

Saint Leo University

Saint Leo, FL Graduation Rate: 45%

Program Overview

Saint Leo's master of business administration with a concentration in project management teaches online students the skills and knowledge needed to lead complex projects in medium to large corporations. The program focuses on best practices for initiating, planning, controlling, and closing projects. Learners cover various team exercises and current industry software.

Program requirements include classes in professional development, human capital best practices in project management, and strategic management. An applied project management course requires students to use their newly developed skills to address a real-world scenario.

Florida-based Saint Leo is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: MBA With a Concentration in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $750 per credit
Credit Requirements: 33-36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum preferred
Standardized Tests: GMAT required for applicants with a GPA below 3.0

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Request more information about this program.

10

Elmhurst College

Elmhurst, IL Graduation Rate: 63%

Program Overview

EC's online master of project management program helps students develop a set of core competencies to deliver projects on time, on budget, and to specifications. The college's flex format means online students can visit campus and take classes. The institute's professional network gives students opportunities to connect with employers in the Chicagoland area. Graduates also qualify to sit for the project management professional certification exam.

Required core courses include organizational management, project management tools and techniques, and corporate communications. Elective options include human resource management, operations management, leadership and change management, and negotiations.

Illinois-based EU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $885 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: Not specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

11

The College of Saint Scholastica

Duluth, MN Graduation Rate: 69%

Program Overview

Located in Duluth, Minnesota, CSS's master of science in project management teaches online learners the knowledge and skills required to be an effective leader. Graduates develop project management work experience and prepare to earn project management professional certification.

The curriculum consists of four foundational courses, three advanced project management courses, three global and strategic specialization courses, and three courses associated with the capstone project. To apply, candidates should have at least two years of work experience.

CSS is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Its project management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute's Global Accreditation Center.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $565 per credit
Credit Requirements: 37 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.8 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

Request more information about this program.

12

Dallas Baptist University

Dallas, TX Graduation Rate: 53%

Program Overview

DBU's online master of business administration features a project management concentration that provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed as team managers. The concentration covers techniques and tools used to define, plan, organize, and manage projects.

The core curriculum of this Christ-centered MBA includes leadership, management information systems, corporate finance, and accounting coursework. The 12-credit project management concentration includes classes in project overviews, strategic processes, project initiation, and product execution and closeout.

DBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Business Administration With a Project Management Concentration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $1,104 per credit
Credit Requirements: 36 credits
Program Length: 2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 3.0 minimum required
Standardized Tests: GMAT required

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13

Charleston Southern University

Charleston, SC Graduation Rate: 42%

Program Overview

Located in South Carolina, CSU's online master of science in project management integrates the Christian faith into its leadership-focused curriculum. Students are prepared to sit for the project management professional certification exam.

Coursework covers topics like critical thinking and problem-solving, managing project risk, and managing project stakeholder needs. The accelerated, seven-week structure provides flexibility for working professionals.

CSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Science in Project Management
School Status: Private
Tuition: $650 per credit
Credit Requirements: 30 credits
Program Length: 1-2 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: No minimum specified
Standardized Tests: Not required

Contact the School

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14

Wayland Baptist University

Plainview, TX Graduation Rate: 24%

Program Overview

WBU's online master of business administration program offers aproject management specialization. The MBA program covers the theory, principles, and knowledge required to engage in effective management, developing responsible leaders who demonstrate strong business ethics.

Core program requirements include studies in organizational theory, managerial economics, and marketing. Other requirements include classes in ethics, healthcare law, and managerial finance. The project management specialization focuses on managing complex projects, information systems, and power and politics in organizations. A practicum/internship may be substituted for a specialization course.

Located in Plainview, Texas, WBU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Business Administration, Project Management Specialization
School Status: Private
Tuition: $514 per credit
Credit Requirements: 48 credits
Program Length: 2-3 years
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7 minimum required
Standardized Tests: Not required

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15

Cornerstone University

Grand Rapids, MI Graduation Rate: 53%

Program Overview

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, CU'smaster of business administration with a project management concentration aims to strengthen students' leadership skills, preparing them to add value to any organization. The project management specialization focuses on foundational concepts, including risk management.

Core MBA courses cover research methods, accounting, entrepreneurship, and quantitative analysis. The three project management emphasis courses delve into fundamentals of project management; cost, quality, and team management; and communications and risk management.

Detroit-based CU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and its MBA programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

Program Snapshot

Program Name: Master of Business Administration, Project Management Concentration
School Status: Private
Tuition: $595 per credit
Credit Requirements: 38 credits
Program Length: 20-22 months
Format: Online
Instruction Style: Asynchronous and synchronous

Admission Requirements

GPA: 2.7-3.0 minimum required, depending on professional experience
Standardized Tests: Not required

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Online Master's in Project Management Program Overview

Although course names differ among universities, every master's in project management program offers similar core courses that develop research, writing, analytical, and managerial skills. Learners may also specialize by selecting a concentration or electives. The following section highlights typical courses offered in the core curriculum.

Learning outcomes common to most programs include the ability to analyze markets, apply organizational skills, and use ethical principles to guide decision-making. As nearly all fields need project managers' expertise, universities make these outcomes as broad as possible to accommodate different professional goals.

The programs below boast an excellent alumni success rate, as the vast majority of graduates find a position within 6-12 months of earning a degree. Additionally, some graduates pursue further education and complete a doctoral program.

