Best Online Bachelor’s in Project Management Programs
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Project managers help companies tackle complex projects such as implementing new IT systems or developing a new product. Project managers bring expertise in planning, organizing, and monitoring to ensure the team completes the project successfully, on time, and on budget.
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), a leading professional organization for project management, demand for these business leaders continues to grow around the world. Each year, employers hire for about 2.2 million project manager positions in fields like healthcare, cybersecurity, and construction.
A bachelor's in project management can help you compete for these in-demand jobs. Read on to learn about the best online bachelor's in project management programs and how your education can help you advance your career.
What Are the Best Online Bachelor's in Project Management Programs of 2020? Here Are Our Top 10:
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|#1||Colorado State University Global Campus Greenwood Village, CO|
|#2||Bellevue University Bellevue, NE|
|#3||Minnesota State University Moorhead Moorhead, MN|
|#4||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL|
|#5||Regis University Denver, CO|
|#6||Charleston Southern University Charleston, SC|
|#7||Liberty University Lynchburg, VA|
|#8||Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO|
|#9||Malone University Canton, OH|
|#10||Saint Leo University Saint Leo, FL|
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Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
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2020 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Project Management Programs
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Based in Greenwood Village, CSU-Global was the first nonprofit, statutorily defined online university in the nation. The school offers an online bachelor's in project management with the following concentration options:
- Construction management
- Emergency management
- Healthcare management
- Information technology operations
- Operations management and supervision
- Organizational leadership
- Public and nonprofit management
Students complete a capstone project and can undertake an optional practicum to gain hands-on experience. Core classes include applying leadership principles, effective project scheduling and control, project procurement and contract management, and project quality management.
The university charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state online students. CSU-Global holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in eastern Nebraska, BU enrolls around 9,000 students. The college offers more than 75 online degree programs, and its faculty are specifically trained to provide distance learning. The school offers a 127-credit bachelor's degree in project management. This program can be completed online and follows a cohort format. Core courses of this program include:
- Project leadership
- Applied project management
- Project procurement management
- Project risk management
- Business communications
Applicants must hold an associate degree or at least 60 credits earned with a minimum "C-" from an accredited institution. Around 88% of the school's 2019 graduates applied transfer credit toward their bachelor's degrees. BU charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students.
BU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its bachelor's in project management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.
MSU Moorhead enrolls over 5,000 students and offers more than 80 majors. The school's online bachelor's in project management requires around 120 credits and features the following core classes:
- Computer applications for technologists
- Project management and scheduling
- Advanced project management, risk, and liability
- Cost analysis
- Purchasing and sourcing management
Students complete a capstone project and an internship or consulting practicum through MSU Moorhead's Center for Innovative Business Solutions. MSU Moorhead boasts that 100% of recent project management graduates have found a job.
MSU Moorhead holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its bachelor's in project management program is accredited by the Project Management Institute Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs.
ERAU features over 130,000 alumni globally. Based in Daytona, Florida, the college reports that 94% of its graduates earn employment or enroll in continuing education within one year of graduation. ERAU's online bachelor's degree in project management includes 120 credits of classes and requires a capstone project. Core courses include:
- Human resource management
- The project management profession
- Global project management
- Troubled projects management
The university allows students to transfer credit in from other institutions, but students must complete at least 30 credits at ERAU. Faculty for this program holds project management certification from the Project Management Institute.
In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate. ERAU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Regis University enrolls over 10,000 students annually. Located in Denver, Colorado, the school reports that 97% of its graduates find employment or enroll in continuing education.
Students at Regis can earn an online bachelor of science in business with a project management specialization. Students take 61 credits of business core and nine credits in the project management specialization. They also complete a capstone project. This online bachelor's in project management includes courses in:
- Ethical decision-making in business
- Organizational behavior
- Legal environment of business
- Principles of macroeconomics
- Business finance
Applicants to this program need a high school diploma, transferable credit from a regionally accredited institution, and prior work experience. Out-of-state and in-state students pay the same tuition rate. Regis is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in South Carolina, CSU enrolls around 3,400 students. The school offers a 125-credit bachelor's degree in project management that can be completed online. This program uses an accelerated, seven-week format with flexible scheduling for working students. Some core courses include:
- Managing project quality and change
- Decision-making and project initiatives
- Project estimation and cost management
- Project planning and implementation
- Project risk assessment
Graduates of this program can find work as IT project managers, project controllers, web project managers, and contract project managers.
The university charges in-state and out-of-state students the same rate. Military students can receive up to 30 credits based on their experience. About 97% of the school's students receive financial aid. CSU holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Based in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is an evangelical Christian school that enrolls around 100,000 students. The university hosts over 800 programs, around 450 of which are available online. One such distance offering is the school's BSBA in project management, which takes about 3.5 years to complete. Students enrolled in the online bachelor's in project management program take the following classes:
- Operations management
- Leading global projects
- Foundations of project management
- Principles of management
Students can transfer up to 75% of their credit requirements into this program. Out-of-state students pay the same rates as in-state learners.
Liberty holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its project management program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Based in Missouri, SLU enrolls over 12,000 students. The university reports that about 55% of graduating seniors directly enter the workforce, while about 35% enter graduate programs.
The school offers an online bachelor's degree in project management that uses eight-week terms and offers six start dates throughout the year. The program features a capstone project, and participants must maintain a cumulative 2.0 GPA. Some core courses include:
- Contract supplier administration
- Communication - stakeholder and quality management
- Time, cost, and risk management
- Project management leadership ethics
- Project data analysis
Applicants need at least three years of work experience and a high school or GED diploma. All online students pay the same tuition, regardless of residency. SLU holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.
Located in Canton, Ohio, Malone offers eight fully online degree programs and a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The school's online bachelor's in organizational management includes 124 credits and features core courses in:
- Group and organizational behavior
- Principles of management and leadership
- Personal values and business ethics
- Problem-solving in management
- Management control systems
This bachelor's in project management requires a capstone project. Applicants also need at least 40 transferable credits from a regionally accredited institution and a 2.0 minimum cumulative GPA. Students should also have at least five years of previous work experience. In-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition rate.
Malone holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. Its bachelor's in organizational management program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
Located in Florida, Saint Leo enrolls nearly 13,000 students and was founded as the state's first Catholic university. The university oversees an online bachelor's in business administration program that offers a project management specialization. The curriculum includes the following courses:
- Procurement, purchasing, and vendor management
- Project risk management, cost analysis, and decision-making
- Project teamwork and leadership
- Quality improvement and management
- Project management applications
This program encourages — but does not require — students to complete an internship. The university charges the same tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students.
Saint Leo holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The bachelor's in business administration program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.
What Can I Expect From an Online Bachelor's in Project Management Program?
From the first discussions of project scope through project closing, project managers serve as the go-to expert on a project for a company.
Project management combines business knowledge, leadership skills, and technical expertise. From the first discussions of project scope through project closing, project managers serve as the go-to expert on a project for a company.
Project managers need good communication skills, organization capabilities, and critical thinking abilities. These professionals must maintain a high-level understanding of the project and pay attention to details others may overlook.
A bachelor's in project management can help you develop essential project management skills and learn to use industry software. Most bachelor's degrees require 120 credits and take four years to complete, with about 60 credits focused on business and project management.
While specific projects vary by industry, project managers often have technical skills in an area of specialization, such as construction or information technology. Some students may seek a degree in project management after gaining professional experience in a different field.
Many schools also offer concentrations in project management. Popular concentration options include construction management, information technology management, and nonprofit management. Concentrations feature a sequence of three or four classes that complement the project management curriculum with a focus on one industry or skill set.
Internships and practica can complement your online bachelor's in project management. Often, these experiences help students demonstrate their skills and put what they have learned to work in a real-world setting. These experiences can also help students build professional networks.
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What Courses Will I Take in an Online Bachelor's in Project Management Program?
Bachelor's in project management programs often include a core curriculum in business concepts and principles. Many schools require courses in financial accounting and organizational management. These requirements complement project management courses that focus on planning, quality assurance, and contract management.
Courses vary by school and by program, but the courses below offer a sampling of classes you may take in your online bachelor's in project management program.
Project management consists of various processes and principles that help professionals manage project quality and control. This course introduces students to those concepts, with an emphasis on strategic direction. Students develop ethical decision-making and critical thinking skills and learn principles that can help them identify and meet stakeholder expectations.