Common Master's in Project Management Degree Courses

Fundamentals of Research and Writing

This introductory course reviews research and writing best practices. Learners apply these skills to academic research and online collaboration with peers. Additionally, students analyze their own writing to identify areas for improvement.

Business Analyses

A business analyses course trains students to apply user and organizational goals to create a management plan for long-term projects. Course requirements include real-life case study analysis, as well as business analysis fundamentals to solve hypothetical situations. Additionally, learners leave the course with honed project planning skills.

Project Metrics, Monitoring, and Control

Project managers use metrics to analyze key performance indicators and measure a project's overall effectiveness. This course explores measurement-driven project management fundamentals, as well as how communication plays an essential role between management and staff.

Leading Organizational Change

Every company and organization changes over time. This course analyzes change process basics and the latest theories concerning how individuals and groups respond to change. Learners also examine the most up-to-date research on human psychology.

Supply Chain Management

Supply chain management explores how an organization can deliver goods effectively. Course topics include network design and the effect of globalization on various industries' supply chains. Students learn to make procurement decisions based on global sourcing trends and unexpected developments.

Related Master's in Project Management Degree Concentrations

Applied Business Management

Applied business management concerns the principles of finance, strategic planning, and managerial communication in the global marketplace. Learning outcomes include the ability to lead diverse teams and apply strategy to business decisions. This concentration can help managers in nearly any field either earn a promotion or start a position with a new employer.

Criminal Justice Leadership

As the name implies, a criminal justice leadership concentration trains the next generation of law enforcement managers. Coursework includes criminological theory, criminal policy development and analysis, and administration and management of criminal justice organizations. Online master's in project management programs that offer this concentration may require applicants to possess law enforcement experience.

Healthcare Administration

A concentration in healthcare administration blends many topics that students learn in a master's in healthcare administration program with project management best practices. Courses include operations management in healthcare organizations, healthcare finance, and healthcare information systems. This concentration — along with professional experience — qualifies graduates to work as a healthcare administrator.

Human Resources Management

Human resources managers ensure that a company or organization can hire, train, and retain highly qualified employees. Master's in project management programs that offer this concentration typically base the curriculum on the HR Certification Institute and the Society for Human Resource Management's industry standards. Topics include collective bargaining and labor relations.

Public Administration

Public administration students analyze public finance, budgeting, and public sector leadership. Learners analyze the latest academic scholarship and apply new knowledge and skills to real-life situations. Public administration graduates work as administrators at local, state, and federal government agencies.

Online Master's in Project Management Admission Requirements

  • Standardized Test Scores

    Standardized test scores — such as the GRE and GMAT — allow admissions counselors to determine an applicant's academic potential. Applicants should not submit scores more than five years old, as universities may regard them as invalid. Additionally, in recent years, many master's in project management programs no longer require scores, and instead prefer other metrics to inform admissions decisions.

  • Professional Experience

    The best online master's in project management programs require applicants to possess 2-3 years of relevant professional experience. Some universities may prefer applicants with management-level experience. Additionally, many universities with this requirement use a unique curriculum wherein students apply lessons at their job site.

  • Undergraduate GPA

    Many excellent project management programs use a GPA cutoff. However, prospective students with an undergraduate GPA below 3.0 should still consider top programs. Many universities offer conditional admission to applicants who have excellent standardized test scores or more professional experience than the university requires.

  • Recommendation Letters

    For competitive master's in project management programs that receive a large number of academically qualified applicants, recommendation letters help admissions counselors make an informed decision. For programs that also require professional experience, ensure that at least one letter comes from a current or prior work supervisor. Additionally, give all persons writing a letter at least two weeks to submit it.

  • Interview

    Although few online master's in project management programs require an interview, a personal interview can help some applicants stand apart from the competition. Prospective students speak with a professor, dean, or enrollment advisor over the phone or by teleconferencing. Interviewees answer questions concerning their academic history and career goals.


Online Master's in Project Management Career Paths

Master's in project management graduates can work as administrative service managers, compensation and benefits managers, and human resources managers, among other occupations. Most career paths are mid-level or senior-level positions, and applicants can leverage a degree and experience to stand out from other qualified candidates. Additionally, earning a Project Management Professional certification can make applicants more appealing to potential employers.

For graduates who do not plan to enter academia, a master's is sufficient. However, professionals who aspire to work as a college or university professor should earn a doctorate in project management or a similar subject.

Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with a master's in project management?

Project managers work in construction, healthcare, finance, and many other fields. For you, the answer depends on your prior professional experience, interests, and concentration. With so many career paths from which to choose, you should contact schools to learn more about which careers align with the online master's in project management program.

Do you need a master's degree to be a project manager?

Although many project management careers do not require a master's degree, earning a master's presents many advantages. When hiring, companies and organizations want only the most highly trained applicants. Additionally, keep in mind that although a master's degree does not guarantee you a dream job, it still acts as a valuable asset.

How much can you make with a master's in project management?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, project managers in different professions earn an average of $104,240 per year. Project managers with less experience can expect a lower salary, while those with additional experience earn more.

How long does it take to earn a master's in project management?

Full-time master's in project management programs usually take 1-2 years to complete. However, students who possess transfer credit or choose an accelerated program can earn their degree in just 12 months or less. Some programs also have a part-time option where most degree-seekers can graduate in three years.

What are the advantages of studying project management?

Like any graduate program, a master's in project management prepares graduates for numerous career paths. Many companies and organizations reserve management positions for professionals who possess an advanced degree, and a rigorous master's program prepares you for a fast-paced, rapidly evolving work environment.

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Additional Reading and Resources

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