Project managers help determine a project budget and control costs to meet that budget. This course looks at various tools project managers use to estimate costs and implement cost control measures. Students learn the basics of earned value management techniques and how to use those techniques throughout the project lifecycle.
Project managers must ensure they deliver a high-quality project that meets the project scope to the stakeholders. This course addresses quality assurance techniques and measurements. Students learn to use relevant quality management tools. Concepts and theories emphasize the importance of quality planning and process improvement.
Project managers must provide leadership and use problem-solving skills when a project encounters problems. With effective risk management, managers can mitigate or minimize problems by identifying possible issues early on and developing action plans. This course looks at tools and techniques project managers can use to identify, measure, and monitor possible risks.
Project managers often work with a team. Many projects require coordination among multiple departments and specialties. This course focuses on leadership within the team and helps students identify their leadership style. Throughout the term, students gain skills and learn techniques to build strong teams, coach team members, and lead change.
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What Can I Do With an Online Bachelor's in Project Management Degree?
Project management continues to outpace job growth projections. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 5% growth in management occupations from 2019 through 2029, an increase of more than 500,000 jobs. PMI estimated the field would employ 52.4 million people worldwide by 2020. Hiring surpassed that number in 2017, with 65.9 million project managers employed.
The demand for project managers comes from more industries recognizing the value of project managers and from project managers retiring from the workforce. PMI found the healthcare industry experienced the greatest increase in project-oriented jobs in 2017, with 17% growth.
Below, you can learn about several popular project management careers. Explore where a bachelor's in project management can take you through our career guide.
Construction managers prepare budgets and work timetables, working closely with architects, engineers, and construction foremen. They select subcontractors and schedule work, carefully following contracts and legal requirements. They respond to emergencies and work delays to keep the project moving forward.
The BLS projects 8% job growth for this field between 2019 and 2029. In 2019, construction managers earned a median salary of $95,260.
Industrial Production managers work in manufacturing or production facilities. They hire, train, and evaluate production employees. They look for efficiencies and savings, tracking detailed production data and determining when to upgrade equipment.
The BLS reports these managers earn a median salary of $105,480. As manufacturing declines nationwide, the BLS projects slower growth (1%) in this field between 2019 and 2029.
Computer and Information Systems managers work closely with IT support personnel. They may serve as the chief information officer or report to top executives. Computer systems managers study an organization's computer needs, recommending upgrades in hardware, software, or security. They oversee the installation and implementation of new equipment, often working with multiple departments to provide training and support.
The BLS reports these managers earn a median salary of $146,360. The BLS projects 10% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029.
Advertising, Promotions, and Marketing managers build consumer demand for products or services. They may assist in product development by coordinating market research efforts and providing input on pricing. They manage complex marketing campaigns that may include paid advertising, new media, or public relations efforts.
These professionals earn a median annual salary of $135,900, with the BLS projecting 6% growth between 2019 and 2029.
Architectural and Engineering managers work closely with clients to determine project needs and limitations, such as budgetary or site constraints. They then develop plans for buildings or products. They may oversee work at a building site or respond to technical problems in manufacturing a product.
The BLS projects 3% growth in this field between 2019 and 2029. In 2019, these managers earned a median annual salary of $144,830.
Project Management Not for You? Check Out These Related Careers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bachelor's in Project Management Programs
A bachelor's in project management is valuable if you want to move into management roles in your industry. You can combine your practical experience in your field with the processes and concepts used in project management in order to lead change or launch new projects. Management professionals earn a median annual salary of $105,660.
PMI projects job growth for project managers in numerous industries through 2027, including 9.7 million jobs in manufacturing and construction and 5.5 million in information services and publishing.
A degree does not guarantee you will find a job after graduation. However, demand for project managers continues to grow each year. A 2017 PMI report projected the creation of more than 200,000 new project-oriented jobs each year through 2027. Your specialized education combined with professional experience in a field can make you a competitive candidate for these jobs.
According to the BLS, the median annual salary for management positions in 2019 was $105,660. Education, experience, and professional certifications all impact earning potential. For example, PMI reports that individuals with the project management professional certification earn about 20% more than other project managers.
In addition to education and experience, your industry can impact your earning potential. According to the BLS, computer and information systems managers earn a median salary of $146,360, industrial production managers earn $105,480, and construction managers make $95,260.